Category Archives: birds

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have a second installment (first one here) of reader Doug Hayes’s photos of the birds that frequent his backyard feeder. The title is “The breakfast crew.” Doug’s IDs and captions are indented: More scenes from the bird feeders in our backyard here in Richmond, Virginia. A male House finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) feeds a […]

Templeton pays $1 million for an unanswerable question: do keas feel joy?

Keas, Nestor notabilis, are the world’s only alpine parrots, found in New Zealand. What is it like to be a kea? When Tom Nagel wrote his famous article about what it is like to be a bat, he concluded that although bats may have consciousness, the content of that consciousness is inaccessible to us. He’s […]

Spot the bird!

Reader David Fuqua sent a “spot the” photo which he thinks is pretty easy. Well, give it a try. Here’s what you’re looking for (and verify the ID if you can); click the photo to enlarge it.  The answer is below the fold: I rate this one easy, maybe too easy for your readers. This […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

While evolutionist John Avise sends us a “Duck O’ the Week” every Sunday, I also get regular non-duck contributions from him (birds, of course, as he’s a keen birder). Rather than hold onto them until the duck series is done, I’ll post his latest batch. John’s notes are indented. I’ll let you identify the species, […]

Sunday Duck o’ the Week

Once again evolutionary biologist John Avise is instructing us on the various species of ducks in North America. Your job is to look at the photos below and guess the species. If you can’t guess it, learn its appearance and then go below the fold for the ID, John’s duck notes, and a range map. […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today’s photos come from reader Doug Hayes, and all the notes (indented) are his. My own title is “At the feeder,” and it shows the diversity of wildlife you can see (including mammals) by putting out bird feeders. Since we put up the bird feeders, more birds and a couple of mammals have been frequenting […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have photos of a lovely bird by reader Paul Peed, whose words are indented: These images are from late in the breeding season at the Roseate Spoonbill, Heron and Egret rookery.  Located in T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area in Brevard and Indian River County, Florida. More images are available at Instagram and Ebird. Feeding time […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have a few in the queue, but I’d like more, so send in your good wildlife photos (please make sure they’re in focus, of a reasonable size, like 1mB, and have the species identified along with the Latin binomial). Thanks. We have several contributors today, the first being Dieter Letsch. As always, contributors’ words are […]

Sunday Duck O’ the Week

Evolutionary geneticist John Avise is continuing his series of the ducks of North America. The goal is to educate readers about all the species in this group during lockdown, so that at the ends you will graduate with either an M. A. (master of Anas) or a Ph.D. (Duck of Philosophy). Your goal is to […]

The pond had a visitor

The visitor is not one that I welcome in terms of potential carnage to my beloved ducks, but I do love to see it because the visitor is stately, splendid, and gorgeous. It is, of course, a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), and we haven’t seen one at the pond for several weeks.  When I […]