Blue jay migration in North America

This video from North America says about itself:

19 March 2018

The blue jay migration is a hard one to figure out. Some birds migrate and some don’t.


Female birds sing as well

This video from North America says about itself:

Singing female Northern Cardinal outside of the house

I heard her chirping from my open window while I was sleeping. Once I heard the singing I ran outside with the camera. The male is also heard close by.

Shaky camera as I just woke up…at 9am 3/28/2013

She looks more white than I ever noticed before, maybe a bad feather day?

From the American Ornithological Society Publications Office in the USA:

Scientists remind their peers: Female birds sing, too

March 14, 2018

When North American ornithologists hear a bird singing, they’re likely to assume it’s a male. But in many species, the females sing too — and a new commentary in The Auk: Ornithological Advances argues that a better understanding of these unappreciated female songs could lead to advances in many aspects of bird biology.

Authors Karan Odom of Cornell University and Lauryn Benedict of the University of Northern Colorado both discovered the world of female birdsong through their own research. “I started studying California towhees 17 years ago, and I was fascinated by the duet vocalization given by females and males”, says Benedict. “That led me to start looking for female song in other North American bird species, and I was surprised to learn that it was much more common than I expected. The reports of female song are buried in odd corners of the literature, but when you put them all together, you start to see some interesting patterns.”

Though singing females were likely the norm among the ancestors of today’s songbirds, female song today is understudied and is underrepresented in collections of bird sound recordings. This, say Odom and Benedict, may be result of bias toward the world’s temperate regions — though more widespread in temperate species than many ornithologists appreciate, female song is most common among tropical birds. They argue that better documentation of which species female song is present in and more detailed descriptions of female song structure and output could improve our understanding of birds’ comparative physiology, neurobiology, behavioral ecology, evolution, and even conservation. Birds of conservation concern are often located and identified by song during surveys, and assumptions that all singing birds are male could mislead wildlife managers about the state of populations.

Odom and Benedict urge their fellow ornithologists to spread the word that female birds sing, to share resources, and to disseminate their findings. You don’t need to be a professional ornithologist in order to help expand our knowledge of female song, either — Odom has created a website where any birdwatcher can upload their observations. “If you hear a bird singing, do not assume it’s a male”, she says. “If you observe a female bird singing, document it by uploading field notes, audio, or video to the collections on our website, Make sure to indicate how you recognized the bird was female.”

“Odom and Benedict have written an excellent appeal to document and record more female bird song,” adds Leiden University‘s Katharina Riebel, a former collaborator of Odom’s. “They rightly point out that the extent of female bird song has been starkly underestimated, as almost by default we assume that a singing bird must be the male of the species. As a consequence, we might have missed out many aspects and the dynamics of male and female vocal signaling in songbirds — clearly, there is still lots to discover! I am confident that ornithologists in the field can make substantial contributions toward these questions by sharing their observations and recordings, as I very much hope this article will encourage them to do.”

American downy and hairy woodpeckers, why similar?

This 2014 video from North America says about itself:

How to tell a Hairy Woodpecker from a Downy

The plumage is the same, but size and a couple of other factors set them apart.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA today:

When two species look similar, it’s natural to assume they’re close relatives. But Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers—two of North America’s best known lookalikes—aren’t closely related at all. Scientists are left wondering how they came to look so similar. One researcher decided to put his ideas to the test.

Native North American plants, good for birds

This 2015 video from the USA is called Carolina Chickadees – Up Close!

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

A Yard With Native Plants Is a Yard Full of Well-Fed Birds

Native plants are the focus of this month’s #YearoftheBird activity—planting them is a simple and rewarding thing you can do for the planet. Native plants offer healthy benefits to backyard birds, as researchers discovered when they studied Carolina Chickadees and the caterpillars they feed to their young. Read the full story and get tips for your garden.

How North American birds survive winter

This video from the USA says about itself:

25 February 2018

Winter is a tough season but birds have many ways of surviving through it. In this video, I go through a few of the ways they accomplish this.

Pectoral sandpiper on video

This video shows a pectoral sandpiper.

These North American birds are rare vagrants in Europe.

And in Svalbard in the Arctic, where I was privileged to see one.