White Breasted Nuthatch Cardinal

In search of a whiter shade of pale

A friend in Wisconsin recently told me about the sighting of a pure, white Robin.  Witness to only an albino squirrel in my lifetime, I Googled ‘sightings of albino birds’ online. Many images came up including an albino Hummingbird, Blackbird, Australian Tawny Frogmouth and an albino Puffin, to name a few. Albinism occurs when offspring
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Commiseration for a reluctant spring

Eight days after the official start of spring I got a glimpse of my first Robin of the season in Minneapolis. This, coupled with a 60-degree day on Sunday, March 30, 2014, lifted my spirits. Our northern neighbors continue to contend with bouts of snow, dashing hope for an early glimpse of a budding crocus.
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An ode to murmuration

Perhaps you have seen a large, graceful bird formation that fills the sky and syncopates across the horizon in a feathery cloud? It is called a murmuration. Not fully understood in terms of physics, this complex phenomenon is a defense mechanism for birds against predators. Andrea Alfano, a Cornell University undergraduate, reports that “the beauty
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Nearly 50 million birds and counting

The National Audubon Society has provided preliminary data for the 114th annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC), which ran Dec. 5, 2013 through Jan. 5, 2014. Some 1,613 bird counts were conducted totaling 48,828,176 birds reported as of 7 a.m. CDT on Feb. 12, 2014. The real-time count continues and in-depth information is provided to Audubon
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Propane shortage hampers chick incubation

Sinclair Lewis once said “winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.” Lately, for most upper Midwest residents, especially those relying on propane heat, no truer words have been said. According to Minnesota Public Radio, January 2014 meant monthly temperatures ranging from 7 to 10 degrees colder than normal, ranking among the top 4 coldest
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