It is with great pleasure that I present this 121st edition of I and the Bird! Spring is here for many of us, and just around the corner for those living farther north. No matter where you live, one thing is for sure – spring migration is happening now!

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I love a good laugh, and couldn’t resist the opportunity to showcase this particularly relevant snippet from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. How many of you are looking up the weight of a swallow and the number of wingbeats per second? :-)

Over in California, Larry had an amazing day in a bird blind at Delevan and Sacramento National Wildlife Refuges. Larry snapped a ton of pictures, and listed even more species he saw that day. Of all the great birds that Larry shares at The Birder’s Report, I have to say that none quite steal my heart like the precious pair of grounds squirrels.  Go see!

You’ve probably never seen Purple Martins the way Jason of xenogere has captured them. I didn’t know any bird could positively glow, and now I’m suffering from cute overload – take a look at Jason’s post, A sign of warmer times.

Nate from The Drinking Bird tells a sober tale of how the Guatemalan endemic Atitlán Grebe came…and went from this Earth. This is thoughtful, heartfelt piece that I highly recommend to everyone who loves birds.

Though Spring is just arriving, John from Birding In Maine is anxiously awaiting his favorite summertime birds. John has put together a collection of photos that no-one should miss. I have my favorites, but you’ll have to take a look to see if you can choose a favorite of your own.

Mike from 10,000 Birds and Nature Blog Network was hoping to “invite spirited commentary on the role of lists in birding,” and judging from the comments already accumulated, he should be pleased. Head on over to 10,000 birds to see what Mike thinks about List Luster Lost.

GrrlScientist from Living the Scientific Life gives some props to the radio show, BirdNote. BirdNote airs on NPR in selected markets and is celebrating its five-year anniversary.

Duncan of Ben Cruachan – Natural History tries to tell us that he is almost ready to give up with bird photography because he has been stuck with the “…same old common birds.” Duncan then goes on to show off a great collection of bird photos that are anything but common to anyone NOT living in Australia! Wonderful composition, too – go see!

Y C Wee from Bird Ecology Study Group (BESG) in Singapore, contributes an important piece about bird and other wildlife trade in a market in Bali, Indonesia. Authored by Haniman Boniran, the report is complete with pictures, a species list, and references.  Don’t miss the thoughtful discussion of this troubling topic.

Pigeons have a rich history in human culture spanning several continents. John (aka KindOfCurious) introduces us to the complex world of pigeons – and gives us fair warning about walking through Pigeon Park in Old San Juan. :-)

Sarah, from Listening Earth Blog, offers a real Australian treat. She shares a fantastic series of photos of a nighttime visitor, as well as a sampling of the visitor’s interesting call. Head “out back” to see & hear what I’m talking about!

Leigh strikes out across a frozen lake to see a rare bird for Vermont – an Ivory Gull! She manages to get a few pictures despite the peril of thinning ice, and links to an acquaintance with yet more pictures of this brilliant white bird. Fly out to Alis Volat Propriis to read all about it.

Wren of Wrenaissance Reflections visited Florida and had the opportunity to share the pier with a crowd of Brown Pelicans! Talk about some good company!
Crows have intrigued me, and I am glad to learn from John Beetham at A DC Birding Blog that there is a new book about Crows available in stores now. John’ s review of “Crow Planet” may just convince you to add it to your reading list.
I don’t think I could do a better job of summing up the offering from David at DaveABirding, than David did himself: “An American Dipper seen being quite leisurely in Clear Creek Colorado, not March specific per-se, but it did make me think about what you do along the journey, rather than just getting to a destination, and if that isn’t a springlike (N. Hemisphere) thought, I don’t know what is.”

Kay Baughman brings us “Topnotch Topnots” from Arroyo Colorado Riverblog. Kay’s post is topnotch as well, an easy-to-read and enjoyable story about some of her favorite crested yardbirds. Living in south Texas, Kay’s “yard birds” can be pretty exciting!

Jill (aka Johnny Nutcase), from Count Your Chicken! We’re Taking Over! shares her memories and photographs of the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler.

Grace, Descending:  I think we may have an IATB first: a podcast. Fred, blogging at Fragments From Floyd, describes the aerial mating ritual between two Red-tailed Hawks, which he was fortunate enough to witness. Thank goodness Fred chose to look up when he first heard the rather ordinary sound of a red-tail in flight.

Wanderin’ Weeta offers an assortment of Little Brown Bird pictures for our enjoyment. Spring still feels like a long way off when you’ve got bitter cold punctuated by hail!

Maurie Kirschner from The Tern’s Song tells us about a leucistic chickadee and his mate, whom she came to know and enjoy over several seasons. Now, Maurie is getting acquainted with a pair of crows, and reflects on the importance of these relationships in her life.

Have you ever seen a Turkey Vulture close-up? Joan from Anybody Seen My Focus? was able to snap a picture of a Turkey Vulture perched in a nearby tree, as opposed to circling high overhead, as is so often the case.

The Ridger, blogging at The Greenbelt, is struck by the beauty of a Red Bird in the Dawn. Who doesn’t love the bright red of a male Northern Cardinal?

Finally, I would like to add a post of my own, Wood Ducks and the Celebration of Life. I was looking for Red-winged Blackbirds, and nearly fell over when a pair of Wood Ducks paddled into view!

Perhaps you’ve noticed that I am hosting both IATB and AIF on the same day. I can’t take credit for such a brilliant idea – I managed to arrange that quite by accident! I had some ideas for IATB that I couldn’t quite pull off, so I guess I’ll have to host again sometime. :-) The next IATB is April 4, 2010, at  Chuqui 3.0.

On a final note, I would like to remind everyone that in this Year of Biodiversity, the nature-blog community can play an important role in raising awareness about the importance of protecting our wild animals and their safe places. We, perhaps better than most, understand that humans require vibrant and varied life on the planet to thrive ourselves. I’m excited about the new Discovery Channel series, LIFE, and the broad general appeal that it will likely enjoy. Mark your calendars – the episode on Birds airs April 4, 2010!

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Discovery Channel's LIFE: Birds


25 Responses to “I and the Bird (IATB) #121”

  • [...] It should come as no surprise that nature bloggers are so generous with their time and thoughts since that seems an essential element of naturalist culture. In the world of bird watching, for example, experienced birders lead free trips to share both birds and the knowledge that must be passed on to future generations of nature lovers. Time and time again, naturalists on- and offline give, and in giving perpetuate a grand tradition. Amber Coakley of Birder’s Lounge is, in this sense, a true naturalist. Amber contributes so much to our international community from excellent posts on her blog to support for new nature initiatives and causes. She’s even produced a new nature blog carnival, House of Herps, which I can assure you is a major undertaking!  Amidst all of this, she still finds time to offer one of the greatest gifts of all, a sunny spring edition of I and the Bird #121! [...]

  • An excellent assortment of entries to peruse Amber. I adore the Monty Python clip. The contemplation of birds and their contributions is obviously more important than the king’s silly round table ;-)

    Thank you for the honor of leading off your edition of I And The Bird. I can’t wait to visit all the blogs, some of which are new to me. I am also looking forward to the podcast and then the “LIFE” episode on birds in April.

    As always you have given us much to think about and explore. Birder’s Lounge shines like a beacon for conservation and biodiversity and we appreciate your many contributions.

    • Thanks, Larry – great praise coming from a blogger and conservationist I admire. What you’ve been doing to help the Burrowing Owls is truly inspiring. As for this IATB – I really enjoyed the variety of submissions! (And I couldn’t wait to feature the Python clip) :-)

  • Nate:

    Another great edition! I don’t know how you got two big carnivals out on the same day.

    Thanks for hosting!

    • Hi Nate – I can answer that for you. I called in some help from AJ for AIF, pulled an all-nighter, and dropped the ball a little bit on my day job. Though I don’t recommend scheduling dual duties, I have to say I’m pretty happy with the results. Thanks!

  • Wren:

    Amber, the Monty Python clip as a tie-in for migration is brilliant. It’s one of my favorite bits anyway, but this is perfect.

    Thanks for being our host for this edition!

  • [...] visit Amber at Birder’s Lounge for the latest, greatest, I and the Bird (IATB) #121. Wrenaissance is there, along with a flock of other bird bloggers and a gaggle of great [...]

  • Wonderful! I love the European vs. African Swallow intro!

  • Kay:

    What a fun and informative and inspiring edition of I and the Bird! Thank you for the time and effort you put in.
    Kay

  • Top job Amber, an excellent presentation.

  • [...] I and the Bird #121 – And again with a great IATB at The Birder’s Lounge [...]

  • Marvelous edition, Amber! The Monty Python intro was a brilliant idea. The moment I watched it, I made a mental note that it’s time to watch that movie–again, for the billionth time.

    You did a great job putting this together. What a diverse group of participants. Thank you so much for hosting! (And you get double kudos for pulling off two carnivals on the same day.)

    • Thanks, and I’m thrilled to learn that you’re a Holy Grail fan too! Now that I’ve got these up, I’m ready to make my way over to see The Moth and Me. I have yet to contribute to Seabrooke’s carnival, but I’m hoping to be able to do so in the coming months.

  • Thank you for all the effort you put in to this. The addition of the Monty Python Clip took it up a notch for me as well! What an honor to be part of this diverse group. I am very much looking forward to reading each and every one of the submissions.

  • A great post! I can’t believe you did two excellent carnival posts the same day! (Actually, I can; there’s the evidence, but I’m still amazed!)

    • Me either, Susannah. I’ll be more careful when volunteering to host carnivals – but I have to say that I am really happy with how they turned out. AJ’s help on AIF may have earned her a following!

  • [...] published every two weeks with a rotating editor. If you’ve never seen IATB, you can see the current edition here — the home page and main coordinator of IATB is the 10,000 birds blog. I’m [...]

  • Sandy:

    Yeah — African swallows — that must be it! Now I have to go rent Monty Python for the umpteenth time. Thanks for brightening my second day of spring although I have icicles hanging from my ivy!

  • [...] had… »Amber CoakleyHey TGIQ, this was a lot of work and a lot of fun. I'll be r… »Amber CoakleyRent? That's one for your collection!We'll be up to 64 tomor… »Amber CoakleyMe either, [...]

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