Birds and Airplanes

In 2009, there were 10,000 reported incidents of airplanes and birds colliding, the most famous of which resulted in the landing of a passenger jet in the Hudson River. Bird strikes, as they are called, are increasing because the skies are getting more crowded with airplanes. The birds most often…

Flyways and Highways

 Migratory birds travel pretty much the same path north and south each year from nesting to wintering grounds. Geographic features such as mountain ranges tend to funnel them along general routes called flyways. In North America these are: Pacific, Central, Mississippi, and Atlantic. Any particular bird species travels part of…

Hummingbirds

East of the Mississippi there is one species of hummingbird. West of the Mississippi you may find six or seven species of hummers. It takes a bit of knowledge to tell them apart, especially the females and immatures. That challenge pales in comparison to trying to identify hummingbirds apart in Colombia,…

Birding the Mekong

I recently returned from a bicycle, boat, and birding trip up the Mekong River through Vietnam and Cambodia, poor countries with very wet and tropical environments inhabited by friendly people. The per capita income is about $1000 per year, and young children are evident everywhere. Vietnam is a crowded country with…