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…

Creepy Birdwatchers?

In 2016 there was a study in New Ideas in Psychology entitled On the Nature of Creepiness. An online survey of 1341 individuals asked what appearances and behaviors by others made them feel creepy. Perhaps not surprisingly, the top three occupations listed as creepy are clown, taxidermist, and sex shop…

The Lyrebirds

As I occasionally like to do, here’s a little natural history of an interesting bird group, this time the Lyrebird, either of two species of ground-dwelling Australian birds of the genus Menura and the family Menuridae. They are notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from…