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Many Great Dusky Swifts flying above a misty waterfall.
Many Great Dusky Swifts flying above a misty waterfall.
Photo: Francesco Filippo Pellegrini. All photos via Bird Photographer of the Year.

The breathtaking winners of the prestigious 2020 Bird Photographer of the Year competition

This year’s competition, which seeks to be a “celebration of avian beauty and diversity,” has produced a stunning array of images, showcasing birds in various habitats, from the forests of Norway to the mountains of Ecuador to the capital of Sri Lanka. …

Painting of two swifts flying over wildflowers.
Painting of two swifts flying over wildflowers.
‘Common Swifts’ (1886) by Bruno Liljefors via Wikimedia Commons

Watching pigeons, blackbirds, and swifts with my infant son while suspended in quarantine

The secret lives of some of the smartest birds around

Photo: Stary Smok via Unsplash

They were relentless, brilliant scavengers with a keen sense of craftiness, and no human being could outwit them. The kind of cunning mischief and competition that a murder of crows possessed was unbeatable.
― Rebecca McNutt

It’s cool. Or creepy, depending on how you feel about crows.

“I went outside to walk the dog,” she told me today. “And a crow buzzed just over the top of my head. …

Small bodies, big hearts

Photo: Erin Wilson via Unsplash

Courage doesn’t always roar.
Mary Anne Radmacher

For example: One day, years ago, I was planting some pansies in my window box. Realizing I needed more potting soil, I went into my old garage to scoop some from a large bag I had stored there all winter.

I was surprised to see that the opening of…

It’s time to have a frank and honest conversation about all these tits

Most of these tits are quite small, though they range considerably in their shape and markings, but each is beautiful in its own way, as these photographs show.

Great Tit

Great Tits are very…

Photos: Deborah Knuckey


And then there was one…

There’s a gift in winning a bird’s trust. A wary offering earned through months of sitting, still, with food near, then nearer, then touching.

I’ve cherished the gift of a bird’s trust, its family’s trust. And in this time when the fear and pain of the world seem so overwhelming, a bird landing on my hand, eyeballing me, accepting food from the altar of my palm brings simple, open joy.

The loss of a family of birds — the shocking, shrieking, terrified battle heard helplessly too far away —seems like it should be nothing compared to the toll that Covid-19…

With fewer people on the streets, our urban birds are going without

Photo: Viktor Kern via Unsplash

Was this the extinction of a truly idiotic bird species, or have we had it all wrong?

Photo: McGill Library via Unsplash

First, a little background on these odd birds. The dodo was endemic only…

When do vulnerable nestlings need our help, and when should they be left alone?

Photo: Free-Photos/9091 via Pixabay

One of the most common problems people encounter when trying to help young birds is misidentifying them as birds that belong in…

Despite being a fun pastime for many, collecting feathers has questionable legality in the U.S.

Photo: Zanzibarski via Pixabay

If you live in the United States, you live where native birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The MBTA was first enacted in 1916 to protect…


good living for every being

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