The jaunty bobbing tail of a phoebe, any phoebe, is a familiar sight to nearly every birder in North America. But why do they pump their tails? David Sibley has an answer.
Lots of birds have a habit of pumping (or wagging) their tails. It’s mostly open-country birds like phoebes, wagtails and pipits, Palm Warbler, [read more…]
Beach-goers and beach birders are all too familiar with the occasional wrecked seabird, and this time of year, when the last of winter can break those birds already on a razor’s edge, is a peak time for it. Mike Crewe at View from the Cape tells you what you need to know.
It seems likely [read more…]
Some birds are particularly suited to this time of year, with a number of strategies for surviving the lean month. At Cornell’s All About Birds, Victoria Campbell shares information about North America’s four nuthatches and how they manage.
Winter is the perfect time to observe how nuthatches earned their common name, as they jam large [read more…]
As the winter moves on, there’s a ton going on at Project SNOWStorm as they continue to add owls to their tracking study. Scott Weidensaul has more.
Thursday night was a busy one around here — four of our newest cohort of owls checked in, as well as two of last winter’s returnees.
Let’s start [read more…]
The great burden of birders is to constantly have to fight the common usage of “seagull” by our non birding friends and family. But few gulls deserve that kind of disrespect, and Carrie Laben, at 10,000 Birds, seeks to find the most interesting gull in the world.
My first instinct was that the rarest gull [read more…]
For those that followed the Snowy Owl irruption and Project SNOWstorm last winter, note that the campaign continues this winter. There are certainly fewer Snowy Owls this winter, but as Scott Weidensaul shares, the information they’re receiving about them is even more amazing the second time around.
Braddock spent last winter on and around Lake [read more…]
The interrelation of the 9-primaried oscines has been a particularly tough taxonomic nut to crack, but as David Ringer at 10,000 Birds reports, we’re getting closer.
The authors argue that most major groups, including the sparrows, wood-warblers, blackbirds, and cardinals then diversified in North America and subsequently colonized South America in a series of overwater [read more…]
It’s not too late to do end of the year countdowns, right? I sure hope not. I want to publicly thank all of those tho contributed to the blog this year, from regular contributors to guest writers to those who work behind the scenes keeping the whole thing functioning.
The following are the 10 most [read more…]
The yang to the yin of the successful twitch, is the epic crushing dip. We’ve all been there, and Laura Erickson spins a tale of dipping on a near-mythical snow white gull.
I’d been fixated on the Ivory Gull since first looking through my field guides in 1974. The pristine whiteness of the plumage, contrasting [read more…]
Bird migration is often a journey from known point to known point, but the habitat between those territories is just as critical, and the reasons behind the bird’s choices not always clear. At Cornell’s All About Birds blog, Victoria Campbell writes about researchers there using eBird to shed some light on those decisions.
Fatigued and [read more…]