Aves (birds)

Category archives for Aves (birds)

Dinosaur eating insects!

Giant insects can eat tiny dinosaurs. In this case, the giant insects are praying mantis, and the dinosaurs are hummingbirds and other small birds. In some cases, maybe most cases, this involves small birds like hummingbirds being taken at nectar sites (natural or otherwise) by introduced species of praying mantis in the US. Here’s the…

Just got my copy of Birds of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East: A Photographic Guide by Frédéric Jiguet and Aurélien Audevard. This is the first and only field-ready photographic bird guide that covers every species in Europe. There are 2,200 photos covering 860 species. The West Asian and North African coverage is of…

What is sex? Musings at 10,000 Birds: This is a simple question with a complicated answer. Part of the answer is this: The biological identity of an individual that guides its choice of mate. So, in a simple version of the world of a bird, there are two sexes, male and female, and males chose…

Rare Nearly Extinct Crow Uses Tools

This is just a pointer to my latest post at 10,000 birds on a tool using crow from Hawaii, as well as recent climate change related threats to the birds of that island state.

Very Smart Birds, Very Smart Bird Book

Crows are smart. Anyone who watches them for a while can figure this out. But that is true of a lot of things. Your baby is smart (not really). Your dog is smart (not really). Ants are smart (sort of). It takes a certain degree of objective research, as well as some serious philosophy of…

There was a dead rabbit in the middle of the road today. I suspected such a thing, nearby, just out of sight, and edible, because I noticed some crows taking off whenever a car went by. Then, when I went over, I could see the rabbit that they were feasting on between drive-bys. I had…

I’ve got a new post up at 10,000 Birds on a study looking at changing populations of several hundred common species of birds in Europe and North America (mainly the US). The two subcontinents exhibit dramatically different patterns, as shown in the enigmatic graph above. Go to the post to unravel this intriguing mystery!

You’ve heard the phrase, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” an insightful phrase penned in 1972 by Theodosius Dobzhansky. I would like to add a second part to that phrase, and it goes like this: “… and, nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of co-evolution.” This would…

You all know this happened. But there is some controversy over what kind of bird it is. There is no doubt whatsoever that the bird was a finch. However, what kind? Most likely a house finch, because they are common, and the most likely to live in a big auditorium thingie and not be fearful…

There are three kinds of books that count as animal (usually bird) guides. 1) A pocket field guide of the critters of a reasonably circumscribed geographical area, like the Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America. This is a small book that can fit in a big pocket, and a classic…