Cats and Birds

There are more than 90 million pet cats in the U.S., the majority of which roam outside at least part of the time. In addition, millions of stray and feral cats roam our cities, suburbs, and rural areas. So how much of a problem are these feline predators to our…

Migration

[caption id="attachment_8228" align="alignleft" width="207"] Cliff Swallow[/caption] You know about the swallows returning to Capistrano. Lesser known is the festival in Hinckley, Ohio celebrating the return of the Turkey Vulture. Although one is led to believe that the arrival happens on a certain date, it is really during a variable period…

The House Finch

Another bird that we see quite often  is the House Finch. The bright reddish-burgundy coloration of the male makes it easy to identify . There are similar-looking birds, the Cassin’s and Purple Finches, but they are far less common, lack the brown streaks on the flanks of the House Finch,…

The Yellow-billed Magpie

That black and white bird with an iridescent sheen, long tail, and yellow bill is the Yellow-billed Magpie, unique to (accurately called “endemic”) the California valley and a bit of the south coast in open woodlands and adjacent fields. The identical, except for bill color, Black-billed Magpie is found over…

Who Watches Birds?

A new report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reveals that about one in five Americans watches birds. There are about 48 million birders; of those 48 million, 42 million bird around the house, while 20 million bird around the house and away from home. The majority of…

What’s in a (Birds) Name?

[caption id="attachment_8225" align="alignleft" width="300"] House Finch[/caption] ]What’s in a name? All animals and plants have official scientific names, established by international committees such as the IOC Bird List. Many plants and animals have common names as well. The problem with common names is that they vary by region so that…