Black-collared Hawk, Pantanal, Brazil

Bills


Some years ago now, excellent birder and bird photographer Richard Ditch and WC co-authored a couple of articles on bird identification for bird photographers. Richard did most of the work, and made an excellent point: a bird’s bill is a good starting point for identifying the bird’s species and figuring out how the bird makes…

Great Horned Owl, Interior Alaska

Bird Break! Great Horned Owls


Great Horned Owls are an exceptionally widely distributed, highly variable species of owl, and one of the largest owls in the Western Hemisphere. Currently, ornithology thinks there are some 15 subspecies, and countless color morphs. This handsome lady (judging by size; females are noticeably larger) has very little brown coloration. She’s mostly grey and white,…

Clark's Nutcracker with Whitebark Pine Seed, Snowbank Mountain, Idaho

Nutcrackers – Not the Kind You’re Thinking – and Mutualism


Mutualism is the way two organisms of different species each benefits from the activity of the other. The different species could exist independently of each other, but have evolved a relationship by which both benefit. The Whitebark Pine (Pinus albicaulis) is a high altitude pine tree, whose range includes the Idaho batholith. In those latitudes, it only…