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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our Thanksgiving Barred Owl

by Sharon McInnes

No, we didn't have him for dinner! We just enjoyed his presence as he sat on the eave of the garage in the late afternoon, looking around. For mice, presumably.

Barred Owl watching me.
Photo by Sharon McInnes. 

Barred Owl ignoring me, looking for mice.
Photo by Sharon McInnes

I'm delighted that he hung around long enough for me to sneak outdoors (in the middle of making turkey dinner) and snap his photo! What a lovely Thanksgiving surprise.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Those Spunky UCal Juncos

by Sharon McInnes

Many birders consider juncos to be a little less than exciting, LBJs, ho-hum. It's like that when there are 630 million of anything hanging around. 

Junco hyemalis, one of the most abundant birds on the continent,
are considered  'rock star study organisms' by scientists

Dark-eyed Juncos at the University of California demonstrated
rapid evolution driven by urbanisation.
(Lovely photo by Garry Davey)

Over 30 years, even the DNA of the juncos that stayed
on the U Cal campus changed!

This is a Gabriola Island junco. (Not the technical name.)
The now-famous U Cal juncos have less white tails and less black heads.  

It's an amazing story! Read all about it here:
Then check out “The Ordinary Extraordinary Junco”, a fascinating 88-minute video series produced by biologists and filmmakers from Indiana University.
Here's the trailer: 

The series is free - like so many good things in life.