Sense of Wonder: Night Flight

Something massive and extraordinary, perilous and strange, is happening, now. It's one of the great spectacles of nature, and until recently it was invisible to us. It's happening high in the sky—in the dark, while we're sleeping—the passage [...]

2024-04-19T11:19:21-04:00April 15, 2024|

Migrating Wonders, the rufa Red Knots

Springtime would not be complete without a trip to Cape May in hopes of spotting robin-sized and colored shorebirds called Red Knots, from the subspecies rufa, as they forage intensely for horseshoe crab eggs. They are gathering much-needed [...]

2024-04-15T15:04:54-04:00April 13, 2024|

Aerial Bird Food

Swallows, flying over a field, look like they’re performing amazing acrobatics in an empty sky! But they are actually feeding in a habitat filled with flying insects that aren’t visible to us.

2024-04-13T17:23:03-04:00April 13, 2024|

Milkweed for Butterflies

What do plants for butterflies have to do with supporting birds? Several things: Remember Doug Tallamy’s estimate that it takes 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars to raise one brood of chickadees? Well, sad to say from the butterflies’ perspective, [...]

2024-04-13T17:27:13-04:00April 13, 2024|

The Bird That Conquered Dementia

Spark Bird. My Dad, George, is 90 and has moderate dementia. He can hold a good conversation for a few minutes, making puns and funny little comments, but once a topic changes, he doesn’t remember anything that [...]

2024-03-28T16:47:11-04:00March 28, 2024|

Sense of Wonder: The Astonishing Syrinx

The human larynx is fabulous at producing an extensive range of sounds, including singing, but it’s less-than-ideal in its other function, which is to act as a valve keeping food and drink from going down the windpipe. So [...]

2024-02-13T09:59:50-05:00February 12, 2024|

How Noise Pollution Can Negatively Impact Bird Populations

Did you ever wonder how noise might affect birds and their populations? Scientists have conducted studies that have demonstrated that birds are significantly affected by noise, including while trying either to attract mates via song, establish nests, or [...]

2024-02-07T11:52:47-05:00February 7, 2024|

Exploring Bird Calls On-Screen

Have you ever noticed bird calls while watching a movie? Bird calls are often used in films to create an atmosphere or mood. To create a creepy feeling, Common Loons are often used, while the Mourning Warbler’s song [...]

2024-02-20T12:45:05-05:00February 5, 2024|

Bird Song Phrases – Mnemonics

Hey, kids.  Grown-ups seem to think that some birds sing these phrases: “Drink your tea-ee-ee!”  “Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” “Tea kettle, tea kettle, tea kettle”  “Potato chip!  Potato chip!” “Teacher, teacher, TEAcher!” [...]

2024-01-31T15:41:44-05:00January 31, 2024|

Brighten your Garden with Phloxes

Do you want to add a splash of vibrant color to your garden from spring till frost? Do you want to attract hummingbirds, butterflies and moths, and bees to boot? Then plants in the genus Phlox are for [...]

2024-01-28T15:29:58-05:00January 28, 2024|
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