Rehabilitation

About once a week I get contacted through my website Ornithology.com regarding a baby bird. Often the explanation is that the “baby fell out of the nest.” Typically, the baby actually jumped from the nest as songbirds do when they fledge. Not quite capable of flight, they walk or hop…

Janet Turner, Bird Artist

Snow Geese The following is from my latest book, The Art of the Bird: The History of Ornithological Art through Forty Artists. Janet Turner was one of the artists I discussed and special to me because I knew her personally. She borrowed bird specimens from the natural history museum I supervised, allowed me to…

Sounds like…..

OK, what bird makes this call: honk, honk, tweeeeet, twitter twitter, buzzzzzz. Don’t know? That’s OK, neither do I. But I get questions like this on a regular basis from folks who want to know what bird is singing or calling in their backyard. Bird songs and calls may sound…

Bird Savers

Ornithology.com is a fairly popular website and ranks high on Google, so I receive regular emails from people who want to write articles for me. What they really want to do is pitch a product or service via a link in their article. Free advertising, so to speak. If it…

The Swift Swift

The Common Swifts of Eurasia are similar to swallows in shape and behavior but are more closely related to hummingbirds than swallows. These aerodynamic birds are called “swifts” because of their fast and erratic flight. Because their feet are so week and small and they spend so much time in…

Upper Case Bird Names

A few years ago I wrote the editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest about the use of bird names. Birds have official common English bird names, as designated by the International Ornithological Congress which has established the IOC World Bird List. Because there is only one official name for each bird,…

Birding While Black

I wrote this article before the recent events of unrest and it seems even more appropriate now. The New York Times had an article on May 26, 2020 about a woman who called the police to report a “African American” birdwatcher who had told her to leash her dog. She…

The Skinny on Birds

Earlier I told you about a scientist who made a collection of birds in Chicago that had met their demise by running into buildings. After forty years of collecting, he decided to measure the birds in the collection and found that they are getting smaller, apparently due to global warming.…

Birds Getting Smaller?

There's a thing called Bergmann's Rule. This is an ecogeographical rule that states that within a broadly distributed taxonomic group, populations and species of larger size are found in colder environments, and species of smaller size are found in warmer regions. This only applies to birds and mammals because they produce their own…
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