The radical otherness of birds: Jonathan Franzen on why they matter

For most of my life, I didn’t pay attention to birds. Only in my 40s did I become a person whose heart lifts whenever he hears a grosbeak singing or a towhee calling, and who hurries out to see a golden plover that’s been reported in the neighbourhood, just because it’s a beautiful bird, with […]

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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 […]

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Looks Great on Paper

We were so fortunate last week to spend it in the company of some great shooter and amazing birds. That combination should have produced some killer images. It was on paper the perfect mix of biology and technology, hummers and flash. Madera Cyn, Santa Rita Lodge, in particular, is simply a spectacular location for birds, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Picaflor garganta blanca (White-throated Hummingbird) Leucochloris albicollis

El tres de Mayo pasado Luis Viajó a la localidad de Jardín América a visitar sus amigos, de igual manera que la vez anterior volvió a obtener fotografías del Picaflor garganta blanca; estas son las imágenes que seleccioné para compartir en el blog.            

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Fiery-throated Hummingbird - portrait by Alex Vargas

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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