Designed to Fly

I received a comment from a subscriber the other day who asked me to publish a short article in my blog. The piece (if you want to read it) said, in a few short paragraphs, that birds are well adapted for flight with feathers, a light skeleton, and high metabolism,…

Mating for Life?

I regularly hear that birds like eagles, hawks, vultures, swans, and puffins mate for life. There are documented cases of birds mating and maintaining a long -term pair bond that certainly fit the mate for life pattern. At the Wildfowl Trust in Slimbridge, England, swans studied for more than 50…

A Little Bird Sex

Mammals, like us, have 23 pairs of chromosomes. One pair comprise the sex chromosomes, one designated X and one Y. An individual with two X chromosomes, XX, is a female, and one with an XY combination is a male. In birds it is reversed. The sex chromosomes in birds are…

Auto Bird Feeder

I received an Auto Feeder the other day from Wingscapes, makers of an automatic bird feeder and a bird camera. Of course, I unpacked and assembled it immediately. Operating on 4 AA batteries that last for a year of operation, you set the timer for the number of times you…

Fragmented Habitat

In many parts of the world, once-forested areas have been broken up into patches, surrounded by farmland, roads, railroad tracks, and urban areas. There might be 60 acres of forest adjacent to a wheat field on one side and corn fields on the other three. This is especially true in…

Parthenogenesis and the Condor

Parthenogenesis means birth without fertilization. In other words, a female gives birth to offspring without having been impregnated by a male. This phenomenon occurs normally in some plants and a number of invertebrates like nematodes, some scorpions and mites, aphids, some bees, and parasitic wasps. It also happens among all…