Category Archives: animal behavior

Attack of the kea at Arthur’s Pass!

If I return without seeing one of these birds, I’ll be downhearted. Here is a kea attack on a car at Arthur’s Pass. The woman tried to feed one, which is forbidden, though I know it’s tempting. And here’s a video showing the infectious “play call” of the kea that incites other kea to playful […]

Early spring hawks

by Greg Mayer A correspondent in Racine, Wisconsin, shares the following photos of a pair of hawks that have been perching on his fence. I say ‘pair’ with some hesitation, because although both have been in his yard, I cannot sex them, and their co-occurrence could be a coincidence. I suspect it is a pair, […]

Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

This will be the last batch of readers’ wildlife photos for a while. But please keep accumulating them to send me when I return. First, Christopher Moss, whose “first chipmunk of spring” photo was posted two days ago, adds a video of what he says is a mating call. (Do female chipmunks call?) His comment: “Beginning […]

Intrepid eagles warm their eggs in a storm

It’s a sign of the bald eagle’s return that there is a pair nesting at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. The two, named, appropriately, “Mr. President” and “First Lady” (I prefer to call them “Obama” and “Michelle”), were caught in the latest storms, but sat intrepidly in a snow-filled nest to keep their eggs […]

Close cheetah enounter of the first kind

All I know about this 5-minute video is that it was filmed at the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, next to the Serengeti, and that the tourists in this vehicle were lucky in two ways. Cheetahs don’t attack humans very often (but some do have rabies). h/t: Stephen

Lemurs use toxic millipedes as insecticides, get high as a byproduct

From BBC One program, “Spy in the Wild”, we learn that lemurs not only rub millipedes on their skin to deter insects (mostly mosquitoes who are repelled by the millipedes’ benzoquinones), but also seem to get high from chemicals in the ‘pedes. This isn’t just speculation: there’s research to support at least the insecticide part (see here). I’m not […]

Roadrunner nabs hummingbirds

Roadrunners don’t fly much; in fact, I’ve seen Greater Roadrunners (Geococcyx californianus) many times in the desert, but have never seen one leave the ground. After all, there’s a reason they’re called “roadrunners.” But this one did levitate. According to the Audubon News site, photographer Roy Dunn saw the possibility of a roadrunner snatching a hummingbird from […]

A bunch of turkeys circle a dead cat. WHY?

The Verge describes this video, showing a bunch of turkeys (there must be a formal name for such a group) circling a dead cat in the middle of the road, somewhere near Boston. Why are they doing this? The Verge suggests two explanations, neither of which I find all that convincing. But go to the link […]

Readers’ wildlife photos (with bonus science)

Reader Bruce Lyon, who happens to be a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of California at Santa Cruz (America’s most beautiful campus), sent a group of photos illustrating a research project, so we can haz some pictures and some science as well. His notes are indented: Golden-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia atricapilla) are migratory songbirds that breed […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Cameron Way of Fort Collins, Colorado sent a passel of photos that, he said, depicted “playing” in his backyard. He identifies them as fox squirrels (Sciurus niger), but isn’t sure. When I asked him if they were playing or fighting, he responded, “I don’t know if they were fighting, but there was a lot of this, […]