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The Raven

The Raven

By Jon Friedman (This is an updated and expanded version of a raven article originally published in our May/June, 1996 issue of The Wild Bird Store Newsletter) Ravens belong to the Corvidae family of birds which includes all North American jays (except one) and the Yellow-billed and Black-billed Magpies. The subfamily of Corvinae includes the Common Raven, Chihuahuan Raven (formerly called the White-necked Raven), Common Crow, Northwestern Crow, Fish Crow, Mexican Crow, Hawaiian Crow, Piñon Jay and the Clark’s Nutcracker. Many of the Corvidae family of birds are considered to be among the most intelligent of all avian species, along...

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The Birds of Heaven (And other favorite bird stories)

The Birds of Heaven (And other favorite bird stories)

By Jon Friedman   Much of my adult life, particularly in the past three decades or so, I have come across many books about birds that I have enjoyed immensely. Even though my library is stocked with many reference books, there have been quite a few that I read not only for whatever factual gleaning was offered, but also for the sheer joy and entertainment value that certain writers powerfully convey. In this article, I will outline a few of my favorite non-reference books, and movies, that I heartily recommend to others who share a love of birds. The Birds...

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Understanding Conservation Status

By Jon Friedman   Yellow-billed Cuckoo- a Threatened Species * Photo by Dan Pancamo   Introduction Over the years, I have used the phrase “conservation status” in numerous conversations and written articles. While this phrase may sound steeped in scientific vocabulary, it simply and basically means understanding and gauging the population dynamics of any given species. What are the factors that determine whether the species population is shrinking, remaining the same or becoming enlarged? Understanding the “why” and “what” these factors represent help us measure our appreciation of the larger nature of the issues involved in conservation and determining conservation status. Definition...

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Bats at Hummingbird Feeders

By Jon Friedman (This updated and expanded article was originally published in a 2012 newsletter.) We sometimes hear from customers who ask if hummingbirds can empty a full feeder overnight. We explain to them that hummers are asleep all night, not out foraging. What they are experiencing is nectar-eating bats. There are three species of bats that are known to frequent, and usually empty, nectar feeders in a single night. These bats are somewhat common in selected regions of the southwest, particularly in areas that border Mexico. Two of the species, the Mexican Long-nosed and the Mexican Long-tongued Bats, are...

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Birdscaping

Birdscaping

Article By Jon Friedman

Feature Photo by Doris Evans

Gardening and birding go hand-in-hand with many who have set up bird feeding stations in their yards. To intentionally blend the two into a seamless whole is what some call “birdscaping.” Planting vegetation that attracts and feeds birds, and possibly bats and butterflies, can stand alone or be combined with providing other draws for the wildlife – such as an assortment of feeders to attract favorite species and a fresh daily source of clean water for bathing and drinking...

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