Friday, April 25, 2014

Top Recent Magazine Articles about Birds

Let's belatedly call this Bird Week at ricklibrarian. There may be many bird weeks to come, as I always enjoy reading about birds and birding. If you do, too, here are some recent magazine articles that I suggest to you.

"Flight Club" by Alex Shoumatoff and photographs by Melissa Groo. Smithsonian, March 2014. Pages 54-67. 

The author tells us what it is like to visit the sandhill cranes at their spring migration stopover on the Platte River in Nebraska. Shoumatoff tells us about crane evolution, migration routes, and future survival, while Groo adds some beautiful photographs. Reading the article makes me want to go to Nebraska some spring soon. (Thanks to Bonnie who found this article. If I go, she goes, too.)

"A Mighty Wind" by Ted Williams. Audubon, March-April, 2014. Pages 32, 34, 64-67.

Articles written by Ted Williams under the banner "Incite" always tackle difficult topics. In this latest issue of Audubon, he measures the impact of wind turbine crashes on bird populations. He interviews research scientists, government wildlife experts, and birders. There are statistics to ponder, but there is no consensus.

"Have Lemmings, Will Travel" by Scott Weidensaul. and photographs by Francois Portmann. Audubon, March-April, 2014. Pages 36-40, 62.

The winter of 2013-2014 will be remembered not only for the snow and bitter cold across much of the U.S. but also for the surprising large number of snowy owls that migrated south, sometimes to places where they had never before been seen. The author reports on the irruption (a word birders should learn). One point is that snowy owls have an uncanny ability to locate sources of food and communicate the information to others. They will go where the food is, not back to prior haunts. Unlike many birds, they show little site fidelity (another good term to learn).

"Hotel Kalahari" by Bernd Heinrich and photographs by Dillon Marsh. Audubon, March-April, 2014. Pages 42-45.

This is the third of three articles from one issue. Birds are still a primary concern of Audubon. The readers sees and reads about spectacular communal nests built by sociable weavers. Sociable weavers (Philetairus socius) is a species - I looked it up.

"Marsh Madness" by Scott McMillion and Photographs by Karine Aigner. Nature Conservancy, November-December 2013. Pages 52-59. 

The author tells about the annual Christmas Bird Count at Mad Island Marsh Preserve in Texas, which had recorded the highest number of species of any count sites in the U.S. in 14 of 15 years at the time of the writing of the article. There are seven nice bird photos that are not captioned. Readers have to do their own identifications.

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