Author Archives: thomasbiology

About thomasbiology

I'm an Associate 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.

Will the real blue bird of happiness please stand up?

Please stand up Please stand up. What does it mean when the bluebird of happiness isn’t actually a bluebird.  Well, what if it’s a blue bird, but not a bluebird?  To make things even more complicated, what if the bird … Continue reading

Posted in birds, mating | Leave a comment

Parental fatigue

When is it time for kids to go off on their own?  Certainly, what’s in the kid’s interest is not always the same as what’s in the parent’s interest.  In animal behavior, we call that “parent-offspring conflict”.  Everybody else just … Continue reading

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

Key ears

It is a pretty iconic (and common) sound around Charlotte.  The keeyeeer of the Red-shouldered Hawk, that is.   There is a pair that has been really active in my neighborhood this year.  Red-shouldered Hawks are one of the birds … Continue reading

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The prodi-gull son returns

Ok, so this post isn’t about gulls, but it has been a long time since I’ve posted anything.  It’s time to break that streak and report on some new, fun things.  There are a few things that I’ve found, recently, … Continue reading

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Jail-breaking snakes

Well, maybe smart is an overstatement. But not dumb is a good way to think about it. Today on campus, someone found a young Corn Snake in a building. Because…well…snakes are snakes, campus police got called to remove it. They … Continue reading

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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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