Darwin

Darwin’s Finches

Thumbnail image for Darwin’s Finches by GregLaden 16 September 2011

A quick break from sexual selection (we’ll get back to it) to read Darwin’s words about the famous finches and other birds of the Galapagos. Of land-birds I obtained twenty-six kinds, all peculiar to the group and found nowhere else, with the exception of one lark-like finch from North America … The other twenty-five birds [...]

1 comment …continue reading

Darwin’s Sexy Sons

Thumbnail image for Darwin’s Sexy Sons by GregLaden 2 September 2011

Darwin saw the same thing others had seen … an enigma of nature … and took equal note of it. But others explained this enigma in a way that made sense to them but that was completely wrong. Darwin produced an alternative explanation that was both convincing and frightening. Darwin’s explanation was much closer to [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Birds, Darwin, Sex: Foreplay

Thumbnail image for Birds, Darwin, Sex: Foreplay by GregLaden 26 August 2011

Birds played an important role in Darwin’s thinking about evolution, both from his observations of bird variation and biogeography and his observation of breeding birds in England. But they also played a very important role in his development of one of his most important theories: Sexual Selection. I’d like to address this development over the [...]

0 comments …continue reading

The Dove of Peace Has Not Always Been Safe

Thumbnail image for The Dove of Peace Has Not Always Been Safe by GregLaden 19 August 2011

This dove is one of the most abundant birds in the Archipelago. It frequents the dry rocky soil of the low country, and often feeds in the same flock with the several species of Geospiza. It is exceedingly tame, and may be killed in numbers. Formerly it appears to have been much tamer than at [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Birds Feared Darwin

Thumbnail image for Birds Feared Darwin by GregLaden 22 July 2011

If Darwin was alive today he would be a bird watcher. But he would do his bird watching differently, using a nice set of binoculars rather than a shotgun. In his autobiography, Darwin reminisces In the latter part of my school life I became passionately fond of shooting, and I do not believe that anyone [...]

1 comment …continue reading

The mocking bird mocks ironically

Thumbnail image for The mocking bird mocks ironically by GregLaden 15 July 2011

Most people think of Darwin and Birds in relation to Darwin’s Finches. Unless, of course, you’ve heard a bit more about Darwin than the first-order mythology we tend to attach to our scientific leaders and know that Darwin ignored the finches and the whole bird evolution thing was figured out later by someone else. But [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Where the abyss touches the sky: a Booby and Noddy ecosystem

Thumbnail image for Where the abyss touches the sky: a Booby and Noddy ecosystem by GregLaden 8 July 2011

An entire ecosystem based on a bird? Apparently so.

2 comments …continue reading

Darwin on the Andean Condor

Thumbnail image for Darwin on the Andean Condor by GregLaden 1 July 2011

Darwin demonstrates his approach to doing science in his description of the Andean Condor, which was used in the monograph on birds that came out of the famous voyage of the Beagle.

3 comments …continue reading

Darwin’s Other Birds: Introduction

Thumbnail image for Darwin’s Other Birds: Introduction by GregLaden 24 June 2011

Despite rumors to the contrary, Charles Darwin knew his birds. In fact, some of the most interesting writing on birds is to be found in his work. And, for the next several weeks, that’s where we’ll be looking for knowledge and inspiration of an avian kind.

0 comments …continue reading

Greg Laden joins Birdingblogs

Thumbnail image for Greg Laden joins Birdingblogs by Gunnar 23 June 2011

If you have you checked out NatureBlogNetwork lately (that is within the last 3-4 years), you may have noticed the name in the title. Greg Laden is number 1. His blog on ScienceBlogs.com gets around 4000 unique visits per day. That’s right! 4000 people visit his blog every day! Now Greg is blogging for Birdingblogs on Fridays. Maybe not every Friday, but he has quite a few posts in the bag scheduled. Greg shall be blogging here about Darwin’s lesser known birds.

1 comment …continue reading