Lumpers and Splitters

[caption id="attachment_9886" align="alignleft" width="419"] Northern (red-shafted) Flicker[/caption] All individual organisms that scientists have named have scientific names, given by international committees by agreement. Scientific names, Latin or Greek based, are useful internationally. Common names can be confusing across different languages. But it gets even more complex. What is a species?…

Audubon Christmas Bird Counts

  From the National Audubon Society, but edited for this blog:  From December 14 through January 5 thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in a birding adventure. For over one hundred years, families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists have gone out…

Birds Falling From the Sky

Seems like every time there is an unusual event, conspiracy theorists and their ilk come up with farfetched explanations. Science generally operates on the principle that the simplest explanation is generally the right one. There is no need to invoke ideas like changes in the earth’s magnetic field, toxic gases,…