Two upcoming events

On Thursday, 27 Sep 2007, I’ll be in New Haven, Connecticut lecturing at Yale’s Peabody Museum (where I spent many afternoons as a teenager in the 1970s) as part of their John H. Ostrom program series. Details here (click on September and scroll down) On 19-21 Oct 2007 I travel to Oklahoma to speak and

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Rare bird news

An eventful few weeks for bird records in North America: The long-anticipated first nesting record of Lesser Black-backed Gull in North America (even though it hybridized with a Herring Gull) – on Appledore Island, Maine. Green Violetear reaches Maine – the farthest northeast record to date. 19 Aug 2007 on Mount Desert Island; photo here

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Judging size of birds

Size judgment is one of the constant quandaries of bird identification – critically important but fraught with error. In a recent online discussion about these photos of sandpipers in flight, I was intrigued by the question of how I, and others, “just knew” that these birds were too small to be Knot or Pectoral and

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Distinguishing South Polar Skua and Pomarine Jaeger

December 11, 2004 I was intrigued by this problem in light of the discussion surrounding the recent (6 November 2004) bird from southern Texas (see photos here and here; and sincere thanks to Martin and Chris for making these photos available and thanks to all who have participated in the discussion and our collective education). We wouldn’t

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