Why Aren’t There Giant Animals Anymore?

Since I moved to Alaska and learned about the state’s Pleistocene history, I’ve bemoaned the absence of the ice-age mega-megafauna. Here in the interior, 20,000 years ago, mammoths, wooly rhinoceros, giant ground sloths, Smilodon, dire wolves, short-faced bears, American lions, and other now sadly absent animals, roamed. While a few ice-age mammals persist (think musk oxen, bison, and moose), most…

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Endemic Birds of the Desert Southwest: Where are They?

If you’ve been following my Facebook or Instagram feeds, you’ll know that I’ve spent the last several weeks road-tripping through the western states of the lower 48. Along the way, we spent some time in the deserts of the Southwest. We spent a few nights each in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona, and Joshua Tree…

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Welcome Good News – Some Birds Adapting to Climate Change

I woke this morning feeling a desperate need for some kind of good news. Something to take my mind off, um, world events? I was grateful then, to open my email and find a news release about a new study of songbirds in Pennsylvania, published in the journal Global Change Biology. The researchers, Molly McDermott and Lucas DeGroote from the…

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Just Launched! – Feathered Things

I’ve just launched a new eBook compiling the past decade of my published writing on birds and illustrated it with nearly a hundred images. There are 20 essays, covering more than 100 pages. In it is some some natural history, some science, and quite a few of my adventures chasing birds. And it’s only $2.99! Currently available as a PDF or…

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The Mysterious Gray-headed Chickadee

Gray-headed Chickadee. Ever heard of one? If not, you aren’t alone. In fact, very few people, even among passionate birders and researchers, have ever seen one. It may be the rarest regularly breeding bird in North America, and it is almost certainly the least known. There has never been a dedicated study of the species, some years go by when…

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