“one stormy night my girlfriend saw what we thought was a dead sparrow below our balcony. he was barely breathing, covered in ants and completely blind.

“we brought him home and put him in a box. after spending a night in our bedroom, he woke us up with high pitched tweeting. we tried feeding him, but without any luck, so we placed him on our balcony. he continued tweeting non stop for three hours.

“finally, his father found him and started feeding him. he brought his chick huge bugs and bread every 10-15 minutes all day long for two weeks straight.

“he was getting bigger every day, but he was still blind. i called a vet, and he told me to try simple eye drops. it worked like a charm! he even started hiding from us behind our flowers. soon, his father started showing him how to fly trough the window.

“one day he just left – we knew this day would come eventually. we became really worried because that same night, and for the next few days, there was really stormy weather. however, three days later, he came back and fell asleep in one of our pots.”



Canadian drywall contractor Bernie Mitchell has turned his trade into an awesome art form. He uses wet joint compound (also known as drywall compound or mud) to sculpt beautiful reliefs of animals and nature scenes on walls, above fireplaces, and as decorative features on other prominent surfaces inside homes and cottages. Mitchell is particularly fond of using wild birds as his primary subjects, especially blue heron, osprey and loons. He’s also partial to incorporating wolves, dogs, and horses into his scenes.

This video offers a behind-the-scenes look at how Mitchell uses humble drywall compound to create beautiful works of snow white art:

Head over to Bernie Mitchell’s website or Facebook page to check out more of his creations.

[via Sploid and Bored Panda]

Darwin’s… Tanagers?

DYK? Darwin’s finches aren’t finches at all – they are more closely related to tanagers! In 2002, Field Museum ornithologist Shannon Hackett and her coauthors used Field specimens and collections in order to generate a genetic tree of life for songbirds. Darwin’s Finch DNA sequences were pulled from the public database GenBank, and when compared to the DNA songbird tree of life, these scientists discovered the ‘Finches’ are actually nestled into the tree among the tanagers. Just another way in which museum collections, paired with new technologies, enhance our understanding of biodiversity.

Happy Darwin Day

Burns, K. J., S. J. Hackett, and N. K. Klein. 2002. “Phylogenetic relationships and morphological diversity in Darwin’s Finches and their relatives.” Evolution 56: 1240-1252.

Read more on Darwin and Museum Collections!




A project by ME and MAX in which YOU get to choose adaptations and go through the evolution of Dinosauria

This is a partly speculative, partly educational interactive YouTube game that relies on annotations

Art from

Disclaimers are under the cut, as are achievements & prizes. You can also read the former on the YouTube video itself, and the latter on this page

Lees verder
GBBC | Great Backyard Bird Count

THIS WEEKEND, February 12-15, YOU CAN COUNT BIRDS. FOR SCIENCE! Anywhere in the world!
It is very easy. If you can identify any wild bird(s), and you can look at them with your eyes for at least 15 minutes, then just write down what you see, and report it online to be part of CITIZEN SCIENCE. You don’t even need to be an expert; report only the birds you know how to identify!

“But I am really awful at bird Identification”.
THAT’S OKAY! If you want to participate, you still can! You only have to report the ones that you know, even if you only know pigeons, or robins, or other common birds. No one will judge you. The info is submitted online, too, so you don’t even have to feel intimidated by other people birdwatching.

“I do not have a backyard and/or there are no birds in it.”
THAT’S OKAY! If you go anywhere this weekend and see any wild birds… while you are driving (well, a passenger, be safe), walking, waiting for a bus, looking out of a window at your place of work, etc, you can still contribute! You can go for a stroll or a ride and count what you see, or if you live in the bitter cold north like me, go to a place where you can see birds out of a window and watch them while having a hot drink, nice and toasty inside.

“But I live in a city or a place where there are just pigeons and sparrows, etc.”
THAT’S OKAY! It’s important for scientists to know the number of urban birds, too. You can still help! You might even be surprised to see other species hanging out in a city that you never expected. That happens pretty often actually!

“But I hate birds.”

暖かいみなみかぜだけど、ちょっとつよいよね〜。 #スズメ #小鳥 #写真 #東京 #春の陽気 #南風|スズメ写真集『あした、どこかで。』好評発売中