2022 Bonanza Bird #4

The Guam Kingfisher: A Fight for Survival and Hope for Reintroduction

Birdorable Guam Kingfisher

Today a bird that cannot be seen in the wild joins Birdorable. While there is hard work and much hope that the Guam Kingfisher can be reintroduced into the wild, the last free flying individuals were seen in the mid-1980s.

Their population was decimated by a non-native snake, the Brown Tree Snake. The introduction of this Asian snake to Guam was devastating to many native species on the island.

With just 29 individual Guam Kingfishers remaining in 1986, in order to save the species, all of the birds were captured for captive breeding. Today the captive population is close to 140 individuals. Conservationists are hoping to reintroduce the Guam Kingfisher into the wild on a snake-free island near Guam.

Guam Kingfishers have a pretty plumage with a rufous head with black eyestripe, and blue-green wings, back, and rump. Males have rufous underparts. Our Birdorable bird has a white belly; she is a female.

Guam Kingfisher by Fred Faulkner (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow's new Birdorable is the world's northernmost species of toucan. Do you know the name of this little bird?

2022 Bonanza Bird #3

The Grey Fantail Joins Birdorable: Australia's Acrobatic Performer

Birdorable Grey Fantail

The Grey Fantail, a charming and energetic little songbird from Australia and neighboring island nations, is the latest addition to our Birdorable family. These delightful birds are a joy to watch, particularly known for their acrobatic flights and lively tail movements.

As insectivores, Grey Fantails have a unique hunting strategy that involves an intricate dance of tail flashing and quick, agile movements. This not only aids them in catching their prey but also adds a touch of spectacle to their behavior, making them fascinating subjects for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

There are several recognized subspecies of the Grey Fantail, each exhibiting slight variations in plumage and native range. These differences often reflect the diverse habitats they occupy, from dense forests to open woodlands across Australia and nearby islands. The Birdorable version of the Grey Fantail is based on the nominate subspecies, Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa. This particular subspecies, with its distinctive dark tail and buffy underparts, is found breeding on Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands.

Grey Fantail by Paul Balfe (CC BY 2.0)
Grey Fantail by patrickkavanagh (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow we'll add a special species of kingfisher that is currently extinct in the wild. Conservationists are working to bring this island bird back to the wild. Can you guess the species?

2022 Bonanza Bird #2

Introducing the Ruddy Shelduck: A Colorful Addition to Birdorable

Birdorable Ruddy Shelduck

The Ruddy Shelduck, a striking and beautiful species of waterfowl, joins our Birdorable collection today. This addition marks a significant milestone as it becomes the 50th species in our duck, goose, and swan family.

The Ruddy Shelduck is known for its large size and distinctive appearance. It boasts an impressive range, with a growing population across much of Asia. These ducks are easily recognizable by their overall orange-brown (ruddy) body plumage, which is slightly lighter on the head. In flight, their black flight feathers and white coverts create a striking contrast, making them a spectacular sight.

While the Ruddy Shelduck is thriving in Asia, isolated populations found in Europe and Africa are unfortunately experiencing a decline. This highlights the importance of conservation efforts to protect these magnificent birds and their habitats.

The Ruddy Shelduck is an example of the diverse and colorful world of waterfowl. Its unique appearance and widespread distribution make it a fascinating subject for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. As we welcome the Ruddy Shelduck to our Birdorable family, we celebrate the beauty and diversity of the world's waterfowl species.

Tomorrow's new Birdorable is a native of Australia, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. This little songbird is named for its fabulous tail. Do you know the species?

Cute Ruddy Shelduck Gifts

2022 Bonanza Bird #1

Kicking Off the 14th Annual Birdorable Bonanza with the White-tailed Eagle

Birdorable White-tailed Eagle

Today marks the exciting start of our 14th annual Birdorable Bonanza, where we introduce 10 new birds to our collection. The celebration begins today and will continue through December 14th. Kicking off this year's bonanza is the majestic White-tailed Eagle, an impressive addition as our 766th species and the 51st bird of prey in our lineup.

The White-tailed Eagle is a magnificent bird of prey, distinguished by its brown body plumage, which varies from light brown on the upper parts to darker brown on the underparts. True to its name, this bird is easily recognized by its striking white tail, which contrasts beautifully with its overall darker plumage. Adding to its imposing presence are its large yellow beak and powerful feet, features that underscore its status as a formidable predator in the wild.

Birdorable White-tailed Eagle merchandise like this unisex sweatshirt is available on Amazon.

Tomorrow we'll add an Old World species of waterfowl named for its color. They are found across much of Asia and have isolated populations in Europe and Africa. Can you guess what our new Birdorable bird will be?

Cute White-tailed Eagle Gifts

2021 Bonanza Bird #11

Introducing the Dollarbird: A Unique Roller with Iridescent Charm

Birdorable Dollarbird

Today, we're excited to introduce the final species in this year's lineup, a remarkable bird called the Dollarbird. This fascinating species is a member of the Old World family, predominantly found throughout Eastern Asia, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Australia.

The Dollarbird gets its unique name from the distinct light-colored discs visible on its underwings, which are reminiscent of silver dollars. This striking feature makes the Dollarbird easily identifiable, especially during flight. Belonging to the Roller family, the Dollarbird is also sometimes known as the Dark Roller, highlighting its connection to the broader Roller species.

Our Birdorable version of the Dollarbird captures the bird's glossy iridescent plumage, which shimmers in various colors depending on the light and angle. Adult Dollarbirds are particularly noted for their bright orange-red beaks, adding a splash of vivid color to their overall appearance. This distinctive combination of iridescent plumage and vibrant beak makes the Dollarbird not just a visual treat but also a subject of interest for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

With the addition of the Dollarbird, we conclude our 13th Annual Birdorable Bonanza. It's been a wonderful journey adding a diverse array of new birds to our collection. We hope you've enjoyed following along as much as we've enjoyed sharing these avian wonders with you. As we head into the holiday season, we wish you a time filled with joy, health, and of course, plenty of birdwatching opportunities. Here's to a bird-filled holiday season for all!

Dollarbird photo
Dollarbird by cuatrok77 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Cute Dollarbird Gifts

2021 Bonanza Bird #10

Bare-Faced Beauty: The Unique Appearance of Australian Brushturkeys

Birdorable Australian Brushturkey

Happy Thanksgiving! Today's new species isn't related to today's most famous bird, but the name is similar -- welcome the Australian Brushturkey to Birdorable!

Australian Brushturkeys are large, darkly plumaged birds with bare facial and neck skin. In males, the red head and yellow cowl are bright and unmistakable, especially during breeding season.

These large birds are clumsy in flight. They forage for food by scratching at the ground with their feet. Flight is used sparingly, to escape predators, or to reach safe roosting spots.

The Australian Brushturkey is known by a few other names, including Gweela, Scrub Turkey, or Bush Turkey.

Australian Brushturkey photo
Australian Brushturkey by Brisbane City Council (CC BY 2.0)

Tomorrow our 13th Annual Birdorable Bonanza will conclude with the addition of a species in the roller family with an appropriate name for Black Friday. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable bonanza preview #11

Cute Brushturkey Gifts

2021 Bonanza Bird #9

Snow Geese: Masters of Mass Migration

Birdorable Snow Goose

Today we're adding the Snow Goose to Birdorable! Snow Geese are not only abundant but also incredibly distinctive in appearance. Their plumage is predominantly white, earning them their name, but it's their striking black wingtips that truly set them apart. These black wingtips are a defining feature, and they create a beautiful contrast against the pure white of their bodies.

One of the most spectacular sights in the birding world is the mass migration of Snow Geese. When these geese take to the sky during migration, their large flocks form mesmerizing patterns in the sky. The synchronized flight of thousands of Snow Geese is a sight to behold and has become a popular attraction for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

Snow Geese are highly social birds, and they often gather in immense numbers, creating a cacophony of calls that can be heard from afar. During their migrations, they stop at various wetlands and agricultural fields to rest and forage. In these locations, they feed primarily on grasses, sedges, and agricultural crops, making them a vital part of the ecosystem.

These geese have a well-documented migration pattern, with some populations breeding in the Arctic tundra of North America and wintering in the southern United States and even as far south as Mexico. The annual journey of Snow Geese covers thousands of miles, and it's a remarkable feat of navigation and endurance.

Birdwatchers and nature lovers often plan trips to witness the spectacle of Snow Geese migrations, making them a beloved and iconic species in the world of birdwatching. Their abundance, striking appearance, and impressive migrations make Snow Geese a favorite subject for bird photographers and a cherished part of North America's natural heritage.There are entire birding festivals dedicated to viewing Snow Geese flocks in all their glory.

Huge flock of Snow Geese

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! We already have a Birdorable Wild Turkey, so we're adding a different bird with turkey in its name -- this one comes from Down Under. Can you guess the species?

Birdorable bonanza preview #10

Cute Snow Goose Gifts

2021 Bonanza Bird #8

Meet the Birdorable Ruddy Turnstone: Nature's Stone-Flipping Expert

Birdorable Ruddy Turnstone

Today we add a small, dapper shorebird to Birdorable. It's our Ruddy Turnstone!

In breeding plumage, as depicted in our Birdorable illustration, Ruddy Turnstones have white underparts, black and rufous upperparts, with black and white detailing around the face and neck. Outside of breeding, the Ruddy Turnstone's upperparts are more uniformly drab greyish brown.

Ruddy Turnstones are opportunistic feeders who search for prey in a variety of ways, including searching rocky shorelines and breakers by turning over stones (naturally!).

Ruddy Turnstones have a wide global range. They breed across the low Arctic in places like northern Alaska and the northern coast of Siberia. These impressive migrants winter along ocean shorelines nearly all over the world, including around the entire continent of Australia, both coasts of South America, and all around Africa.

Ruddy Turnstone photo

Tomorrow we'll add a species of waterfowl with a wintery name. Can you guess this bird?

Birdorable bonanza preview #9

Cute Ruddy Turnstone Gifts

2021 Bonanza Bird #7

Wilson's Phalarope: From North American Breeder to South American Winterer

Birdorable Wilson's Phalarope

Today Birdorable welcomes another bird named after the ornithologist Alexander Wilson to Birdorable, following Wilson's Warbler and Wilson's Plover. Today Wilson's Phalarope joins our flock!

Wilson's Phalaropes are the largest of all three of the world's phalarope species (the others being the Red-necked Phalarope and the Red Phalarope), but are still relatively small as wading birds go, reaching up to 24cm in length.

Wilson's Phalaropes breed across parts of the western and northern United States and western Canada. Winters are spent down across a wide range of South America, with some birds reaching the southern tip of the continent!

Phalaropes are known for their atypical sexual dimorphism attributes and parental behavior. Females are larger than males and have a more brightly developed plumage. Females also leave most parental duty to the male birds. They are also atypical by Birdorable standards, as our illustration depicts a female.

Wilson's Phalarope photo

Tomorrow another shorebird joins Birdorable, one of two species in its genus. This small shorebird with a wide global range can be found wintering along ocean shores, where it might search for food by turning over stones. Can you guess this species?

Birdorable Bonanza preview #8

Cute Wilson's Phalarope Gifts

2021 Bonanza Bird #6

Meet the Birdorable Little Blue Heron: A Bird of Two Colors

Little Blue Heron

Today we add a small wader to Birdorable: the Little Blue Heron!

Little Blue Herons are New World wading birds with a wide distribution covering parts of North and South America. They are found near wetland habitats, where they feed, roost, and breed. Some birds are year-round residents (especially in South America) while some birds in North America migrate to breed further north.

Little Blue Herons are named for the plum and blue plumage of adult birds. For the first year of life, Little Blue Herons aren't blue at all -- they are white! This gives the young birds an advantage when hunting among Snowy Egrets, who are more likely to tolerate a bird, all white like them, hunting in close proximity.

Little Blue Heron Photo

Tomorrow we'll add another wading bird to Birdorable. Our illustration will feature the female of the species! This bird is named for a famous ornithologist. Can you guess the bird based on these clues?

Birdorable Bonanza preview #7

Cute Little Blue Heron Gifts