Category Archives: animal behavior

Kin selection in waterfowl

This is from the pond right outside my office. I can’t count the ducklings, but people tell me that there were once nine of them. There’s a slow attrition over the summer as feral cats, raptors, and male ducks kill them. I’m hoping we’ll fledge at least six. (Poor quality attributable to my using my […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Today we have . . . . a passel of hippos (Hippopotamus amphibius, and remember that name). I’ve never seen so many! These photos are from reader Bob Lundgren: The first four photos are of the Retima hippo pool in Serengeti National Park. It’s well populated as you can see in the first photo and typical of […]

Flycatcher: the clue is in the name

by Matthew Cobb Here’s a great video by Robert Martin of a male Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) at Gilfach Farm, Radnorshire, Wales, doing what comes naturally. This was filmed just under a year ago – 31 May 2014 – and shows the casual agility of these birds. At least it was quick for the insect. Just think […]


This is a metaphor; choose your own meaning. I don’t know where else to put this, but the laws of physics compelled me to post it.

A novel but clever behavior: ants form daisy chain to haul prey back to nest (and fly lagniappe)

I believe it was a reader who sent me a link to the first video below, but I can’t remember that reader’s name, so my apologies. But when I saw the video of ants pulling prey back to the nest by forming a long daisy chain, linking their bodies by biting each other to increase pulling power, I couldn’t […]

Swimming jaguar

Here, have a swimming jaguar. Although it’s clearly going underwater to get noms, it doesn’t seem to be distressed. And its underwater gyrations make it look for all the world like a cat floating in outer space. h/t: Sarah

Crazy caterpillar with erupting tentacles

At Rainforest Expeditions, entomologist Aaron Pomerantz describes a weird caterpillar that he found on a guided tourist expedition to the Peruvian rainforest.  It has this weird behavior . . . His ID: After a little research, I found that this caterpillar is in the moth family Geometridae and is in the genusNematocampa. Also referred to […]

Grand Theft Walnut!

I am a good deity to my squirrels, but how do they repay me for giving them ample noms, water, and a clean windowsill to eat and bask on? With disdain and contempt! Today the thieving little bastards stole an entire bag of walnuts when I wasn’t looking. And, for your information, walnuts are $4 […]

Barn owl versus kestrel

by Matthew Cobb This tremendous video from a nestcam set up by Robert E Fuller shows a barn owl and a kestrel fighting over who will occupy the nest site. Hard to know who I want to win – they are both gorgeous birds. Fuller is a wildlife artist based in Yorkshire – you can […]

Hummingbirds fly in a wind-and-rain tunnel

This video, posted on the Diply site, shows what happens when some curious scientists put hummingbirds (trained to take nectar from a feeder) into a wind tunnel and blasted them with winds or pelted them with water. It’s no surprise that they compensate for wind gusts and keep feeding, but you must see what they […]


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