Category Archives: history

Some perspective on peak abundance of Passenger Pigeon


You’ve heard the story before, and it’s sobering: Once perhaps the most abundant vertebrate on the planet, a combination of unremitting exploitation and habitat loss reduced the Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) from billions to none in a few short decades … Continue reading

Posted in bird evolution, birds/nature, deforestation, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, history, IUCN, life, Links, National Audubon Society, Partners in Flight, population estimates, population monitoring, RMBO, skepticism and science, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anchiornis in living color


Laser flourescence of the feathered dinosaur Anchiornis provides a picture of its life appearance in stunning detail http://ift.tt/2lTPfzX via Laser flourescence of the feathered dinosaur Anchiornis provides a picture of its life appearance in stunning detail — Like For Real Dough

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HBW Alive Newsletter #21 – March 2016


The latest newsletter of the Handbook of the Birds of the World has been released and it, as usual, is chock full of fascinating discoveries*, insightful synthesis, and stunning multi-media features. *For example, I just learned that a flightless owl … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, bird evolution, birding, birds/nature, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, Epidexipteryx, evolution, Great Auk, HBW Alive, history, hummingbirds, IUCN, life, malee fowl, migrants, paleontology, pterosaur, skepticism and science, tinamou, vultures, wildlife | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

What words mean . . .


actually matters. Here in the US, there’s an unfortunate stereotype that someone who encourages the proper use of words and grammatical structures is a pedantic jerk.  If you do this, you might even be an intellectual snob in anti-intellectual America.  … Continue reading

Posted in academics, dialects, editorial, history, language, life, Links, skepticism and science | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Waterthrush Podcast #20: Little Martha


Today, 1 September 2014, is the centenary of the death of Martha, the very last Passenger Pigeon.  In an op-ed published today by the New York Times, executive director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology John Fitzpatrick shares his thoughts … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, birding, birds/nature, Christmas Bird Count, deforestation, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, history, IUCN, Links, migrants, monarch butterfly, overpopulation, skepticism and science, The Waterthrush Podcast, wildlife | Leave a comment

The “rim-laying” Black Robins of the Chatham Islands


The islands of New Zealand are, like those throughout much of the Pacific, a hotbed of ornithological endemism.  Thousands – and millions – of years in isolation from mammalian predators led to the evolution of vast numbers of species poorly … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, bird banding, bird evolution, birds/nature, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, history, IUCN, life, Links, skepticism and science, tuatara, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment