Articles for the Lincoln Park Zoo docent newsletter The Ark and a few others I’ve written.
It’s from one and one-half to two inches long (not counting the antennae, which are longer than the body) and is a beautiful dark golden brown in color. It’s one of Chicago’s most numerous (if nontaxpaying) residents. It’s the American … Continue reading →
“How Birds Keep Warm” copyright © Diane L. Schirf Thanks to greeting card artists, the birds most of us associate with the holidays are the beautiful northern cardinal and the comical black-capped chickadee. That’s no coincidence — while many of … Continue reading →
“Mauritius kestrel” copyright © Diane L. Schirf The Mauritius kestrel (Falco punctatus), endemic to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and the island’s only bird of prey, is the world’s rarest falcon. Its known population had been reduced to two breeding … Continue reading →
“Name Game” copyright © Diane L. Schirf Docents frequently ask me, “What is the difference between a pigeon and a dove?” In my usual helpful way, I always reply, “Two letters.” “Pigeon” is derived from a Middle French word meaning … Continue reading →
Copyright © Diane L. Schirf Plovers (Charardriidae) are plumpish small to medium-sized shorebirds, ranging in size from 14–41 cm to 34–296 g. Males are usually slightly larger than females. They are found virtually worldwide except for areas that are permanently … Continue reading →