2020 Bonanza Bird #18

Birdorable's Newest Addition: The Elegant Bridled Tern

Birdorable Bridled Tern

Today’s new Birdorable species is a pelagic seabird: the Bridled Tern!

Like many seabirds, the Bridled Tern has a monochromatic plumage in whites, greys, and blacks. Their plumage is countershaded, meaning they are dark above and light below. This is a type of camouflage -- the way natural light hits them helps to make them less visible to aquatic prey from below and potential predators from above.

Bridled Terns are found in tropical and subtropical waters across parts of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This cutie joins Birdorable as our 15th species of tern.

Bridled Tern

Tomorrow we’ll add a species of waterbird with the longest bill size of any species. Do you know this bird?

Cute Bridled Tern Gifts

2020 Bonanza Bird #17

White-faced Whistling-Duck: Bridging Continents with its Range

Birdorable White-Faced Whistling-Duck

Today’s new Birdorable is one of eight species of Whistling-Duck in the world. The White-faced Whistling-Duck joins the family!

White-faced Whistling-Ducks have an interesting range that includes large areas on two continents. They are found around freshwater habitat in sub-Saharan Africa and throughout much of South America. Their disjointed populations are a source of speculation among experts, some of whom believe that human interference may have brought the ducks across the pond.

Other species of Whistling-Duck include the Fulvous and Black-bellied, both of which are found in North America. The family gets their name from their distinct, un-duck-like, whistling calls. Whistling-Ducks are known to be gregarious, forming large roosting flocks.

Another name for this bird family is “tree duck”, as many Whistling-Ducks nest in trees. This alternative family name doesn’t apply to the White-faced, however, as they mostly nest on the ground.

White-faced Whistling Duck
White-faced Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna viduata, at Austin Rober by Derek Keats (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow we’ll add a species of tern with a name that sounds like it might be ready for marriage. Or perhaps they have equestrian dreams? Can you guess the species based on our silly wordplay clue?

Cute Whistling-Duck Gifts

2020 Bonanza Bird #16

Meet South America's White-rumped Swallow: A Graceful Aerial Acrobat

Birdorable White-rumped Swallow

Today we’re adding a species of swallow to our Birdorable family. Today’s new bird is the White-rumped Swallow!

These swallows are found in parts of Brazil, Argentina, and neighboring countries in South America. Some White-rumped Swallows are migratory; northern birds are sedentary but southern birds will head north for the winter, once breeding season is over.

Speaking of non-breeding season, these usually solitary birds will form mixed swallow feeding flocks in the winter, numbering 100 or more individual birds. They feed on the wing, taking aerial prey like flying ants, dragonflies, and flies.

Tomorrow’s new Birdorable is a species of waterfowl in a family that is named for their calling sound. The species we’re adding has a range over two continents and is named for the color of its face. Can you guess what it is?

Cute White-rumped Swallow Gifts

2020 Bonanza Bird #15

Asia's Feathered Gem: Introducing the Birdorable Red-billed Blue-Magpie

Birdorable Red-billed Blue-Magpie

The Red-billed Blue-Magpie, scientifically known as Urocissa erythroryncha, is a beautiful member of the corvid family. These striking birds are primarily found in various parts of Asia, where their vibrant plumage and distinctive features make them a true marvel of nature.

One of the most remarkable characteristics of the Red-billed Blue-Magpie is its extraordinarily long tail, which stands out as one of the lengthiest among all corvid species. This impressive tail adds to their overall elegance and sets them apart from their avian relatives.

The plumage of these magpies is a captivating blend of dark blue, black, and white. Their striking appearance, characterized by contrasting colors, ensures that they are easily distinguishable in their habitat. The bright red-orange bill provides a stark contrast to their predominantly dark plumage, making it a standout feature.

Red-billed Blue-Magpies are known for their social nature and are often observed in the company of their peers. These birds form small feeding flocks, typically consisting of 6-8 individuals. Their gregarious behavior allows them to forage more effectively and increases their chances of locating food sources.

The Red-billed Blue-Magpie's natural habitat includes a range of wooded environments, from lush forests to wooded hillsides. They can be found in various regions across Asia, where they thrive in the diverse landscapes provided by the continent.

Red-billed Blue Magpie
Red-billed Blue Magpie in Timlipani, Uttarakhand, India by soumyajit nandy (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Tomorrow we’ll add a species of swallow found in open habitat in South America. This cutie is named after the color of its rump! Can you guess the species from this cheeky clue?

Cute Red-billed Blue-Magpie Gifts

Birdorable White-eyed Vireo

Today we’re adding a species found across a wide range in the eastern United States: the White-eyed Vireo!

White-eyed Vireos are found in scrubby forest habitat. They are migratory, with their winter range extending down into Central America and the Caribbean. They eat a variety of insects.

Often heard before they are seen, if they are seen at all, White-eyed Vireos have a distinctive song. Birders remember the White-eyed Vireo’s vocalization by employing some funny mnemonics, including the rude-sounding “Spit! See if I care! Spit!”

White-eyed Vireo
White-eyed Vireo close-up of eye

Tomorrow’s new species is a type of corvid (crow family) with an extremely long tail. It is named for the color of its beak and the color of most of its feathers. Can you guess the bird?

Cute White-eyed Vireo Gifts

Birdorable Storm's Stork

Today we introduce a rare species of stork: Storm’s Stork.

Storm’s Stork is a species found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. They live in tropical forest habitat, where they feed on fish, frogs, and other aquatic prey. Unfortunately this species is considered to be the most endangered stork on the earth. They face habitat loss due to deforestation across their range.

Storm's Storks are named after a German explorer and zoological collector named Theodor "Hugo" Storm. Captain Storm was under contract with the natural history museum in Luebeck Germany to collect wild animals and specimens. The species was first described for western science by the German ornithologist August Wilhelm Heinrich Blasius.

Tomorrow’s new species is a New World songbird named for the color of its eyes. If we tell you they are neither Dark nor Red, you should be able to guess! Do you know the bird?

Birdorable Pink-headed Fruite Dove

Today’s new addition to Birdorable is a colorful species in the dove family. The Pink-headed Fruit Dove joins our Birdorable Pigeons and Doves!

Pink-headed Fruit Doves are easily recognized by their pinkish purple heads and green backs. Their breasts have a spiffy white and black border stripe between the pinkish-purple above and the light grey below. Males, like our Birdorable version, have bright colors; females are similar but with duller vibrance.

They are native to Indonesia, where they live in forest habitat and feed on fruits, figs, and berries.

Pink-headed Fruit Doves are also known as Temminck’s Fruit Pigeons. Coenraad Jacob Temminck was a Dutch zoologist who had a hand in describing and naming over forty species for science, including many birds (Temminck’s Hornbill) and mammals (Temminck’s Flying Squirrel).

Tomorrow we’ll add a very rare stork to Birdorable. The species is named after an explorer, not a weather event. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Blue-winged Macaw

Today’s new bird is a small species of macaw. We welcome the Blue-winged Macaw to Birdorable!

Blue-winged Macaws are found in forest habitat in parts of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. They feed on a variety of plant-powered foods, like seeds, fruits, and nuts. They can be recognized by their namesake blue wings and a small red patch at the forehead.

Blue-winged Macaws are popular in aviculture, where they are known as Illiger's Macaw. This name comes from the German Johann Karl Wilhelm Illiger. As pets, they are known to enjoy interaction with their owners. They are also known for their intelligence.

Tomorrow’s new species is found in Indonesian forest habitat. Common birds in their family are typically mostly grey, but these birds are colorful, as well as cute. They are named partly for their coloration and partly for their favorite food. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable Fieldfare

Today’s new species is the Fieldfare, a large species of thrush in the same family as the American Robin. They resemble their Yankee cousins in build and size, and in the way they hunt for worms in the soil.

Fieldfares are Old World birds, and highly migratory. They breed across forests in the north of Europe and Asia. Their winter range extends across much of Europe, down into northern Africa and parts of the Middle East.

Fieldfares can be recognized by their grey heads, ruddy brown upperparts, and spotted fronts. They also have distinctive yellow bills with a black tip.

Fieldfare photo

Tomorrow’s new species is a small macaw named for the color of one of its body parts. These gregarious birds live in forest habitat in parts of South America and have a different name when referring to the species in aviculture. Can you guess the bird?

Cute Fieldfare Gifts

Birdorable Tufted Coquette

Today’s new Birdorable species is a tiny type of hummingbird found in northeastern parts of South America. Look at the crazy plumage of the Tufted Coquette!

There are 11 species of coquette in the genus Lophornis. All of these tiny hummingbirds are native to Central and South America. Six other types of coquette have crests like the Tufted Coquette, though their ranges don’t typically overlap, making identification of Tufted Coquettes fairly easy. In these birds, the males have the outlandish crests (and the wild neck tufts as seen in the Tufted) while the females have a typically lower profile (ie, less flashy plumage).

Tufted Coquettes feed on nectar, favoring Orange Milkweed and pigeon pea flowers, among others. Like other hummingbirds, they will also take small insects as prey as available.

Tufted Coquette
Tufted Coquette (Lophornis ornata) by Teresa Frost (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow’s new bird is closely related to the America Robin, but lives on the other side of the world. Do you know this spotted, migratory bird?