are irrupting across the upper Midwest and down the East Coast as far as the Carolinas in what could be the largest such irruption in at least 20 years
. They're here because there were a lot of lemmings in the Arctic last year, and so snowy owls made a lot of snowy owls. This year? Not so many lemmings, and so many of them have come south in search of food. [more inside]
Welcome to a tumblr of wonders.
Special Collections, archives, and libraries have many wonderful items, but getting to them all can be a bit like trying to walk into Mordor, unless you have unlimited time and grants. But now, thanks to Tumblr, you too can explore collections around the world, and one of the best comes to us from the University of Iowa. Want a Hamlet quote on a miniature book that unfolds into a tiny Globe Theatre? Of course you do. Actual flying squirrels
? Adventure with Alice
! Get close to illuminations
? Catch a glimpse of hipster frames circa 1504
More awesome librar* tumblrs inside. [more inside]
Boring day job? Watch a grizzly bear hunt for salmon at Brooks Falls
or the Lower Brooks River
in Katmai National Park, Alaska. [more inside]
"For the vast majority of people who have done this work, it has been the hardest job they have ever done, and also the best job they have ever had. but if this work is not for you — if you consider it dull or drudgery or just too hard cuz you would rather watch TV or text someone, then please don't reply because you will have a miserable summer." - A Kennedy Seeks A Deck Hand ....on Cragslist.
Why are owls so wise? Perhaps it's because they're utter badasses.
Ferocity is essential for a bird whose frigid, spotty range extends across northeastern China, the Russian Far East and up toward the Arctic Circle, one that breeds and nests in the dead of winter, perched atop a giant cottonwood or elm tree, out in the open, in temperatures 30 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Dr. Slaght’s colleague Sergei Surmach videotaped a female sitting on her nest during a blizzard. “All you could see at the end was her tail jutting out,” Dr. Slaght said.
The New York Times Science section
gives an update on some current owl research. [more inside]
Doesn't Give A Ooo-Eeee-Ooooo
from gadgetmaker/musician David Cranmer, aka Nervous Squirrel
whose other projects include Brian the Penguin
and the Programmable Musical Pig
, seen in performance with the band Nine Owls in a Baguette
. Because... well, why the owl not?
"[Irruption] is the term birders use to describe an unusual mass movement of birds into an area. But even that big word fails to capture what happened last winter when thousands of owls descended on northern Minnesota
." [more inside]
Baby owl trying to swallow rat. [youtube
They shut down part of Austin last week, thousands did it in Esperance, Western Australia
, record numbers in England
and thousands more along I-84 in Idaho
. Conspiracies abound; could it be poison, or testing EM weapons
, "some kid with a BB gun
" or drunk on hackberries
or maybe it is global warming?
Sometimes the explanation is pretty simple
but mostly, scientists are scratching their heads and wondering what is causing bird to drop dead out of the skies all over the globe at an alarming rate.
Owls are rad.
Sometimes they look kind of metallic and scary
, sometimes wise
, sometimes puzzled
, and sometimes like skulls
); 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
, 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.
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sleep (But Were Too Afraid To Ask). Circadiana
is a new specialty blog dedicated to chronobiology
. As a night owl (I'm posting this link at 2:45 AM), I look forward to many late nights reading this site.