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Trumpeter Swan or Tundra Swan?

They swim gracefully (or feed ungracefully) in the water. They fly gracefully, in small to large V-formations. They honk or whistle. They are definitely swans, with their long necks and stout bodies. But of the two types of swans seen locally, either Trumpeter Swan or Tundra Swan, which is which? If each type of swan is side-by-side, distinguishing them is…

Precocial or altricial? Describing hatchlings' degree of development

Altricial vs. Precocial Bird Young

By Guest Contributor MELISSA BLOCK Have you ever noticed that newly hatched birds all look different? For example, baby cardinals are born helpless, bald, eyes closed and heads bobbing. In contrast, Wood Duck babies—which look like miniature versions of their parents— jump from their nest box after just 24 hours. Ornithologists classify birds as either altricial or precocial  to describe…

Eastern Bluebird young and adult at feeder

Interview with Bluebird Recovery Project County Coordinator George Brown

Last month, I had an opportunity to interview George Brown, the Ramsey and Washington counties coordinator for the Bluebird Recovery Project. I’ve been aware of the work that Brown has down in coordination with the White Bear Lake All Seasons Wild Bird Store location—setting up their successful bluebird nest boxes and hosting in-store bluebird seminars. I’ve also seen the incredible…