The Brown-headed Cowbird

[caption id="attachment_10925" align="alignleft" width="259"] Brown-headed Cowbird Male[/caption] We think of a parasite as an organism that lives on or in another organism and derives its food from its host. That’s the common definition, but in use it’s generally broader. Your brother-in-law who constantly borrows money and doesn’t pay it back…

Roxie and The Feather Lab

[caption id="attachment_10917" align="alignleft" width="495"] Roxie Laybourne at the Smithsonian[/caption] Part of my job as a professor and ornithologist was managing the university’s vertebrate museum. Students and faculty used stuffed specimens for teaching or research and the general pubic would come in asking various questions about what they had found (including…