Peterson Reference Guide to Bird Behavior

There is a stereotype of a certain type of birder, sometimes called a lister, ticker, or twitcher, who is only concerned with identification, chasing rarities, and adding new species to a life list, while the behavior and the lives of the birds are unimportant. I don’t know how many birders actually fit that stereotype, but it is certainly true that many birders know little about the behavior of the birds they chase. Even backyard birders might initially know little about the chickadees that are coming to their feeders. Read More

Post-fledging ecology of endangered Golden-cheeked Warblers

Ever since I was a child I’ve had a passion for wildlife conservation, especially endangered species. It was almost too good to be true, then, when I started my thesis work on an endangered avian species that was endemic to Texas, the Golden-cheeked Warbler. The University of Illinois provided this research connection in collaboration with the Fort Hood Military Installation, which holds one of the largest Golden-cheeked Warbler populations... Read More

The Secret Perfume of Birds: Uncovering the Science of Avian Scent

The COVID19 pandemic presented an enormous scientific challenge almost unparalleled in its urgency. Among the myriad of questions laid at the feet of virologists and epidemiologists by the emergence of SARS-CoV2 was the question of transmission. We all recall the first months of the pandemic in early 2020 and the guidelines calling for frequent handwashing and distancing of two meters... Read More

Cryptic migration in a common feeder bird shows it’s a great era for avian natural history

With all of the incredible revelations in ornithology during the 21st century, it’s easy for a young birder who wants to “discover new things about birds” to feel like they’re late to the scene. But upon getting deeper into field ornithology, it becomes readily apparent how much basic life history of North American birds remains […] Read More

Europe’s Birds: An Identification Guide

When Europe’s Birds: An Identification Guide arrived, my initial thought was ‘Do we really need another guide to Europe’s birds?’ The first thing I noted was that the book is a photographic guide and the second that its subtitle is ‘An identification guide’ rather than a ‘field guide,’ – a difference which is significant and one we will get back to later. Read More

OC bimonthly news brief January-February 2022

The Ornithological Council is pleased to provide this bimonthly report covering activities in January and February 2022. The Ornithological Council’s mission is to: Ensure that the best ornithological science is incorporated into legislative, regulatory, and management decisions that affect birds; Enhance the ability of ornithologists to pursue professional activities; and Promote the influence of ornithology... Read More

Habitats of the World: A Field Guide for Birders, Naturalists, and Ecologists

As any field guide aficionado will recognize, field guides focused on habitats are uncommon. But this rarity does prompt the questions: Just who needs a field guide to habitats? and how are we defining “habitat”? Fortunately, the introductory material of this book does a nice job of explaining that (a) the intended audience is anyone traveling with the express interest of viewing birds and other charismatic wildlife... Read More