Tag Archives: birds

Mercury and Birds

A story I’ve been working on since April came out this week. It’s about the effects of mercury pollution on bird songs. It appeared on the websites of both Environmental Health News and National Geographic. It also got a nice … Continue reading

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Hoopoes in Saudi Arabia

I spent the month of June teaching writing to teenage girls in Saudi Arabia. It was a real adventure. The girls were great–funny, enthusiastic, nerdy. Teaching was rewarding, fun, creative, and hard. I have new respect for people who actually … Continue reading

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New Bird in a City

Mostly I think new animal species are discovered in deep, dark jungles and whatnot. Not the Cambodian tailorbird; it was unknown to science until last year, when it was identified hanging out in Phnom Penh. Yes, that’s right, the Phnom … Continue reading

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Life Under the Midnight Sun

It’s summer in the Arctic. I love being able to leave for a 3-hour hike at 9 p.m. There’s no risk of getting caught out after dark and the low nighttime sun casts a beautiful yellow light. The midnight sun … Continue reading

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Museum Tourist: Muséum de Toulouse

On Saturday I went to the Museum of Toulouse. The name might lead you to expect a museum about Toulouse, but you’d be wrong–it’s the natural history museum. It’s got lots of taxidermied animals and some rocks. It proves it … Continue reading

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Museum Tourist: Museu Blau

Like I said a while ago, my first attempt to get to a natural history museum in Barcelona was not so successful. Tip for future reference: Just because there’s a natural history museum marked on the map, don’t expect to … Continue reading

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A Bird with Solid Bones

Everybody knows birds have hollow bones, right? With air pockets so they can fly better? Right. Let me introduce you to the club-winged manakin, a bird with two solid bones in each wing. I wrote about it for ScienceNOW this … Continue reading

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chimney swift excrement

Earlier this week I wrote about yet another way that scientists can use poop: as an archive. On the campus of a university in Ontario, a chimney collected 48 years of poop from chimney swifts that roosted on its walls. … Continue reading

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more bird skins

In case Friday’s blog post didn’t have enough birds in it–and I don’t know how that possibly could have been enough birds for anyone–here are some more. The day after I interviewed the scientist at Yale for my blue feathers … Continue reading

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spring approaches

In a few weeks, the trees around the Tidal Basin will burst into flower. The prediction came out yesterday: the peak should be somewhere in the range of March 24-31. (Keep up with progress on the National Park Service’s cherry … Continue reading

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