Citizen Science Ecology Get to Know a Scientist SciStarter Blog 

STEM Career Q and A with Joe Siegrist

In this STEM Career Q and A, we talk with the lead of Project MartinRoost. Learn about his STEM career and how you can get involved in a citizen science research project. To meet more scientists and learn about their work, check out our Get to Know a Scientist series. Q: What citizen science project do you represent? Three projects: Project MartinRoost, Project MartinWatch, and the Scout-Arrival Study. Q: What’s your professional background? I have worked as a zookeeper, a naturalist, a field biologist, an educator, and now am president…

Read More
Citizen Science Ecology SciStarter Blog 

Project Martin Roost: A Scavenger Hunt in Your Backyard

This is part one of three in a collaboration between SciStarter and Career in STEM, in which writers will spotlight different citizen science projects, interview project leaders about their careers, and create educational content for teachers and students. This series is available from Science Connected, Career in STEM, SciStarter, and Discover Magazine.  As the sun sinks low below the horizon and the crisp night air begins to descend, a miraculous sight can be seen in many areas across the continental United States. Hundreds of thousands of birds will suddenly appear…

Read More
Another Early Toothed Bird Raises Its Head Paleontology Zoology 

Another Early Toothed Bird Raises Its Head

A team of paleontologists reveals new details about one of the most striking transformations in evolutionary history: a toothed bird. By Kate Stone Sometimes what you seek is right under your nose. Using fossils found in the 1870s, paleontologists have pieced together the skull of a toothed bird that represents a pivotal moment in the transition from dinosaurs to modern birds. “Right under our noses this whole time was an amazing, transitional bird.” Ichthyornis dispar is a key member of the evolutionary lineage that leads from dinosaurian species to today’s…

Read More
birds fly home, migration Biology Zoology 

Bird Migration: I’ll Fly Home—or Not

By Mark Lasbury, MS, MSEd, PhD @Biologuy1 The arctic tern travels from north of the Arctic Circle to Antarctica and back again every year. On the other hand, the snowy owl lives in the Arctic region year-round; it doesn’t migrate at all.  A Question of Bird Migration Why do some birds migrate while other birds stay in one place?  The possible explanations are many. Maybe the type of food they eat is present only part of the year, or maybe they can’t stand the cold temperature. They might need to…

Read More
Bullfinches in Urban Birds: Barbados. Louis Lefebvre Zoology 

Urban Birds Smarter, Healthier than Country Cousins

As more of the world’s rural areas become urbanized, habitat loss threatens biodiversity. Researchers hoped to understand how urban birds survive. By Emily Rhode Aesop’s fable of the country mouse and the city mouse cautions that city life, while certainly more exciting than the “modest life with peace and quiet” found in the country, is too full of “danger and strife” to truly be worth it. Researchers at McGill University in Canada have discovered that for some species of birds, this may not be true at all. Urban Birds and…

Read More
big, beautiful bird brains Biology Zoology 

Big, Beautiful Bird Brains

By Emily Willoughby @eawilloughby It is probably not a coincidence that the verbs ape and parrot have such a similar meaning: to imitate an observed behavior. There is something suggestive of intelligence in the words, perhaps informed by knowing that babies mimic the behaviors of adults as their brains begin to mature. But the similarity may reflect something more fundamental.  Primates and certain birds—most notably parrots and corvids, the group that includes crows and jays—are well known as being among the smartest of animals. For apes this is no surprise,…

Read More