Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais this week doled out a message to the youngsters in Generation Z: you can never be “woke” enough, and there will come a day when you get eaten by your increasingly strict and bizarre standards.
Joining Sam Harris on his podcast “Absolutely Mental,” Gervais mocked Gen Z, “I want to live long enough to see the younger generation not be woke enough for the next generation.”
“It’s going to happen,” the “After Life” star promised. “Don’t they realize that it’s like, they’re next? That’s what’s funny.”
“We kicked out the old guard. We did it,” Gervais said. “There’s only so woke and liberal you can get and then you start going the other way. But it’s inevitable.”
Fox News noted that Gervais in December similarly took a swing at progressivism and cancel culture.
“The scary thing is being canceled if you say the wrong thing and suddenly Netflix can take you off their platform,” he told the “SmartLess” podcast.
“You could be the most woke, politically correct stand-up in the world at the moment, but you don’t know what it’s going to be like in 10 years time,” the 60-year-old argued. “You can get canceled for things you said ten years ago.”
“The misunderstanding about cancel culture is some people think you should be able to say anything you want without consequences, and that’s not true because we’re members of society and people are allowed to criticize you,” Gervais continued. “They’re allowed to not buy your things, they’re allowed to burn your DVDs, and they’re allowed to turn the telly off. What they’re not allowed to do is to bully other people into not going to see you.”
Notably, there have been increasing calls from some on the Left to de-platform comedian Dave Chappelle from Netflix. His crime is telling jokes concerning transgenderism and, ironically, the hateful backlash people get for daring to disagree with the leftist ideology.
Gervais, again, made politically incorrect noise in 2020 when he hosted the Golden Globes and took Hollywood leftists to task. The Daily Wire reported at the time:
Gervais [roasted] the liberal Hollywood elite for their woke posturing while living degenerate lives, highlighting friendships with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to shady business deals with communist China.
“If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a political platform to make a political speech,” Gervais told Hollywood. “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything, you know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So, if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your God — and f*** off, okay?”
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.
Buying a car and taking it to the auto shop for repairs and maintenance can be a nightmare for many women.
Sadly, many of them don’t get the same treatment as men, a situation that continues to frustrate females everywhere to no end. They feel misunderstood and taken advantage of, and there really isn’t much out there that they can rely on to ease their concerns.
This unfortunate truth prompted materials engineer and mechanic Patrice Banks to open up a ladies-only auto shop in Philadelphia called “Girls Auto Clinic” or GAC, for short.Instagram
Banks wanted to change the conversation around women and their vehicles, so she founded GAC in 2015. The goal is to empower females and provide them with the know-how of managing their own cars, so they can become confident “sheCANics.”
“I was afraid I was going to be taken advantage of,” Banks said. “I was tired of feeling helpless and having to go talk to a guy.”
Banks also hopes to increase the presence of women in the male-dominated automotive industry.
At 31, Banks enrolled in night classes at a technical school. She was the only woman in the class and was older than the average student by about 12 years.Instagram
She eventually quit her job as a materials engineer and started her apprenticeships in garages around Philadelphia. Finally, she gained enough knowledge and experience to open up GAC in 2015.
GAC is fully owned and operated by women, meaning it has an all-female workforce. The business offers a place where women can take care of their cars without all the stress that typically comes with it.
Each GAC mechanic’s objective is to give women the auto experience they deserve and equip them with the information they need about their cars.Facebook
“People are coming in, especially women, with that guard up. In order to get them to trust you, you have to let that guard down,” Banks explained.
“Mechanics do a lot of diagnosing from hearing, seeing, feeling and smelling. So if we can hear, see, feel and smell it, so can you. So I’m going to show you what I’m looking for, what I’m feeling for, so you can feel comfortable and you know this is what’s going on with [your] car. … It’s just about transparency and communication.”
Banks admits that she was once an “auto airhead,” someone who doesn’t know a thing about cars. But when she realized that women spend billions of dollars every year on buying and maintaining cars, she recognized that females are the most influential vehicle customer segment. So, she built a business model that supports a need in the lives of many women drivers.Instagram
GAC became more than just an auto shop for women when Banks added a beauty salon to it. Here, women can pamper themselves while they wait for their cars to be serviced.
They have the option of availing of a manicure, pedicure, and even a blow-out! The “Clutch Beauty Bar” really elevates customer experience and provides them with the kind of service that is hard to find anywhere else.
GAC is focused on educating females about cars, a mission they fulfill by providing car care memberships, videos, workshops, and a friendly Shecanic Facebook community where members can ask car-related questions and have them answered by mechanics.Facebook
In this colorized image from 1938, a mother is walking her baby in a gas-resistant baby buggy (or pram). The pram was designed by FW Mills and was an alternative to the baby gas mask. The lid had a glass panel; there was a gas filter on the top. On the back of the pram, a bulb from a car horn sucked in fresh air and expelled the stale. Thus, the buggy was properly ventilated. The woman herself is also wearing a gas mask.
In World War I, chlorine and mustard gas were used as a form of chemical warfare, resulting in 88,000 dead and 1,200,000 injured. This was only 20 years before the start of World War II, and so it was part of the collective memory. This, coupled with the bombing of Guernica, helped to induce terror in Great Britain.
The Fear Was Real
On April 26, 1937, the Nazi German Luftwaffe’s Condor Legion and the Fascist Italian Aviazione Legionaria bombed Guernica in Spain, and although the number of people who died is disputed and the number of casualties were not high, it did create fear in Britain of what could happen if Nazi bombers got through. The widespread fear in Britain was that the Nazis would drop poison gas bombs and the government started to plan for tens of thousands of deaths in London. Liddell Hart, one of the government advisors, told them to plan for 250,000 deaths in the first week of the war. Thus, every British civilian was issued a gas mask, or “general civilian respirator.” In total, they issued more than 35 million of them.
Any Teslas round here? [image credit: Edal Anton Lefterov @ Wikipedia]
A bit of light relief perhaps, unless you’re already one of the victims or could soon become one. Are electric cars more appealing than combustion-engined types to hungry rodents? Check those brake cables.
– – –
Elon Musk may have a rat problem, says The New York Post.
Fans of the South African billionaire’s electric cars say rats, mice and rodents are chomping down on their Teslas.
And despite having dropped tens of thousands of dollars to buy the pricey vehicles, Tesla refuses to cover the damage.
Sarah Williams, a 41-year-old physician who lives in Manhattan and uses her Tesla to commute to work in the Bronx, told The Post of an alarming incident when she took her 2018 Model 3 into Tesla’s Paramus, NJ, dealership in mid-May after her air conditioner had stopped working.
🌎 As much as NASA missions and scientists turn their gazes outward at the cosmos, we continue to spend the most time studying our own oasis and keeping fingers on the pulse of Earth's changing climate.https://t.co/OMAaX1JzFR
The prize’s aim is to “accelerate meaningful innovation around a replacement for thin-film plastic.” The two-year competition includes a $1 million prize. Thin-film plastic accounts for 46% of the plastic that leaks into the ocean annually.
“Thin-film plastic enters our lives for a minute, yet continues on as waste, never truly disappearing,” says Dr. Dune Ives, CEO of Lonely Whale. “The origin story of plastic starts with an innovation prize and the solution to the plastic crisis can be found in the tale of its creation. As a campaign organization capable of catalyzing global change on a massive scale, the Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize is an opportunity to create another new beginning and promote solutions commensurate with the plastic pollution problem.”
Judges for the panel include Don Cheadle, Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, Livia Firth, Trudie Styler, Susan Rockefeller, and more. The Tom Ford Plastic Innovation Prize is open May 20 through October 24, 2021, and guidelines and prize rules are available at www.plasticprize.org
“Sustainability is a key critical issue in our lives now,” says Tom Ford. “Plastic pollution is taking one of the greatest tolls on our environment and thin-film plastic makes up 46% of all plastic waste entering our ocean. We will continue to advocate for the adoption of the winning innovations and will do whatever we can to turn the tide of plastic pollution and thin-film plastic specifically. We need to work towards finding a solution before it’s too late to save our environment.”
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Also, don’t forget to download the Food Monster App on iTunes — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
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Drinking From a Can Has One Major Side Effect, Study Says
Each spring, hummingbirds return to our gardens, farms, and parks, bringing their sparkle and activity. Birders and non-birders alike are excited to see these birds return. The hummingbird species we see vary depending on location, but these colorful birds brighten up any backyard with their beauty. Their majesty is not without mystery, though — especially when it comes to their nesting habits. Hummingbirds are masters at camouflaging their nests, making them almost impossible to spot, even when you are looking.
To shed some light on how hummingbirds breed, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide. So, if you’ve ever wondered about the size of hummingbird nests, what time of year these tiny birds build these natural structures, and what to look for, read on!
Where do hummingbirds nest?
Hummingbirds can be picky about where they nest. While some species like the Ruby-throated Hummingbird have adapted to urbanization, sometimes even nesting on wires, plant hangers, and other human-made items, most prefer the cover of deciduous trees growing near water. Tree foliage provides shelter for the parents and their chicks, while the water helps to keep the area cool. Hummingbirds also need to live near food sources, including nectar-rich flowering plants — another reason why sites near water are important for hummingbirds in dry regions.
Due to the small size of hummingbird nests, you’re not likely to find one in the crook of a large branch. Instead, hummingbirds tend to “set up shop” on thinner branches roughly one foot from tree trunks, often at a fork.
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird and chicks. Photo by Agnieszka Bacal/Shutterstock
How can you attract hummingbirds to nest?
Unlike some other popular backyard birds, hummingbirds do not nest in birdhouses. However, there are a number of good ways to tempt them to your yard. You can maintain or plant native flowering plants, provide reliable water sources, and avoid chemicals that harm birds and other wildlife, including the insects hummingbirds prey upon. Properly maintained feeders can also supplement hummingbirds’ natural diets and attract them to your property.
How big is a hummingbird nest?
In general, hummingbird nests only measure a little over one inch in diameter! Their size depends on several factors. Different species, of course, build different nests. In general, larger species build larger ones than smaller species do. Construction materials and location can also affect the shape and size of nests.
Hummingbird nest and eggs. Photo by Wellington Nadalini/Shutterstock
What are hummingbird nests made of?
Hummingbirds like their nests to be soft and flexible. To construct them this way, they use a variety of natural materials. Like most birds, hummingbirds start with twigs and other bits of plants, using leaves for a base. However, hummingbirds will also use moss and lichen to camouflage their nests and to make them softer. The secret to a successful hummingbird nest, however, is spider silk. More about that directly below.
How do hummingbirds build their nests?
Female hummingbirds spend up to seven days building their flexible, bowl-shaped nests. First, they create a base layer. Then, they incorporate spider silk by rolling it over the unfinished structure. The silk, which holds the nest together and anchors it to a foundation, is inserted into nooks and crevasses to ensure attachment. Construction requires several hours each day.Video Player
WATCH: Hummingbird arrives with spider silk to reinforce her nest. Video by Freebilly Photography/Shutterstockes-at
What does a hummingbird nest look like?
Because it is adorned with compacted green lichen, moss, and spider silk, a hummingbird nest can appear like a small knot of wood. Its shape and coloring work as camouflage to keep hummingbird eggs and chicks safe.
When do hummingbirds nest?
The time of year that hummingbirds nest and lay eggs varies by location. In the southern U.S., hummingbird breeding begins as soon as March. In contrast, the process may not start until July in cooler, northern or montane regions. Some western species, such as the Anna’s Hummingbird, may start nesting with the first winter rains in November.
Hummingbird chick. Photo by Damsea/Shutterstock
How do you find a hummingbird nest?
Hummingbird nests are extremely hard to spot. As noted above, they are both well-hidden and camouflaged. The best places to look are on thin, forked branches and in dense shrubs. As mentioned above, these nests often look like tree knots. If you spot an oddly placed knot, you might have gotten lucky!
Carefully observing hummingbird behavior is usually key to finding their nests. Watching from a distance, you might be able to spot a female repeatedly visiting the same site during the process of nest construction. During incubation, females leave their nests only for brief periods to forage. If you are lucky enough to spot a female during this phase of breeding, and luckier still to be able to follow her flight path, she may lead you to her nest.
Can I touch a hummingbird nest?
You should not touch hummingbird nests. In the United States, it is illegal to touch, relocate, or remove an active nest. If you discover one, it is best to observe it from a distance. Binoculars will enable you to view the female or young from afar. This will minimize disturbance and avoid inadvertently tipping off a predator, such as a jay, to the location.
Hummingbird chicks. Photo by F Armstrong Photography/Shutterstock
Do hummingbirds leave their nests at night?
Hummingbirds use the night to sleep. In most cases, they will sleep on or by their nests, but not always.
Do hummingbirds reuse their nests?
No. Because hummingbird nests are flexible and expand as chicks grow, they eventually stretch, losing their shape and becoming unsuitable for new use. This means that every new set of eggs requires a new nest!
What can you do to help hummingbirds?
We all can do our part to protect hummingbirds.
American Bird Conservancy and our Joint Venture partners have improved conservation management on 6.4 million acres of U.S. bird habitat — an area larger than the state of Maryland — over the last ten years. This is a monumental undertaking, requiring the support of many, and you can help by making a gift today.
Policies enacted by Congress and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have a huge impact on America’s birds. You can help shape these rules for the better by telling lawmakers to prioritize birds, bird habitat, and bird-friendly measures. To get started, visit ABC’s Action Center.
Finally, don’t overlook the impact you can have in your yard. Creating and improving habitat for hummingbirds can be easy. Check out our “Hummingbird Paradise” post to learn more. For a complete list of daily activities you can take to help birds, visit our Bird-Friendly Life page.
Anna’s Hummingbird. Photo by Feng Yu/Shutterstock
How does American Bird Conservancy help hummingbirds?
ABC works with conservation partners and local communities to ensure the survival of the world’s most endangered hummingbirds, as well as many other rare, declining bird species and their habitats.
With partners in Latin America and the Caribbean, we have created 93 reserves spanning more than 1 million acres, where 234 hummingbird species find protection.
Habitat restoration is another hallmark of our work with hummingbirds. To date, ABC has planted more than 6 million trees and shrubs to revitalize key habitats, and we’re planning to plant 70,000 more.
If you're an educator, or parent, feel free to utilize our free dolphin study guides and activity sheets: https://t.co/BazuBCXl7E We believe that education is the key first step to increasing awareness, and we hope that you will help us spread the word in your community! pic.twitter.com/u3XYHol0Ac
Until higher education is accessible, equitable, and free, we will be here to support Black & Latinx Birders in STEM.
Are you a Black birder or Brown birder that lives in the contiguous United States and identifies as Black, African-American, and/or Latinx/e/a/o? Are you also an undergraduate student studying in STEM? Apply for the annual Black and Latinx Birders Scholarship, today!
Open to undergraduate students 18 and older, in any year of their college studies (full-time undergraduate). Through this scholarship, we seek to increase the number of Black birders and Latinx birders studying in STEM*. Scholarship awards range from a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $5,000, depending on funding for the current year. Two students will receive a one-time annual award.
1. Live in and attend college in the contiguous United States. 2. We want to hear from you!
Tell us about your birding** experience! Please answer these questions:
How did you become a birder?
How are you involved in the birding community?
Why are you pursuing a degree in STEM?
How do you plan to bring back your knowledge and skills to your community?
How to tell us:
Essay: no longer than two pages double spaced. Get creative! Maybe your essay is a Twitter thread that you started? Perhaps an extended IG post? Or maybe you prefer a standard essay format? Either way, tell us about you and answer the four questions above.
YouTube Video: Instead of an essay, send us a video link (two minutes maximum) sharing why you are pursuing your degree and how you plan to share your knowledge with the community.
3. One letter of recommendation to serve as a reference from a current or recent teacher. This can be forwarded to us by you, or sent directly to us. 4. Proof of enrollment at a 2 or 4 year college or university and proof of a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA (high school or college, as appropriate). A letter from the admissions office and a copy of your transcripts are needed. 5. Must be 18 years or older. 6. Interview with the committee via Zoom.
*Note: STEM (Science Technology Engineer Math) includes Science Communications.
**Note: we use the term “birder” in a broad context. Perhaps you’re a lister, volunteer at a nature center and engage your community with live birds, lead bird walks, have worked on or are working on a bird-related conservation project at your school. A birder in this context is someone who is actively engaged in lifestyle, with projects, etc. that are centered around birds, bird advocacy, and/or bird conservation.Apply Today! The application period for the Black and Latinx Birders Scholarship ends June 18, 2021.
Please forward this email to your colleagues, students, and networks. Our scholarship offering has increased this year due to American Bird Conservancy matching donations up to $10K! We need your help to share this scholarship with your networks. Thank you!
Whiskey connoisseurs, it’s your time to shine. If you’re someone who likes to pick up specialty bottles of the beverage, then you may already know about Skinner Auctioneers. If you don’t, this is the perfect time to get to know them because you could be in the running for nabbing the oldest known bottle of whiskey this summer. But just know, it probably will cost you a pretty penny.
A bottle of Old Ingledew Whiskey—which is being billed as “the oldest currently known whiskey bottle” by Boston-based antique shop Skinner Auctioneers—is being auctioned off from June 22-30 and it has the potential of selling for anywhere between $20,000 to $40,000. Yes, you read that right. Forty thousand dollars. What makes this whiskey qualify for such a high price tag, you ask? Well, to start, it’s super old.
Settled in a brown glass bottle, this particular bottle of whiskey is rumored to be 250 years old and has embossed lettering reading Evans & Ragland in La Grange, Georgia. The back, however, really gives up the info as the typed note taped to it begins: “This Bourbon was probably made prior to 1865.” And while that doesn’t give us a settled date as to when it was actually created, Skinner Auctioneer’s rare spirit expert Josh Hyman was able to determine the solidified year that it was made and 1850 (the initial assumed date) was far from correct.
With help from scientists both at the University of Georgia and the University of Glasgow, it was determined the the whiskey was in fact from anywhere between 1763 and 1803.
“The age was a shocking surprise, albeit a pleasant one, for both myself and the scientist,” Skinner’s Joseph Hyman told Food & Wine: “Archival data about the grocer/merchant Evans & Ragland existing after the war and that it was common to store whiskey in demijohns, we concluded the whiskey was bottled after the war, having been in such a demijohn for several decades.”
According to the taped note on the bottle, the bottle was once found a home in financier John Pierpoint Morgan’s cellar. Morgan’s son, Jack Morgan, then “gifted this bottle to James Byrnes of South Carolina and two other bottles to Franklin D. Roosevelt—a distant cousin to Morgan—and Harry S. Truman, for Christmas, c. 1942-1944,” Skinner Auctioners reveals.
Somehow, there’s more: Byrnes—who had a lengthy political career—gifted the same bottle to “his close friend and drinking buddy, Francis Drake” sometime during 1951-1955. The story wraps with Skinner Auctioneers noting that the bottle has been safeguarded for three generations as Drake and his descendants were exclusive Scotch drinkers.
So, if you want to get your hands on this legendary and iconic bottle of whiskey, make sure you have your coins lined up before June!
Ni’Kesia Pannell Weekend Editor/Contributing Writer Ni’Kesia Pannell is an entrepreneur, multi-hyphenate freelance writer, and self-proclaimed Slurpee connoisseur that covers food news for Delish.com.
Excluding seldom-seen vagrant species, eight New World oriole species occur in the United States (see list below). Thanks to their distinctive orange-and-black or yellow-and-black plumage, orioles are fairly easy to identify. And because they inhabit large portions of the country — and occasionally visit feeders — many Americans are familiar with these colorful birds.
Despite their relative abundance, most North American orioles are in decline, some steeply. The Baltimore Oriole, for example, has experienced a 42-percent population decline in the last 50 years; the Audubon’s Oriole has been added to Partners in Flight’s (PIF’s) Yellow Watch List (an indicator of conservation concern); and the Altamira Oriole, which numbers fewer than 500 in Texas, has been listed as “threatened” in the state by the Texas Organization for Endangered Species.
The alphabetical list below includes all orioles, both migratory and resident, that breed regularly in the continental United States. The PIF population and conservation data we use is exclusive to the United States and Canada. (Note that only three listed species reach Canada: Baltimore, Bullock’s, and Orchard.) As a result, population estimates shown here do not reflect total numbers for orioles with parts of their breeding ranges in Mexico and Central America. We have included one exotic species on our list, the Spot-breasted Oriole, which has been established in the U.S. for more than 70 years, and we have omitted several vagrant species that rarely visit.
U.S. Population Estimate: <500 Population Trend: Unknown Habitat: Dry forest and brush near Rio Grande Threats: Habitat loss Note: Although most of the Altamira Oriole’s range lies south of the U.S. border, it can be found in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The Texas Organization for Endangered Species lists the species as “threatened” within the state; however, the Altamira Oriole is still considered common in the southern parts of its range.
U.S. Population Estimate: <5,000 Population Trend: Overall trend unknown; decreasing in the U.S. Habitat: Dry forest and brush Threats: Brood parasitism, habitat loss and fragmentation Note: Formerly known as the Black-headed Oriole, Audubon’s Oriole is the only oriole species in the New World to sport a black hood with a yellow or orange back. Conservation concerns have led PIF to add Audubon’s Oriole to its Yellow Watch List.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 12,000,000 Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Open eastern deciduous forest Threats: Habitat loss Note: Like most oriole species, Baltimore Orioles build hanging nests by weaving an assortment of fibers, including hairs and grasses. The nests, which take one to two weeks to construct, are lined with feathers and downy fibers. Baltimore Oriole populations have decreased by 42 percent over the last 50 years.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 6,500,000 Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Open western deciduous forest Threats: Habitat loss, possibly pesticide use Note: Bullock’s Oriole enjoy a varied diet, including insects, fruit, and even nectar from agaves and other flowers. They can occasionally be found sipping from hummingbird feeders. Populations of the Bullock’s Oriole have decreased 22 percent over the last 50 years.
U.S. Population Estimate: 350,000 Population Trend: Increasing Habitat: Open woods and brush Threats: Localized brood parasitism by Brown-headed and Bronzed CowbirdsNote: Hooded Orioles, which tend to nest in palm trees, have expanded their range northward, following the introduction of ornamental palms in residential areas. They can now be found as far north as Arcata, California.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 10,000,000 Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Open woods and brush Threats: Habitat loss, brood parasitism Note: The smallest of North American orioles, Orchard Orioles have a noted tolerance for other birds. In areas of favored habitat, multiple Orchard Oriole pairs will sometimes nest in a single tree. They are also known to nest in close proximity to Baltimore Orioles, American Robins, and Chipping Sparrows, among others. Orchard Oriole populations have decreased 23 percent over the last 50 years.
U.S. Population Estimate: 1,600,000 Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Varied open, arid habitats Threats: Habitat loss and fragmentation Note: Although most birds avoid eating Monarch butterflies due to toxins ingested by the milkweed-eating insects, Scott’s Oriole and several other bird species have learned to prey upon them by eating the abdomens of less-noxious individuals. Populations of the Scott’s Oriole have decreased by 29 percent over the last 50 years.
U.S. Population Estimate: Unknown Population Trend: Increasing Habitat: Lushly planted suburban areas in South Florida Threats: Severe winter freezes, habitat loss and fragmentationNote: Native to southern Mexico and Central America, Spot-breasted Orioles were introduced in the U.S. more than 70 years ago. The birds are now found in areas between Miami and West Palm Beach. They nest in human-altered landscapes with an abundance of flowering and fruiting ornamental trees and shrubs, including suburban yards and golf courses.
Chuck-will’s-widow belongs to a family of birds with the folk name “goatsuckers.” The family name, Caprimulgidae, literally means “milker of goats” and is based on an ancient belief that the birds milked goats with their enormous mouths each night.
In reality, the birds’ attraction to livestock was likely due to the presence of insects. Chuck-will’s-widow forages at dusk and dawn, silently swooping over the ground in search of prey. Specialized feathers known as rictal bristles help funnel insects into the bird’s mouth, which is so large that they may occasionally swallow small birds and bats as well!
The “chuck” is the largest nightjar in North America and is almost entirely nocturnal. During the day, the birds roost along tree branches or on the ground, where their beautifully mottled brown plumage provides perfect camouflage against dried leaves and tree bark.
Chuck-will’s-widow and chicks by Dick-Snell
Chuck-will’s-widows do not build nests, instead laying their eggs on the ground among dead leaves, pine needles, or on bare dirt. Incubating adults are almost invisible against the forest floor and only flush off their nests when closely approached.
Since they have a highly insectivorous diet, Chuck-will’s-widows are impacted by pesticide use. They are sometimes killed by cars when they land on roads at night to pick up grit. Habitat loss on both breeding and wintering grounds is also a continual threat.
This nightjar winters in lowland forests throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America, where it shares habitat with Wood Thrush, Kentucky and Prothonotary warblers, and Painted Bunting. Chuck-will’s-widow is benefiting from ABC’s efforts to “bring back the birds” in these areas, with our focus on conserving geographically linked habitats both north and south.
NAME: Setophaga petechia POPULATION: 92 million TREND: Stable HABITAT: Breeds in wet woods, thickets, and riparian areas; winters in open woodlands, on farms and gardens with scattered trees, and in mangrove forests
Yellow Warbler range map by NatureServe
The Yellow Warbler is the most widespread American wood-warbler. It nests from Alaska to northern South America (including the Galapágos Islands), and in parts of the Caribbean as well, and winters as far south as Peru.
Tail tip to forehead, this is also the yellowest North American warbler, even more so than the Prothonotary or Blue-winged. Cinnamon breast streaks embellish the male’s gleaming plumage.
Seet: Cowbird Alert!
One of the Yellow Warbler’s calls, a repeated seet, serves specifically as a Brown-headed Cowbird alert. When a female hears another bird make this call, she rushes back to her nest to prevent the cowbird, a notorious nest parasite, from laying eggs there.
Another superlative associated with the Yellow Warbler is the species’ incredible diversity: 37 subspecies are recognized, divided among four groups. Subspecies vary mostly in plumage color and pattern.
The Yellow Warbler nests throughout most of Canada, Alaska, and at least two-thirds of the area covered by the lower 48 U.S. states. Long-distance migrants, few if any of these birds remain north of the Mexican border in winter.
Several resident, or nonmigratory, groups are found in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. A resident subspecies even inhabits the Galápagos Islands off Ecuador’s Pacific coast. Males in nonmigratory populations have varying amounts of chestnut color on their heads, from just the cap to most of the bird’s head, as is the case with “Mangrove” Yellow Warblers.
For years, some ornithologists split the migratory and resident populations into two species, Setophaga aestiva and S. petechia. All now fall under the latter name.
Male Yellow Warbler feeding female on nest. Photo by Ivan Kuzmin, Shutterstock
Coffee Berry Protector
The Yellow Warbler feeds mainly on insects and spiders, gleaning them from shrubs and tree branches or sallying out from a perch to grab winged insects mid-air. This diminutive hunter sometimes hovers while seeking prey that might be hiding on the undersides of leaves. Like many other migratory songbirds, the Yellow Warbler adds fruit to its diet in winter.
Winter or summer, this warbler provides valuable pest control: One study, conducted on Costa Rican wintering grounds, showed that the Yellow Warbler and other insectivorous birds ate large quantities of invasive coffee berry borer beetles, helping reduce infestations on coffee plantations in that country by 50 percent.
A Clutch Performance
A male Yellow Warbler quickly claims a territory on the breeding grounds, chasing off intruding males. He courts prospective mates through incessant singing. In fact, one Yellow Warbler may sing more than 3,000 times in a day to attract a female! Once paired, the male attends his mate closely as she builds her nest, wary for other males, which often invade established territories and attempt to mate with resident females.
Like many other birds such as the Kirtland’s Warbler and Wood Thrush, the Yellow Warbler is frequently parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds. This problem is especially common in fragmented habitats, which provide easier access for female cowbirds to lay their eggs in host birds’ nests. But the Yellow Warbler fights back. It seems to recognize the foreign eggs, and often builds a new nest, covering over a cowbird-parasitized clutch with new nesting material. If the cowbird returns and re-lays, the warbler covers them again — sometimes resulting in nests with up to six tiers!
Females build and maintain the cup-shaped nests, incubate the eggs, and brood the hatchlings. Meanwhile, male Yellow Warblers aggressively guard nest sites and bring food to females sitting on eggs or young. Both sexes share chick-rearing duties: After the nestlings fledge, some may follow the mother, while the rest remain with the father.
Warblers on the Landscape
Although still numerous, Yellow Warblers are threatened by habitat loss, chiefly destruction of riparian habitats, and the overuse of pesticides. One subspecies, the Barbados Yellow Warbler, has been listed under the Endangered Species Act since 1970.
ABC’s work helps to conserve the Yellow Warbler and other migratory birds across their full annual life-cycle through its BirdScapes approach to conservation. Several BirdScapes in the southwestern United States protect riparian areas for the Endangered western subspecies of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo that also shelter the Yellow Warbler and other birds.
Springtime singer or snowy sentinel? The American Robin may be one of North America’s most familiar songbirds, yet its wintering patterns raise a common question: Do robins migrate?
The answer is yes and no. We associate robins with spring for good reason: In many places, they arrive with the warm weather. But that doesn’t mean all of these birds escape winter’s bite.
Unlike long-distance migrants and many hummingbirds, which head south en masse during the fall, robins react to winter’s onset in two ways.
Many retreat southward. Northern Canada empties of robins, while areas far to the south like Texas and Florida receive large winter flocks. But those making the journey are not lured by warmer temperatures: Robins can withstand extremely cold temperatures, adding warm, downy feathers to their plumage. The real motivation is food, or rather the lack of it. As their warm-weather diet of earthworms and insects wanes, robins begin searching for fresh supplies.
First, they change their diet, transitioning from protein-rich invertebrates to vitamin-rich winter fruits and berries, including junipers, hollies, crabapples, and hawthorns.
They also begin moving. In the spring and summer, robins aggressively defend their territories and raise young. In the winter, they become nomadic, searching widely for their favorite cold-weather fare. Weather also influences robin movements. A heavy snowfall that persists for more than a few days may send them on their way, searching for better conditions.
American Robin. Photo by Jeff Rzepka/Shutterstock
Robins also form flocks in the winter. These flocks, which can number in the hundreds or thousands, stand in contrast to the birds’ territorial pairings in spring and summer. Flocking offers critical benefits: Larger groups mean more eyes and improved chances to spot — and avoid —predators. They also increase the odds of discovering food.
Finally — and this is generally true throughout their range — robins make little noise during winter months. Although some males begin singing toward winter’s end as spring approaches and mating hormones kick in, they typically maintain a subdued presence.
Taken together, these changes dramatically lower robins’ profile in the northern part of their range, making sightings much less common, and leading some people to assume they are absent.
American Robin. Photo by Kenneth Keifer/Shutterstock
To Stay or To Go
So how do Robins decide whether to stay or go during the winter?
There is not yet a good answer, but gender may play a role, as males are more likely to remain than females in northern areas. This offers an obvious territorial advantage, allowing males early access to the best breeding grounds.
When spring arrives, northern flocks of robins disperse and resume their invertebrate diet, picking earthworms and other invertebrates from the ground. Around the same time, migrating robins return from the South, with males arriving a few days to two weeks before females. In both cases, males sing vigorously as they begin defending territory. The result? Robins seem to be everywhere once again.
American Robin. Photo by Michael Stubblefield
Unlike many other birds, the American Robin seems to have benefited from urbanization and agricultural development. Although its populations are increasing, it remains vulnerable to many of the same factors threatening less adaptable species.
Pesticide poisoning remains an important threat, since American Robins forage on lawns and other open spaces that are often sprayed with toxins. Although DDT has been banned in the United States, other toxic chemicals such as neonicotinoids, chlorpyrifos, and glyphosate (used in the familiar weed-killer Roundup) are still in use. Pesticides can also affect populations of earthworms, a major food source for this bird.
Since American Robins often forage and feed on the ground, they are especially vulnerable to predation by outdoor cats. Collisions with windows, communications towers, and car strikes are other common hazards.
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What’s the longest you have ever gone without water?
This unique-looking antelope, called a gerenuk can survive its entire life without ever taking a drink of water.
Instead, the gerenuk derives water from the foliage that it eats. To better reach this foliage it has evolved a long, slender neck upon which is perched a disproportionately small head. Its eyes and ears, however, are proportional to the rest of its body giving it a comical, somewhat alien appearance.
The gerenuk’s large eyelashes and sensory hairs on its muzzle and ears allow it to carefully navigate through thorny bushes without getting scratched. In addition to having an extra long neck it is also able to stand on two legs and reach even further to the tops of shrubs and bushes. This is facilitated by stronger-than-normal lumbar vertebrae and powerful hind legs. This way they can reach tender shoots up to six and a half feet off the ground. The name Gerenuk is of Somali origin, meaning giraffe-necked. They are found in Somalia, but also in southern Djibouti and much of Kenya’s arid North as well as throughout Tsavo in the East. Aerial surveys have shown that their densities are higher in drier areas and especially in areas further from permanent water sources. This way they reduce competition with other browsers that are more water-dependant.
Gerenuks conserve water with uniquely adapted nasal passages, which prevent evaporative loss. They also have very highly concentrated urine, and aside from short, quick bursts to escape predators they are very sedentary animals, preferring to stand in place or browse.
They are somewhat social, but prefer to stay in small groups. In Tsavo, they are commonly seen alone, but will often form groups of up to five individuals. The largest herd of gerenuks reported in Tsavo is twelve, but it is very rare to see more than five together. In more arid areas and in Somalia, however, larger groups are more common, with 2-8 being frequently reported and as many as 25-30 individuals aggregating when foliage is flush.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust rescued an orphaned gerenuk named Nuk last year who has since rejoined the wild. He still comes to visit from time to time and in the mornings and evenings he is often sighted on the airstrip with a herd of impalas that he has taken a liking to. The Trust is holding on to hope that he will one day catch the scent of a wild female nearby and start a family of his own. There are indeed wild gerenuk nearby and it should be a matter of time before he finds a mate.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, known as Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, is a charity in Kenya, a registered charity in England
and Wales number 1103836, and is supported by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust USA, Inc. a 501(c)3 in the United States (EIN 30-0224549)
The results of a new study have shown that dogs synchronize their behavior with the children in their family. The findings are important because there is a growing body of evidence that dogs can help children in many ways, including with social development, increasing physical activity, managing anxiety or as a source of attachment in the face of changing family structures–yet, there has been no studies investigating whether dogs are truly synchronized with the behavior of children.
“The great news is that this study suggests dogs are paying a lot of attention to the kids that they live with. They are responsive to them and, in many cases, behaving in synchrony with them, indicators of positive affiliation and a foundation for building strong bonds.”
-Dr. Monique Udell, animal behaviorist and lead author of the study, Oregon State
The researchers recruited 30 youth between the ages of 8 and 17 years old — 83% of which had a developmental disability — to take part in the study with their family dog. The experiments took place in a large empty room. Color-coded taped lines were placed on the floor, and the children were given instructions on how to walk the lines in a standardized way with their off-leash dog.
The researchers videotaped the experiments and analyzed behavior based on three things: (1) activity synchrony, which means how much time the dog and child were moving or stationary at the same time; (2) proximity, or how much time the dog and child were within 1 meter of each other; and (3) orientation, how much time the dog was oriented in the same direction as the child.
The researchers found that dogs exhibited behavioral synchronization with the children at a higher rate than would be expected by chance for all three variables. During their assessments, they found:
Active synchrony for an average of 60.2% of the time. Broken down further, the dogs were moving an average of 73.1% of the time that the children were moving and were stationary an average of 41.2% of the time the children were stationary.
Proximity within 1 meter of each other for an average of 27.1% of the time.
Orientation in the same direction for an average of 33.5% of the time.
While child-dog synchrony occurred more often that what would be expected by chance, those percentages are all lower than what other researchers have found when studying interactions between dogs and adults in their household. Those studies found “active synchrony” 81.8% of the time, but at 49.1% with shelter dogs. They found “proximity” 72.9% of the time and 39.7% with shelter dogs. No studies on dog-human behavioral synchronization have previously assessed body orientation.
The researchers are conducting more research to better understand factors that contribute to differences in levels of synchrony and other aspects of bond quality between dogs and children compared to dogs and adults, including participation in animal assisted interventions and increasing the child’s responsibility for the dog’s care.
Journal Reference: Shelby H. Wanser, Megan MacDonald, Monique A. R. Udell. Dog–human behavioral synchronization: family dogs synchronize their behavior with child family members. Animal Cognition, 2021;
“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” - Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard