Category Archives: Birds

Laggard Tundra Swan

Tundra swans, also commonly called whistling swans (Cygnus columbianus), breed in the high Arctic tundra and winter along the coasts of Canada and the United States. Leonard and I love to watch these elegant birds as they swim in the … Continue reading

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Northern Shoveler

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I am calling 2019 “The Year of the Shoveler”. No matter where Leonard and I have observed waterfowl this year, northern shovelers (Spatula clypeata) seem be present in larger numbers than we ever remember seeing before. These shovelers were photographed … Continue reading

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Savannah Sparrow

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I always believed that the Savannah sparrow’s (Passerculus sandwichensis) common name referred to its preferred habitat; open areas, usually with short grass. To my surprise, Alexander Wilson (1766 – 1813), a Scottish-American ornithologist, named the bird after a specimen he … Continue reading

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Least Sandpiper

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The smallest of the Caladrine sandpipers (genus Caladris) are called “peeps” or “stints”. The least sandpiper (Caladris minutilla) is the smallest of the “peeps”. (The other two common “peeps” are the western and semipalmated sandpipers.) Identification of the Caladrine sandpipers … Continue reading

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Happy Ending

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This post is simply a story with a happy ending and pictures of a cute little bird. Last week a friend brought over a lesser goldfinch female (Spinus psaltria) that crashed into her glass sliding door in Lookout CA (Modoc … Continue reading

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Bergmann’s Rule

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Bergmann’s Rule (the third ecographic rule) was formulated in 1847 by Karl (also seen as Carl) Bergmann (1814 – 1865), a German biologist. It states that the same or closely related species tend to be larger in colder climates. It … Continue reading

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Allen’s Rule

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There are three principal Ecographic Rules for terrestrial environments: Allen’s Rule, Gloger’s Rule and Bergmann’s Rule. Ecographic Rules are concerned with variations in traits (mainly morphological) of organisms over goegraphical gradients. Allen’s Rule was discussed previously. (see “Gloger’s Rule” 10-10-16) … Continue reading

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