Jan 152018
Wendy's Crows

Today I stood outside in the cold for a while watching this crow forage in the trash behind a Wendy’s fast food restaurant. I like the way it is puffing up its feathers. Another one flew over and then both left when I got too close, making dramatic silhouettes as they went. They are so […]

Sep 192017
6 Fascinating Facts About the Misunderstood Magpie

Magpies are often maligned as pests, but they’re actually quite interesting birds that are usually overlooked for both their beauty and their intelligence. Here are six interesting facts about magpies. 1. Magpies Don’t Like Shiny Things — They’re Scared of Them Magpies have a reputation as thieves out to steal your shiny jewelry or take […]

Aug 302017
Small guests at the Giant’s Castle table

The vulture’s hide at Giant’s Castle is a raptor hide first and foremost. The setting on the edge of a middleberg ridge is spectacular. Placing the bones for the raptors, mainly for the Bearded Vultures, supplements their natural food sources which is diminishing due to loss of habitat and is the main purpose of the […]

Mar 012017
South Africa: Rich in National Parks

During my (relatively short, I might add) lifetime I have had the privilege of visiting the majority of South Africa’s national parks and game reserves. What a wealth of natural heritage we possess! When people from abroad look at some of the work in my photographic portfolio, they are amazed at the diversity of wildlife […]

Sep 252016
Hawaiian crow could help us learn about evolutionary origins of tool-using behavior

There are only a handful of bird species known to use tools for foraging in the wild, and now the ‘Alalā, or Hawaiian crow, can be counted as one of them. According to a study published in the journal Nature this week, the New Caledonian crow (Corvus moneduloides), which inhabits only the main island of […]

Jul 172015
Crow Tries to Fight Eagle, Gets Free Ride Instead

In another instance of one animal riding on another, photos from California-based photographer Phoo Chan show a crow nestled on a flying eagle’s back. But the crow was likely looking to do more than catch a lift. When close enough to land, the crow was probably mid-attack, explains Kevin McGowan, a biologist who specializes in […]

Mar 162015
Study shows one reason why pigeons so rarely crash

A pair of researchers with Harvard University has uncovered one of the secrets behind pigeons’ impressive flight abilities. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, David Williams and Andrew Biewener describe how they videotaped some of the birds flying through an obstacle course they made, and what they found when […]

Apr 272014
Fish Crows: Egg Thieves

Crows are smart, and because of this I’m somewhat fascinated with them. They’re not particularly attractive birds, but they have a lot of ingenuity. I’ve read stories of crows working together to steal food from gulls. One crow comes up behind the gull and pulls a tail feather, distracting the gull. When the gull looks […]

Apr 132014
Scottish Gamekeepers Association starts bird protection scheme

A new conservation project aims to help stop the decline of some of Scotland’s most vulnerable birds. The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) will ask its members to record the numbers of birds spotted. This data will then be used to help target conservation efforts towards specific areas. The wading bird population has dropped dramatically in […]

Apr 092014
Feathers fly in Norwegian wild bird reality-TV show

They have already given us a slow train to Bergen, a six-day ferry cruise on the fjords and an eight-and-a-half hour knitting epic. Now the channel behind Norway’s marathon “Slow TV” broadcasts – billed as an antidote to the frantic data overload of the internet and twitter – has excelled itself with Piip Show, a […]

Mar 022014
Return of the Yardbirds

Lots of you probably know the Backyard Bird Count is happening right now. It’s sort of a cool concept. If you’re unfamiliar with it, check out this link for more info. (Above: badass cedar waxwing and ping pong ball ruby-crowned kinglet) My best yardbird is still the harris’s sparrow (not a very common bird). There […]

Jan 192014
‘Falcon cam’ reveals how the birds of prey close in for the kill

Scientists have strapped tiny video cameras to the heads and backs of falcons to learn how the birds hunt their prey. Footage from the on-bird cameras revealed the strategy the predators used in flight as they chased down crows and closed in for the kill. Rather than head straight for their target, the falcons kept […]

Nov 142013
Bladder control, mild hypothermia and kinglets

It’s approximately 23 degrees in the library right now, so since I’ve lost the feeling in my hands and I’m banging around on the keyboard like a camel or something, I can’t write you up another novel this blog around. So here are just a few quick and very important notes: I saw The Waterboys […]