The Colorful Critters

Birds are among the most colorful of animals, their colored feathers evolving mainly as an adaptation for reproduction. Males of species such as hummingbirds, sunbirds and t tanagers attract mates with their colors and Red-winged Blackbirds establish and defend territories with their blazing epaulets. And of course, in the thickness of…

Bond, James Bond

Bird lovers may be surprised to discover that the original, real, James Bond, after whom Ian Fleming’s character was named, was one of their own. Bond was born in 1900 in Philadelphia, but when his mother died in 1914, he moved to England with his British-born father. There he went…

Volcanoes and Birds

White Island Last week, a volcanic eruption on White Island off mainland New Zealand killed several unfortunate people and likely had devastating effects on the bird population, including thousands of Australasian Gannets and some endangered bird species. How the bird populations will recover is unknown at this point but there…

Ornithological Art

Carolina Pigeons (Mourning Doves, J.J. Audubon I’ve always been an admirer of artists who paint realistic scenes. Whether watercolor, oil, acrylic, woodcut, or anything else, the skills involved are considerable and way beyond me. I took two short painting classes and rapidly realized how out of my league I was.…

Birds Predicting the Weather

Continuing a previous discussion of pseudoscientific and simply nonsensical beliefs about birds, let’s talk about the weather. Some of these actually make a bit of sense. “When the fish hawks (Osprey) come north, winter’s over.” “On the eastern shore of Maryland, they always arrive on St. Patrick’s Day.” That is…