About

Migration has begun in North America. Here near the Texas coast it is the big event of the spring, for our other changes are very subtle. We wait for the jewels in the trees, brilliant little warblers. We watch the dunlins hug the coast as they fly north. The avocets are brightening orange from their winter white and black. The Cooper’s hawks soar above the Rice campus.

But what do we really know of these birds? Is it enough to see and identify them, or even to count them and note their habitat? I think not, and so created this blog. The point of it is to capture some of the magic of scientific studies on birds, making them accessible, and exciting.

A scientific study tells us something new and also tells us how we know. Here, I share the discoveries, while making it clear how they were done. The goal is to enrich your glimpses of each bird with a little information about their private lives. Maybe we can all reflect a little longer on every bird we see. Maybe we can stop the count, just for a moment, and watch each bird to see what it does and to have time to remember what else we know about it.

The slow food movement celebrates local, carefully-cooked meals. It is time to slow down our birding and watch and learn about the birds that light up our prairies, forests, and neighborhoods with their song, and their light movements.

I welcome guest posts, and will have a number from our Bird Field Biology course at Rice University.

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