Author Archives: thomasbiology

About thomasbiology

I'm an Assistant Professor of Biology at Queens University of Charlotte with a background in animal behavior with an emphasis in bird song. I've got two secret goals with this blog (well, since I'm sharing them, they're not so secret): 1. To encourage people to look at the natural world around them- not just as a hiking destination, but to notice all the little things moving around them all the time; and 2. To show some of the science that relates to these little things moving around. There's some really fascinating research out there that so few people get to see.

Fireflies aren’t quitters

So I began this post with a simple observation in my yard tonight.  There are fireflies out and it’s raining.  It’s not a hard rain, but it’s definitely raining.  The fireflies (or lightning bugs) are still going at it, though, … Continue reading

Posted in conservation, insect, invertebrate, reproduction | Leave a comment

Not even in withdrawal

One of the popular anecdotes associated with drug-induced hallucinations is the feeling of being covered with bugs.  Now I admit that I’ve had my share of bug-covered experiences (related to field work, not drug use), but it isn’t something that … Continue reading

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Get out of my yard, you pesky kids!

And so it’s begun.  A few nice warm days around here and the bird activity changes really dramatically.  I was running through the neighborhood this morning and there was quite a ruckus happening in the yards of a few people. … Continue reading

Posted in birds, ecology, mating | Leave a comment

Late night sprints

Oh you don’t know how hard it is to resist the allure of reinvigorating a powerful internet meme!  You’ll see why soon enough… Last night I gave a little talk on birds down in South Carolina.  I was driving back … Continue reading

Posted in ecology, foraging, mammals | Leave a comment

Here’s to you, American Robin(son)…

Ok, that title is pushing it a little bit.  It’s been a long day and the Simon & Garfunkel reference made me smile.  But the robins have been on my mind of late.  Last week, a bunch of people asked … Continue reading

Posted in birds, ecology, foraging, migrations, thrushes | Leave a comment

A crown of gold

If you’ve watched (or read) any of “Game of Thrones”, then you’ve got a pretty good image of that crown of gold.  There is, however, a little crowned bird that’s flying around here without any of the pain of Viserys … Continue reading

Posted in birds, ecology, foraging, warblers | Leave a comment

A bit of death in the morning makes for a good meal

Over the holidays, I was visiting Virginia and while out running with my sister, came upon a lovely smell.  Well, actually, before we smelled anything, we saw the vultures.  Right on the side of the road was a group of … Continue reading

Posted in birds, communication, ecology, foraging, raptors, vultures | Leave a comment

Birding with microscopes…?

While normally I spend my time looking at big animals, there is a whole world of other things out there.  Last month, I was playing around with some water samples from Little Sugar Creek, just trying to see what was … Continue reading

Posted in ecology, invertebrate | Leave a comment

Oh snap!

Walking along Little Sugar Creek one day, something flashed and caught my eye in the stream.  It was the shiny underbelly of a fish that was probably 8 or 10 inches long.  The weird thing about this fish was that … Continue reading

Posted in foraging, predation, reptiles, turtles | Leave a comment

The “real” circle of life

Sure, sure, sure…you immediately think I’m talking about the Lion King.  While that number is a good one- in both the film and stage version of the show- it’s not what I’m talking about.  The circle that I’m talking about … Continue reading

Posted in ecology, fish, mating, reproduction | Leave a comment