Monthly Archives: January 2011

Promiscuous white males and faithful tan males in white-throated sparrows

In the case of the white-throated sparrows, Formica and Tuttle report that 35 percent of the nests they sampled in 2000 had at least one chick that was the result of the female copulating with a male other than her mate. … Behavioral Ecology 14:425-432. doi: 10.1093/beheco/14.3.425 IMG_2317 The sparrows were in this thicket. White-throated_Sparrow-27527.jpg White-throated sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis, white form, taken by Ken Thomas (public domain). 201101032125.jpg This one is the tan form. 201101032137.jpg 201101232214.jpg The figure above is from Tuttle 2003.

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Christmas bird count on the Katy Prairie – the measure of a day outside

IMG_2176 Dawn over Hebert Reservoir on the Katy Prairie. IMG_2179 We saw thousands of snow geese, and many Canada geese, and long-billed curlews. IMG_2189 Our group counted every bird we saw, writing down species, number, and location using our eyes, binoculars, and a spotting scope. IMG_2200 The reservoir was dry, so all the gar had died. IMG_2231 Bob Honig was our leader, and he wrote everything down and could identify all the birds. IMG_2288 Our group was a lot of fun! IMG_2186 Sometimes we just waited, looking hard, particularly after the wind picked up, sending the birds to cover. IMG_2264 Deciduous yaupon is not common in Houston, but it shines brilliantly on the Katy Prairie. IMG_2233 This is what Bob’s notes looked like, a page for each location. IMG_2249 The lichens were rich in the unpolluted Katy Prairie air. IMG_2268 Something was killing the turtles in the pond and something was dragging them onto the levee.

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