Bird Names, Redux

[caption id="attachment_10870" align="alignleft" width="280"] Poospiza hypochondria[/caption] Let’s face it, birds have funny names. Prothonotary Warbler? Who came up with that? Phainopepla? Chachalaca? Kagu? Bengal Florican? OK, I know all of these common names make a certain amount of sense once you know their origin. Phainopepla, from the Greek, means “shining…

Bird Talks

[caption id="attachment_8714" align="alignleft" width="269"] Roger Lederer, the Ornitihologist[/caption] I have given hundreds of talks about birds over the years in a great variety of venues. If I speak to the Boy Scouts or the local Master Gardener’s club, the talks are pretty straightforward as the attendees aren’t very experienced in…

Why So Many Birds?

[caption id="attachment_10856" align="alignleft" width="274"] Kakapo or Owl Parrot[/caption] There are about 10,000 species of birds extant in the world today, but over 200 million years or so there were many more. Scientists estimate that there might have been 123,000 species of birds over evolutionary time. They evolved and then went…