Birds

Tennessee Warblers

Tennessee Warblers The ranges of certain migratory birds are impressively wondrous. Some passerines – the perching birds – are tiny dynamos. The Tennessee warbler, for example, weighs an average of 10 grams (0.35 ounces). While this diminutive stature might make flight easy, the metabolic rates of birds are astronomically high. Somehow, a creature that weighs a …

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Killdeer Lurings

Killdeer Lurings Near my home lies an abandoned tract of farmland. When I moved to the area, the acreage still produced crops, but anyone who passed could see this operation would not last forever. Surrounding all sides of the land were marks of modern urban expansion. A stone’s throw to the north runs a major …

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Bluebirds of Happiness

Bluebirds of Happiness Sawiskera, the Spirit of Winter and Darkness, plagued the Iroquois people, daily banishing the sun and conjuring yearly icy eras of tribulation. One magical melody, however, could ward off the forces of Sawiskera. This musical potion emerged from the syrinx of the Eastern bluebird.  Bluebirds are passerines, the order of perching birds …

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Tetrapteryx

Tetrapteryx Ecologist and conservationist William Beebe produced a litany of astonishing scientific achievements. He pioneered the holistic study of biomes, now the standard procedure. He became the first human to study deepsea fishes in their native environments. He discovered the odd phenomenon of army ant death spirals. His first natural love, however, belonged to the …

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