The Mississippi Ornithological Society meeting

Thank you to the birders of Mississippi for a wonderful weekend April 28-29 around Oxford. Special thanks to the MOS, Delta Wind Birds, The Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Wild Birds Unlimited of Jackson, and the other sponsors for making it all possible. The birding was excellent, as passing thunderstorms pushed migrants down and kept birds …

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Quiz 52: Trees for birders

The quiz below shows four photographs of the leafy crowns of trees, as you might see them while looking for birds through binoculars or telescopes. Differences in leaf “posture”, arrangement, and color are just as obvious as differences in leaf shape, and all of these species are readily distinguishable at a glance, even in silhouette. …

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Altruistic trees!

It turns out that trees not only communicate through fungal networks in their roots, they also pass nutrients around from tree to tree, even between species! The fungi (many species) grow in contact with the roots of the tree, enjoying the steady source of carbohydrates that the tree has produced, and in exchange giving the …

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Trees in their spring colors

I’ve been neglecting trees in my posts recently, but here in Massachusetts spring is the best time of year for tree-watching, and today the sun was out offering some good photo opportunities.

Spruce, Fir, or Hemlock?

One of my main goals in creating the Sibley Guide to Trees was to apply modern methods of bird study to tree identification. This meant looking at trees at a distance and trying to figure out what, if any, differences would allow me to distinguish species quickly and reliably in just a glance. I continue …

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Identifying trees by color

Spring is always an exciting time for birdwatchers, as migrants pass through and summer residents return, all in their flashy breeding plumage. This time of year is equally interesting for tree-watching, and it is the best time of year for identifying trees from a distance by their color.

New page on Tree references

I’ve just posted a new page that lists some of my most-frequently-used online references about trees. You can find it here, and it is also linked on the Tree Info page.