Onomatopoeia in American Bird Names

Birds names given by the earliest cultures that encountered them were often imitations of their songs/calls. What may be surprising is how many of those names have stood the test of time! For instance, Native cultures of Central America named the “chachalaca” for its calls. Unsurprisingly though, many of our North American English common names […]

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Some Processing I’ve Done in GDAL

I have GDAL installed in Linux (i.e. the easiest way to install/implement it) so the following examples represent command line usage. I have used a smattering of different GDAL utilities, and the links in the descriptions go to the manual page for the utility in each example. I have incorporated these example commands into various […]

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First Meeting for MOU Young Birders’ Committee!

Today we had our 1st meeting, though with my continued west coast cold (there must be germs I’m not immune to out there) I just “typed in” while listening/watching all my other fellow committee members share thoughts, etc.! There were some pretty exciting things in the works, and diversity is a topic of great importance […]

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Waterfowl & Wetlands Literature Review

Studying waterfowl with large extant datasets is intimidating because I often have the sneaking suspicion “someone has done this before.” I’m in the process of figuring out which of my suspicions are correct. Are there more ducks where there are more wetlands in the surrounding landscape? If so, what scale is relevant to predict waterfowl […]

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Learning to Identify Birds by their Vocalizations

I can’t say birding by ear was one of my natural talents: it took hard study because I wanted to learn it. Yet, with many hours, it paid off! I can’t recommend my favorite by ear guide enough: Birding by Ear: Eastern/Central (Peterson Field Guides) It taught me how to listen to bird song. I […]

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Lifer Tally So Far (Including “Maybes”)

Glaucous-winged gull Heermann’s gull Swallow-tailed gull Chestnut-backed chickadee Steller’s jay Bushtit Pomarine jaeger Common murre Northwestern crow Black oystercatcher Black turnstone Rhinoceros auklet Marbled murrelet Pigeon guillemot Mew gull Surfbird Vaux’s swift Pacific wren Hutton’s vireo black-throated gray warbler Pacific-slope flycatcher Possible lifers: swift spp., northern Pygmy-owl?

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George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

We’re headed here tomorrow! Here’s the checklist with seasonal probabilities for the month of September; font sizes reflect relative probability of seeing the species. Pacific loon yellow-billed loon Clark’s grebe Pacific golden-plover Wandering tattler Bar-tailed godwit rock sandpiper ancient murrelet western screech-owl northern pygmy-owl black swift red-naped sapsucker red-breasted sapsucker Hammond’s flycatcher ash-throated flycatcher Cassin’s […]

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