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Sam Crowe on February 6th, 2018

The New Caledonian crow is the only non-human animal known to craft hooked tools in the wild, but the ecological benefit of these relatively complex tools remains unknown. Here, we show that crows acquire food several times faster when using hooked rather than non-hooked tools, regardless of tool material, prey type and extraction context. This […]

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Sam Crowe on January 13th, 2018

2018, marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. In honor of this milestone, nature lovers around the world are joining forces to celebrate the “Year of the Bird” and commit to protecting birds today and for the next hundred years. Support is coming from […]

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The Department of Homeland Security has announced that the first new section of the proposed border wall at the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) in South Texas will be at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. The proposed 2.9-mile section of wall at Santa Ana NWR would be constructed in a 10-mile gap in the existing […]

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Sam Crowe on December 18th, 2017

Some interesting news about the Passenger Pigeon. A study released last month in Science sheds new light on the possible reasons for the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. A team of researchers has suggested that “Natural selection shaped the rise and fall of passenger pigeon genomic diversity. Of course, it is now well known that […]

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Sam Crowe on December 7th, 2017

Despite Benjamin Franklin’s efforts to enshrine the Wild Turkey as our national symbol, the Bald Eagle was selected instead. The large, majestic adult Bald Eagle, dark in color save for the pure white head and tail, is familiar even to non birders. After a brush with extinction following the widespread use of the chlorinated hydrocarbon […]

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Sam Crowe on November 26th, 2017

Learning to identify the songs and call notes of the birds you see in your backyard can be lots of fun. Start by trying to create an association with the songs that you hear. Some birds say their name. The chickadee’s song is an easily recognized chick-a-dee-dee-dee. Some birds have songs that remind people of […]

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Sam Crowe on November 19th, 2017

Noting the color of the iris can help identify or age a bird. Most birds have a black pupil surrounded by a dark brown iris.  This is not always the case.  The color of the iris can change based on age or sex of the bird. Other species have a notable eye color. Red eyes […]

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Sam Crowe on November 6th, 2017

The widespread Loggerhead Shrike is an uncommon breeding or year-round resident across much of the U.S. Despite being classified as a Passerine (the group containing most of our songbirds) and lacking the strong, gripping talons of hawks, falcons, and eagles, it is a predatory species capable of taking insects, snakes, rodents, and birds nearly as […]

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Sam Crowe on October 28th, 2017

The American Birding Association will hold its Annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 5:00 pm at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium, 1204 Fair Park Blvd, Harlingen, TX 78550 in partnership with the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. The meeting will include an update on efforts to save Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, and […]

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Sam Crowe on October 23rd, 2017

The recent hurricanes that blasted through the Caribbean have done untold damage to people and wildlife. Reviewing Irma’s carnage is painful. Video from Cuba’s northern Cays shows flamingos killed outright or slowing dying from the impacts of this intense storm. In Barbuda, almost every building was left uninhabitable, and the vegetation seems to be virtually […]

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