Photobugs and Birds

I’ve noted before the occasional conflicts between birdwatchers and photographers and I’ve received stories from readers regarding experiences with rude picture-takers. There’s the one about the professional photographer who aggressively pursued a rare Kirtland’s Warbler in front of a group of birdwatchers. He chased to bird out of its hiding…

The Word Spreads Fast

Over the last few years there have been sightings of rare birds in Central Park in New York City. Birders were obviously excited to see the Mandarin Duck, Barred Owl, and recently, a Snowy Owl. Of course, the word gets out and avid birders of all types show up to…

Diseases at Bird Feeders

The British naturalist James Fisher wrote that the first person recorded as feeding wild birds was the 6th-century monk Saint Serf of Fife who tamed a pigeon by feeding it, but the first indication of bird feeding in United States came from Henry David Thoreau who fed birds on Walden…

The Emu

The Emu, another ratite, is the second-largest living bird after the Ostrich and the largest bird species in Australia where it is found almost all over. Officially, the Spotted or Larger Emu, it is generally just called the Emu because there is only the one species. An adult Emu stands…

More on Bird Smarts

I’ve discussed the intelligence of birds like crows before. Let’s look a bit more into the subject in a little more scientific depth. Why do mammals like dogs, coyotes, cats, and horses learn all kinds of behaviors in the wild or from their trainers while birds mostly act by instinct?…

Birds Singing for Us

The reasons birds sing is to declare or defend a territory and to attract a mate as part of courtship. They don’t sing because they are happy, although some philosopher and nature guru types might disaagree. Singing attracts attention, which is fine if you want to declare that you are…

The Golden Fleece Award

The Golden Fleece Award (1975–1988) was a tongue-in-cheek award given by Senator William Proxmire to public officials in the United States for squandering public money, its name taken from the actual Order of the Golden Fleece, a prestigious award created in the late-15th Century. Examples of awards were those given…
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