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Showing posts from 2008

Bird Research - Key to Survival

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I went to graduate school at Washington State University (WSU), and as such I receive an alumni magazine on a quarterly basis. In the current issue (Winter 2008/9) there is an article about the Conner Zoological Museum, which is located on the campus of WSU, in Pullman, Washington. The article discusses a story of how research and the understanding of ecosystem functionality gained therein, can be crucial to bird survival. It is a story about a small secretive seabird form the Pacific Northwest called the Marbled Murrelet.






Marbled Murrelet Nesting in an Ancient Douglas Fir Tree, California Photographic Print

Blair, James P.


40 in. x 30 in.

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But first some information on an excellent resource for people doing research on birds - the Connor Museum. The museum began almost as soon as Washington State College opened its doors in 1892. The Conner houses one of the largest collections of birds in the Pacific Northwest - about 15,000 specimens (as a quick aside …

Hummingbird Art Prints

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I love hummingbirds. As I wrote about in my very first blog, I count the Ruby Throated Hummingbird as the first bird on my life list. I view them as nature's little jewels. So in keeping with this spirit I have found some beautiful and colorful art prints of this marvelous bird for your viewing enjoyment.






Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Art Print

Audubon, John James


23.0625 in. x 27.125 in.

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Hummingbirds and Hollyhocks I Art Print

Cravens, Rose


25 in. x 19 in.

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Calliope Art Print

Shores-Wright, Carolyn


6 in. x 12 in.

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Porch Visitor Art Print

Shores-Wright, Carolyn


12 in. x 18 in.

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Ruby Throated Humingbird with Roses II Art Print

Shores-Wright, Carolyn


12 in. x 12 in.

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Hummingbird Gardens: Turning Your Yard Into Hummingbird Heaven (21st-Century Gardening Series) From Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Hummingbirds enliven your g…

Strikingly Beautiful Birds - Resplendent Quetzal

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The dictionary defines "resplendent" as: "shining brightly; full of splendor; dazzling; splendid." This seems like an appropriate name for this beautiful member of the trogon family found in Central America. Some will say that it is one of the most spectacularly beautiful birds in the world. Hard to argue with that point of view...







Resplendent Quetzal, Central America Photographic Print

Ulrich, Tom


12 in. x 16 in.

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Male Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus Mocinno) on a Tree Branch Photographic Print

Toft, Roy


48 in. x 64 in.

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Great video...


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A Bird-Finding Guide to Costa Rica By Barrett Lawson
Features fifty-three top birding locations from across the country.


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More Information and Images:

Resplendent Quetzal

The Skua - A Unique Bird of Prey

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I have never been able to go on a Antarctic trip so I have never seen aSouth Polar Skua. I was recently reading the book "Living on the Wind - Across the Hemisphere With Migratory Birds" by Scott Wiedensaul when I came across a reference to this bird. In this book Wiedensaul quotes Robert Cushman Murphy:

"Skuas have left, he said a more vivid impression in my memory than any other bird I have met. The skuas look and act like minature eagles. They fear nothing, never seek to avoid being conspicuous, and, by every token of behavior, they are lords of the far south. In effect, they are gulls that have turned hawks."

That descriptive statement "lords of the far south" caught my eye. As all good education does, it changed my perspective - I was not aware of the dominance of this bird in this ecosystem.






South Polar Skua (Stercorarius Maccormicki), Telephone Bay, Deception Island, Antarctica Photographic Print

Pitamitz, Sergio


12 in. x 9 in.

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Bird Census Techniques

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Between all the talk of adding wind turbines to the landscape and the potential impact of this type of activity on birds and a recent article in the local paper about a report on declining bird species, I have become interested in bird census techniques. It would seem we will need data in our ongoing efforts to protect and even save bird species all around the world so I decided to look into this topic and write about it today.

I did some research and found an excellent book on this subject - "Bird Census Techniques" (Second Edition) by Colin J. Bibby. The general thrust of this book is given in the preface:

"The first edition of this book was conceived as a tool to amalgamate text on the various bird counting methodologies and act as a handbook for ornithilogical research...This second edition is offered to professional and amateur researchers, volunteer conservationists, consultant ecologists, and anyone else who is planning to survey and monitor birds but who may lac…

Birdwatcher - The Life of Roger Tory Peterson

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If you didn't know anything about the life of Roger Tory Peterson before you started reading Birdwatcher - The Life of Roger Tory Peterson by Elizabeth J. Rosenthal, you might be struck by the fact that very early on in the book, at the age of 17, he meets up with the famous bird artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes. After Fuertes tells him: "...and don't hesitate to send me your drawings from time to time", you might speculate that this laudatory attention, at such a young age and from someone he labeled "the great man", was a harbinger of great things to come. You would absolutely be right! Not only was Roger destined to be great in his career as a painter of birds, but he would meet an incredible array of people like Fuertes in his life.

Naturalist Roger Tory Peterson Taking Notes on Osprey Unruffled by Close Presence of Birder Premium Photographic Print

And so begins the tale of the illustrious life of the birdwatcher/educator/conservationist known to his friend…

Saving Beautiful Birds

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If you are like me, on those occasions when you see cranes, you find yourself staring at them in a state where time seems to stand still. Cranes are among the planet's most stunning birds, with their beautiful plumage and elegant grace. They have been the subject of prehistoric cave paintings, revealing that they have enthralled humankind for thousands of years. The International Crane Foundation, located in Baraboo, Wisconsin, fittingly only a few miles from the place where Aldo Leopold worked on his environmental classic A Sand County Almanac, is working to save these beautiful birds.
George Archibald and Ron Sauey started the foundation in 1973 after they met at Cornell University. It is located in Baraboo because Sauey's family is from there and they offered the two space in a horse barn on their property for their work. Since then, the foundation has moved to a larger nearby 95 acre area.
The foundation's facility, the only place in the world where all 15 species of cra…