Flightless flightpath

Happy feat

Rockhopper and Snares crested penguins cover 15,000km during a six-month stint at sea

 

s rockhopperSouthern Rockhopper Penguin

Mapping the marathon

A map showing where the rockhopper and Snares penguins travelled

More at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11692473 and http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-37058422

Magellanic Penguin

Neither clown nor child nor black
nor white but verticle
and a questioning innocence
dressed in night and snow:
The mother smiles at the sailor,
the fisherman at the astronaunt,
but the child child does not smile
when he looks at the bird child,
and from the disorderly ocean
the immaculate passenger
emerges in snowy mourning.

I was without doubt the child bird
there in the cold archipelagoes
when it looked at me with its eyes,
with its ancient ocean eyes:
it had neither arms nor wings
but hard little oars
on its sides:
it was as old as the salt;
the age of moving water,
and it looked at me from its age:
since then I know I do not exist;
I am a worm in the sand.

the reasons for my respect
remained in the sand:
the religious bird
did not need to fly,
did not need to sing,
and through its form was visible
its wild soul bled salt:
as if a vein from the bitter sea
had been broken.

Penguin, static traveler,
deliberate priest of the cold,
I salute your vertical salt
and envy your plumed pride.

by Pablo Neruda

Another southern marathon

march

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/marchofthepenguins/

Birding by ear

Making sense of sound

One of Brazil’s best birders is blind. Watch award-winning sound recordist Juan Pablo Culasso at work at http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33345913

juan pablo

Image at http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33345913

Sight unseen 

The Michigan Bird Brains are a team of young blind birdwatchers, lead by Donna Posont. Read her essay about birding blind at  http://blog.allaboutbirds.org/2012/04/19/sensing-natures-beauty-in-sound-scent-and-touch/

Where Song Began

where song began 2Australian biologist Tim Low traces the discovery that Australia was the first home of the world’s songbirds (published by Penguin,2014).

He describes parrots – including the kooky palm cockatoo pictured on the cover – as having ‘aptitude with attitude’.

Film clip taken from the documentary Australia Land of Parrots. See http://www.abc.net.au

land of parrots

Read more about the palm cocko’s DIY drumsticks and use of drumming at http://www.sciencewise.anu.edu.au/articles/drumming%20parrot

Recordings of palm cockos (and birdsong from around the world) are available online at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/201266

BIRD04

Palm Cockatoos

Illustration by the late, great Australian bird artist William Cooper (6 April 1934 – 10 May 2015).

Image at http://www.nokomis.com.au/cockatooplates.html

 

 

 

Odysseys

odyssey /od-i-si/ n. (pl. -eys): a series of wanderings; a long and eventful journey [from Greek Odusseia, title of an epic poem attributed to Homer describing the adventures of Odysseus]

definition: Oxford Compact English Dictionary

The beginning of the Odyssey


odyssey text Bibi Saint-Pol

 Image Bibi Saint-Pol/Wikimedia Commons

The beginning of a different odyssey

‘As you set out for Ithaka

hope your road is a long one,

full of adventure, full of discovery…’

from Ithaka by CP Cavafy

The journeys of birds

 travelling birds film 1 web

Travelling Birds (also known as Winged Migration): a 2001 documentary film that follows northern hemisphere birds on their spring migration to the Arctic Circle.

Birds on the itinerary

Destination Flyways is an initiative of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

‘In 2012, a record one billion tourists crossed international borders…By providing an adequate framework for sustainable tourism management and diversifying the tourism offer along the flyways, Destination Flyways will generate revenue for improved management of biodiversity and spread the benefits of tourism to local communities, while creating attractive experiences for tourists.’

http://biodiv.unwto.org/content/flyways

birdwatchers broome 1 kimberley birdwatching

Birdwatching at Roebuck Bay near Broome, Western Australia

Morley Beach birdwatchers 1

Birdwatching at Morley Beach, Denmark, Western Australia

Images: top, kimberleybirdwatching.com.au; bottom, Basil Schur

Stopping along the way

‘shhh I can make myself invisible

with binoculars in moist places…

…whisper I wear soft colours/

whisper, this is the naturalist

she’s been out since dawn

dripping in her waterproof notebook’

 from Dart by Alice Oswald