4 March 2013 – Eastern Phoebe

This morning kicked off spring migration casualties at the Noble Research Center, and the first casualty of any kind since an unfortunate junco on Nov. 16th.  My 606th survey revealed my 43rd species and 123rd casualty:  Eastern Phoebe.

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Note the rictal bristles around the beak of this phoebe.   Their function? They are though to increase the surface area of the open beak for birds who catch insects on the wing.

Note the rictal bristles around the beak of this phoebe. Their function? They are thought to increase the surface area of the open beak for birds that catch insects on the wing.

Screen shot 2013-03-04 at 8.29.45 AM