Blogging About Birds

Almost every week someone tells me they read my blog on Ornithology.com  There are many other bird blogs across the U.S. and world, most focused on local birds. Some are: 10,000 Birds , Bill of the Birds, Birdchick , and the Top 80 Websites for Ornithologists and Bird Lovers. You might…

What Bird is That?

[caption id="attachment_7652" align="alignleft" width="509"] What bird is this? You figure it out.[/caption] It has been written that there are 81 million birdwatchers in the United States. Well, if you include every person who looks out his or her window and observes it for a few seconds, then that figure might…

Birds and the Solar Eclipse

There have been a number of anecdotes told about animal behavior during a total eclipse of the sun, but not much scientific evidence. In the 1500's there were reports of birds falling from the sky. Since then there have been numerous other reports about birds becoming silent or perching and…

Birds Out of Boundaries

  [caption id="attachment_9755" align="alignleft" width="824"] Falcated Duck or Teal[/caption] A couple of years ago there was a Falcated Duck visiting the Colusa Wildlife Refuge in Northern California, way out of its normal range of Russia, China, Mongolia, Japan, and Korea. Of course this got birdwatchers all excited and some came to…

Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher is most often seen flying along or above creeks as it makes its distinctive, raucous, chattering call, ( see here) but it can also be spotted above any body of water as it searches for likely prey. It plunges into the water headfirst to capture fish, its…

Pink Hawks

[caption id="attachment_9730" align="alignleft" width="404"] Yes, there are pink birds. This is the Pink Robin of southeastern Australia[/caption] Bird watchers' hopes in the discovery of a new species of hawk have been shot down after a New Zealand farmer was revealed to be spray painting the birds pinkish-red and releasing them for…

Ask the Expert

There used to be a website called Ask the Experts on which you could submit a question, for free, on a large variety of subjects and get an answer from experts, or at least knowledgeable people, in the field. I have been answering questions on wild birds on this site for…

Those Amazing Crows

Seen any crows lately? There are about 40 species of crows, found across the world except, curiously, South America. The four species in North America are the American, Northwestern, Fish, and Tamaulipas Crow, and some small populations of the Eurasian Jackdaw. For many hundreds of years crows and ravens have…

Poisoned Birds

POISONED BIRDS In 1959 Tom Lehrer recorded his notorious “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park”  song. I hope no one does that intentionally but many birds die each year from ingesting toxins. A recent study indicates that two-thirds of California Condor fatalities result from ingesting led shot from the ground or…

Harbinger of Spring?

Bing Crosby, Al Jolson and many others sang the well-known song “When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbing along”…… . And then there was “Rockin Robin” in the 50’s. You can go here  to listen to the birds’ actual song. American mythology holds that American Robins are the…