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Shows With Contributions by Frances Wood

John James Audubon Birthday

April 26th is the birthday of John James Audubon - flamboyant, groundbreaking artist, dedicated observer, adventurer, and writer. John James Audubon grew up in France, but moved to Philadelphia at 18. Embracing the natural wonder of his new homeland, Audubon set out to paint all the birds of... read more »

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Everybody Knows a Mallard

Mallards are found virtually everywhere there is open water, from city parks and subalpine lakes to sheltered bays and estuaries along the coasts. In their breeding plumage, male Mallards are avian dandies. The male's primary goal is to attract a mate and defend the breeding territory. The female... read more »

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Pigeon Babies Do Exist

Rock Pigeons are one of the most common urban birds. But why do we never see baby pigeons? Some baby birds - like down-covered ducks, geese, and chickens - leave their nest shortly after hatching and do a lot of growing up while following their parents around. Others, like pigeons, depend on... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Green Birds on St. Patrick's Day

You'd think that with so much green in nature, many birds would be a'wearin' the green for camouflage. Not just on St. Patrick's Day, but every day. Yet very few of our birds cavort in Irish green. There be some wee exceptions, however - some of the hummingbirds, with their backs of bright green,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Those Raucous Jays

A raucous call and a bold flash of blue at your feeder means a jay has arrived. East of the Rockies, your visitor is quite likely a Blue Jay (left). Out west, you're probably seeing a Steller's Jay. These daring blue dandies sound the alarm, announcing the approach of a predator. Often the loud... read more »

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Regal Great Blue Heron

Tall and prehistoric-looking, the Great Blue Heron is the largest heron in North America. Great Blue Herons are often seen flying high overhead with slow wing-beats. When foraging, they stand silently along riverbanks, on lake shores, or in wet meadows. Quickly then, they stab at their prey.... read more »

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Flocking and Foraging

In winter, a foraging flock might include several species of birds: chickadees, kinglets, and even a Downy Woodpecker. Many bird species eat alone, so you might wonder why these birds have chosen to dine together. Different species foraging in a group to find food enhances the success of all. One... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Jaywalking

In 1917, cars had only recently become common, and stepping out into traffic was dangerous. Back then, the term "jay" was slang for a hick, a country bumpkin. Bostonians with little tolerance for rural folk coined the term "jaywalker" to describe someone green to the ways of the city and modern... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  language

Ecotourism

Hiring a local guide when you visit an exotic destination can be a win-win-win situation. You receive the services of a local expert - and you might get to see this Green Violet-ear Hummingbird (now known as a Mexican Violet-ear or Lesser Violet-ear). The guide has employment. And the birds... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Who Was Anna?

The Anna's Hummingbird is the only hummer that stays in the Northwest and West for the winter. How did this lovely jewel get its name? Anna's Hummingbird was named for Princess Anna de Belle Massena. John James Audubon himself was charmed by her, but it was actually naturalist René Primevère... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

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