Aves (birds)

Category archives for Aves (birds)

Ten Thousand Birds

There are over 10,000 species of bird on the Earth today. There is one blog called “10,000 Birds” for which I write a monthly article, in case you did not know. But this post is about Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology Since Darwin, a book by Tim Birkhead, Jo Wimpenny and Bob Monegomerie. Birds and various…

Rare Birds of North America

Rare Birds of North America is the only extensive treatment I’ve see of the so called “vagrant birds” in the US and Canada. Most, or at least many, traditional bird books have a section in the back for rare birds, occasionals or accidentals, which one might see now and then. But when you think about…

Penguins: The Ultimate Guide

There is a new book out on Penguins: Penguins: The Ultimate Guide written and edited by Tui De Roy, Mark Jones, and Julie Cornthwaite. It is a beautiful coffee table style book full of information. All of the world’s species are covered (amazingly there are only 18 of them) and there are more than 400…

Flying Dinosaurs: How Fearsome Reptiles Became Birds by science writer John Pickrell is coming out in December. As you know I’ve written a lot about the bird-dinosaur thing (most recently, this: “Honey I Shrunk the Dinosaurs“) so of course this sounded very interesting to me. In a way, Pickrell’s book is a missing link, in…

Feral Cats as Invasive Species

The ranger stood on the dirt road, facing south, and the rest of us, scattered about the parked safari truck, facing north and paying close attention to what she was saying. The sun was slipping quickly below the red sand dunes to our west, and the day’s warm breeze was rapidly changing to a chill…

How do birds survive the winter?

How do birds survive the cold weather, especially during really cold winters like the one we are having now in much of the United States? One part of this answer has to be, sadly perhaps, that the sometimes don’t. But I’ll get to that later. You need to know two things as context. First, there…

The vast majority of the 10,000+ living species of birds are passerines, and the vast majority of those have a similar system of breeding: Mom and dad bird make a nest and share parental responsibilities roughly equally, if not identically. There are variations on that theme, of course. Even the non-passerines often follow this pattern.…

Fish Eating Birds

First, we had giant catfish eating pigeons (remember this?). Now, we have scientifically confirmed reports of tiger fish eating swallows on the wing. The pigeons were just standing around on the beach, but these swallows are fast moving birds in flight being snatched out of the air as they forage over the lake’s surface. Please…

Crossley Coffee Contest

Last month, we had a contest to celebrate the release of the Crossley ID Guide for Raptors. I asked readers to identify all of the Golden Eagles in a composite image, skipping none and including no non-Golden Eagles. The picture had a mixture of Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, and a couple of other raptors. Here…

The World’s Rarest Birds

There are something over 10,000 species of birds (thus the name of the famous blog). Of these, just under 600 are in very very serious trouble, some to the extent that we are not sure if they exist, others are so rare that we know they exist but there are no good photographs of them,…