Monthly Archives: April 2011

The American Crow: Redefining “bird brain”

I’ve never really understood the fear of large black birds that many people report. I’ve been told by those more well-read on the subject of human psychology that we are instinctively afraid of such creatures, archetypes of doom. Something must … Continue reading

Posted in Crows | 1 Comment

Cackle, cackle said the great-tailed grackle

Upon seeing a large black bird in Houston, my immediate assumption as to its species wouldn’t be a raven, or even a crow. Instead, I would immediately guess great-tailed grackle, or Quiscalus mexicanus, without even having to see it. Just … Continue reading

Posted in grackle | Leave a comment

Rock Pigeons: Rats with Wings or Thoroughbreds of the Air?

The rock pigeon (Columba livia) is one of the most common sights in cities around America. Toward the end of February, I sat in the shuttle pick-up area of the Orlando International Airport in Florida for what seemed like hours, … Continue reading

Posted in Pigeons | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Amazing Red Shield: A Look at Common Moorhens

I watched the moorhens circulate about on the water surface of a pond at Brazos Bend State Park for quite some time, generally staying in the same place for some minutes and casually swimming to a spot within a few … Continue reading

Posted in Coots & Moorhens | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The American Crow- The fraternity everyone wants kicked off campus

Author: Christopher Rizk It was a Monday evening as I drove towards a city park in Alabama; as I approached the park I thought my radio signal was getting weaker because there was an annoying and increasing background noise.  The … Continue reading

Posted in Crows | Leave a comment

The snowy egret- looks can be deceiving

Author: Christopher Rizk It was a Sunday morning at the beautiful Brazos Bend state park, when I heard a deep croaking sound.  Maybe because of the harsh sound and the dreary weather, I sought out the source of the sound … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Mock the Mockingbird

With a classic lullaby, a best selling book, a chart topping pop song and a university run student publication, the northern mockingbird has sold its name to every corner of the industry. Yet, even with its ubiquity and name recognition, … Continue reading

Posted in Mockingbirds | Leave a comment

A Look at the Barbarous Butcher Bird – The Loggerhead Shrike

Standing, sweating in the hot Texas sun somewhere between Houston and Austin, I look out into the vast pasture next to the road. I can see miles and miles of open land, with the occasional tree and cows. A small … Continue reading

Posted in Shrikes | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

The [Red-cockaded] Woodpecker Show

Walking amidst the towering longleaf pine trees and grassy undergrowth on a clear yet humid Sunday morning, my second birding trip (W.G. Jones State Forest in Conroe, TX) had a distinctly different feel than the previous overcast and rainy one … Continue reading

Posted in Woodpeckers | Leave a comment

The yellow-rumped warbler is moving around: on and off the branch

I went to check on my senior thesis project down at the University of Houston Coastal Center, and made sure to bring my binoculars and field notebook to check out some birds, which I was sure would be in the … Continue reading

Posted in Warblers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment