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This One's for the Birds

Because there are so many birds around the world, and because they often look very similar, you likely need a field guide to help you figure out what bird is in your backyard. Well, just in time for spring, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has redesigned their wonderful All About Birds site and they can help you with building your skills. Don't forget to bring your checklist!
posted by shoesfullofdust on May 2, 2009 - 18 comments

 

Twenty Times a Day

...the Department of Transportation will not keep secret the data we collect on birds striking airplanes. - Ray LaHood, United States Secretary of Transportation
From the dreaded mourning dove to the nefarious Canada goose to the humble armadillo, the FAA's recently released National Wildlife Strike Database ON-LINE contains information on aircraft/wildlife strikes from over 100,000 reported incidents between 1990 and 2008. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Apr 24, 2009 - 11 comments

David Attenborough's The Life of Birds (and other shows)

The entirety of David Attenborough's wonderful nature series The Life of Birds is available on the new YouTube TV Shows section, which is its Hulu-clone. The old PBS Life of Birds website is also worth a visit.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 24, 2009 - 33 comments

Southern California is for suckers

Tree of Bees? Hills that move? A reflective humorous post about living in Southern California via mockable.org
posted by will wait 4 tanjents on Apr 7, 2009 - 65 comments

Mine? Mine.

Birds Stealing Ice Cream (via)
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2009 - 54 comments

Miracle on the Hudson.

The Hudson River plane landing was reconstructed by SceneSystems.
posted by gman on Mar 2, 2009 - 50 comments

"Extinct" Bird Seen, Eaten

This is a metaphor for something.
posted by pianomover on Feb 20, 2009 - 71 comments

Where feather colors come from.

"Unlike virtually every other feather color, no pigment turns feathers blue. We've known that for decades. Instead, it's long been thought that a layer of cells on blue birds' feathers reflected light at blue wavelengths, similar to the phenomenon that makes the sky blue." Now, however, scientists have another explanation. [more inside]
posted by metastability on Feb 5, 2009 - 13 comments

Internet Bird Collection has videos and information on birds. I like birds.

The Internet Bird Collection has over 28000 videos of birds from all over the world. The brain-child of Josep del Hoyo (who also started the Handbook of the Birds of the World) it contains footage of more than half of all the bird species in the world, which number around 10000. Just browsing randomly I found such charming clips as a pair of gang gang cockatoos, a pair of preening and feeding Siberian cranes, a hoatzin displaying, Temnick's tragopan displaying, Kerguelen petrel swooping between waves, green hermit feeding on heliconia flowers, in flight, a pair of hamerkops mating display and American avocets mating. Or you can just go look up your favorite bird species and see if they have videos of it. Happily they had plenty of videos of my favorite bird, sterna paradisaea, the arctic tern, and I like this one best. Each bird has taxonomic and distribution information.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 3, 2009 - 25 comments

Ask the Bird Folks: award winning short nature-humor articles

Mike O'Connor, owner of Bird Watcher's General Store in MA, writes a column "Ask the Bird Folks", for The Cape Codder newspaper. Five of O'Connor's short but humorously enlightening pieces were chosen by Steven Pinker to be included in the 2004 edition of the Best American Science and Nature writing. Those five can be read here: [1],[2],[3],[4],[5]. The full set of articles here. He started in 2001 and is sort of a "Car Talk" of bird watching.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 13, 2008 - 8 comments

You're in Deep Poo now!

Post-Thanksgiving Friday Flash Fun: Damn Birds is a point and shoot game with a humorous twist. You are a statue sick and tired of bird crap and have decided to defend your honor. [more inside]
posted by schyler523 on Nov 28, 2008 - 9 comments

handpainted signs from Nepal

Beware of Dog. Nepali artists paint signs on metal. Before and After. The story behind Danger Dogs. Click on the names of the different artists at the top of the page for various styles. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 25, 2008 - 24 comments

Sky Hawk is watching you...

You may know of Kitundu as a sound artist (previously on Mefi). But did you know he also takes amazing pictures of birds? [more inside]
posted by rtha on Aug 5, 2008 - 10 comments

Heed the Birds

Brian D. Collier is attempting to teach the starlings to say the name "Schieffelin." [more inside]
posted by Knappster on Jul 25, 2008 - 19 comments

"Big Bird says it's time to wake up..."

A new round of genetic tests has confirmed it: The 'big lizards' of our childhood fantasies were more likely 'big birds.' In fact, they probably even had feathers, and looked more like this than this. Mind blowing, I know, but I guess this demonstrates that, despite what some may think, science really doesn't have a problem admitting that it got something wrong when new evidence comes to light.
posted by saulgoodman on Apr 24, 2008 - 75 comments

The Nature Photography of E.J. Peiker

E.J. Peiker, Nature Photgrapher There are a lot of nature photographers out there -- some better than Peiker and some worse -- but what fascinates me about Peiker's site is the number of photos available. A birdwatcher's dream, it features pages of photos of over 500 different species of birds, including an index devoted solely to wild waterfowl. Maybe animals are more your speed? How about nearly 150 pages of photos of wild animals (including my favorite - a quite handsome, flower-eating porcupine.) There's also a section for scenic photography featuring 23 states and 20 countries (or you can search by national park.) The photos are, unfortunately, not that big but there a ton of them, many of them quite pretty.
posted by LeeJay on Feb 29, 2008 - 13 comments

John James Audubon's Birds of America

John James Audubon's Birds of America with Audubon's original text. It's laid out by family and genus but there is also an alphabetical list of plates which has bigger versions of the bird pictures. There are also links to the state birds as well as birds driven to extinction since Audubon's time.
posted by Kattullus on Jan 9, 2008 - 16 comments

Columbidae Love

The Brooklyn Pigeon Serial Killer vs The Brooklyn Pigeon Advocate. Related to The Brooklyn Pigeon Blowdart Attacks of '98?
posted by R. Mutt on Nov 12, 2007 - 24 comments

The Lady Birds Can't Resist

The male Superb Bird of Paradise has an unusual courtship routine. First he sings. Then he hops. Finally, he busts out a spectacular finishing move, which the female finds attractive and/or totally scary. [more inside]
posted by brain_drain on Nov 8, 2007 - 29 comments

Wild Turkeys: Pigeons 2.0

Wild turkeys up to 4 feet tall are strolling on the sidewalks of Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline, Mass. Animal control officer Pierre Verrier suggests shooing turkeys away with a purse. But some people need to be near the turkeys.
posted by lukemeister on Oct 24, 2007 - 72 comments

A New Version of the Penis Game is Born

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds likes tits but not cock.
posted by Stynxno on Jun 4, 2007 - 42 comments

Masters of Deceit

Clever Ravens: "They have a long evolutionary process of espionage and counter-espionage to build on, in the course of which they became masters of deceit and problem-solving. They got better and better at guessing the intentions of others and concealing their own."
posted by dhruva on May 6, 2007 - 37 comments

'tis but a base ignoble mind...

Bee eaters and lesser kestrels.
posted by Wolfdog on Mar 3, 2007 - 12 comments

Won't someone think of the animals.

Gregory Colbert's Ashes and Snow has been linked to twice before on Metafilter. However, you can now view 10 minutes of his film as part of his Ted Talk--it's the most stunning nature footage I've ever seen. In the talk he also mentions a new concept he's developing called Animal Copyright, which I think is long overdue.
posted by dobbs on Jan 2, 2007 - 29 comments

Nature gone Wild

Birds that rap and cows with accents. The big picture is urban adaptation, which is pretty cool. (...and the egg wins.)
posted by ewkpates on Dec 28, 2006 - 17 comments

Teach us, Sprite or Bird/What sweet thoughts are thine...

RavenViewer. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers free sound analysis software that allows you to simultaneously listen to and watch spectograms of animal communication, such as the uncanny mimicry of a lovesick Satin Bowerbird or the chilling call of the Common Loon. If birds aren't your bag, there's lots of other animal sounds (and stunning video) to explore.
posted by melissa may on Dec 13, 2006 - 13 comments

Cockatoo love

A Tale of Two Cockies. A Story of Love, Compassion, Friendship & Loyalty. [Via MoFi.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 12, 2006 - 15 comments

Ask A Man?

Ask A Man? "You have come to the right place for love, relationship and dating advice. Ask a man will provide you with the love, relationship and dating answers you seek. Our staff of amazing men have agreed to break the "man code" and tell you the absolute truth about what your man is really saying to you." For example: "Men want respect. In a man's world, men are nothing without respect. In a relationship, a man needs to know his woman respects him. "
posted by feelinglistless on Oct 20, 2006 - 43 comments

History of pets in America

Kitty litter was invented in 1946. Birds were the first pets to have their own full lines of products. Canned dog food first appeared in the 1910s. Lots of interesting stuff [wav] at the University of South Carolina's Pets in America site.
posted by mediareport on Oct 9, 2006 - 18 comments

Animal Accents

We're Schleswig-Holsteins, darling. (Ah, from the Low Countries.) Cows have accents. Some other animals with accents: birds, otters, frogs, monkeys.
posted by pracowity on Aug 25, 2006 - 13 comments

The Feather Book

The Feather Book, digitized by and on display at McGill University: A seventeenth-century book containing illustrations of birds and men -- composed of real feathers, beaks, and claws. More information about the book and its contents and history can be read here.
posted by Gator on Jul 20, 2006 - 14 comments

gaudy as nature

Birds As Art: Photographer Arthur Morris shares his dazzling images of (mostly) feathered creatures in his (up to 196 so far) email bulletins. It's quite worth wading through the archive.
posted by of strange foe on Jul 6, 2006 - 9 comments

urban jungle

the new urban jungle. . . is a growing movement led by cities like San Francisco, New York, and Leiden to restore active and vibrant natural systems in urban areas. Far from the eden-like depictions of nature of yesteryear, i.e. the garden of earthly delights (nonetheless, still attracting some dynamic new christian converts), the movement has morphed into today's backyard and grassroots environmental movement which is more and more a picture of hybridity, compromise, mixed-use, and ultimately, taking nature out of the walled islands of zoos, aquaria, national parks and other thick-walled institutions and offering a different kind of everyday "unmediated" community experience with the new urban wilderness. VIDEO LINK
posted by huckhound on Jul 6, 2006 - 1 comment

birds! tadpoles! unicorns!

A good resouce for bird idenification / watching: USGS's Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter includes calls, photos and population coverage maps and seasonal birding checklists. And on a completely unrelated note, they have a sweet guide on the morphology of tadpoles. -mi-
posted by bigmusic on Jul 3, 2006 - 4 comments

Bird brains?

Searchable Ornithological Research Archive a site containing back issues of avian journals dating back to 1884. Some highlights: The landing forces of domestic pigeons, [pdf] an 1889 comparison of bird brains [pdf]
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny on Apr 13, 2006 - 5 comments

Bright Birds That Eternally Flu

Bird flu update: "At this moment, birds that travel flyways in Asia, where most bird flu cases have been found, are mingling with birds that fly through North America." Officials in Kansas and Ohio warn it will arrive this fall, as those birds fly south for the winter on North American migration pathways. The Onion jokingly predicts the government's response.
posted by salvia on Apr 9, 2006 - 23 comments

Owls are rad.

Owls are rad. Sometimes they look kind of metallic and scary, sometimes wise, sometimes puzzled, and sometimes like skulls, (Index); sometimes they sound like dogs or pigs, sometimes they sound like a little train, sometimes they sound alarmed, (Index of MP3s); sometimes you come across an extensive gallery of Central and North American owls with pictures, ranges, video, and even a description of the '04-'05 Northern Owl Invasion; sometimes it's a dynamic range map of Owls of the Western Hemisphere; sometimes it's the OwlCam homepage with downloadable owl movies, sometimes it's a series of articles on all things owl; sometimes at BiologyBase it's a printable owl sighting lifelist, sometimes it's Ruru, the morepork, New Zealand's native owl at NZBirds. Or, w0t! w0t!, it's attracting barn owls and building nest boxes at World Owl Trust. Previous MeFi birding FPP.
posted by OmieWise on Mar 28, 2006 - 34 comments

sweet, sweet nectar

Nectivorous!!! Those that eat nectar: hummingbirds, honeyeaters, miners, honeycreepers, spinebills, wattlebirds, friarbirds, lorikeets, warblers, some parrots, and of course some bats!!! Many plants are adapted to such creatures!
posted by beerbajay on Mar 21, 2006 - 18 comments

So High Friday

It wouldn't make sense if I explained it. Dogs go backwards slowly in Vitalic video. Vitalic 's last video was posted here, but this is better. (Vitalic is the last electronic artist I can remember being excited to find out more about. His Bjork remix, streamable though his site, is amazing).
posted by klangklangston on Feb 17, 2006 - 24 comments

Are you here for the jam, or the programming lesson?

This little old lady is kind enough to teach us how to make delicious deserts and canned goods, while her husband instructs us in the intricacies of caring for wild birds. Don't you just love these simple, old fashioned folks? By the way, their web site gets 78,000 hits a month, they're world travelers and they're more tech savvy than I ever hope to be.
posted by leapingsheep on Feb 9, 2006 - 40 comments

Indonesia - new species discovered

"Lost World" found in Indonesian Papua (with audio)
posted by Protocols of the Elders of Awesome on Feb 7, 2006 - 21 comments

The Birds of Shakespeare

The Birds of Shakespeare No, not Juliet and Ophelia. "The eagle is cited some forty times. The two birds of this kind native to Britain [are] the golden eagle and the white-tailed or sea-eagle. [Shakespeare] may have occasionally seen…[eagles] on the wing, though his allusions hardly suggest any personal familiarity with the birds. Recognizing the lofty rank of the eagle and its acknowledged dignity above the other birds of prey, he makes the birds themselves, in the arrangements for the obsequies of the Phoenix and Turtle, admit this supremacy."
posted by feelinglistless on Feb 4, 2006 - 5 comments

Brazilian bird songs

Songs of Brazilian Birds A fantastically diverse collection of .au files, including the beautifully evocative Organ Wren or Uirapuru, the mooing of the Capuchinbird, the sci-fi minimalism of the Short-tailed Antthrush and a duet of Laughing Falcons (they'll make you laugh at the end).
posted by mediareport on Jan 23, 2006 - 14 comments

Turgodumalguineafochickpheapapigwoodcock!

Turduckens are for the WEAK. A stuffed roast consisting of ten different birds, just in time for the holidays. No, seriously. Just in time. You should start all the prep work now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Dec 21, 2005 - 61 comments

The bird died in vain.

Suicide by exterminator. "Not since Cock Robin has the death of a tiny bird caused such emotion". An endangered bird killed for "knocking over a few dominoes for a game". Granted, 23,000 dominoes in a world record attempt taking over a month to set up, but still, less than 1% of the final goal. Geenstijl.nl offered a bounty of 5000 euri for anyone who "willen saboteren" but it is now too late. klik heir for a tv clip of the record.
posted by dness2 on Nov 21, 2005 - 44 comments

Bob Elsdale:photographer

Some pictures you are sure to like.
posted by hortense on Nov 21, 2005 - 88 comments

Parrot vs. Utility Company round 2

Parrot outrage! Though their existance is a bit of a curiousity, the fact that a population of parrots exists in the wild in southern New England isn't really news to anyone who visits this site frequently. But the way a local power company is choosing to deal with them is making news in southern Connecticut. The monk parakeet builds huge nests out of sticks and twigs, mostly in trees but sometimes on power poles. The large nests present a growing safety problem, often leading to transformer fires and explosions. It was recently reported in both major southern CT newspapers that United Illuminating has begun a secret program of dismantling nests found on power poles and sending the birds to the government for eradication. Previous programs in other states have ended the way this one appears headed: eventually, the utility gives way to public pressure and either leaves the nests intact or destroys the nests but not the birds themselves.
posted by wakko on Nov 19, 2005 - 23 comments

John James Audubon: The Birds of America

Harmonie/Harmony: a beautiful flash of birds,poetry imbedded 435 clicks
posted by hortense on Oct 29, 2005 - 8 comments

Digitized Central American Biological History

Electronic Biologia Centrali-Americana is a collaboration between the Smithsonian, Missouri Botanical and Kew Gardens, the British Natural History Museum and various other institutions which has enabled the digitizing of 58 volumes of natural history about central America produced between 1880 and 1920. It includes descriptions of more than 50,000 species with images of more than 18,000 birds, more birds, snakes, turtles, centipedes, spiders, more spiders, plants, mollusks, more plants, butterflies, orthoptera insects, more butterflies and their family's (moth-like) families, mammals and even some historic maps of the region. There is a parallel project attempting to provide access to much more scientific data and specimens between these institutions. Note: 'next' button at top +/- bottom of these large thumb pages; large high resolution jpegs work (in most cases) but zoom and .pdfiles are not yet enabled. I've only just scratched the surface.
posted by peacay on Sep 26, 2005 - 9 comments

For the Birds and Bird Lovers

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a great source for all kinds of information on our feathered friends. The bird identification section is particular useful. There are also NestCams.
posted by sciurus on Sep 26, 2005 - 6 comments

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