Oct 262015
Cicada Killer

At about an inch and a half long, the cicada killer is one of our larges wasps. Their huge size makes them look dangerous, but they are usually not aggressive and do not often sting us. They are solitary wasps that live alone; they lack the hive-defending sting-whatever-comes-close attitude of the yellowjackets they are sometimes […]

Jan 242015
 Video: Gamekeeper jailed in Scotland for killing bird of prey

A gamekeeper who trapped and killed birds of prey has been jailed for four months. George Mutch, 48, was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court after being convicted of laying illegal traps and killing a goshawk by hitting it with a stick. It is the first custodial sentence for the crime of persecuting raptors, or birds […]

Aug 012014
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald – review

The arcane world of falconry is infamous for a snobbery that dates back to the medieval period, when different raptors were pegged to a hierarchical list of feudal stations. So the noble peregrine was for princes, the dainty merlin was milady’s bird, and – as we know from Barry Hines’s novel – it was just […]

Jan 202014
Power line nests put US ravens in pole position for prey

Ravens in the US are building their nests on electricity power lines and using the height to target their prey, according to new research. The scientists say the majority of ravens in the study area were now living on transmission poles and posed a bigger threat to endangered species. Raven numbers in western states have […]

Nov 262013
Review: Bird Sense: What it’s Like to be a Bird, by Tim Birkhead

Who’d be a bird anyway? Chickens have bi-focal vision: one eye for the close-up work of pecking seed; one for the fox on the horizon or the hawk in the sky. Peregrine falcons don’t swoop directly on prey – as the crow flies, to coin a phrase – but in a wide arc, using the […]

Jul 302013
Dozens of bird species could be slaughtered in New York

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a permit to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to kill over 90 species of bird within New York State this year, ANIMAL has learned. The birds slated for killing include owls, herons, hawks, and woodpeckers, in addition to the slaughter of Canada geese that has been widely […]

Jul 102013
Free-tailed funnel cloud (reprint from June 2011)

When Doppler radar first arrived in the area known affectionately to Texans as the Hill Country, the local television station meteorologists were understandably eager to show off the weather forecasting capabilities of their newest toy. Unfortunately, they got off to a less than impressive start. Night after night that summer, evening thunderstorms were forecast but […]