I just don’t know what to think

Posted June 24th, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Back in 2005 it was announced that the ivory-billed woodpecker had been definitively identified in the Big Woods area of Arkansas. I was astounded. In fact, a few years prior I had drawn a line through the species in one of my books and penciled in the word "extinct." So this announcement was a sort of [...]

Shots in the dark

Posted June 23rd, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

The black rail is one of those birds we in the Northland can only wish for. I remember hearing of one in the Aberdeen, SD area several years ago–an extremely rare sighting for this skulking little ground hugger. Roc, phoenix, thunderbird, dodo, black rail…the chances of seeing any one of these around here is as close [...]

Early rise produces new bird for yard

Posted June 22nd, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Look through virtually any field guide of the birds of North America and it will depict expected ranges for all the various species. Some are known to wander beyond these artificial "borders," others adhere quite closely to specific areas. One very recognizable bird is pretty tidily tucked into its designated area, the Northern cardinal. The Fargo area [...]

Music to pick a home by

Posted June 20th, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

An experiment conducted by researchers in New Hampshire produced results I personally find extremely intriguing. Scientists, led by Matthew Betts of Oregon State University, have shown that one species of songbird–the black-throated blue warbler–uses another cue to select nesting habitat other than just vegetation…that of singing birds. What Betts and his team did was play [...]

A true albino example

Posted June 19th, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

I mentioned the vagueness surrounding aberrant coloration descriptions of birds in my June 16 post, "celebrating weirdness." Albinism, as I mentioned, is recognized by a complete lack of pigment and pink soft parts. To view a great example of such a bird–in this case it’s a crow–check out today’s story from CBC news. Some slight clarification is [...]

Feeding ban…will it help?

Posted June 19th, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Florida has banned the feeding of brown pelicans in an attempt to keep the birds from becoming victims of fishing gear entanglements. It’s a worthy cause, I suppose, but I wonder if it will have much effect. From News-journalonline.com: "We want to get the word out that it’s a great idea not to feed pelicans," [...]

Singing pays off

Posted June 19th, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

 (from my yard) Last year a brown thrasher sang all summer from a position just south of where I live. I wondered all along whether this bird had nested or even attracted a mate. As the summer came to a close and the bird moved on, my guess was that this particular bird was unsuccessful [...]

Add another bird species to world list

Posted June 19th, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

For only the second time ever in that country (the first coming in the 1930s), Chinese ornithologists have discovered a new species of bird along its border with Vietnam. They have named it the Nonggang Babbler. China View has released the story today. Apparently this particular bird is a skulking, mostly ground dweller with little [...]

“Bird whisperer” dies

Posted June 18th, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Today produced another item in the I’ve-never-heard-of-that-before category. An Associated Press story with a Decatur, Ill., byline announced the death of an 85-year-old man (James Soules) known in that area to rid problem birds from cities using closely guarded means that were never divulged. Soules kept his tactics secret, making him a local legend. The only [...]

$$$…guess I should start carving

Posted June 17th, 2008 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

 (a real ruddy duck drake) I am not in the fraternity of decoy carvers but am aware that some artists can become quite well known and fetch a hefty price when selling their wares. In April, the Midwest Decoy Collectors Association met in Illinois for their annual convention. One of the "stars" of the show [...]