Jul 312015
VOTE for the Best Photo of the Week 01 Aug 2015

Welcome to the “Best Photo of the Week” competition showcasing and celebrating the biodiversity of Planet Earth. Voting is easy and lots of fun. First click an image and browse through the slideshow. Then select the three images you like best of all and click the VOTE button at the bottom of the page.   […]

Aug 042015
Video: Behold the iridescent glory of hummingbird feathers!

The gorget (pronouced “gor-git”) is a shimmering patch of feathers found on the throats of males in many hummingbird species. The brilliant, shifting colours arise not from pigments in the feathers, but rather from their microscopic structure. Audubon explains: The term comes from days of old, when a knight-in-armor wore a metallic collar – or […]

Aug 032015
A Bubbling Bee

A while ago I wrote a blog about the fly pictured above.I’d caught it in the unlikely act of blowing a bubble. Although no one knows why flies blow bubbles, theories range from concentrating liquid food by evaporation, to aerating to reduce some kinds of microbial activity, to fly sickness, cleaning the mouthparts, cooling off […]

Aug 032015
POLL: Should there be a ban on importing lion trophies?

Conservationists and politicians have called on the EU to ban the import of lion heads, paws and skins as hunters’ trophies from African countries that cannot prove their lion populations are sustainable. The slaughter of a radio-tagged lion called Cecil in Hwange national park by the American dentist, Walter Palmer, was described as a tragedy […]

Aug 022015
Photos Show Sad Plight for African Elephants Lifted to China

New, secretly obtained photos show that elephants snatched from the wild in Zimbabwe months ago and airlifted recently to China are malnourished, sunken-looking, and scarred by wounds. “These calves look really horrible,” says Joyce Poole, co-founder of ElephantVoices, a Kenya-based research and advocacy organization. Poole reviewed the photos, which were sent exclusively to National Geographic. […]

Jul 312015
Spring Migration Tour on The Strait of Gibraltar with Stephen Daly. 13th-20th April 2016

Spring Migration – Watching Birds and other Wildlife crossing from Africa to Europe.             A male Montagu’s Harrier displaying near Casas Viejas-Benalup A White Stork flock arrives at Bolonia, with Morocco in the background The Strait of Gibraltar awaits the return of wintering birds from Africa to Europe each spring […]

Jul 312015
Scientists: we are 'condemning' forest elephants by ignoring evidence

How do you tell two species apart? Let’s say you’re investigating a bird with two populations. One lives in the savanna, the other in the forest. The savanna population eats grasshoppers, but the one in the forest eats beetles. The savanna bird is big-bodied with a curvy beak; the forest bird is smaller with a […]

Jul 302015
Flight School

The 2015 class of Canada geese (Branta canadensis) naval aviators started flight school this week! I’ve been watching these youngsters on daily dog-walks in the park since early May. When they first showed up I noticed the their resemblance, in size and coloration, to the yellow puffball flowers of the American sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) towering […]

Jul 302015
POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned?

Up to 7,000 lions are living behind bars in South Africa. Raised in captivity on private breeding farms and hunting “reserves,” some of these animals are petted as cubs by tourists, who can also walk alongside or even feed more mature lions. Eventually, many are shot in “canned” hunts, in which lions are pursued and […]

Jul 292015
Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive, 7/18/2015

The Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area arguably boasts the best inland birding in the State of Florida. But until recently most of the area has been closed to the general public most of the year. During the annual Christmas Bird Count, birders are granted access to the restoration area, but most of the area […]

Jul 292015
Beloved Storks, Emblems of Fertility, Rebounding in France

The same rule applies walking through the streets of Alsace, France, as it does in the Sistine Chapel: Don’t forget to look up. Nowadays, white storks—harbingers of fertility and good fortune—perch above Alsace (map) in nests that can grow large enough to almost fit a smart car. This wasn’t always true: Rewind to the 1980s, […]