grrlscientist

Journal Club: Scarlet macaw genome sequenced

by Grrlscientist 15 May 2013

SUMMARY: The newly-sequenced scarlet macaw genome will provide many important insights into avian and human biology, behaviours and genetics and will contribute to parrot conservation. Scarlet macaw, Ara macao, in flight.Image: Tambopata Research Center. [NOTE: This image has been altered; it has been cropped.] After many years of research into the behaviours, diseases, genetics and [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Alphabet Bird Collection | Book Review

by Grrlscientist 8 May 2013

Summary: A delightful book for baby birders that is crammed with poetry, information and gorgeous paintings of birds! Oh yeah, it teaches the letters of the English alphabet, too. Magpie. Image: acrylic painting by Shelli Ogilvy (2008). Do you wish to share your love of birds, art and books with (your) children? If so, then [...]

1 comment …continue reading

New innovation to ease springtime mudflat-squidging

Thumbnail image for New innovation to ease springtime mudflat-squidging by Grrlscientist 3 April 2013

SUMMARY: If your idea of observing “spring” includes binoculars, then you will love this fabulous new innovation Do you like to watch birds and other animals (or even your neighbours)? If so, then you’ll be happy to learn about a wonderful advance in technology that is guaranteed to add thousands if not millions of new [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Hitler misses a hoary redpoll | video

Thumbnail image for Hitler misses a hoary redpoll | video by Grrlscientist 16 January 2013

SUMMARY: If Hitler had been a bird watcher, how might he have reacted to not being the first person to see and photograph hoary redpolls in Colorado recently? If Hitler had been a birder in the United States, this is what may have happened when the hoary (Arctic) redpoll was recently spotted by someone else [...]

1 comment …continue reading

Regarding that viral golden eagle video wherein the Guardian becomes part of the online noise machine

Thumbnail image for Regarding that viral golden eagle video wherein the Guardian becomes part of the online noise machine by Grrlscientist 19 December 2012

SUMMARY: Shame on you, Guardian, for sharing fraudulent video with an unsuspecting public, thereby promoting misunderstanding of birds and fear of nature It seems that the public and the media are wildly grasping for crazy stories to focus attention on this holiday season, but one particular “story” is a video “gone viral”. This amateur video [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Journal Club: Polly gets his own cracker: clever cockatoo manufactures, uses tools | video |

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: Polly gets his own cracker: clever cockatoo manufactures, uses tools | video | by Grrlscientist 21 November 2012

SUMMARY: Not known to manufacture or use tools in the wild, a captive cockatoo demonstrates that parrots can make tools to suit their needs.   If you’ve ever lived with a parrot, then you are well aware that they come with a built-in multi-purpose tool attached to their faces. For this reason, most parrots do [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Journal Club: Sing for your supper: fairy-wren chicks must sing vocal password for food

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: Sing for your supper: fairy-wren chicks must sing vocal password for food by Grrlscientist 14 November 2012

SUMMARY: Female fairy-wrens teach their chicks a vocal password before they hatch to distinguish them from brood parasitic bronze-cuckoo chicks How do parents recognize their offspring when the cost of making an error is high? To avoid wasting valuable time and energy by raising chicks of another species that commonly sneaks eggs into its nest, [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Journal Club: One-eyed wooing

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: One-eyed wooing by Grrlscientist 10 October 2012

SUMMARY: A newly published study shows that beauty is in the right eye of the beholder for birds, providing the first demonstration in any animal of visual lateralization of mate choice. Conservation biologists are well aware that the most challenging part of their job is to convince their animals to breed — it’s certainly not [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Journal Club: Wild parrots name their babies | video |

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: Wild parrots name their babies | video | by Grrlscientist 22 September 2012

SUMMARY: Wild green-rumped parrotlet parents give their babies their own individual names People who live with parrots know that they can mimic their human care-givers as well as many of the common sounds in their environment. Although such mimicry is delightful, it does raise the question of what purpose does vocal mimicry serve for wild [...]

1 comment …continue reading

Journal Club: Extinct Carolina parakeet provides glimpse into evolution of American parrots

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: Extinct Carolina parakeet provides glimpse into evolution of American parrots by Grrlscientist 19 September 2012

SUMMARY: DNA obtained for the first time from extinct Carolina parakeets reveals their closest relatives and provides insight into the evolution of New World parrots .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. The Carolina parakeet, Conuropsis carolinensis (pictured above), was the only endemic parrot in the United States. It had one [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Duck gauntlet | video |

Thumbnail image for Duck gauntlet | video | by Grrlscientist 15 September 2012

SUMMARY: Why did the mother duck lead her ducklings across the road? To give watching humans a collective heart attack! It’s an age-old riddle: why did the chicken cross the road? Even school children ask this, intending it as a joke. But when a mother duck decides to shepherd her brood of day-old ducklings across [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Restoring Beauty | video |

Thumbnail image for Restoring Beauty | video | by Grrlscientist 8 September 2012

Prosthetic upper mandible. SUMMARY: A seriously injured bald eagle now has a bionic beak, thanks to modern technology One morning in 2005, an adult female bald eagle was spotted whilst scrounging for food at a landfill in Alaska. Emaciated, she was starving to death in the midst of a bounty of food. A poacher had [...]

1 comment …continue reading

I’ve just met a goose named Maria, and suddenly nothing will ever be the same | video |

Thumbnail image for I’ve just met a goose named Maria, and suddenly nothing will ever be the same | video | by Grrlscientist 2 September 2012

SUMMARY: A retired salesman is befriended by a lonely goose whilst walking around a manmade lake in a small park in a very big city Maria in quarantine at the Los Angeles Zoo (screenshot/CBS News). .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. This interesting video shows how strong the pair bond [...]

1 comment …continue reading

Journal club: Two new owl species may provide insight into how early birds colonised the Philippines

Thumbnail image for Journal club: Two new owl species may provide insight into how early birds colonised the Philippines by Grrlscientist 24 August 2012

SUMMARY: Two new owl species were discovered in the Philippine Islands and five more Philippine owls were given full species status The Philippine Archipelago is filled with a tremendous variety of living things, and hundreds of new species have been discovered recently on the islands. The most recent addition to this roll call of biodiversity [...]

2 comments …continue reading

Journal Club: New species of barbet discovered in Peru

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: New species of barbet discovered in Peru by Grrlscientist 20 August 2012

Sira barbet, Capito fitzpatricki, Seeholzer, Winger, Harvey, Cáceres & Weckstein, 2012, photographed at the Río Shinipo locality in Cerros del Sira in the Ucayali Region, Peru (South America). Image: Michael G. Harvey/Cornell University, 4 November 2008 [velociraptorise]. Canon EOS 20D, 1/250 sec, f/8.0, 400 mm, iso:400 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Scotts Miracle-Gro – the bird-killing company?

Thumbnail image for Scotts Miracle-Gro – the bird-killing company? by Grrlscientist 21 March 2012

Corporate crime – bird killers! SUMMARY: The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company pleads guilty to knowingly selling poisoned birdseed, and lawn and garden care products containing undocumented pesticides to an unsuspecting public I recently heard about the most astonishing corporate crime: the American company, Scotts Miracle-Gro, violated US federal environmental laws by manufacturing and selling poisoned birdseed [...]

2 comments …continue reading

Birds of prey as ambassadors of peace in the Middle East

Thumbnail image for Birds of prey as ambassadors of peace in the Middle East by Grrlscientist 9 February 2012

Not long ago, I told you that bird-friendly California vineyards may have fewer insect pests, but what about relying on birds to control another common food crop pest; rodents? Food crops and their rodent pests are a common problem everywhere. But when faced with putting out poisons — poisons that not only kill rodents but also harm human health and the land itself — farmers are increasingly looking for other solutions to address these ubiquitous pests. One such solution is birds of prey.

1 comment …continue reading

Santa explained

Thumbnail image for Santa explained by Gunnar 22 December 2011

Santa has no time to rest Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with due to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, providing he travels from East to West. He has to deal with 1800 household visits per second. Birdingblogs own GrrlScientist writes today in the Guardian: How does Santa [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Journal Club: The economics of tree swallow brood sex ratios

Thumbnail image for Journal Club: The economics of tree swallow brood sex ratios by Grrlscientist 14 December 2011

Tree Swallow brood sex ratios SUMMARY: Tree swallows reveal that brood sex ratios are an economic balancing act with far-reaching evolutionary consequences Skewed sex ratios have been widely discussed in the news. But a demographic imbalance in the sexes is not purely a human phenomenon: it can occur throughout the animal kingdom. Several studies have [...]

0 comments …continue reading

Birdwatching With Your Eyes Closed [Book & Podcast Review]

Thumbnail image for Birdwatching With Your Eyes Closed [Book & Podcast Review] by Grrlscientist 7 December 2011

Summary: GrrlScientist reviews a new book by Simon Barnes Birdwatching with your eyes closed accompanied with a free downloadable podcast. The book teaches you to open your ears to appreciate and recognize birdsounds. Eighty percent of bird watching is listening “Eighty percent of bird watching is listening”, I often told my university students whilst we squished through [...]

0 comments …continue reading