The turacos make up a family of about two dozen species, all restricted to Africa. It's a very distinctive family, unlike anything in the Americas, but thought to be distantly related to the cuckoos and hoatzins. Most of them are very brightly colored, with greens, reds, purples, blues, and so on. When I'd seen them in the past, I always had been distracted by their brilliant hues, so I hadn't paid as much attention to their shapes and postures. Sketching them in black and white today, I was struck by how much their postures suggested the Cracidae, i.e. the chachalacas, guans, and curassows, even though they certainly are not related to those tropical American birds.
From a state of contemplation, Kenn writes: The American Birding Association (ABA) has been an important part of my life ever since I joined, at the age of 16, back in the 1970s. The ABA was a brand-new organization then, and it served a unique role in connecting the active birders of the U.S. and Canada. Its little bimonthly magazine, Birding, was a treasure trove for me as a teenager, giving me tips on bird-finding and bird identification that I wouldn’t have known about in any other way. When I started traveling, as a hitch-hiking, teenaged birder, the ABA connected me with other enthusiasts and with prime birding hotspots, and helped to put me on a course as a professional naturalist. In subsequent years I was involved with ABA in many ways. I taught bird I.D. workshops at many of their conventions, and later I began giving evening keynote talks at these events; for a while, I had spoken at more ABA conventions than anyone else. I wrote dozens of pieces for Birding magazine, a
From Homebase in Oak Harbor, Kimberly Writes: On August 1, 2014, I removed what I thought was a dead Harnessed Tiger Moth from a spider web outside our house. I don't make a habitat of denying spiders a meal, but the moth was freshly "dead" and still looked beautiful, so I wanted to photograph it. When I did, I was stunned to see that in the final moments of her life, she had laid several eggs! I somehow felt personally responsible for these tiny pearls she bestowed upon me, and I set about to raise them as best I could. Here's a photographic journey though that amazing experience. 08.01.2014 - Female Harnessed Tiger Moth lays eggs in the final moments of life I actually watched the caterpillars hatching under a microscope. Here they are on 08.06.2014, one day old. These are magnified many times. Caterpillars on 08.20.2014 Feeding on oak leaves and growing seemingly by the hour! Close-up view of caterpillar on 08.20.2014 0 8.24.2014 - Preparing to pupate by silking