Mourningcloak

Drew WeberGeneral News and InfoLeave a Comment

The Mourningcloak (Nymphalis antiopa) is a medium-sized (2-4 inchwingspan) butterfly which is easily identified by the yellow trailing edge to its wings. On the inner edge of the yellow border there are iridescent blue spots making it very striking and distinctive. It belongs to the family Nymphalidae which are known as the ‘brush-footed butterflies’. Their front legs are smaller and … Read More

Hungry Accipiters

Drew WeberBird Sightings, General News and InfoLeave a Comment

I really wish I had a picture for this post. I guess that will have to wait until I manage to get a dSLR camera with a nice 300mm fixed lens. Anyways… Standing in one spot for a whole day gives me quite a chance to observe things that I don’t ordinarily get to see. I was up at the … Read More

The lumping of the gulls

Drew WeberBird News1 Comment

For any of you who have looked through a flock of gulls and thought it was hopeless to pick out the different species, you are in luck. Scientists have just released their findings in the UK journal Molecular Ecology Notes regarding DNA barcodes for bird species in North America. They found that most of the large, white-headed gulls (California, Herring, … Read More

Ten Laws of Winter Birding:

Drew WeberGeneral News and InfoLeave a Comment

I saw this on the Birdchat listserv and enjoyed it. And boy, are they true. 1) The older we get, the colder it feels while birding. Global warming is counterbalanced by personal cooling. 2) The possibility of seeing a Gyrfalcon is inversely proportional to the listing need. 3) Red Crossbills never land. Never. As in nada. 4) “It was just … Read More

Study reveals further declines for the world’s waterbirds

Drew WeberBird News, Conservation IssuesLeave a Comment

In the somber news category, the fourth edition of the Wetlands International report on waterbird species around the world has been released. It’s based on annual field surveys by 15,000 voluntary expert observers across hundreds of sites worldwide, including many IBA’s. Of the 878 species that they present estimates and trends for, 44% are either decreasing or have become extinct … Read More

How to count birds

Drew WeberBird Websites, Conservation Issues, eBird3 Comments

Snow Geese flock, originally uploaded by topherous. Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird site has just posted Bird Counting 101. For anyone who spends time out in the field watching large flocks, whether they are shorebirds, waterfowl or hawks knows that estimating flock size can be ridiculously hard. Just looking at the flock of Snow Geese above is overwhelming if you … Read More

Another Ontelaunee sunset

Drew WeberBird Sightings, General News and InfoLeave a Comment

I headed to Lake Ontelaunee again this evening to witness the growing numbers of gulls roosting on the lake. Apparently most of them are spending their days near a dump in Morgantown and then headed to Ontelaunee to roost. This evening there were again almost 2000 gulls, this time with a high percentage of Herrings than last time. I estimated … Read More

Vulture chick brings hope

Drew WeberBird News, Conservation Issues1 Comment

For those of you who follow bird news around the globe, you are probably aware that vulture populations have crashed to an unsustainable level due to the widespread use of the veterinary medicine, diclofenac. Three species of vultures- the White-Rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis), Indian Vulture (Gyps indicus) and Slender-billed Vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) declined by more that 95 percent in just … Read More

Natty Geo Hummingbirds

Drew WeberBird News, Conservation Issues, General News and InfoLeave a Comment

The last National Geographic has a great article on hummingbirds with some of the most beautiful hummingbird photographs I have ever seen. Apparently, these hummingbirds are captured, carried to the photographers SUV which is equipped with flowers and proceeds to photograph them. The goal is to document all the species of hummingbirds in order to better conserve them. To see … Read More