16 March 2009

Sunset Shuttle Launch

Yesterday's evening launch of the Discovery shuttle
off the coast of Florida

Safe voyage, Discovery


04 March 2009

How birds get their name.....

A female white-winged crossbill
Easy to see the white on the wings but note the overhang on the upper part of its beak.

This side view shows the length of the upper bill which has to cross on one side of the lower bill.  

A pair eating with their preferred meal of pine cones.
The crossbills have been common in Minnesota this winter.

This close-up of a crossbill that died shows the unusual bill.  Serious bird trivia: White-winged Crossbills with lower mandibles crossing to the right are approximately three times more common than those with lower mandibles crossing to the left as seen here.