Category Archives: history

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

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Tuataras even chew weirdly


In 2008, I shared the story of the great longevity of the lizard-like tuatara of New Zealand.  Today, Victoria Gill of the BBC’s Nature blog has reported on a study from researchers investigating what appears to be a unique chewing … Continue reading

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ODWC Lesser Prairie-Chicken Conservation Action Plan


  May 30, 2012 A service of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation Oklahoma Lesser Prairie Chicken Conservation Action Plan draft available for public review and presentation The public is invited to provide comments on a draft conservation plan for … Continue reading

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West Virginia Smiles revisited


‘Twas way back in 2006 that I posted chord progression and lyrics to my song West Virginia Smiles. Way back then, I promised to figure out how to post mp3s, and it looks like I can finally make good on … Continue reading

Posted in deforestation, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, history, life, Links, wildlife, wind power | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What lies beneath – Lake Vostok


As reported by the BBC’s Johnathan Amos, Russian researchers are claiming success at drilling through the continental ice sheet  in Antarctica to be the first humans to make contact with Lake Vostok.  Vostok is one of about 300 lakes of … Continue reading

Posted in environment, evolution, history, Links, paleontology, skepticism and science | 1 Comment

The Beauty of Carl Sagan. (Really? Yeah, really!)


I was there.  I walked that campus and slept through my classes and met my wife and pulled all-nighters to cram for my exams . . . while Carl Sagan was somewhere on that campus, thinking mind-expanding thoughts, inspiring a … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, birds/nature, editorial, environment, evolution, flash beetle, history, life, Links, music, overpopulation, paleontology, skepticism and science, wildlife | Leave a comment

A new idea for what Velociraptors did with those claws


By now, we’re all familiar with this image: Velociraptors running at high speed toward a big lumbering dinosaur that the little demons subdue with an onslaught of murderous slashes from an outsized claw on their second toe. Mark Stevenson’s reproduction … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, bird evolution, birds/nature, Epidexipteryx, evolution, history, life, Links, paleontology, skepticism and science | 3 Comments

Jimmy Stewart, the Abominable Snowman, and Christmas


I’ve long been a fan of the actor James “Jimmy” Stewart.  He was a handsome everyman, homespun yet sophisticated, scrawny yet tough.  He did it all from comic pratfalls to Hitchcockian suspense to dusty Westerns.  He also famously ate himself … Continue reading

Posted in history, life, Links, paleontology, skepticism and science, yeti/sasquatch | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Chesapeake crabs on the rebound


As reported here by Christopher Pala in the News Focus section of Science magazine, restricted harvesting of female blue crabs seems to be contributing to a comeback in the Chesapeake Bay. As reported right here at Eat More Cookies back … Continue reading

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All beak, but not much bite


Phil Beradelli reported in ScienceShot today on new research into the hunting style of certain phorusrhacid “terror birds” that were important predators on the Argentinian plains about 6 million years ago. These flightless running birds were fast, ostrich-like hunters that … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, bird evolution, birds/nature, environment, evolution, history, Links, paleontology, skepticism and science, wildlife | 2 Comments

It’s not a MONKEY!!!!


I can’t stand it when people tell me about their pet peeves. It drives me up a wall! Dodge and PETA recently locked horns over a television ad for a Dodge sales event that featured a young chimpanzee. You can … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, editorial, environment, evolution, history, life, Links, skepticism and science, wildlife | 9 Comments

Happy Birthday, Satchmo.


Great essay here on the tremendous influence of the great Louis Armstrong on American music.

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Alaotra Grebe confirmed extinct


Against the backdrop of the seemingly endless flow of oil from the Gulf of Mexico, the IUCN has announced the likely extinction of the Alaotra Grebe, an endemic species from brackish lakes in Madagascar. Matt Walker’s BBC article implicates widespread … Continue reading

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

weekly haiku – Ardipithecus ramidus


New discovery! Our new, oldest ancestor. Ardi is the man!

Posted in editorial, environment, evolution, haiku, history, kids, life, paleontology, skepticism and science, wildlife, yeti/sasquatch | Leave a comment

Ardipithecus ramidus – our newest, oldest ancestor


There is wonderful news today of the publication of an 11-article special issue of Science magazine chronicling the discovery and analysis of fossils from an ancient hominid dubbed Ardipithecus ramidus. I first learned of the discovery through this story on … Continue reading

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late blight killing U.S. potatoes and tomatoes


Potato, potata – however you pronounce it, some of our beloved crops are in danger this year as a rapid and early outbreak of “late blight” has taken hold in the eastern U.S. This is a fungal infection – the … Continue reading

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Using DNA to reveal extinct moas


It’s only been a few hundred years since Maori settlers in New Zealand hunted moas and other birds to extinction, but that was still too long ago for any photographs or paintings of the birds to have been preserved. Now … Continue reading

Posted in bird evolution, birding, birds/nature, deforestation, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, history, IUCN, Links, paleontology, skepticism and science, wildlife | 1 Comment

weekly haiku – RIP King of Pop


One glove too many. Troubled, disturbed, and sad. Gave the world a groove.

Posted in editorial, haiku, history | 1 Comment

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson


I suppose I can’t let today go by without saying something about Michael Jackson, who died yesterday at age 50. While I don’t necessarily consider myself a fan (although I did buy Thriller back in the day), it’s obvious from … Continue reading

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