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Elonka's Memestreams Page - Subcultures R Us


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Current Topic: Biology

Identifying Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks
Topic: Biology 2:50 pm EST, Nov 21, 2005

Sharp-shinned (Accipiter striatus) and Cooper’s (Accipiter cooperii) hawks commonly prey on feeder birds, and they are frequently reported by FeederWatchers. Despite their common occurrence, these hawks present a significant identification problem for many beginning and intermediate (and even more advanced!) birders. Throughout the year, there is great variation in plumage and in size for these two species. Therefore, perhaps more than any other similar-looking pair, no single field mark is likely to distinguish one species from the other. Instead, the careful observer must use a combination of field marks and draw from the overall "gestalt" of the hawk for proper identification. No field guide will substitute plenty of practice in the field for this pair.

Another one of my (many) hobbies is bird-watching. I've got a shelf full of bird books, and keep a list identifying every bird that stops by the feeders outside my office window. One big advantage to the office location, is that they're those mirrored windows which I can see out of, but the birds can't see in. So I regularly get *really* close looks at the birds as they perch right next to (and sometimes right on) the sill.

There's a hawk that's been visiting lately though, that even with all my books, I'm not certain how to identify. So I was pleased to find this page showing that I'm not alone! I'm pretty sure now that she's a young Cooper's Hawk. And that she's patiently waiting for prey in the form of other smaller birds that visit my feeder. Which probably explains why I haven't been needing to refill the feeders as much lately! ;)

Identifying Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks

Giant Squid Photographed for First Time
Topic: Biology 12:56 pm EDT, Sep 28, 2005

TOKYO Sep 28, 2005 — The giant squid can be found in books and in myths, but for the first time, a team of Japanese scientists has captured on film one of the most mysterious creatures of the deep sea in its natural habitat.

Giant Squid Photographed for First Time

Topic: Biology 9:37 pm EDT, Jun  2, 2005

This webpage includes a brief note by an 82-year-old friend, who in his retirement turned his attention to hybridizing some really amazing flowers. In his younger years, Oscie Whatley was one of the engineers who worked on the St. Louis Arch. His son, David, is CEO of Simutronics.

Oscie has been in seriously poor health lately, and many of us are worried about him. I wanted to blog something about him for my memestream though, and decided that pictures of his flowers would be most appropriate. :)


Antarctica Penguin-Cam
Topic: Biology 11:26 am EST, Dec 20, 2004

Updated every 30 minutes, a webcam feed from Antarctica, showing a colony of Gentoo penguins. Looks like the chicks have already hatched...

Antarctica Penguin-Cam

Reuters: Unidentified Sea Creature Washes up in Chile
Topic: Biology 10:31 am EDT, Jul  4, 2003

] Scientists have been boggled by the 40-foot-long mass of
] gray, gelatinous flesh that was first spotted over a week
] ago near Puerto Montt, about 600 miles south of the
] capital, Santiago.
] Whale conservationists went to see it last Sunday,
] thinking it was a beached whale, but quickly concluded it
] was an invertebrate, appealing to international experts
] for help.

Whale, giant octopus, squid, or something new?

Reuters: Unidentified Sea Creature Washes up in Chile - Copied cat hardly resembles original - Jan. 22, 2003
Topic: Biology 4:40 pm EST, Jan 23, 2003

] People who hope cloning will resurrect a pet will be
] disappointed, said Duane Kraemer, one of A&M's animal
] cloning experts. Experts say environment is as important
] as genes in determining a cat's personality. And as far
] as appearance, having the same DNA as another calico cat
] doesn't always produce the same coat pattern. - Copied cat hardly resembles original - Jan. 22, 2003

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