In bird watching, there are certain species that are casually referred to as “invisible;” not because they’re difficult to see, but because they’re either so commonly seen or of such little interest to most observers as to go unnoticed. Both the American Robin and the American Crow fall into this category, as does the Rock […]
One of the most valuable bits of advice – so it has been proven to me by experience – that I received back when I first took up bird watching was “always look at the ducks.” The logic was that ducks, being – like crows and gulls – so commonly seen by most people in […]
When a female Passenger Pigeon – named Martha by those who tended to her daily needs at the Cincinnati Zoo – died in her cage on 1 September 1914, a species of bird that only a hundred years prior had numbered in the billions forever vanished from the face of the planet. Other bird species, […]
When it comes to bird families whose members are tricky to learn to identify, gulls and warblers would likely be near the top of most any bird watcher’s list. However while gulls do present the challenges of multi-year plumage cycles and frequent identity-confounding hybridizations, they are fairly large, often lethargic birds that can commonly be approached and observed for lengthy periods of time. Warblers, on the other hand, are very small feathered darts that even when they do perch to glean are rarely stationary for more than a second or two. Yet while a number of books have been published on learning to identify gulls, warblers have generally been treated as simply another family to puzzle out like the rest included in field guides.