Nuttall’s Woodpecker

[caption id="attachment_8999" align="alignleft" width="419"] Nuttall's Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii[/caption] Thomas Nuttall was an English naturalist who spent many years in the U.S. collecting specimens; this woodpecker was named after him by William Gambel (after which a quail is named.) The Nuttall’s Woodpecker is small , a little more than seven inches…

Birds and Fire

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text disable_pattern="true" align="left" margin_bottom="0"]An ancient myth refers to the Phoenix, a bird which was supposed to live for 500 years, go up in flames and arise anew from ashes. It has come to represent rebirth, renewal, hope, etc. Ever since there have been terrestrial plants and animals, there has…

Immortal Birds

  [caption id="attachment_8804" align="alignleft" width="446"] The Dodo[/caption] Are birds immortal? Not exactly. Generally we consider mortality as immunity from death – living forever. As we all know, though, death is inevitable for all living things. Humans have extended their life span, though and some radical thinkers believe immortality is possible.…

World Record Birder

[caption id="attachment_8695" align="alignleft" width="338"] Tom Gullick, World Record Birder[/caption] Leading world lister Tom Gullick became the first person ever to see 9,000 bird species in 2012 when he saw the endemic Wallace’s Fruit-Dove in the Tanimbar Islands, Indonesia. He saw 9,047 species on a bird tour there. Britisher Tom Gullick, 81,…

Multitasking Birds

Research has demonstrated that we humans don't multitask well; instead we switch quickly from one single task to another. But this switching produces a mental bottleneck and interferes with performance. This means that the moron in the BMW next to you texting his girlfriend is either driving or texting at…

Gullible Gulls

[caption id="attachment_8602" align="alignleft" width="485"] Tiger Stadium 1961[/caption] The word “gull” originally came from the Welsh, meaning “cry or mew.” In the 16th century it came to mean one who is gullible or easily swallows a story, deriving perhaps from “gullet.” There are about 45 species of gulls around the world,…

The Evening Grosbeak

The Evening Grosbeak is an attractive yellow and black heavy-billed finch with a white wing patch most obvious in flight. The scientific name, Hesperiphona vespertinus, means “sound of the evening,” although the idea that they are mainly crepuscular is mistaken. They were apparently first named by French explorers who probably first…