Waterfowl on Frances Short Pond (Flagstaff)

It’s been a frightfully warm winter, but not so warm as to completely melt the ice on our fair city’s beloved municipal pond near a couple of our public schools. Frances Short was an “educator and city councilperson” in Flagstaff. (For more information, click here.) The pond and its immediate environs are home to waterfowl … More Waterfowl on Frances Short Pond (Flagstaff)

What’s With the V-Formation?

It is an inspiring, though common, thing to see flocks of ducks or geese flying overhead in V-formation. A duck flying alone is also beautiful, as is this mallard… http://www.wilcephotos.com/Northern-Arizona/JMW-Birds-Bees-Etc/i-qndbZbn/0/Th/BIF-Duck%3B%20BubblingPonds%3B%20IMG_9073%20C1PSD1-Th.jpg … but a group of birds synchronizing or coordinating their behavior presents us with a different kind of beauty.  This group of Canada Geese flying … More What’s With the V-Formation?

The Ducks That Swim in Circles

On a recent trip to the wonderful Sedona Wetlands Preserve, described in a previous post on this blog, I shot video footage of a fascinating group behavior by ducks, specifically Northern Shovelers. Shovelers are “dabbling” or surface-feeding ducks. The species has evolved a collaborative feeding strategy. Swimming in what John Andrew Eastman calls a “pinwheel” … More The Ducks That Swim in Circles

What Wikipedia calls the “default desert bird”

If you have never heard of Curve-Billed Thrashers, you probably don’t live in or near a desert. But if you google “default desert bird” you’ll see a lot of text etc. devoted to Thrashers.  Unfortunately, the phrase “default desert bird,” with or without proper attribution is a misquote. At least Wikipedia rightly cites Dunne as the … More What Wikipedia calls the “default desert bird”