Family Comedy RESCUE DOGS Finds its Four Legs

4 The Love Of Animals

A first of its kind family comedy, RESCUE DOGS features real rescue animals in the starring roles of this kid-friendly narrative feature. A heartwarming story about how rescue animals can sometimes return the favor by saving their owners with their … Continue reading → The post Family Comedy RESCUE DOGS Finds its Four Legs appeared first on 4 The Love of Animals.

2015 201

Bird Families of the World by Winkler, Billerman and Lovette

10,000 Birds

It seems to me that Lynx Edicions must know Vedran, too, and it was with him in mind that their authors, David W Winkler, Shawn M Billerman and Irby J Lovette, chose the “Bird Families of the World: A Guide to the Spectacular Diversity of Birds” as the full title of their new edition.

2020 96

Birds of a Feather – A Fun, Family-Friendly Card Game

10,000 Birds

I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting much from a card game about birding. I mean, birding is about being outside, enjoying nature, the thrill of the chase. Birding is most emphatically not about sitting around a table playing cards. But the idea still intrigued me and the thought of a card game that might further indoctrinate the five-year-old tyrant of our house, Desi, into birding seemed worth exploring.

Game 68

Sand Point Family Vineyards: Cabernet Sauvignon (2015 Lodi Appellation)

10,000 Birds

To celebrate this minor listing milestone, I chose a 2015 Cabernet by Sand Point Family Vineyards of Acampo, California, whose logo is an adorable California Quail sitting on a swing (we can presumably eliminate the similar Gambel’s Quail by range here). The 2015 Lodi vintage is a bold red with an unmistakable cherry pie aroma, with sweet and tart blackberry flavors balanced by some gentle tannins and a spicy dose of oak.

2018 43

Best Bird of the Weekend (Last of March 2015)

10,000 Birds

But Corey also hit up the Forest Park bird feeders with his family Saturday afternoon and Desi, his five-year-old, was so taken with a Red-bellied Woodpecker (the one above) that Corey had to choose it as his favorite bird of the weekend too. Nearly everywhere in the world, birds are on the wing, not just traveling to and from their daily haunts but returning to their ancestral circuit. Based on the the time of year, many people I know are also on the wing.

2015 70

Best Bird of the Weekend (First of 2015)

10,000 Birds

One weekend down for 2015 and only 51 to go. No, he just brought his family to the area he knew one was hiding and waited for Daisy to make the discovery. Hope your year is off to a ripping start! I hit Lake Ontario for winter birds this weekend and walked away with a trio of Red-throated Loons. Corey’s Best Bird of the Weekend was an adorable Northern Saw-whet Owl at an undisclosed location in Queens. Of course, Corey wasn’t actually the one to spot it.

2015 61

Best Bird of the Weekend (First of April 2015)

10,000 Birds

Actually, signs that winter won’t release its icy grip so readily are also apparent… my traditional Easter family hike was canceled on account of snow. Signs of spring are evident everywhere winter once held sway. Sure, we could have survived the blustery flurry, but I’d rather hide until the last remnants of winter blow away! Our travels this weekend took us on the New York State Thruway, which passes through Montezuma NWR.

2015 64

Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of June 2015)

10,000 Birds

I took my family on Sunday to explore a stretch of the flat but fancy Lehigh Valley Railroad Trail. This weekend delivered the longest days of the year to those of us on the top half of the world. Hope you made the most of that extra daylight! The usual summer residents were in attendance, most gaudy of which was a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak , no doubt flush with paternal pride on Father’s Day.

2015 57

Best Bird of the Weekend (Fourth of September 2015)

10,000 Birds

Corey’s Best Bird of the Weekend was one of the several Black Vultures that went overhead during a family hike to Anthony’s Nose in the Hudson Valley. Did you see the supermoon eclipse last night? If you didn’t, you missed something very special. I would lay odds that we birders geek out to all manner of natural phenomena at a higher rate than almost any other group. What do you think?

2015 56

Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of May 2015)

10,000 Birds

The biggest offender right now, even as you stand knee high in splendiferous songbirds, is likely this one depressing thought: migration may almost be over… Corey’s Best Bird of the Weekend was a surprising Bar-tailed Godwit in Queens which he barely managed to twitch after receiving a phone call about the bird being present at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge while he was at Rockaway Beach with his family.

2015 56

Where Are You Birding This Third Weekend of July 2015?

10,000 Birds

I’m excited to be camping with my family in the Adirondacks this weekend. Keep your eyes to the skies… maybe you’ll get lucky and see wild Scarlet Macaws ! Midsummer birding can become boring if you focus solely on species counts. The general lack of longitudinal movement among birds limits most areas to the same restricted pool of resident breeders every year.

2015 55

Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of August 2015)

10,000 Birds

My travels with family to the coast of Virginia have already yielded a bevy of birds I usually only see once a year. Summer often means vacation. Vacations mean travel. Travel means new ecosystems. New ecosystems mean new birds. See why I love summer? But one I’ve had to wait much longer than that to see again was Wilson’s Plover , a rarity this far north.

2015 55

Where Are You Birding This First Weekend of August 2015?

10,000 Birds

I’ll be trying to drag my family on some sort of hike this weekend. Corey had no trouble dragging his family to Honduras, where he’ll surely see more interesting birds than me! American poet, novelist, and playwright Paul Laurence Dunbar saw summer the way many of us do, reflected in the wild world around him. Does Summer in the South , written in 1903, speak to you? The oriole sings in the greening grove.

2015 54

Best Bird of the Weekend (Last of June 2015)

10,000 Birds

I took a family trip down to rural Pennsylvania, where I can always count on seeing an abundance of Eastern Kingbirds … and I did. The past week has been invigorating for Americans who support freedom, dignity, and equality. Hopefully you celebrated by enjoying some fine birds! Corey’s Best Bird of the Weekend could have been the White-faced Ibis at Captree Island, his first of the year, but White-faced Ibis are boring.

2015 55

Best Bird of the Weekend (Fourth of May 2015)

10,000 Birds

Corey is still enjoying a long Memorial Day weekend with his family in Delaware but wanted to share that his Best Bird of the Weekend thus far was a Chuck-Will’s-Widow calling in the predawn darkness at Cape Henlopen State Park. Every May weekend means so much in the temperate climes. What makes this one so excellent is that the weekend technically hasn’t ended yet, at least in the U.S.! If you’re free of obligations today, make your Monday a fun day.

2015 55

Born Free USA’s “Pets Go Wild for Wildlife” Photo Contest

4 The Love Of Animals

Born Free USA, a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, has announced its “Pets Go Wild for Wildlife” photo contest, seeking photos of furry family members acting “wild”: running like a cheetah, swimming like an orca, leaping like … Continue reading → The post Born Free USA’s “Pets Go Wild for Wildlife” Photo Contest appeared first on 4 The Love of Animals.

2015 168

Great Horned Owls on camera!

4 The Love Of Animals

The family of Great Horned Owls featured on OwlCam.co is just hours away from welcoming new chicks! There are 3 eggs, and high hopes that all will hatch. It all started a few years back when the current owner purchased … Continue reading → The post Great Horned Owls on camera! appeared first on 4 The Love of Animals. wildlife

2015 174

Clare M’s 2015 Year List

10,000 Birds

Firstly I would like to just do a little update on the Pied Oystercatcher family that were a large part of my life for the last few weeks of 2014. The adult Pied Oystercatchers were still at their non-breeding site at Gantheaume Point and will no doubt lay their first eggs for 2015 in the first week of July. Pied Oystercatcher family together for the last time in 2014. Birding 2015 listing year list

2015 63

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes 2015 Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities on National Wildlife Refuges

10,000 Birds

June 9, 2015 – It’s deja vu all over again. The refuge offers opportunities for hiking and biking trails, canoeing and kayaking on Swan Lake, bank fishing, and family friendly programs and events.” The latest press release from the USFWS. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced as part of Great Outdoors Month the agency is proposing to expand fishing and hunting opportunities on 21 refuges throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System.

2015 51

Manhattan’s first nesting Common Ravens

10,000 Birds

The photo above depicts three fledglings I encountered on the morning of March 31, 2015. We saw ravens in southern Manhattan through the winter and spring of 2015 (I even saw one with a bagel , confirming that they are right at home here in New York). The family has continued hanging around Chelsea since, and it’s a lot of fun watching (and hearing!) Common Ravens have, it seems, finally nested in Manhattan, the densest metropolitan area in the nation.

2015 81

Into the Nest: A Book Review in the Time of Nesting

10,000 Birds

I’m happy to say that Laura Erickson and Marie Read have written a book, Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds , that is not too cute and that does not anthropomorphize. She does, and her narrative serves as a role model for how to write about birds simply and knowledgeably; informing birds’ family stories with scientific facts and research findings. Storey Publishing, April 2015.

2015 83

Birding for the Curious: A Book Review

10,000 Birds

For example, on finding gulls: Close study of gulls is not for everyone, and birders shouldn’t feel obligated to get deep into it if you prefer colorful, less-confusing, families of birds. It’s an excellent choice for school and public libraries (especially with that hard cover), a smart choice for nature lovers who want to become members of the tribe, and a clever choice for birders trying to get their partners, children, or other family members into birding.

2015 83

Unethical Photographers Bait Critically Endangered Eagles

10,000 Birds

Recently, a group of nature photographers were spotted using live fish to bait a family of Grey-headed Fish Eagles in Singapore, where the species is listed as Critically Endangered, with only about 12-18 breeding individuals left in the wild. 10,000 Birds readers love terrific bird photography but hate bird abuse. That’s why reader Charlie Gordon wanted to share this disturbing story.

2015 85

Endemic Birds of Cuba: A Book Review

10,000 Birds

Each species account starts with names–family name at the top of the page, followed below by English name of the species, alpha code, scientific name, local name in Cuba and the standard name as accepted by the Sociedad Española de Ornitología (SEO). These categories include family visits; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; and humanitarian projects. Ediciones Nuevos Mundos, 2015. Cuba is on my mind.

Cuba 76

The origins of tanagers, warblers, and sparrows are coming into focus

10,000 Birds

The tree is broadly consistent with work published by the same authors last year, which identified 16 different families in the group, recognizing families for the Old World buntings (Emberizidae), New World sparrows (Passerellidae), wood-warblers (Parulidae), blackbirds (Icteridae), longspurs (Calcariidae), cardinals (Cardinalidae), and tanagers (Thraupidae), as well as several very small families for historically problematic species like the Yellow-breasted Chat and Caribbean spindalises.

2015 83

What’s in a Name: Northern Goshawk

10,000 Birds

Since we’ve covered some generalities already, once a month I’ll be exploring how a species, genus, or family of birds got its name, and how those names fit in with our larger understanding of, and relationship with, birds. As a brief aside, the Northern Goshawk is only a cousin at the family level of the Dark Chanting Goshawk , which bids fair for one of my favorite bird names ever.

2015 82

Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean: A Book Review by a Lover of Parliaments

10,000 Birds

With so many book indexes listing species under family name, I am thankful that the decision was made NOT to list all 39 owl species under the heading “Owl.” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (October 13, 2015). Here are some things I’ve learned from the Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean by Scott Weidensaul: The Burrowing Owl is the only North American owl species where the male is larger than the female, albeit, only slightly larger.

2015 75

Feeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce & Conservation: A Book Review by a Curious Bird Feeder

10,000 Birds

I also enjoyed reading the company histories of familiar brands like Duncraft, Kaytee, Droll Yankee, and Wagner all of which started as family companies, some as offshoots of other businesses, some as the result of clever inventions. Texas A&M University Press, 2015. I came late to bird feeding, and when I was finally able to put out a “thistle” sock and a seed feeder (or two or six), I was amazed by the learning curve.

2015 76

Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve: the Tiger Afternoon

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She is an excellent mother, managing not only to feed her four large cubs, but their visiting father One-eyed who comes by every now and then (he has two more families and being the good father he is, visits them all regularly, usually around lunch time). The number of tigers in India has seen a sharp rise to 2,226 tigers from just over 1,400 seven years ago,” Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Maharashtra, February 2013.

Birding Honduras–The Cryptic Birds

10,000 Birds

We saw a smaller member of the potoo family, Northern Potoo , Nyctibius jamaicensis , at Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge, boating and birding the Salado River. I had seen Thick-Knees in South Africa, but I was very excited to see this species, which is the only member of its family found in Central America. There was no snow. That was the first thing we–our New Jersey Audubon group of 11 birders, led by Scott Barnes–noted as we exited the airport. And lots of greenery.

ABA Field Guides to Birds of Colorado and Florida

10,000 Birds

Species Accounts in both titles are arranged loosely in ABA Checklist order, with some flipping around of order within each family. I did find some photographs used in both guides, notably the impressive male Bald Eagle and the 2015 ABA Bird of the Year, Green Heron. I can’t wait for the 2015 state field guides to arrive, especially the ABA Field Guide to Birds of New York by Corey Finger.

Tribes and Birds of the Lower Omo Valley by Adam Riley

10,000 Birds

We were able to take a thoroughly enjoyable boat ride on Lake Chamo, whose shores teem with birds, including such typical African species as African Fish Eagle, Goliath Heron the world’s largest, Yellow-billed Stork and the incomparable Hamerkop , a species in its own family. Quality time was spent with a friendly Hamar family at their homestead of grass huts surrounding their cattle corral.

2015 79

The Art of Bird Camp

10,000 Birds

Each year Hog Island offers programs, taught by a stellar staff of naturalists and artists, to groups of all kinds (teenagers, adults, families). I have been working in the avian world for 25 years, but last summer I was out-birded by a 14-year-old girl. Actually, I was bested by an entire group of teenagers, all gathered – along with 36 adults – on Hog Island , Audubon’s famous camp off the coast of Maine.

2015 83

Faithful Loons and Human Lunacy

10,000 Birds

I strongly suspect that the rate of attrition on this Loon family is inversely proportionate to the abundance of ducklings in the bay. The Condor, 2015; 117 (4): 485 DOI: 10.1650/CONDOR-15-6.1. Every year there manage to be two Loons out in front of the cabin, up in Minnesota’s lake country. They nest on the same, ever-expanding semi-floating but occasionally shrinking nest over behind the point, so we can’t see the nest without going across the marsh in a canoe.

2015 70

Endangered and Unknown: Red-billed Curassow

10,000 Birds

Red-billed Curassow ( Crax blumenbachii ), a large, ground-dwelling bird belonging to the same family as the more familiar Plain Chachalaca of southern Texas, was never a very widespread species. It was quite late in the morning when we saw a family group consisting of an adult and three nearly fully grown juveniles right on the track about 300 meters away.

2015 72

A Tribute to a Wildlife Lover’s Support Team

10,000 Birds

But he also left a family surrounded by people who shared their grief, who asked if they could help, and who were willing to talk about the ones they’d lost themselves. It’s a rough world for wildlife. It’s a rough world for people who appreciate them, rougher still for those who spend time and money trying to protect them, roughest of all for those who take in the injured and orphaned and try to save them.

2015 74

The Hidden Qualities of House Sparrows

10,000 Birds

To us on the traditional side of the Atlantic, they’ll always belong to the family Iznogoudae , the birds who want to become warblers instead of the warblers. Bird blogging in May always gives me the creeps. This ridiculous focus of the Birding Internet on North American wood-warblers is boring on a quiet day and highly annoying during peak migration.

Can we talk about Cecil the Lion?

10,000 Birds

And don’t forget that Africa’s population continues to grow, putting more and more pressure on the land and many eyes watch the remaining wild spaces asking why the animals should have them and not hungry families. Hi there. I can’t help noticing that you’ve just posted an angry story about Cecil the Lion on your timeline.

Lions 71

Burrowing Owls of Cape Coral

10,000 Birds

It’s a family vacation, sure, but there’s always time for birding and in Florida, the birding often finds you. Birding in Florida is unique in that so much of that state’s plenty is evident even to the casual observer. There are few places in the United States where simply driving around can leave you with a list of 30+ species, many of them large and spectacular. I’ve spent the last week in southwest Florida.

2015 69

How The Bird Got Its Beak

10,000 Birds

The genetic pathway found in Alligators and birds and everything within the containing family tree of Alligators and birds was messed with, and the result was the loss of bird-osity and thus reversion to alligatorness. Birds are a subset of dinosaurs (See: Honey, I Shrunk the Dinosaurs.

2015 72

Birding Adventure in Mexico Part II: Durango Highway

10,000 Birds

In the mean time, a family group of Black-throated Magpie-Jays were frolicking in the breeze high over the dry valley, showing off their exorbitantly long tail streamers. It did not take long before we had a family group of Tufted Jays right by the side of the road (KM 216) and an uncommon Gray-collared Becard at the same spot.

2015 66

What’s in a Name: Chuck-will’s-Widow

10,000 Birds

Let’s face it, the entire Caprimulgidae family is a fiesta of nomenclatural goofiness, which is only appropriate given that these are species that look odd, act odd , and sound odd. The family name means goat-milker, and indeed all nightjars are sometimes colloquially called goatsuckers, as I’ve learned not to bring up unless I want to keep the weird looks going.

2015 68

The First Swallow-tail of Spring

10,000 Birds

I recently returned from my family’s annual spring trip to Florida, and unlike years previous I didn’t get any special time set aside to bird this time round. A nice assemblage of waders, including my first encounter with the newly minted ABA 2015 Bird of the Year Green Heron. That was largely due to the vagaries of a single rental car and two young children, but it wasn’t so bad.

2015 62