The decline of British starlings – BirdGuides

https://www.birdguides.com/articles/conservation/the-decline-of-british-starlings/

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Three Views of a Western Screech Owl

Wickersham's Conscience

WC and Mrs. WC had a lovely visitor to their backyard recently. Photos were taken.

Western Screech Owl, Boise, Idaho Western Screech Owl, Boise, Idaho

Many times, the issue with a bird photograph is the background. That’s especially true when you are around manmade structures. As in a back yard. This owl was perched on the side of an elm tree, behind WC’s garage. From this angle, the background is cluttered with out of focus leaves and stored stuff. The bird is pretty good, the tree is okay but the background is seriously distracting.

Western Screech Owl, Boise, Idaho Western Screech Owl, Boise, Idaho

At a slightly different angle, the background is the side of WC’s recently painted garage. It’s a nice, uniform color but an unnatural color. WC likes the color as house paint, but as a background to a bird photo? Not so much.

Western Screech Owl, Boise, Idaho Western Screech Owl, Boise, Idaho

In our final shot, from a yet another angle…

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Field Notes: Eastern Oregon Cascades

Wickersham's Conscience

WC is back from a week-long trip to the easterly side of the Oregon Cascades, where the scenery is very, very good but services do not include internet. This is the second of several posts from the trip.

WC’s geomorphology professor, back at the University of Oregon, told us one time, “There’s some very interesting geology in Oregon, but it’s buried under a thousand feet of lava.” As WC recalls, he was a visiting professor, because if you don’t like volcanoes and are teaching geology in Oregon, you’re probably in the wrong state. Or the wrong science.

But WC paid attention to more than just geology on his recent visit to the eastcentral Oregon Cascades. While those big mountains cast an impressive rain shadow over the eastern two-thirds of the state, in places they are low enough to let a little bit of rain through. Douglas Fir even prosper in…

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