Can someone identify this bird?

Can someone identify this bird?

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We recently found a nest in the back garden and a little bird inside. Can you help us identify it? The nest is quite small like the bird so we are wondering whether this is the parent or a baby chick. Is there anything we can do to help it or are we better off leaving it alone?

Update: I'm from the UK, currently in Oxfordshire to be more precise.

It looks like a passerine bird, but I can't really tell the species without seeing the whole body. As for what to do with it, your best course of action is to leave it alone. Trust me. Once placed tissue paper over a pigeon's eggs to keep them warm, and the mother crushed them when she landed on the nest because she didn't see the eggs.

If there are eggs in the nest, try noting down what color they are. Passerines have colored eggs.

The bird needs to be left alone; that's the best help you can give it. Anything more than watching it is liable to lead to nesting failure (e.g. abandonment of the nest). The bird looks attentive and quiet, and so is most likely an adult keeping the eggs or chicks warm. The bill suggests a seed-eating bird, but there are large numbers of those (e.g. finches, sparrows, grosbeaks,… ) and I can say little more from the evidence.

What is BirdNET?

How can computers learn to recognize birds from sounds? The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Chemnitz University of Technology are trying to find an answer to this question. Our research is mainly focused on the detection and classification of avian sounds using machine learning – we want to assist experts and citizen scientist in their work of monitoring and protecting our birds. BirdNET is a research platform that aims at recognizing birds by sound at scale. We support various hardware and operating systems such as Arduino microcontrollers, the Raspberry Pi, smartphones, web browsers, workstation PCs, and even cloud services. BirdNET is a citizen science platform as well as an analysis software for extremely large collections of audio. BirdNET aims to provide innovative tools for conservationists, biologists, and birders alike.

This page features some of our public demonstrations, including a live stream demo, a demo for the analysis of audio recordings, an Android and iOS app, and its visualization of submissions. All demos are based on an artificial neural network we call BirdNET. We are constantly improving the features and performance of our demos – please make sure to check back with us regularly.

We are currently featuring 984 of the most common species of North America and Europe. We will add more species and more regions in the near future. Click here for the list of supported species.

Have any questions or want to use BirdNET to analyze a large data collection?

Please let us know (we speak English and German): [email protected]

Identification of animals and plants is an essential skill set

La Trobe University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.

The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations

I have recently been made abundantly aware of the lack of field skills among biology students, even those who major in ecology. By field skills we mean the ability to identify plants and animals, to recognise invasive species and to observe the impact of processes such as fire on the landscape.

My colleague Mike Clarke calls it “ecological illiteracy”, and identifies it as a risk for nature at large. While people spend more times indoors in front of screens, we become less aware of the birds, plants and bugs in our backyards and neighbourhoods. This leads to an alienation of humans from nature that is harmful to our health, our planet and our spirit.

On a more practical, academic level, I was in a meeting this week where an industry representative complained that biology graduates are no longer able to identify common plants and animals. This limits their employment prospects and hampers the capacity of society to respond to changes in natural ecosystems predicted by climate change.

Field taxonomy vs. Bloom’s taxonomy

So what is going on? Why don’t ecology students get this information during the course of their University degrees?

Practical sessions teaching scientific names of animals or plants can be perceived to be boring and dry. Students may be asked to collect and pin a range of insects or press and identify certain plants as part of their training in biological diversity, but these activities are time consuming and expensive. As we strive to be more flexible and efficient, classes and assessments relying on identification skills are quickly dropped.

Ironically, the dogma that has been so detrimental to field taxonomy is known as Bloom’s taxonomy. University lecturers are told to apply an educational theory developed by Benjamin Bloom, which categorises assessment tasks and learning activities into cognitive domains. In Bloom’s taxonomy, identifying and naming are at the lowest level of cognitive skills and have been systematically excluded from University degrees because they are considered simplistic.

The problem is that identifying a plant or insect is not simple at all. Not only do you need to know which features to examine (nuts, leaves, roots, spines, eye stripes or wing venation), you need to adopt a whole vocabulary of terms designed to provide precision in the observation of specific traits. Examining the mouthparts of insects requires knowing the difference between a mandible, maxilla and rostrum. Hairs on a leaf can be described as glaucous, glabrous, or hirsute.

Such detail cannot be taught without a student passionate enough to embrace the task and having a passionate mentor who can make the discipline come alive.

Photographs are not enough

In this digital age some people seem to think that photographs can replace the collection of specimens. I know a bit about crayfish, and where in the past a fisher might show up with an animal in an esky, these days people like to send me a photo and ask what species that was. I cannot identify a crayfish from a photo, nor can I easily explain to an interested amateur how to count the mesal carpal spines.

There is a reason that scientists must collect specimens and take them back to the lab or lodge them with a museum. Biological organisms are extremely complex, and the critical feature that distinguishes one from another relies on careful comparison.

A recent discovery of a rare kingfisher in Guadalcanal caused controversy in the Washington Post when the researchers photographed, then killed and collected the animal. I understand why they felt they needed to document their finding with a specimen, and I understand the outrage of nature lovers who decry the need for more than a photo.

Australian species are poorly known

A recent article by an author in Britain points out the difference between taxonomy and field skills. Trends in biological recording are changing due to electronic and photographic recording and the availability of complete field guides. However, the situation in the United Kingdom does differ from Australia.*

It is true that in some parts of the world the species have all been named and catalogued, but Australia is not one of those places. Any shake of a shrub will produce un-named insects. Every Bush Blitz expedition discovers new species or new records of known species.

Young people need field trips

I spent last week in the Victorian alps with biology students from La Trobe University. As part of their research project they needed to identify plants and insects. We had some impressive expertise among our staff, people who knew the Latin names of every plant at first glance. The trick is to transmit that knowledge to the next generation.

Accordingly, we made the students tape leaves into their notebooks and write names next to each one. We brought the insects back to the lodge and sat in front of microscopes for hours. Using keys, identification books and each other we were able to describe the particular community at each study site.

Some of the students came away excited about different groups of organisms. The excitement of the camp may lead them to spend time away from their desks staring at gum leaves, listening for bird calls or popping bugs in jars for later inspection.

I hope that some of them becom obsessed enough to turn themselves into experts, but I also want all young people to have more exposure to nature and all of its parts.

Not everyone can spend time in the alps, but everyone can learn the names of the trees in a nearby park. Can you identify the birds calling in your backyard? Do you know the difference between a moth and a butterfly, or between a worm and a grub?

Take the time to engage with both the little and big things growing around you and discover the joy of re-connecting with nature.

Types of flying

There is two main types of flight that birds perform: soaring/gliding flight and flapping flight. Both rely on wings, but in different ways. Gliding flight is the simplest form of flying and simply requires a bird to hold its wings outstretched. To combat the negative forces of drag that would otherwise cause the bird to gradually drop in altitude, bird’s that glide use rising pockets of air to climb in altitude.

Rising air can originate either from the warmth of the land or from physical features that deflect air upwards such as a mountain range or wave. The use of warm air and deflected air to maintain altitude is known as thermal soaring and slope soaring, respectively. Gliding is a very energy efficient form of flying as it requires very little action from a bird other than navigating into the right pockets of air.

Flapping flight depends on the thrust generated by wing strokes to maintain altitude. Changes in the orientation of wings and feathers can turn upward lift into forward thrust and vice versa. The flapping of wings in birds is a complex action that is controlled by around 50 different muscles. Each wing can beat independently which allows birds to steer and maneuver.

Hummingbirds have the ability to perform hovering flight. Their wings beat forwards and backwards in a horizontal plane and their position remains the same because the angle of their wings and feathers are altered in a way that the forwards and backwards strokes cancel each other out.

Intermittent flight is a mix of both flapping flight and soaring. Birds will often use flapping flight to gain altitude and then fall as the glide.


1. What features of a hummingbird make it adapted for its style of feeding?

2. Imagine an ideal flying predator. What type of beak and feet would it have?

3. Different birds may have similar beaks and diets. Loons, herons, and kingfishers, for instance, all have long sharp pointed beaks for spearing fish. Their feet, however, are quite different. Describe how the loon, heron, and kingfisher differ in the method by which they hunt for fish (using their feet to help you answer.)

4. Owls have large eyes that enable it to see well at night. Both the hawk and the owl hunt similar things: small rodents or snakes. How do the hawk and the owl avoid competing with each other?

5. In the two previous questions, you were asked to analyze how birds reduce competition with each other when they hunt similar prey and live in similar habitats. This idea among ecologists is known as the "Competitive Exclusion Principle" which suggests the no two species can occupy the same NICHE. Use your book other other resources to define the word: niche and provide examples from this activity of a bird's niche.

/>This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Beaks and Feet Key Images gathered from a variety of clipart sites.

You can also use this Google Slides document which shows photos of these birds and video clips.

Who’s Your Mama? The Science of Imprinting

When naturalist Joe Hutto became “mother” to a flock of wild turkeys, it gave him a unique opportunity to immerse himself in their lives and see the world through their eyes. He was not a stranger intruding, but rather the heart of the flock. He was able to do this by taking advantage of a biological phenomenon known as “imprinting.”

Imprinting refers to a critical period of time early in an animal’s life when it forms attachments and develops a concept of its own identity. Birds and mammals are born with a pre-programmed drive to imprint onto their mother. Imprinting provides animals with information about who they are and determines who they will find attractive when they reach adulthood.

Imprinting has been used by mankind for centuries in domesticating animals and poultry. In Rome, in the first century B.C., agriculturalist Lucius Moderatus Columella wrote a treatise on agrarian practices and suggested that “anyone wishing to establish a place for rearing ducks should collect wildfowl eggs in the marches and set them under farmyard hens, for when they are reared in this way they lay aside their wild nature.” For centuries in rural China, rice farmers have imprinted newly hatched ducklings to a special stick, which they then use to bring the ducks out to their rice paddies to control the snail population.

But, it was not until the early 1900s that any scientific studies were done of the phenomenon. Austrian naturalist Konrad Lorenz became the first to codify and establish the science behind the imprinting process.

Lorenz found that when young birds came out of their eggs they would become attached to the first moving object they encountered. In most cases in the wild, that would be their mother. But Lorenz replaced himself as the object of their affection. And it wasn’t just him that the young birds would attach to as a mother substitute. They would just as easily attach to inanimate objects and oddities, such as a pair of gumboots, a white ball and even an electric train – if it was presented at the right time. The hatchlings have been prepared by natural selection to form an immediate strong social bond.

Lorenz’s work with geese and ducks provided concrete evidence that there are critical sensitive periods in life where certain types of learning can take place. And, once that learning is ‘fixed,’ it is the least likely to be forgotten or unlearned. Lorenz’s geese responded to him as a parent, following him about everywhere, and when they became adults, courted him in preference to other geese.

Researchers building on Lorenz’s work have identified other such unique windows of opportunity for both animals and people to acquire knowledge. For birds like ducks, geese and turkeys, that hatch and begin walking around, the need to follow something for their own safety is vital to their early survival, so imprinting happens in the first few hours and days.

Joe Hutto used this sensitive time period to become the parent to his flock. When the poults are born, the first thing they do is look about for a parent to bond to. They are attracted to movement, sound and smell. Joe used all three of these to reinforce the poults attachment to him as their mother. While they were incubating, he spoke to them, in both “turkey” and English, to get them used to the sound of his voice. When the poults hatched, he was positioned to be the first thing they would see. When the first poult emerged, he made his turkey sound and, as Joe recounts, the poult turned its head, its eyes met Joe’s and “something very unambiguous happened in that moment.” A connection had been made.

The new hatchling made his way over to Joe and huddled up against his face. Over the next few hours this was repeated with all the baby birds. And, the attachment was reinforced as he spent 24/7 tending them as a parent would. They came to associate the sight, sound and smell of him as their mother.

But the biological imperative that drives imprinting can have its negative side. Conservationists and naturalists have become sensitive to the damage imprinting can cause in young animals who attach to people or objects instead of a parent. Birds that imprint on human ‘parents’ prefer their company to that of their own species. They are unlikely to ever return to the wild or socialize appropriately with their own kind.

This has led to the development of some novel approaches in captive breeding programs. In California and Arizona, at the Condor Recovery Project, eggs are incubated and the chicks are raised by caretakers using a hand puppet shaped like a condor head while researchers at China’s Wolong Panda reserve take it a step further – dressing in full, furry panda suits whenever they have to interact with the animals, believing that the cubs must live devoid of all human contact if they are to have any chance of survival.

But the implications for imprinting extend far beyond geese and pandas. Researchers since Lorenz’s time have found that imprinting is a component in all animal and human interaction, and can be a more plastic and forgiving mechanism than was originally thought. It plays a role in determining who we love and who we live with – not just how a man can become mama to a turkey.

Evolution of Birds

Modern birds evolved from Saurichia, one of two subgroups of dinosaurs, although it is unclear how flight and/or endothermy arose in birds.

Learning Objectives

Explain the evolution of birds

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Birds have two fenestrations, or openings, in their skulls making them diapsids like crocodiles and dinosaurs.
  • Birds did not descend from bird-like dinosaurs (Ornithischia), but rather from a divergent group of lizard-like dinosaurs (Saurischia) called theropods, which were bipedal predators.
  • A Jurassic period fossil intermediate to dinosaurs and birds is Archaeopteryx, which had teeth like dinosaurs, and feathers modified for flight.
  • The arboreal (“tree”) hypothesis and the terrestrial (“land”) hypothesis are two theories on how flight evolved these theories propose that wings developed to aid in jumping from branch to branch or to aid in running, respectively.
  • It was not until after the extinction of Enantiornithes (a separate evolutionary line of bird-like animals) during the Cretaceous period that the Ornithurae (the evolutionary line of modern birds) became dominant. and prospered.

Key Terms

  • diapsid: any of very many reptiles and birds that have a pair of openings in the skull behind each eye
  • Archaeopteryx: a taxonomic genus within the family Archaeopterygidae, known from fossils and widely accepted as the earliest and most primitive known bird
  • fenestration: an opening in the surface of an organ, etc.

Evolution of Birds

The evolutionary history of birds is still somewhat unclear. Due to the fragility of bird bones, they do not fossilize as well as other vertebrates. Birds are diapsids, meaning they have two fenestrations, or openings, in their skulls. Birds belong to a group of diapsids called the archosaurs, which also includes crocodiles and dinosaurs. It is commonly accepted that birds evolved from dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs were subdivided into two groups, the Saurischia (“lizard like”) and the Ornithischia (“bird like”). Despite the names of these groups, it was not the bird-like dinosaurs that gave rise to modern birds. Rather, Saurischia diverged into two groups. One included the long-necked herbivorous dinosaurs, such as Apatosaurus. The second group, bipedal predators called theropods, includes the ancestors of modern birds. This course of evolution is suggested by similarities between theropod fossils and birds, specifically in the structure of the hip and wrist bones, as well as the presence of the wishbone, formed by the fusing of the clavicles.

One important fossil of an animal intermediate to dinosaurs and birds is Archaeopteryx, which is from the Jurassic period and has characteristics of both dinosaurs and birds. Some scientists propose classifying it as a bird, but others prefer to classify it as a dinosaur. The fossilized skeleton of Archaeopteryx looks like that of a dinosaur. It had teeth and birds do not, but it also had feathers modified for flight, a trait associated only with birds among modern animals. Fossils of older, feathered dinosaurs exist, but the feathers do not have the characteristics of flight feathers.

Bird fossils: (a) Archaeopteryx lived in the late Jurassic Period around 150 million years ago. It had teeth like a dinosaur, but had (b) flight feathers like modern birds, which can be seen in this fossil.

It is still unclear exactly how flight evolved in birds. Two main theories exist: the arboreal (“tree”) hypothesis and the terrestrial (“land”) hypothesis. The arboreal hypothesis posits that tree-dwelling precursors to modern birds jumped from branch to branch using their feathers for gliding before becoming fully capable of flapping flight. In contrast to this, the terrestrial hypothesis holds that running was the stimulus for flight, as wings could be used to improve running and then became used for flapping flight. As with the question of how flight evolved, the question of how endothermy evolved in birds still is unanswered. Feathers provide insulation, but this is only beneficial if body heat is being produced internally. Similarly, internal heat production is only viable if insulation is present to retain that heat. It has been suggested that one or the other (feathers or endothermy) evolved in response to some other selective pressure.

During the Cretaceous period, a group known as the Enantiornithes was the dominant bird type. Enantiornithes means “opposite birds,” which refers to the fact that certain bones of the feet are joined differently than the way the bones are joined in modern birds. These birds formed an evolutionary line separate from modern birds they did not survive past the Cretaceous. Along with the Enantiornithes, Ornithurae birds (the evolutionary line that includes modern birds) were also present in the Cretaceous. After the extinction of Enantiornithes, modern birds became the dominant bird, with a large radiation occurring during the Cenozoic Era. Referred to as Neornithes (“new birds”), modern birds are now classified into two groups, the Paleognathae (“old jaw”) or ratites (a group of flightless birds including ostriches, emus, rheas, and kiwis) and the Neognathae (“new jaw”), all other birds.

Example of an extinct bird: Shanweiniao cooperorum was a species of Enantiornithes, which evolved separately from modern birds. It did not survive past the Cretaceous period.

What to Listen For

When you’ve isolated a bird call, you have to listen to it carefully for a positive identification. Just as observing birds carefully and looking for all the details of their plumage is necessary for proper identification, careful listening is also essential. While birding, you should listen for:

  • Pitch: How high or low is the song? How does it change in a single call? Where in the song does the pitch change?
  • Quality: Would you describe the song as a warble, buzz, rattle, screech, whistle, bugle, or some other tone? Are there different tones in the same song?
  • Length: How long is the song? Can you count the seconds it lasts? How long does the bird sing, even if the song is repeated?
  • Tempo: How many beats does the song have? How quick are those beats? What pauses are part of the song?
  • Volume: Does the song change volume? If so, where and how? Do different birds sing similar songs but at different volumes?
  • Repetition: Are the same syllables repeated several times? How many times? How many similar sequences are part of the song?
  • Mimicry: Are there any unusual tones or sequences in the song that sound like other things, such as car alarms, door squeaks, or loud tools? This could be the work of a bird mimic.

Once you’ve clearly distinguished the song, compare it to your field guide or audio resources to try to identify the bird. At first this may be difficult unless you are able to see the bird as well, but with practice you will learn to identify many birds by sound alone.

How Crows Recognize Individual Humans, Warn Others, and Are Basically Smarter Than You

The corvid family–a widespread group of birds made up most prominently of crows, ravens, and magpies–are no ordinary birds, with a brain-to-body-weight ratio and cognitive abilities equal to apes and dolphins. This excerpt, from the great new book Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans_, by John M. Marzluff and Tony Angell, details an experiment in which students and faculty at the University of Washington tried to discover if crows can recognize individual humans–and what they’d do with that information._

A couple of days before Valentine’s Day 2006, students and professor donned grotesque masks—bold, heavily browed, reddish-orange cavemen—and captured seven crows on the University of Washington’s campus. They tagged the ensnared crows with standard plastic and metal bracelets like those we had fit onto Light Blue, Dark Blue’s legs and released them after only a few minutes. On Valentine’s Day John slipped into his Dick Cheney face and strolled across campus looking for crows to record their reactions. He found nine birds, and while one seemed a bit anxious and flew off calling, the others basically ignored him. The students were more reactive, as being Dick Cheney on a liberal college campus wasn’t easy, but from the crows’ perspectives Dick was just an average Joe.

The local crows screamed, dove, and followed anyone wearing a mask of Scott.Two days later, John left the Cheney mask in the lab and morphed once again into the caveman. He stepped outside his office building at 11:07, eager to learn whether the crows would remember the face of the man who had captured them earlier in the week. At 11:15, he found a crow near the student union building and began to approach. Immediately the bird flew into a tree and gave a series of harsh calls, flicked its tail, and stared directly down at him. This scolding behavior, identical to how these rowdy birds typically address their natural predators, quickly attracted a second bird. The pair now cautiously eyed John and issued a real tongue lashing. The first scolding bird was unbanded—John had never even handled this aggressive beast. But the second bird wore bands, signaling that it had personally met the caveman a few days earlier. This bird had good reason to scold—the caveman was a proven threat. But the first bird could have known only secondhand about the dangerous caveman. Perhaps she had seen us catch and band her colleague. John continued his walk and in total encountered thirty-one crows, three of whom scolded him.

The first run of the experiment was a success. At least three birds recognized and harassed the dangerous caveman. In contrast, none responded to the caveman prior to trapping, and none responded to the “control” face of Dick Cheney, who had never directly participated in trapping. We repeated these initial tests with similar results over the next year. We even recruited other students to run the tests for us. We wanted to make sure it wasn’t just our imagination or perhaps the way we approached the crows that made them scold the caveman and ignore the vice president. We set the students loose on campus with masks and notebooks. Their results confirmed ours in every aspect: the crows scolded the caveman, not Cheney many of the scolding birds were unbanded and it was the face that triggered the ire of the crows.

We have continued and expanded our initial investigations. In addition to the caveman on campus, we have now confirmed other crows’ abilities to discriminate dangerous from neutral faces in four new settings. And we have done so using masks molded from our friends’ faces—ordinary men and women faces much less distinct than the caveman’s. In downtown Seattle for example, our friend Scott’s face was used during trapping. As with our campus experiment, the local crows screamed, dove, and followed anyone wearing his mask while ignoring those wearing any of the other five masks. In rural Maltby, Vivian was the trapper. There she was scolded while Scott and the others were more or less ignored.

When encountering a single face, crows do occasionally scold a person who is not dangerous. It seems safer to cry wolf occasionally rather than ignore a real threat. But when we presented the crows with a choice, their ability to distinguish among people was uncanny. In this experiment two of us approached a crow while we each wore a different mask, one dangerous and the other neutral. As we neared the crow, we diverged in opposite directions for a while, then reconvened, and diverged again. As we paraded back and forth, invariably the crow lit out after the dangerous person, following him and letting the other masked, but harmless, person strut unscathed.

Crows may remember our facial features or perhaps have a simple signal—maybe a special call—for dangerous people in general, though the latter seems not to be the case. We recorded the voices of crows as they screamed at us and at hawks and raccoons and found no obvious differences in the calls to people generally or to dangerous people specifically. We know from other studies that corvid alarm calls indicate the caller’s identity and often the degree of threat posed but not the specific identity of a predator. Siberian jays, for instance, adjust their alarm calls to encode the hunting behavior of hawks—moving versus perching versus attacking. Crows may do something similar the intensity, duration, and pace of scolding indicate the degree of danger a predator poses. But this adjustment of scolding occurs whether in response to a hawk, coon, or caveman.

"I Wish You Bluebirds"

Bluebirds are bedazzling creatures. This website was developed as a resource for people interested in helping bluebirds and other native cavity-nesters survive and thrive. See the Site Map (index) or Pulldown (Jump) Menu for an alphabetical list of topics covered.

An Eastern Bluebird incubating her eggs.
Photo by Bet Zimmerman. See larger version.

Note: This website is named for the Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis, pronounced cee-AL-ee-a cee-AL-iss.)

  • General Info: Basic information on how to attract nesting bluebirds, including do's and don'ts and a nesting timetable. A good starting point for beginners.
  • A four page handout to give out with nestboxes
  • How and why to monitor to attract bluebirds (proven and experimental.) Birdbaths.
  • Common myths about bluebirding (Biology) - links to plans for boxes you can make yourself - Pros and Cons (a work in progress) (size, entrance hole, height) for various cavity nesters , by cavity nester species, with links to Breeding Bird Survey maps - how to get started
  • Ranges: Maps showing Eastern Bluebird winter and summer range. Also links to Breeding Bird Survey maps for all other small cavity nesters
  • My theories on why we are so fascinated by bluebirds. to build a nest and lay eggs (factors involved and timetables) on cavity nesters, general ID, for children, magazines with reviews (good for newsletters etc.) - the down side you usually learn the hard way - common names, scientific names, subspecies, distinguishing between species, state bird designations, bluebird stamps
  • A glossary with key bluebirding terminology and ornithological definitions associated with bluebirds and other cavity-nesting birds
    • (Draft.) Take the bluebird history quiz to test your knowledge.
    • Former scientific and common names. (U.S., Canada, Bermuda). related to bluebirds. Lyrics to "I Wish You Love." , a Native American story
    • Tributes to Bluebirders: Dave Ahlgren | Jack Finch | Joe Huber | David Magness
    • How to prevent House Sparrows from destroying bluebird eggs, and killing nestlings and incubating parents
    • Management methods including sparrow spooker instructions to deter from feeders
    • Accounts of attacks (warning: graphic photos) , how to
    • History of the House Sparrow that are NOT House Sparrows (photos and description) (nesting behavior, timing etc.)
    • How to euthanize captured birds
    • Downloadable handout to give to people with nestboxes serving as a breeding ground for House Sparrows by Paula Ziebarth.
    • An essay: Are HOSP Evil? and Hole Size Tests : Photos of commercial establishments with HOSP breeding and/or feeding at their facilities. about HOSP takeover of a nestbox.
    • Why don't House Wrens wipe out House Sparrows? Also see competition among species
      (by species - floor size, depth, hole size, mounting height) (various) (preferred habitat for various species) (for bluebirds and tree swallows) (what they are, how to get or make them) and Hole Size Tests (to prevent predation by climbing predators like snakes, raccoons and cats) - also see Conical Baffle (issues)
      (birds, nests and eggs) showing nests, eggs and young
    • ID chart with clues to Nest Contents | Egg Color, Shape, etc.
    • Comparison of egg sizes (chart) and photos (photos) - Part 1 | Part 2 Mystery nests: Test your ID savvy #1, #2, #3#4 #5 #6#7#8#9 to build a nest and lay eggs (factors involved and timetables.) - photo of dissected HOSP
      for various species of cavity nesters (photos of bluebirds fighting with other cavity nesters and other bluebirds) (who trumps who when it comes to claiming and retaining a nestbox) , by species, with links to BBS maps
    • Bewick's Wren Biology, Photos - Biology, Photos
    • Bluebirds - Eastern | Mountain | Western
    • Carolina Chickadee - Photos
    • Carolina Wren - Biology | Photos (cousins to HOSP, only in MO and IL) - Biology, Photos (Great Crested and Ash-Throated). Biology, ATFL photos, GCFL photos
    • Flying Squirrels - Biology, Photos
    • House Finch - Biology | Photos
    • House Sparrows - Biology, Photos, Controlling
    • House Wrens - Biology, Photos, Deterring, Another Perspective
    • Juniper Titmouse - Biology, Photos - Biology
    • Mountain Bluebirds - Photos | Biology
    • Mountain Chickadees - Biology, Photos - Biology | Photos of nests, eggs and young
    • Red Squirrels, Red Squirrel Biology (European), Biology, Photos
    • Tufted Titmouse: Biology, Photos : Biology, Photos, Picture of 2 different size nestlings in one nest. Tree Swallow adult photos. Also see Pairing Nestboxes and Kinney (four hole) TRES box design. Grid nestbox placement. . Interesting video clip of hissing titmouse.
    • Violet-green Swallows - Biology | Photos
    • Western Bluebirds - Photos | Biology - Biology, Photos
      with explanatory info (submittals welcome!) including Eastern, Mountain and Western Bluebirds.
    • Cavity nester photo series (nests, eggs and young) - see list of Other Cavity Nesters above
      • Also see egg comparison.
        : Chart listing predators/problems, signs, and solutions to deter climbing raccoons, snakes, cats (PVC and Stovepipe): Conical | Hutchings | Noel | Wobbling Stovepipe like ants, blow flies, etc. between bluebirds and other birds
    • Baffles and Predator Guards - Wobbling Stovepipe/Kingston, Conical, Noel, Hutchings (nestboxes and nestlings) (adult or nestling) in box
    • Dummy or abandoned nests and Hole Size Tests : ID, the problem, active and passive management choices . Also see HOWR Biology, Video of Egg Attack, and Another Perspective. (to enable fledging)
      (prevention, symptoms, etc.) (when Tree Swallow populations are high) during monitoring - Preventing
      • Layout and results for the Chimalis bluebird trail l at a closed CT landfill
      • A new experimental "Hill Trail" was started in 2007
      • A fourth trail in Roseland Park was "adopted" in 2008. A golf course trail across the street is only checked once a year.
      • Trail logs show box by box results, and Trail Reports summarize results and lessons learned. There's also info about me and why I am a bluebirder
      • 2004: Trail Summary Report. Chimalis Trail Log.
      • 2005: Trail Summary Report. Chimalis Trail Log. Landfill Trail Log.
      • 2006: Trail Summary Report. Chimalis Trail Log. Landfill Trail Log. New Hill Trail.
      • 2007: Chimalis Trail Log. Hill Trail Log, photos from Hill Trail, Landfill Trail Log
      • 2008: Trail Summary Report. Chimalis Trail Log. Hill Trail Log. Landfill Trail Log. Roseland Trail Log. Taylor Brooke
      • 2009: Roseland Trail Log | Golf Course Trail Log
      • 2010: Roseland Park | The Hill | Main Trail | Landfill | Taylor Brooke | Taylor's Corner

      May all your blues be birds!

      If you experience problems with the website/find broken links/have suggestions/corrections, please contact me!
      The purpose of this site is to share information with anyone interested in bluebird conservation.
      Feel free to link to it (preferred as I update content regularly), or use text from it for personal or educational purposes, with a link back to or a citation for the author.
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      Photo in header by Wendell Long.
      © Original photographs are copyrighted, and may not be used without the express permission of the photographer. Please honor their copyright protection.
      See disclaimer, necessitated by today's sadly litigious world.
      Last updated January 8, 2021 . Design by Chimalis.

      Watch the video: Can Someone Identify This Bird? (January 2023).