Painted bunting

This sadly injured painted bunting (Passerina ciris) flew into the window of our library building around an hour ago and was brought to me for identification. I doubt if the bird will survive. Despite its very bright colours this is the first time I have seen an individual of the species. It is apparently secretive…

Another use for a 3d view

One element of the local climate that we are interested in is the effect of dry season insolation on vegetation patterns. This might be particularly important in areas of dry forest. Slopes that face south receive much more direct beam radiation during the dry winter months under clear skies than north facing slopes. This can…

Eastern bluebird

The eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a resident here and is usually seen in small family groups of two to five birds. Although it is a thrush it feeds in a rather similar way to a flycatcher by flying from the perch to the ground to pick up insects, which are sometimes caught in mid…

Encyclopedia of life

I have just registered with the Encyclopedia of Life. The idea behind the project is outlined in this BBC article. The project aims to be the equivalent of Wikipedia in the field of systematics and ecology. If successful detailed descriptions of all the world’s known organisms could be available to anyone with an internet connection.…