Author Archives: James Churchill

Can has Chickadeezburger? How Many Birds Do Cats Kill in Canada?

In case it slipped under your radar this week, an estimate of the number of birds killed annually by cats in Canada was released, and it is no Far Side cartoon. In a special issue of Avian Conservation and Ecology … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Canada, Bird Conservation Canada, Canadian Birds, Conservation, Songbirds | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Google Bird: What Can Search Data Do for Bird Conservation?

If Google searches can so accurately predict the incidence and spread of the flu why not the ‘incidence and spread’ of birds? eBird is only one of many mechanisms we have for amassing and disseminating big bird data (big data). … Continue reading

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Ovenbirds Flipping Out

Stop and think of the most easily distinguished and most monotonous songsters in the Canadian woods during the breeding season. “Teacher – Teacher – Teacher – Teacher – Teacher!” Although Ovenbirds are familiar and welcome singers, they seem to be … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Behaviour, Bird Canada, Bird Identification, Boreal Forest Birds, Canadian Birds, Songbirds, Weird & Wonky, Wood Warblers | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Ovenbirds Flipping Out

How Many Maritimers Does it Take to Find a Downy Woodpecker False Face?

The idea that “false faces” are used by birds for predator deterrence floats in the ether between biology textbook case study and mythical meme. The idea that evolution can produce false faces compels and amazes us but because of the lack of … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Bird Behaviour, Bird Canada, Bird Identification, Canadian Birds, Nature Photography, Songbirds, Woodpeckers | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Consulting the eBird Oracle: Where are our Migrant Warblers Now?

It is early May – where are our migrant Warblers on their journeys? (Hint: check out the maps below!) The majority of our breeding Warblers are lurking just south of the belt (the Canada/US belt, not the Bible Belt) and … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Behaviour, Bird Canada, Canadian Birds, Citizen Science, Migration, Songbirds, Wood Warblers | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

DIY Animated Observation Maps Using eBird Data: Part I

In the last couple of years, eBird took two pretty important steps with their data: they began releasing animated occurrence maps for the conterminous U.S., and also opened the gates for  downloading data from the global database. In combination, these developments give … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Behaviour, Bird Canada, Canadian Birds, Citizen Science, Conservation, Migration, Songbirds | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Introduction: Synecdoche and the Bird

When asked why he chose to live in the remote, wilds of Montana, nature writer David Quammen would traditionally reply, “the trout.” And when pressed, “the trout is a synecdoche” – a discrete, phenomenal, biological entity, but immeasurably more than … Continue reading

Posted in Bird Behaviour, Bird Canada, Bird Conservation Canada, Canadian Birds, Citizen Science, Conservation, Migration, Nature Photography, Owls, Songbirds, Wood Warblers | Tagged , , | 4 Comments