Do Birds Mate for Life?

I often hear that birds mate for life. It's much more complicated. Yes, some birds like waterfowl and seabirds and eagles tend to have long term pair bonds and they may actually stay together for life. This "marriage" certainly makes life easier as it minimizes annual courtship, nesting, and territorial…

Birds Lost at Sea

[caption id="attachment_10220" align="alignleft" width="676"] Fieldfare[/caption] As I write this, I am at sea about 600 miles east of the Caribbean. Very few birds are in the middle of the ocean here except for the occasional shearwater. But yesterday we had some unusual avian visitors. First I saw a white egret…

The Bone Breaker

Until 2016, Canada did not have a national birds. You would think it would be the loon as the dollar coin which pictures this bird is known as the "loonie." And the look was popular in a poll to pick the national bird. However, after some discussion. the Gray Jay…

Easter Chicks

Chickens are the domesticated descendents of the Red Junglefowl, native to Southeast Asia and have been around for perhaps 10,000 years. There are more chickens in the world (24 billion) than any other bird. And there are perhaps 500 different breeds of chickens in the world, such as Plymouth Rock,…

Birds as Indicator Species

[caption id="attachment_8825" align="alignleft" width="643"] Western Meadowlark[/caption] Ecological indicators are useful tools for measuring changes over time, and provide valuable insights into how and why the environment is changing. We can measure the changing status of the environment, such as biodiversity – fewer species, more species, and/or different species; the reasons…

Bird Watching for the Disabled

Being temporarily dependent on a wheelchair for going any distance and committed to leading a bird walk , I wondered how I would handle the situation. I have always said that one of the nice characteristics of birdwatching is that it is accessible to almost anyone no matter their physical…

Acorn Woodpecker

The Acorn Woodpecker is a common woodpecker  found in the western parts of California and Oregon and parts of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. All year where there are an abundance of oak trees, you will often see these woodpeckers displaying with their outstretched wings and calling with a distinctive…