Jul 212017
 
POLL: Should Praying Mantises be used for pest control?

New research documents that mantises worldwide are eating small birds; in the US, invasive mantis species are devouring hummingbirds. If the headline weren’t startling enough, the photos are even worse. There is an order to predators and prey that feels normal – like, birds eat insects. And when the script it flipped it can feel […]

Feb 112017
 
Twice as many?

In 1492 when Christopher Columbus arrived in America, the people already living here were well aware of their land’s ornithological treasures. On October 12, 1492, Columbus wrote in his diary that the only wild animals he saw at all were parrots, but he had seen much more by October 21, when he wrote, The melody […]

Aug 172016
 
Fall is here! A walk on the Western Waterfront Trail

A lot of people seem to think it’s still summer—yesterday’s sweltering 88 degrees contributes to that misapprehension. Birds know better. Days are noticeably getting shorter, most baby birds of the year are on their own now, and adults are recovering from the rigors of raising those young birds—many have finished molting into new feathers and […]

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 […]

May 052015
 
Recently rediscovered hummingbird faces extinction

The blue-bearded helmetcrest (Oxypogon cyanolaemus) is a spectacular hummingbird. It is aptly named for the blue streak of feathers on its chin and a pointed crest on its head resembling a knight’s helmet. Equally spectacular to the species’ physical appearance is its physical disappearance and reappearance. No one had seen a single living blue-bearded helmetcrest […]

Apr 022015
 
New report connects human health to biodiversity protection

During February, the 14th World Congress on Public Health in Kolkata, India, revealed a new “ground-breaking” report entitled, Connecting Global Priorities: Biodiversity and Human Health, which demonstrates human health benefits yielded from protecting Earth’s biodiversity. It’s designed to be the new “flagship publication,” acting as a primary source of information that supports the upcoming 2015 […]

Mar 252015
 
Blue-Bearded Helmetcrest Rediscovered in Colombia, Photographed for First Time

Long thought to be extinct, the blue-bearded helmetcrest (Oxypogon cyanolaemus) – one of the world’s rarest hummingbirds – has been caught on camera for the first time. Discovered in 1880, the blue-bearded helmetcrest is a medium-sized hummingbird endemic to the mountains of the Santa Marta region of northeast Colombia. The bird is about 12 cm […]

Feb 252015
 
Inaguan Lyretail: Scientists Unveil New Species of Hummingbird

According to a group of ornithologists led by Dr Christopher James Clark of the University of California, Riverside, the two subspecies of a hummingbird known as the Bahama Woodstar actually represent distinct species. The Bahama Woodstar (Calliphlox evelynae) is a member of the North American branch of the bee hummingbird group Mellisugini. This bird is […]

Feb 132015
 
Top 10 Reasons to Visit Peru

#1.Peru’s national bird – The Andean Cock of the Rock Perhaps the #1 reason to visit Peru this fall is to see these incredible birds displaying at their lek site. On past tours we have had up to 15 males displaying in a truly unforgettable spectacle.     #2.Machu Picchu Some places simply must be […]

Dec 292014
 
Cuba Trip Report

What a thrill to spend these past three weeks on the beautiful island of Cuba. I can’t say enough about the fantastic country, its friendly people and of course the many great wildlife photography opportunities.  I am very happy to have had the experience of travelling around this country before it changes. In some ways […]

Nov 142014
 
Hummingbirds Use Their Delicate Beaks as Dagger-Like Weapons

The study, published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, focuses on the Long-billed hermit (Phaethornis longirostris) – a large species of hummingbird native to Costa Rica, central Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and western Ecuador. This bird averages 15 cm long and has a mass of 6 grams. It has a very long bill that is more than […]