Get your head out of the sand! Ostriches are actually pretty amazing.

It's #ThursdayBirdsday! This week, it's time to bust some myths, bow down in awe, and learn something new about the big birds that look like emus. (Rhyming was the only reason for that last bit and I don't regret it.) You’re probably wondering why the ostrich in the main image seems so shocked. Well, then … Continue reading Get your head out of the sand! Ostriches are actually pretty amazing.

Birding by Smartphone

In 1917, the American poet Wallace Stevens published a poem called 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. In truth, 13 is a major understatement, with just as much variation in "why" as their is in "how". Whether you're a life "lister", a casual admirer, or anywhere in between, at some point each and every one of has had a moment where we saw a bird and thought to ourselves, "what is that?"

Gulls and the Concrete Sea: Why do Seagulls Love Parking Lots?

Most know them as seagulls, a name which implies a proclivity for life at sea. Yet this familiar moniker is neither accurate (scientifically speaking), nor seems to fall in line with a universal observation---gulls love parking lots, whatever their distance from the salty sea

Pelicans Are Pretty Fly

How do Pelican beaks work? How much can they fit in their pouch? How do Pelicans hunt? I've got the answers to those and more!

Ask TWL: The Crested Caracara

The Northern Crested Caracara is a medium-sized raptor, smaller than a goose, but bigger than other birds in the Falcon family like the Peregrine Falcon.

The envy of the Bald Eagle, the Crested Caracara is, well, crested---which is sort of a way of describing a bird faux-hawk (pun-intended).

The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

Chrissy Bowker of Texas asks, “What’s this animal?” COMMON NAME: Yellow-crowned Night Heron SCIENTIFIC NAME: Nyctanassa violacea; ORDER, Pelecaniformes DIET: Mainly crustaceans, insects, and some types of fish. Occasionally, it may feed on small lizards, rodents, or other small birds. SIZE: Average height, 25 inches; Wingspan, 44 inches WEIGHT: Average weight, 1.65 pounds HABITAT: Wetlands, marshes, bayous, shallow lake shores, mangroves, and … Continue reading The Yellow-Crowned Night Heron

The Tree Swallow

Species: Tachycineta bicolor                      Order: Passeriformes Chrissy Bowker of Texas (who, yes, also happens to be my mother) asks, "What's this animal?" The bird in the picture above is none other than the Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor. The Tree Swallow is an insectivorous, migratory passerine bird that breeds in … Continue reading The Tree Swallow

How To: “Life-Size” Eagle Nest Display

Sometimes understanding something is as simple as putting yourself in someone else's shoes, or in this case, nest. I spent a summer working as a Park Ranger for Gull Lake Recreation Area in Brainerd, Minnesota for the US Army Corps of Engineers. While there, I did weekly interpretive programs as any park ranger does, but … Continue reading How To: “Life-Size” Eagle Nest Display