Some of my SD Staff Reports have just been published in a birding anthology

Some time ago a friend of mine asked to republish several of my Staff Reports in an anthology on birding she was putting together. The book has just been published:

Tale Feathers: A Celebration of Birds, Birders, and Bird Watching, by Jacquelyn M. Howard.

It contains the Staff Reports:

How does a flock of birds wheel and swoop in unison?

Why are storks associated with babies?

Why do vultures circle dead stuff?

How can woodpeckers stand all that woodpecking?

Disclaimer: The Staff Reports have been republished with permission. I don’t receive any money from the sale of this book.

You don’t need royalties! Rob banks with your bird army!

It’s an Air Force, actually.

Hey, congrats, Colibri, that book is going on my Christmas wish list ! Excellent photo, wow, 600,000 vultures in a day, it boggles the mind. You have a wonderful job.

Wow, very cool. Congrats!

Very nice

And I like the idea of a ‘wake’ of vultures, I think it is nicer than the generic flock…

Yeah, I was lucky to have been at the watch site that date. I’ve usually missed our really big days. That year the migration was held up by a bunch of hurricanes that hit Central America, so that many of the birds came through together. (Since they rely on thermal soaring, they can only migrate when the weather is good). We got nearly half of the total migration at that site coming through on one day. Last year, we had a count of around 800,000 raptors there in one day, but I missed it.

Because the isthmus is so narrow (50 miles) it concentrates the migration and makes it easy to count raptors. Much of the North American population of Turkey Vultures, Broad-winged Hawks, and Swainson’s Hawks passes through Panama on their way to South America. (Swainson’s goes all the way to Argentina.) In 2004 we counted at a string of 10 sites all the way from ocean to ocean (mostly within sight of one another) and counted 3.3 million raptors in six weeks.

Very cool, Colibri! Congrats.

That’s awesome, congrats! My favortie of yours is the one on birds and hot peppers, patricularly this line:

“For anyone who has ever “enjoyed” a five-alarm mondongo at a Mexican restaurant, two questions will immediately leap to mind: (a) How can such featherweight creatures consume enough incendiary material to vaporize a camel and still show no signs of discomfort? and (b) hokey smokes, Josephine, what do you suppose that will do to their tiny bungholes tomorrow morning?”

Cracks me up every time. :smiley:

Congratulations, Colibri! And thanks for the links. I’ve added the book to my wish list. I also read the staff reports. I can see why they were included in the book. Nicely done.

Odd that I should read both your report on wheeling and this on the same day.

Your reports are always informative and entertaining, Colibri, you deserve the recognition. Congratulations!