How Birds Evolve: What Science Reveals about Their Origin, Lives, and Diversity: A Book Review by a Non-Science Person

10,000 Birds

Doug Futuyma believes in science and in the scientific basis of evolution. How Birds Evolve: What Science Reveals about Their Origin, Lives, and Diversity by Douglas J. How Birds Evolve: What Science Reveals about Their Origin, Lives, and Diversity by Douglas J.

This Week in Bird(ing) News: Science, Citizen Science, and Citizen Savagery

10,000 Birds

Proving that cruelty knows no bounds, some (language unsuitable for a family blog) in Virginia Beach is shooting blow darts at birds. Birding in Israel? Report your sightings to help build an eBird-like database of the country’s avifauna.

Is the White-naped Xenopsaris Migratory? or The Limits of Citizen Science

10,000 Birds

The White-naped Xenopsaris is a member of the Tityra family (Tityridae), a newish family of mostly South American birds carved from various oddball birds formerly lumped with the manakins, the tyrant-flycatchers and the cotingas. Citizen science needs an outlet to peer review and publish small findings like this, to allow them to be known and push back ignorance on so many species, but also subject them to a measure of review. Birds bird migration citizen science migration

2017 41

Here’s the new bird family tree. It’s amazing.

10,000 Birds

The magnificent history and diversity of birds on Earth came into sharper focus this month with the publication of 28 new scientific papers in Science and other journals. ’s bird family tree in a new tab and follow along as you read. How birds came to be what they are today — all their dazzling triumphs over time, oblivion, and gravity — is a much more interesting story than most of us had imagined just 20 years ago. American Flamingo photo by Dick Culbert).

2014 87

Animal Activists Steal Ashes From Grave of Novartis CEO's Family

Critter News

Animal rights activists from a group called The Militant Forces Against Huntingdon Life Sciences went to a cemetery and dug up an urn belonging to the family of Novartis CEO Daniel Vasella. If you wish the urn that was taken from the grave to be returned then you need to publically finish with Huntingon Life Sciences immediately. The Militant Forces Against Huntingdon Life Sciences". Yeesh. This happened at the end of July.

2009 100

Yellowhammer Dialect Project

10,000 Birds

Since this research has a strong citizen science component, we want to help Pavel spread the word: What happens with birdsong during invasion of a new territory? To answer this question, a citizen science project looks for volunteers to record Yellowhammers ( Emberiza citrinella ) in New Zealand and Great Britain to evaluate distribution of their dialects. A similar citizen science project in the Czech Republic was a huge success. Pavel Pipek is a Ph.D.

2013 51

That Awkward Moment With Feral Cats and Family

10,000 Birds

I come from a large family: five sisters, two brothers and almost everyone has kids. Most of my family lives in Indiana, but thanks to social media we can easily keep in touch. Case in point: some of my family members have become active with feral cat colony organizations. When the notices popped up on Facebook I initially hid them, figuring it’s better to pick my battles with my family.

Herpetology Vs. Ornithology

10,000 Birds

home about advertise archives birds conservation contact galleries links reviews subscribe Browse: Home / Asides / Herpetology Vs. Ornithology Herpetology Vs. Ornithology By Corey • March 2, 2011 • 4 comments Tweet Share If you like science and comic strips you definitely want to read xkcd. Hes only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasnt working as a union representative or spending time with his family.

2011 54

Breed Bans are NOT the Answer

Creature Talk

Is it any wonder that a dog who is kept chained, or treated as a security system instead of as a part of the family might act out or become aggressive? When these kinds of dogs are kept indoors, are well-trained, and treated as part of the family, they are excellent companions, and rarely aggressive. “There’s quite a bit of science that says banning a particular breed of dog has not proven to reduce dog bites.

Slate on Pepper: Stolen for Research

Animal Person

Pepper, the stolen dog who changed American science ," thankfully wasn't called Pepper, the stolen dog that changed American science," so that was an encouraging sign. Pepper was a beloved family pet. Pepper also represents a turning point in science, from an earlier age when animals for experiment would be plucked from the road or the river, to a new era of standardized, mass-produced organisms that can be shipped right to the laboratory door.

Dragonflies and Damselflies of Costa Rica: A Field Guide–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

Species are arranged by family and genus along taxonomic lines, but not always in accordance with the very latest molecular DNA research.

"Change of Heart": New Book about Animal Activism

Critter News

Change Of Heart provides science-based answers to many questions that are hotly debated among animal activists. For example, why is it so hard for our family members and co-workers – many of whom have companion animals that they love – to cut cruelty from their diets and go vegan? We received an email about a new book being released by Lantern Books. It's called "Change Of Heart: What Psychology Can Teach Us About Spreading Social Change."

2010 116

MyBowl for dogs.

4 The Love Of Animals

Hill’s has also recently launched new Science Diet Ideal Balance pet food – a wholesome, meat-first, corn free pet food that is guaranteed to make a visible, healthy difference in just thirty days. Baby has always loved her Science Diet food, so we were happy to hear about this new line. Hopefully you too will find it educational and helpful for taking care of your furry family members. Have you ever wondered if your dog is getting the proper nutrition?

2011 109

Deconstructing Slate's "Pepper" Series

Animal Person

For those who didn't read the five-part Slate series " Pepper, the stolen dog who changed American science " by Daniel Engber , I recommend it for the history, but also for the misconceptions and assumptions that you might want to discuss on the Facebook discussion about the series. Every hour of Clayton's existence has been spent, and will continue to be spent, in the service of basic science. Isn't it better for science, and more humane, to use just one animal?

2009 118

A review of the birdcentric novel “Accidentals” (the title of which is in the plural for a reason)

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She lives part-time in Uruguay and is co-director of the Fiction Meets Science program at the University of Bremen, Germany, which seeks to bridge the “two cultures” of science and literature.

2020 58

EXPLORER: Fatal Insomnia

4 The Love Of Animals

For most of us its just one annoying night, but for people with Fatal Familial Insomnia it is the beginning of the end. We succumb to it every night, yet it is one of sciences greatest mysteries. We don’t usually post about shows that are about humans (even though we love humans too), so you are probably wondering why we are sharing about an upcoming Explorer! Well, they are studying a very unique animal in hopes of helping humans overcome insomnia. The sloth!

2010 131

For the Love of Trogons

10,000 Birds

The Trogon family (and order, since the order only includes one family) is quite widespread, being found in all the tropical (and some subtropical) regions of the world. 2021 is turning out to be a good year for trogons.

The Bird Way: A Book Review

10,000 Birds

For one thing, we become more aware of cultural biases in our science (new findings on warbling female birds, for example, reveal both gender and geographic biases). Many popular science books have neither.

2020 75

100 Heartbeats

4 The Love Of Animals

Jeff holds a bachelor of science degrees in biology and anthropology and a masters degree in wildlife and fisheries. He currently resides with his family on an island in Massachusetts. I recently got the chance to read the book, 100 Heartbeats: The Race to Save Earth’s Most Endangered Species , written by Jeff Corwin. You may know Jeff from his fun and informational TV show (I know we used to watch it all the time), but he is much more than just a television show host.

2011 116

Two James Spirits: Doctor Bird Jamaica Rum

10,000 Birds

In the midst of a global pandemic, medical professionals have been heralded as heroes, with some even rising to the status of pop culture icons – even as some supposedly advanced nations have been plummeting into the depths of anti-science superstition lately.

What’s in a Name: Brewer’s Blackbird

10,000 Birds

Blackbirds, as a family, often have those simple descriptive names that are easy to mock ( Yellow-rumped Warbler , ugh) until a non-birder comes describing such a species to you and asking for an ID. He described the Brewer’s Blackbird for science more than a decade before Audubon.

National Audubon Society Birds of North America: A Guide Review

10,000 Birds

The photographs are from VIREO, the ornithological image collection associated with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, which licenses bird photographs to many guides and reference books. Audubon guides to birds have been around since 1946.

Of Bird Diets, Dangers, and Delinquents

10,000 Birds

Some jerk (I’d use a stronger word, but this is a family-friendly website) in Wisconsin is shooting raptors. Science! This week in birding news has it all covered. Er, sort of. To wit: As if beach-nesting birds don’t have enough problems , along comes a new scourge: nudists. Brings a new meaning to the term “shake your tail feathers” ! Disregard what Mary Poppins advises ; in Swansea, UK, feeding the birds will cost you (and a whole lot more than tuppence).

2014 60

Birds of Chile – A Photo Guide

10,000 Birds

Guiding aside, Howell is a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences and the author of many books, including Petrels, Albatrosses, and Storm-Petrels of North America (Princeton). If you want to write a bird guide, you should have guided people yourself.

Chile 69

Adventures of a Louisiana Birder: One Year, Two Wings, Three Hundred Species–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

Marybeth learns as she birds, embraces listing goals as a means of engaging with community, unabashedly enjoys a little competition, struggles to balance her absolute joy in birding with unexpected, life-and-death family obligations. Louisiana is a magical place to bird.

Rename All Birds Named After White People

10,000 Birds

John Porter McCown, who shot the first recorded specimen of this species known to Euro-American science, was a Confederate general, a high-ranking officer in the insurrection led by the southern plantocracy to preserve and expand Slavery and the mode of white supremacy which it supported. Zach Schwartz-Weinstein is a writer, teacher, organizer, and birdwatcher who lives in upstate New York.

2019 82

The Power of Pets Initiative

4 The Love Of Animals

“At the YMCA, we believe healthy lifestyles are about nurturing the spirit, mind and body – and pets certainly play a role in that,&# said Ted Cornelius, Executive Director, Tennessee State Alliance/Pioneering Healthier Communities, YMCA of Middle Tennessee. “We encourage families to play together every day, and incorporating the family pet is a great way to make everyone more active.&#. Mars Petcare recently launched The Power of Pets! What is The Power of Pets?

2010 100

Counting birds that count on us.

10,000 Birds

The World’s biggest citizen science wildlife count takes place this weekend. It is marketed as a family activity and limited to one hour to allow for young attention spans. It is a very simple and accessible event which requires each observer to sit for one hour in their garden or a local park. Their observations are then entered to the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch site. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is the prominent bird organisation in Great Britain.

2017 40

Arrowood Farm Brewery: Starling Brett Farmhouse Ale

10,000 Birds

And, whether I like it or not, the much-reviled starling turned out to be one of the very first species for which I could confirm breeding in this citizen-science endeavor — and for that, I had to give them a bit more attention than usual.

2020 65

Emerald Ash Borers vs. Woodpeckers (and Nuthatches)

10,000 Birds

This research suggests that the boom isn’t due to an influx of newcomers, but rather because more local birds are flourishing and successfully rearing families. If there is one silver lining to all of this gloomy news, it’s that the efforts of birders truly make a difference in helping to advance science. “Given the increasing prominence of such phenomena, citizen science projects such as FeederWatch and eBird are likely to play an even greater role in the future!”

What It’s Like to Be a Bird: A Review of the New Sibley Book

10,000 Birds

This is a delightful book, large (8-1/2 by 11 inches), filled with Sibley’s distinctive artwork and an organized potpourri of research-based stories about the science behind bird’s lives. Do they have families too and do they take care of them?

2020 87

Unflappable by Suzie Gilbert–An Author Interview

10,000 Birds

I come from a family where the worse the situation, the faster and more furiously the wisecracks fly, so I suppose I’m hardwired to look for humor. Suzie Gilbert has once again ventured into new territory and written a novel–a crazy road trip adventure entitled Unflappable.

2020 84

Bird Talk: An Exploration of Avian Communication–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

Bird communication is a complex and evolving science. Ballantine and Hyman explore how birds communicate and summarize studies on how that communication functions in diverse bird families all over the world. There was a time when I thought each bird species had its own individual song.

Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans

10,000 Birds

The single greatest challenge facing any book of science writing is balance. Otherwise, there would be no science writing, everyone would just go straight to the journals. It is also clear that the authors envision a system where crows are more romping family members, like dogs, and less decorations in a cage like so many avian captives.

2013 50

What’s in a Name: A Murrelet Assortment

10,000 Birds

According to Reedman , murre is the old Cornish world for a Razorbill , and eventually became a vernacular term for alcids more broadly; murrelet, then, makes simple sense as a name for the smaller members of the family. The Kittlitz’s Murrelet at least is named after an actual naturalist, Heinrich von Kittlitz, who bummed around the Pacific on behalf of the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Saint Petersburg.

2017 43

Review of Your Backyard

10,000 Birds

Nonetheless, I thought it might be interesting and informative to review a DVD put out by Crowe’s Nest Media , a family owned and operated company, which is how I found a copy of Your Backyard: A young beginner’s guide to identifying 18 common feeder birds by sight & sound in my mailbox earlier this week. The part about Ralph Bell is nice, especially when an attempt is made to explain the value of his decades of banding birds on his family farm.

2012 59

From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

Mr. Hurst flippantly questions the ability to measure a pig’s happiness, but sound science—not to mention common sense—clearly establishes that mother pigs locked in gestation crates with so little space that they cannot turn around for most of their lives do indeed suffer. How does the health of a farmer’s family and community figure in when they are making the decision to continue industrialized production methods?

Honey, I Shrunk The Dinosaurs!

10,000 Birds

There is a fantastic paper just out in Science : “Sustained miniaturization and anatomoical innovation in the dinosaurian anceestors of birds” by Michael Lee, Andrea Cau, Darren Naishe and Gareth Dyke. The paper that just came out in science has the following spectacular conclusion. There’s even a “rule of science” for this, called “Cope’s Rule.” Science , 345 (6196 ), 562–566.

2014 65

eBird Photo Quizzes: A Great Way to Prepare for a Trip

10,000 Birds

In a little less than two weeks my family and I will be enjoying a long weekend on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. But rather than just use field guides for visual field marks and xeno-canto for sounds I have discovered a fun way to help me prepare that also contributes to citizen science in a small but noticeable way.

2018 41

Birds of Bolivia: Field Guide–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

This is more than eBird reports–a checklist generated from the citizen science database lists only 1,413 species. Jon Fjeldså’s contributions include many of the ducks, yellow-finches, and many other families where his images of Birds of the High Andes could be used.

Restless New Zealand Fantails

10,000 Birds

Fantails are a family that, apart from the aberrant Silktail and Pygmy Drongo, are extremely similar in appearance and behaviour. The New Zealand Fantail was once placed with the Grey Fantail of Australia, but are now treated as separate, because of science. The family also reaches into India and as far east as samoa and Fiji.

I and the Bird: What is a Grebe?

10,000 Birds

And now we enter into a family of birds more or less unknown to non-birders. And truth told, over the years they’ve been something of a square peg for ornithologists too, not fitting precisely into any of the known families of birds. Genetic studies have shed some light on grebe’s place in the avian family tree of late, with a recent study suggesting that the closest relatives for this mostly small and subtly colored family are the gaudy flamingos.

2013 63

Selling Birds Short: A Heretical View Of Avian Intelligence

10,000 Birds

And if you look into it enough, it presents a classic case where science can fail us. I believe in science. Science is based on logic and evidence, which I think is a very respectable way to look at the world. But what many people fail to realize, and too often scientists themselves, is that science is elastic. Science, for many years, has done no better. A profound and deep understanding of birds is hard to complain about.

2011 67