How Do Birds Find A Home?

[caption id="attachment_10781" align="alignleft" width="400"] 27th May 1883: Clouds pouring from the volcano on Krakatoa (aka Krakatau or Rakata) in south western Indonesia during the early stages of the eruption which eventually destroyed most of the island. Royal Society Report on Krakatoa Eruption - pub. 1888 Lithograph - Parker & Coward…

The One-Third Difference

[caption id="attachment_10776" align="alignleft" width="477"] Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs.[/caption] Have you ever noticed that there are pairs of birds that look a lot alike but are different sizes? How about Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers? Or Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs. Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers. And Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks. These pairs are…

Half Female Half Male Cardinal

[caption id="attachment_10768" align="alignleft" width="489"] cardinal gynandromorph[/caption] There is a Northern Cardinal visiting a backyard feeder in Erie, Pennsylvania that looks like a male on its left side (red plumage) but resembles a female cardinal on its right side (gray plumage).  The bird is called a gynandromorph- an organism that contains both male…

Hummingbirds in Combat

Hummingbirds fight; that's obvious to anyone who has watched them at a hummingbird feeder. And their bills are made for fighting as well as feeding. The bills are long and sharp and can be use to thrust, parry, and pluck the feathers of an opponent. They are also made for…