Trinity Trees in Autumn

More autumn trees from Trinity’s campus in Dublin.

Trinity Autumn
Trinity Autumn
Trinity Autumn
Trinity Autumn
Trinity Autumn
If anyone can identify European birds by their bellies that would be great thanks
Trinity Autumn
Trinity Autumn
Trinity Autumn
You can never have too many leaves, ask any tree
Trinity Autumn
Trinity Autumn
Trinity Autumn

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That’s not a bird!

This is an inside joke, if you’re confused you have to go back and read all of the >1500 posts on this site. Or just the ones from this week.

IMG_9345

ANYWAY, I had a weird experience last week…a professor from our department saw me at coffee, pointed at me, and shouted, “SQUIRREL!”

Baffled, I said, “Excuse me, what.”

“You submitted a photo of a squirrel to our tree photo series.”

“Oh yes, sorry I thought I sent that to someone else (who was not you)*.”

“Yes, well I got it too, UNFORTUNATELY, that is a grey squirrel which is invasive and does a lot of damage to the trees.”

“Yeah, but, right, they’re still very common in the trees.”

“…”

“I’m an ecologist. I study interactions.”

“…”

“I submitted a lot of other tree photos but somehow they all have birds in them.”

“Can someone ELSE submit a photo please??”

I’m sorry to have upset the man, but the squirrels, invasive or not, are a real phenomenon we should not ignore, even if we dislike them.

*Omitted for politeness.

The Goldcrest and the Hawthorne

More birds and trees…a theme this week I suppose. Could be worse…I could write a whole week about pollination or elephants. Whew. Wouldn’t that be terrible.

Goldcrests are tiny, adorable, and unsurprisingly* in the same genus as the kinglets.

Goldcrest and Hawthorne
I recognize that these photos are terrible and I’m just going to own it. You get what you pay for, anonymous internet viewer!
Goldcrest and Hawthorne
What a flighty** photographer
Goldcrest and Hawthorne
Checkin it out
Goldcrest and Hawthorne
This blog is getting so inappropriate
Goldcrest and Hawthorne
WHY IS THAT LEAF IN THE WAY THIS WAS THE BEST PHOTO
Goldcrest and Hawthorne
Fine.
Goldcrest and Hawthorne
Oh, I’m cute!

*I love Oxford commas…I’m still furious that the University made me remove the Oxford comma from the title of my PhD dissertation
**Pun intended

Blue Tits and Autumn Leaves

I thought only Americans giggle at the name of this group of birds in the genus Parus…but the Irish will giggle about it too, even though these birds live here and include three of the 20 most common garden birds in Ireland. Sigh.

If you’re American (or Canadian) and these birds look familiar to you, it’s because the Chickadee, though in a different genus, is in the same family. Also the titmice! In spite of the unfortunate alternate connotation of the name, there are some really beautiful BIRDS OF THE GENUS PARUS STOP GIGGLING

These photos were meant to be more about the trees, but I love the contrast of birds and leaves so you know

Blue tits and autumn leaves
Blue tits and autumn leaves
Lots of bird butts
Blue tits and autumn leaves
Blue tits and autumn leaves
I finally understand why guys are always talking about butts and tits.*
Blue tits and autumn leaves
Blue tits and autumn leaves
Blending in
Blue tits and autumn leaves
Belly
Blue tits and autumn leaves
Blue tits and autumn leaves
Blue tits and autumn leaves

*This is the most inappropriate thing I have ever posted

European Goldfinches

Just singing their hearts out and hanging out like teenagers in a band called The Leafless Branches

European Goldfinches
Totally. Sweet.
European Goldfinches
Check out my tail feathers
European Goldfinches
Album cover
European Goldfinches
Album cover in the US
European Goldfinches
Rockin yeah!

I was actually meant to be taking photos of the trees, but somehow all my tree photos ended up with birds in them. *shrug*

These silly wood pigeons

Before I moved to Ireland, some bird nerdy friends and I brainstormed about what birds I would encounter on the Emerald Isle. They had been to Scotland recently, and we assumed that the birds would be pretty similar. The one bird they wanted me to look out for was the wood pigeon, which they thought was hilarious.

This very common bird, has a perpetual look of surprise, plus a head that looks way too small for its body. I’ve enjoyed photographing them in Dublin, even though they’re ubiquitous, they’re still fun to have around.

I just love all their great expressions. Also, great Latin name: Columba palumbus (classic!)

Wood Pigeon
The head just looks so tiny compared to the body
Wood Pigeon
Juvenile frump
Wood Pigeon
Er, should you bend like that
Wood Pigeon
Wood Pigeon
Majestic
Wood Pigeon

Links to share

Can we talk about the horrible things humans do to other animals for stupid reasons? I’m talking about ivory. Since I worked in Kenya, I’ve been made more aware of the horrendous things people do to elephants and rhinos especially. More and more elephants are born tuskless because tusked elephants are so hunted. And rhinos are on the brink of extinction…conservationists struggle to keep rhinos alive after poachers have cut the horn right out of the front of their face.

The wildlife photographer of the year illustrates this perfectly (warning: graphic): Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 – the winners

The genetic modification of mosquitoes makes me uncomfortable. Mostly, because we haven’t really considered the indirect effects of dramatically reducing mosquito populations. They are the base of the food chain for a lot of ecosystems. I was very annoyed by an article published a couple of years ago on mosquitoes being ecologically useless. They’re not. When Is a Mosquito Not an Insect? When It’s a Pesticide

And as a tidy illustration of the above conecpt…Can’t say it better than the title: ‘This is very alarming!’: Flying insects vanish from nature preserves

The lanternfly continues to spread across Pennsylvania (and surely soon beyond). If you live in or near an infested region, learn to recognize it so you can report it: Pa. lawmakers on spotted lanternfly: ‘We have an epidemic’

And for a little cosmic relief: Hubble’s Messier Catalog