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Filter’d Out #2 [Hatching]

May 15, 2011

How quickly a week goes by! I intended to actually finish a post or two but wound up spending my free time out birding and shooting birds (photographically, that is), never quite mustering the discipline to sit in front of keyboard and monitor outside of the workplace. On the plus-side, new county bird for my home county with a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. On the minus side, instead of offering my own wit and wisdom, I’ll point you to a few of the posts that enlightened* me this week.

* Includes but is not limited to the following: entertained, challenged, taught, inspired, called to action, and/or I simply connected with.

For the week ending 14 May 2011 I’ve Filter’d Out:

Fight The Mustache Power
Seagull Steve, writing for Bourbon, Bastards and Birds
Humor-laced observations and reflections from a seasonal field biologist, you cannot really go wrong with that. Especially when they range from current legislation to the state of your facial hair.

Monday. The worst day of the week. For unemployed people like myself, it is probably the smuggest day of the week, because we can keep the Perpetual Weekend going. We can drink too much the night before, we can go birding in the morning, or preferably both. The possibilities are endless, really. However, we do have sympathy for our poor friends who have to return to their corporate prison cells for the week, so Monday does carry a somber air at times.

Prairie Warblers are back
Christopher Ciccone, writing for Picus Blog
Stunning photos of one of my favorite birds. All I can say is, “Nice shot, man!” Seriously, do yourselves a favor and take a look.

Each year, I spend a few evenings trying to photograph the Prairie Warblers that nest just a mile or so from where we live. This afternoon, I think I had my best “sitting” yet with these bright little warblers.

Rev. Bachman’s Lost Warbler
Nate Swick, writing for 10,000 Birds
As Nate observes, Bachman’s Warbler certainly falls into that second-tier of extinct birds, but its long-term significance cannot be overstated.

The species is said to have never been common, a description I’ve always thought is added too liberally to long-gone species almost as a convenient declaration of helplessness in the face of its eventual demise. A shrug of the shoulders toss off. What can you do? After all, it was never common. But it was present, and in a place and time that suggested that it would always be so, if in small numbers. Certainly warblers have faced long odds before. Why is this one different?

The Fascinating Migration Pattern of the Rufous Hummingbird
Robert Mortensen, writing for Birding Is Fun
Way back in the day I used to take static eBird maps and animate them, so I have a deep appreciation for anyone digging into eBird’s publicly-accessible database (via the map room) and doing the same, and most definitely when they reveal migration routes that are unexpected.

As it turns out, Rufous Hummingbirds in Utah in Spring are not regulars. This struck me as odd, so I began to explore the eBird sightings maps and a whole new world of understanding appeared before my very eyes. Everything about this hummingbird migration is odd! It migrates so dramatically different than other birds. The series of animated maps below may help answer some questions, but it sure raises a heck of a lot of other questions too. You’ve just gotta check this out…

Marie Curie
Randall Munroe, writing for XKCD
While not strictly in the ecology, conservation, ornithology, and/or birding environments I usually peruse, this applies everywhere.

But you don’t become great by trying to be great. You become great by wanting to do something, and then doing it so hard that you become great in the process.

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