June 2012

Kinglet Calyptura is a Tyrant Flycatcher

Thumbnail image for Kinglet Calyptura is a Tyrant Flycatcher by Rich Hoyer 30 June 2012

The world’s largest bird family just got one bigger, now about 415 species. The enigmatic Kinglet Calyptura, best known from specimens over a hundred years old, seems to be close to extinction in the wet forests of southeastern Brazil. It’s been long touted as an example of the bizarre diversity within the neotropical suboscine family [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #3

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #3 by Rich Hoyer 29 June 2012

In this final blog on Jamaican birds, I’ll write about the last five endemic subspecies and give honorable mention to one more near-endemic. The Bananaquit is a familiar bird throughout the Caribbean as well as the mainland throughout the Neotropics. Yet everywhere you go they look and sound different. Presumably, the ancestor of the Bananaquit [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #2

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #2 by Rich Hoyer 21 June 2012

Here’s yet another set of six species found as endemic subspecies on Jamaica. Which ones should be considered separate species? Let’s have a look. Greater Antillean Elaenia occurs here in the higher elevations, but is a scarce bird, at least in March to early April, which is when I’ve led most of my 12 tours [...]

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Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #1

Thumbnail image for Jamaica’s Endemic Subspecies #1 by Rich Hoyer 6 June 2012

So, now after having delineated 28 species of birds endemic to Jamaica (including the two forms of the Streamertail, currently lumped but he AOU), it’s time I start introducing the endemic subspecies. Some are so distinctive as to clearly warrant species-level recognition, while others aren’t so different from mainland or other island forms, and you [...]

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Spreading The Magic of Birding.

Thumbnail image for Spreading The Magic of Birding. by Gunnar 4 June 2012

Spreading the birding gospel is necessary. A crowd of birders such on the photo is not a bad thing. Gunnar Engblom argues that there is a birder in all of us, and that festivals such as the Biggest Week of American Birding can convert the Muggles to find the magic of birding.

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How many Longeared Owls fit in a tree?

Thumbnail image for How many Longeared Owls fit in a tree? by DaleForbes 3 June 2012

At least 200. With space for a Short-eared Owl. Well, at least if you are in the little Hungarian town of Hortobagy in Winter. We were in the steppes of Hortobagy earlier this year and our guide – Balazs Szigeti – couldn’t wait to get us in to the quaint village of Hortobagy to show [...]

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