December 2009

Adopt a Loon

The Common Loon is quite lovely to look at;

one of the most geographically dispersed water birds. The loon's black and white markings, especially the black head and checker-board back, makes it easy to spot on lakes or coastal estuaries from the width of Canada to the northern United States. But, lovely as they are to watch, loons are best known for the eerie cry of the male. Loons are, however, declining rapidly. They have ceased to appear at all at lakes where they have been breeding for hundreds of years; we are not sure, exactly what has caused this decline.

The Coolest Bird on the Planet

The Superb Bird of Paradise, Lophorina superba, is a small bird native to the rainforests of New Guinea. Because the males far outnumber the females, competition for a mate is fierce, and has, over time, resulted in elaborate competitive courtship displays. Apparently, the average female rejects fifteen to twenty of her performing suitors, before finding The One.

This competitive pressure is understandably stressful for the males. Apparently, they've resorted to music videos, in attempt to be perceived as The Coolest Bird on the Planet.