Category Archives: history

September 2020 COVID-19 comparisons: confirmed deaths for the USA, China, and South Korea


Here in the USA, every week presents us with a new normal in our ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Many in this country seem to think that this is just how it has to be or, at the very least, they are … Continue reading

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Re-imaging the meaning of national defense


Writing for Resilience, Rob Brooks re-imagines a national defense grounded in Wendell Berry’s observation that “Earth is what we all have in common.” “We need to pay as much attention to conserving and restoring the connectivity of the natural infrastructure … Continue reading

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: some data from the first week of April


As we have now left March 2020 in the rear-view mirror, I thought it might be a good idea to adjust my semi-weekly interpretation of national comparisons on #COVID-19 deaths and drill drown into some data from US states. Apropos … Continue reading

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Yes, we know that “the climate has always changed”…


… but that’s not the point. Here’s what that point really is. The concentration of global, atmospheric CO2 today exceeds 400 ppm. The last time that happened on Earth was something like 2–5 million years ago, in the Pliocene Epoch … Continue reading

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The state of global biodiversity — it’s worse than you probably think — ConservationBytes.com


Sobering synopsis here by CJA Bradshaw. For those of us who study natural history, such information confronts us every day. It can be easy to forget that we are a tiny minority of the billions of humans on this planet … Continue reading

Posted in bat conservation, birds/nature, deforestation, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, history, IUCN, nature deficit disorder, No Child Left Inside, overpopulation, paleontology, population estimates, population monitoring, skepticism and science, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your life is profoundly meaningful


It’s quite simple, really. The matter in our universe is comprised of the same elements throughout. Proportions differ and it might be mixed together differently here and there, but it’s the same stuff. Some of those mixes develop self-replication under … Continue reading

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My lifer Whooping Crane – something I thought I might never see


It’s been a long time coming, but I was recently guided to my lifer WHOOPING CRANE by my nephews Benjamin and Matt Hack (+ special guest star Matt’s friend Kaitie) at a lake near Dexter, Michigan. This is an ENDANGERED … Continue reading

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Kerri J. Smith – beaked whales


via Research I found another bright young scientist to amplify today. This is Kerri J. Smith, who is studying Sowerby’s beaked whale. No, I’d never heard of this species either. #TIL  

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007 — History of Ornithology


BY: Bob Montgomerie, Queen’s University | 7 January 2019 A couple of years ago, my family and I had an early morning stopover in Frankfurt, Germany, en route to our spring bolthole in the French Pyrenees. As we stumbled bleary-eyed … Continue reading

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Do my social media milestones matter?


Well, no. Of course not. Still . . . My wife and I started this blog (formerly Eat More Cookies) way back in July 2006. We were about to complete our third year in Oklahoma, with family back home in … Continue reading

Posted in academics, editorial, environment, haiku, history, life, Links, overpopulation, professional development, skepticism and science, The Waterthrush Podcast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Historical data – shorebirds and a sea turtle on the Virginia Coast Reserve


Long ago my life was quite different. I spent a lot more time outside and I traveled to some pretty wild places. I did not, however, carry a camera with me. Back in those days, you might have a compact … Continue reading

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Audubon’s The Birds of America at the University of Michigan


Since touring the natural history collections at the University of Michigan a few years ago, I have included an abridged version of this tale in my classes when trying to impress upon them the significance of John James Audubon and … Continue reading

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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, 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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Do you have a voice in government?


I bet rarely would people respond that they feel well-represented in government. I know I’m not well-represented when I long for a revolution in renewable energy but one of my senators is the guy who thinks snowballs in winter refute … Continue reading

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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, migrants, paleontology, skepticism and science, 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

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