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Posts Tagged "passerines"

Tetrapod Zoology

Nuthatch Empire

A nuthatch montage. Top left: Pygmy nuthatch (photo by Jimfbleak CC BY-SA-3.0). Top right: White-breated nuthatch (photo by Snowmanradio CC BY-SA-3.0). Bottom: Western rock nuthatch (photo by Devonpike CC BY-SA-3.0).

Today I’d like to focus on passerine birds again, and this time on a group that I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about before: the certhioids. Scrap that. This article ended up being devoted entirely to just one lineage within Certhioidea: the nuthatches, or sittids (properly Sittidae). We start with the image above, taken in [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

More passerines as seen from the peripheries (part III): Great tits!

Parus major, aka Great tit, photographed in southern England in early 2014. Photo by Darren Naish.

Welcome to another of my articles on passerines from the peripheries. As before, the idea here is that we’re looking at passerine bird groups as seen ‘from the fringes’ – from an obscure, maritime archipelago on the eastern fringes of the North Atlantic, far from the places where these birds underwent most of their evolution [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Blue tits: passerines seen from the peripheries (part II)

Preening Eurasian blue tit doing weird stuff with its wing: a bird that I photographed in April 2014. Photo by Darren Naish.

Today I want to talk more about passerines, and I know that this will make you happy. In particular: TITS!! Tits of several species are ubiquitous here in Europe. The two that are most frequently encountered here in southern England are the Great tit Parus major and Eurasian blue tit Cynanistes caeruleus. This article was [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Chiffchaffs: a view of passerines from the peripheries (part I)

Chiffchaff, leaf warbler examplar. Photo by Darren Naish.

Every now and again I make an effort to get through a little bit more of passerine bird diversity (see the list of articles below for previous efforts). This is such an enormous and vastly diverse clade, alas, that I’ll probably never manage it – unless, that is, that I blog about passerines and not [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

My local magpie family: four weeks of observation, 265 photos, and how good are the results?

magpie-adult-1-600-px-tiny-June-2013-Darren-Naish-Tetrapod-Zoology

Over the past few months, a pair of European magpies Pica pica have been nesting in one of the short trees I have growing in my front garden, and within the last couple of weeks, their two young fledged and all four birds moved off. I was thrilled: I love watching corvids and I was [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Birding in Brazil: a view from suburban Rio de Janeiro

Masked water-tyrant chicks encountered in a tree. Photo by Darren Naish.

As might be obvious from several of the more recent Tet Zoo articles, I’ve lately been to Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. And what could I do there but look at – and photograph (or try to photograph) – birds. Well, I was there for the 2013 International Symposium on Pterosaurs, but I didn’t spend [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

‘Mystery’ birds from Brazil

finch-thing-unidentified-2-600-px-tiny-June-2013-Darren-Naish-Tetrapod-Zoology

While in Rio recently (for the International Symposium on Pterosaurs: see write-up here), I saw an enormous number of birds, virtually all of which were new to me. I photographed many of them (some were too elusive, or too fleetingly seen, to be captured on film, alas) and, when time allows, I’ve been going through [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

In pursuit of the Rook

Any adventures about the more rural parts of the UK typically involve (for me, anyway) a lot of looking at the Rook Corvus frugilegus, a remarkable Old World corvid that occurs from the far western shores of the UK and France all the way east to Japan (it’s generally absent from the cold northern parts [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Great tits: still murderous, rapacious, flesh-rending predators!

Thanks to Ville Sinkkonen, I’ve just learnt of this Finnish news article: it reports wildlife photographer Lassi Kujala’s discovery of more than ten Common redpolls Carduelis flammea killed by Great tits Parus major. A Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella was killed as well. I understand that tits are called titmice in some parts of the world. So, [...]

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Tetrapod Zoology

Eurylaimides, Tyrannida and Furnariida: the suboscine passerines

Here’s a brief extract from the birds chapter (Naish 2012) of The Complete Dinosaur, second edition, with some slight tweaks [get the book here on Amazon.com; here on Amazon.co.uk]. Much more on this volume soon. The section of text here is on suboscine passerines. Within passerines (the so-called ‘perching birds’), molecular work shows that New Zealand [...]

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