From the New York Times with photos by Richard Bailey
“They might be called the “rats of the sky,” but Charles Darwin certainly saw something in pigeons. It turns out the father of evolution saw in the bird an amazing variety of variation in color, shape and form. Richard Bailey, a photographer based in London, honored the 150th anniversary since the publication of “On the Origin of Species” and the 200th anniversary in 2009 of Charles Darwin’s birth by photographing some of the pigeon breeds that played such an important part in Darwin’s work.”
Aaaahhhhh so much variation from your lowly common pigeon. As much as people complain about them all the time, I will still love them regardless.
And I remember reading the article about the huge variation in them last week at work. I wish I remembered to save the link to that article, but the one they give you here the link is pretty good too. So enjoy folks.
Apparently you can make a “pshhshshshshssh” sound and attract birds’ attention. The person in the video says it’s a stress call. I don’t know if that is what it truly is, but I think I’ll give it a try the next time I hear chickadees outside. Seriously.
I think in addition to my side goal of becoming a pool shark, learning to how do bird calls would be pretty sweet. Though I can’t even whistle, so who knows how the hell I’m going to accomplish bird calls. Like I said, side goal/project…thing.
Thanks to listeninginstruments, I have stumbled upon the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library. Oh. My. Lord. Do you know just how excited I am?
What am I saying. You probably don’t. No matter. Imma just sit here and go through a whole bunch of Western bird species and…more for the next…Oh. I don’t know. Hour. Maybe Two. Though I really ought to be working on art or doing something more productive than this.
So far, my favorites are the Nashville Warbler (I’ve always wondered which bird made that call on nice peaceful days outside) and the Hermit Thrush. Really give the Hermit Thrush a listen.
“Urban birds sing differently and at a higher frequency than woodland birds in an effort to penetrate the wall of constant noise produced by traffic, machines and human activity. However, architecture also has a profound affect on their songs.”
Interesting that no matter what, birds need to take into account things that obstruct or create distortion/echoing when communicating. However, I wonder if it can work the other way, where birds may take advantage of the acoustics of different buildings and structures to possibly amplify their calls.
I would also like to point out how the article focuses mainly on frequency rather than amplitude. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but frequency determines pitch, and amplitude determines volume. So I think the article title is misleading, and would support the conclusion the author believes people would jump to. Perhaps a better title would be “Birds sing higher amidst the noise and structures of the urban jungle”
I love birds. Common Hill Myna birds are believed to be just as good at imitating/mimicking as the African Grey Parrot. They’re so popular as pets, you rarely ever see them in pet stores, because people will go directly to the breeders or importers to get one. Also, given the demand, and habitat destructions, there are areas in the world where they are near extinction. As of right now though, their conservation status is of least concern, since they’re widely distributed, and reproduce pretty quick if the adults are kept safe.
A close relative, the Common Myna however, are what a lot of people call absolute nuisances. In fact, they are now considered one of the worst 100 invasive species in the world. Why? Probably due to unintentional consequences of introducing the species to get rid of pests AND the growing human populations that lead to encroachment on their habitats/destruction of their habitats.
You can call them nuisances, but really, it can go both ways can’t it?
First new bird discovered in United States in nearly four decades
But there’s a catch - it was discovered in a museum collection. The Bryan’s shearwater was discovered in Midway Atoll in 1963 and misclassified as a little shearwater. Ornithologists at the Institute for Bird Populations discovered the mistake while compiling a book, and confirmed the different through genetic testing. Scientists are confident that its living relatives are still out there, but they have yet to find them, as they’re not even sure where the birds natively live.
Hear that noise? That’s the sound of a million amateur dead bird collectors flipping through their collection, trying to discover a new species.
Saw a two of these bouncing around on the back porch. So cute. I’m pretty sure it’s a dark-eyed Junco. Probably an Oregon Junco if we’re talking subspecies, since this is Oregon I’m livin’ in. I didn’t take the picture above, but the birds I saw looked like that one. They’re so tiny, and I love how the tail contrasts with the rest of the body because of its white feathers.
Society finches socially acquire a sense of syntax? Pretty cool. I wonder if it is found in other bird species, because it seems like that would be likely, considering how birds often use bird calls to communicate with each other and also for mating. So this brings another question I wonder about. Does the incorrect “grammar” affect mating? Hmmmm.
Also, I wanted to reblog this from someone, but then I couldn’t find the post anymore, so yeah. Thanks whoever found this article!