Swallow Migration

In Late and Middle English, the word “swallow” meant “gulf, abyss, hole in the earth or whirlpool,” and later “throat or gullet.” The Norse version of the word meant “devourer or swallower.” Today it means to put a drink or piece of food down the throat, accept a story without…

Elizabeth Gould

Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird of the Himalayas and the Gouldian Finch of Australia were named after Elizabeth Gould (1804-1841), bird artist of the early 19th century. Elizabeth Gould married John Gould, also a famous taxidermist and bird artist of that time. She designed, lithographed, and painted over 640 plates for birds…

Bird Friendly Coffee

I don’t always think about the environmental issues surrounding food purchases, mainly because it’s too complicated. When I buy a head of cabbage, I don’t think about where it is grown and how much diesel fuel it took to get to the grocery store or how much pesticide or fertilizer…

Research in Ornithology

You often hear the word “research” related to someone looking up new information – researching a new car, researching a term paper, researching a recipe, etc. Here is example of what real field research is in ornithology, based on one of my research subjects, Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Male Yellow-headed Blackbird At…

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…
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