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My favorite way to bird is related to the slow food movement: stay local, stay focused, and stay appreciative. So how can I keep to my principles when I bird in places as far away as the Western Ghats in … Continue reading
He understood the paintings not as scenes from nature, but as compilations of different things the birds might do, in poses as startlingly natural for his time as David’s own females are for our time. … I know authors have to sign books, but I bet David Sibley would have liked to tell us to take the book and get outside, for that is what they are for, a key to nature, best outside. Maril Hazlett, Susan Flader, David Sibley, taking questions after their talks. Continue reading
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 The sparrows were in this thicket. White-throated sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis, white form, taken by Ken Thomas (public domain). This one is the tan form. The figure above is from Tuttle 2003.
Dawn over Hebert Reservoir on the Katy Prairie. We saw thousands of snow geese, and many Canada geese, and long-billed curlews. Our group counted every bird we saw, writing down species, number, and location using our eyes, binoculars, and a spotting scope. The reservoir was dry, so all the gar had died. Bob Honig was our leader, and he wrote everything down and could identify all the birds. Our group was a lot of fun! Sometimes we just waited, looking hard, particularly after the wind picked up, sending the birds to cover. Deciduous yaupon is not common in Houston, but it shines brilliantly on the Katy Prairie. This is what Bob’s notes looked like, a page for each location. The lichens were rich in the unpolluted Katy Prairie air. Something was killing the turtles in the pond and something was dragging them onto the levee.