Puffins We recently declared the Dalmatian to be one of the most recognizable dogs on the planet. Certain types of critters are so distinctive that most humans can identify them with just a glimpse. Some of these animals stand out because of their size or shape, such as the elephant or the crab, but not necessarily their

Puffins Read More »

Black Robins

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Humans Saving Species

Black Robins In 1976, conservationist Don Merton disembarked from a boat in tempestuous seas and ascended 600 feet up a rock stack known as Little Mangere Island. This spit is a tiny member of the Chatham Islands, which rest 400 miles east of New Zealand’s South Island. Little Mangere covers just 37 acres, a mere blip

Black Robins Read More »

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

Tennessee Warblers Read More »

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

Killdeer Lurings Read More »

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

Bluebirds of Happiness Read More »


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

Tetrapteryx Read More »

Wild Turkeys

Wild Turkeys O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him: how he jets under his advanced plumes! – Shakespeare, Twelfth Night Here in the United States, we are on the precipice of Thanksgiving, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November. Traditionally, the protein of choice at feasts and banquets far and wide is

Wild Turkeys Read More »