The Yellow-billed Magpie

That black and white bird with an iridescent sheen, long tail, and yellow bill is the Yellow-billed Magpie, unique to (accurately called “endemic”) the California valley and a bit of the south coast in open woodlands and adjacent fields. The identical, except for bill color, Black-billed Magpie is found over…

Who Watches Birds?

A new report released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reveals that about one in five Americans watches birds. There are about 48 million birders; of those 48 million, 42 million bird around the house, while 20 million bird around the house and away from home. The majority of…

What’s in a (Birds) Name?

[caption id="attachment_8225" align="alignleft" width="300"] House Finch[/caption] ]What’s in a name? All animals and plants have official scientific names, established by international committees such as the IOC Bird List. Many plants and animals have common names as well. The problem with common names is that they vary by region so that…

Those Pesky Birds

Although we love our birds, I have to admit that they can and do become pests at times.  The imported birds such as  Rock Pigeons, House Sparrows, and European Starlings are good examples, but native blackbirds, crows, and even swallows are given that designation at times. A pest is simply…