It’s a bright, cold morning just after the first real snow of the season. The chill gives your hunger an edge, but you have a plan: sit on the trash can and wait for the squirrels to come to you.
This perch is perhaps not entirely suited to your dignity, but it is hardly your fault that your fuzzy-tailed food likes to hang out in the garbage. They have chewed a hole in the side of the trash bin for easier access to their scraps. You, although temporarily perched on a trash bin, are death on wings—sharp talons screaming down from the sky…
As a scientist, I can’t exactly claim to to be underserved by the webcomic community. xkcd does nerdy jokes, including ones about biologists and birds; Hark A Vagrant occasionally covers historical scientists like Rosalind Franklin and Charles Darwin (twice); and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal often delves into evolutionary biology, with takes ridiculous, entertaining, and sometimes a bit too real.
Still, before today, I had never seen an ornithological behavioral ecology comic. (Talk about niche audiences.)
Thank you, Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, for filling this hole in my life.
(Original comic webpage here.)
I’ve previously discussed how scientists are interested in pigeons’ ability to perceive art. A New York City artist has taken this to its logical conclusion and created an art installation for pigeons.
The higgledy piggledy poems return… (The first higgledy piggledy post is here.) Once again I have not quite followed all the rules.
what simple kindness your
offspring must lack:
eating their mama’s own
skin for a snack!
Yellow-striped caecilian. Photo by Kerry Matz*
Caecilians are a kind of amphibian. Some caecilians feed their babies by growing a special layer of skin that the babies then eat. (Hey, is it really any weirder than what we mammals do to feed our babies?) All caecilians have little tentacles on their faces. See, goofy poetry is so educational!
While it seems like it might be logical for people to find my blog after searching something like “pictures of juncos” or “how do birds fly?”, internet users (and search engines) are thinking a bit more creatively. So once again I, your humble servant, will attempt to give you what you really want from this blog by responding to the actual search terms that have led you here.
This time, though, you guys are kinda scaring me.
Wait, no. Do not come to this site if you want information on human babies. I don’t know anything about human babies! Search engines, don’t send people who search “human babies” to a bird research blog! And now I’ve written “human babies” four times here so that probably won’t help…
Cute, yes, but crucially NOT A HUMAN BABY.
If these are a problem, put up some strong netting around your house, work area, etc. to catch the floating skeletons. Grab a ladder and pull the bones out of the net at least once a week so it doesn’t get clogged up.