Birds Adapt to a New World

Pale Male in the Big Apple             Urbanization is perhaps the most difficult challenge to the survival of birds and will be the major driver of extinction in this century. Only 2.7 percent of the earth is covered by cities yet the majority of the human population lives in them.…

Birds of Fire

Fires in Australia have been big news lately, but there have always been fires, sometimes started by birds!. The following article has been excerpted from Cosmos magazine: Black Kite In the first recorded instance of fire being used by animals other than humans, three Australian birds of prey species have…

Common Names

Coppersmith Barbet A scientific name clearly designates a particular bird species, tells you something about the bird’s relationship to other bird species, and usually provides a decent description of the bird. Common names are less useful for the former but apt for the latter. The obvious advantage common names have…

The Colorful Critters

Birds are among the most colorful of animals, their colored feathers evolving mainly as an adaptation for reproduction. Males of species such as hummingbirds, sunbirds and t tanagers attract mates with their colors and Red-winged Blackbirds establish and defend territories with their blazing epaulets. And of course, in the thickness of…

Bond, James Bond

Bird lovers may be surprised to discover that the original, real, James Bond, after whom Ian Fleming’s character was named, was one of their own. Bond was born in 1900 in Philadelphia, but when his mother died in 1914, he moved to England with his British-born father. There he went…

Volcanoes and Birds

White Island Last week, a volcanic eruption on White Island off mainland New Zealand killed several unfortunate people and likely had devastating effects on the bird population, including thousands of Australasian Gannets and some endangered bird species. How the bird populations will recover is unknown at this point but there…