Apr
05

Brookdale Park Walk

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Join Rick Wright, author of The American Birding Association Field Guide to New Jersey Birds, to “Discover the Birds of Brookdale Park.”

The two-hour walk begins in the parking lot between the grandstand and the maintenance building, reached by turning into the park from Bellevue Avenue. We’ll walk approximately one mile on wide, level sidewalks and paths; our pace will be slow and relaxed, with plenty of time to appreciate and learn about the migrant and resident birds we find.

Bring water, a snack, and a notebook and pencil; if you have them, binoculars can be useful, too.

There is no fee for this walk, but donations to the Brookdale Park Conservancy are welcomed and will be put towards improving the park’s bird habitat. Only one walk is being offered this spring and we hope to see you there on Wednesday, April 8, 7-9 am.

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Apr
04

April Calendar Puzzle

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DSC02996

No one who has dallied in the pet section at Woolworth’s will have any difficulty identifying these two creatures: the upper bird is a black-and-white mannikin, its companion a spotted munia. Neither is a sparrow, and only the munia occurs as a wild bird in China.

The mannikin, or at least the population depicted here, nigriceps, was first described by John Cassin on the basis of specimens from the collection of the Duc de Rivoli, purchased for the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1846. The munia had been long known at that point: Linnaeus gave the species its epithet, punctulata, basing his description on that in Edward’s Natural History of Birds of 1743. Edwards’s painting of the bird, which he called the “Gowry Bird … being sold for a small Shell apiece, call’d a Gowry,” in the East Indies, places it in an unusual pose, apparently for compositional rather than behavioral reasons.

Edwards, Spotted Munia 1743

Edwards also tells us that this species was commonly kept in England in “Gentlemen’s Houses”; the one he painted was in the possession of Charles du Bois, treasurer of the East India Company.

More to the point of the monthly puzzle, Edwards reports that Eleazar Albin, too,

figur’d a Bird something like this, and makes it the hen of another Bird he has placed it with; he calls it a Chinese Sparrow….

Edwards correctly doubts that the two birds on Albin’s plate are conspecific — but that matters less to us than the fact that that image, first published in the 1730s, is clearly behind, at whatever remove, the calendar plate that started all this.

Albin, Chinese sparrows

Albin drew his birds

at Mr. Bland’s at the Tiger on Tower-Hill… they were brought from China in East-India by the Name of Chinese Sparrows.

We’re still left to wonder who pirated the plate and added all those eggs. Maybe next month.

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Apr
01

Big Nuez!

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Wee ar pleezd tue announs that begining with the next ishoo uv Berding magazeen, al buuk reevues wil bee publisht in simplified speling.

Wee wil, however, Continue tue Capitaliez the Comon naemz of al berds.

Hapy Reeding!

– Yuur Buuk Reevue Editor

n101_w1150

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Mar
30

An Old Man’s Parrot

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This saddens me.

Screenshot 2015-03-30 11.45.51

Apparently some people think this little psittacid was named for some elderly anonymous.

Screenshot 2015-03-30 11.52.53

Let’s try to remember in the future to give Louis-Pierre Vieillot his bird and his capital V.

 

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Mar
27

Chicken

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Greater Prairie-Chicken

They’re stately, dignified, even slightly pompous birds. But when the spirit is upon them, even greater prairie-chickens can lose control, as these two did this past week in the Sandhills of Nebraska.

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Yes, it’s the season of love and battle on the prairies.

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Categories : Nebraska
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