The Incredible Shrinking Birds

[caption id="attachment_10904" align="aligncenter" width="436"] Bergmann's Rule[/caption] According to Science Daily, May 23, 2019, warm blooded animals – birds and mammals - are getting smaller. That seems bizarre until you put some pieces together. Scientists have known about Bergmann’s Rule for many years. This “rule” is actually a general ecomorphological concept…

Montana Birding

[caption id="attachment_10900" align="alignleft" width="498"] Chestnut-collared Longspur[/caption] I just returned from a fishing trip to northeastern Montana with two biologist friends from graduate school. Impressive scenery. I expected it to be flat and cold. Well, it was cold, but the topography - mountains and valleys and canyons made for an attractive…

Birding Bhutan

Bhutan is a landlocked country in the eastern Himalayas of south Asia. It is a peaceful country with little corruption, but still undeveloped. The country's landscape ranges from lush subtropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north, where there are peaks in excess of 7,000 metres…

Do Birds Get Goose Bumps?

[caption id="attachment_10883" align="alignleft" width="427"] Goose Bumps[/caption] If you google “goosebumps” the first thing you get is a description of a scary kids’ movie. But that’s not what we are talking about here, although there is a connection. The word “horror” is derived from the Latin horrere, which means to “bristle.”…

Ornithologists and Condors

I just returned from my first visit to the national parks of Utah - Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, etc. Spectacular places, truly majestic scenery. I didn’t expect to see many birds, and my expectations proved true. This part of the U.S. is arid, sparsely vegetated, desert. Ravens were pretty common, but…