Jeff Richmond

Jeff Richmond


I grew up on a farm in Virginia, surrounded by creeks and marshes, abundant with all manner of living things. The farm was rich in birdlife, from nesting eagles and fish hawks, to chickadees and wrens nesting around the house. My mother, a teacher, had several bird books and we often sat in the yard or took walks identifying each one we saw. She also made sure I knew about the natural history of each bird—what it ate, where it nested, if it was a seasonal migrant, etc. She instilled an interest in birds—actually all creatures—that has persisted throughout my life, travels, and writing. The farm and my mother’s influence led me to degrees in biology and environmental sciences, after which I became a writer.

Hummingbird Vines: What Type of Vines Attract Hummingbirds?

Nature’s Strategies While plants do not sit around thinking of strategies for pollination, and hummingbirds do not fly around looking for flowers to pollinate—the fact is, hummingbirds visiting flowers is indeed a strategy—a natural strategy—to aid reproduction.  For plants to develop fertile seeds to produce more plants, the flower must be pollinated. By producing nectar, certain flowers attract hummingbirds (and bees), that—while feeding on the nectar—collect pollen on their feet or feathers. The birds and insects carry the pollen to other flowers where it falls off and fertilizes future seeds. A trumpet-shaped flower, with nectar, is one of Nature’s strategies to ensure fertile plant seeds for the future.  The Hummingbird Vine The trumpet vine, Campsis radicans, is also known as the hummingbird vine or trumpet creeper. It is a perennial deciduous woody vine native to North America that is also found in scattered locations in both Europe and South America….

The Woodpeckers of Central Park, New York City (Pictures)

New York City may seem like an unlikely area for any serious birdwatching—other than pigeons. Actually, there is a diverse bird population that has found suitable habitats throughout the New York metropolitan area. One of the most obvious locations for serious bird watching is Central Park. Central park. The park’s rectangular area is about 2.5 miles long by 0.5-mile-wide for a total area of about 1.25 square miles or 840 acres.  Here are seven woodpeckers that either are seen regularly or could be seen in Central Park and other locals around the city. Note all woodpeckers fly in an undulating pattern, using a series of wing flaps followed by a wings-folded glide.  1. Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)The Downy Woodpecker is the most common woodpecker in New York City, and permanent residents can be found throughout the city’s seven boroughs. Look for them in any park area larger than two or…

4 Red Birds Found in Texas (Pictures)

Table of Contents Introduction Red Birds in Texas Summer Tanager Cardinal Vermillion Flycatcher Painted Bunting Introduction The “red birds” of Texas include birds that are essentially red all over or have red coloration over more than half of their bodies. Four birds met these criteria, including the Summer Tanager, Cardinal, Vermilion Flycatcher, and the Painted Bunting (that just made the cut).   Birds such as the red-headed woodpecker, etc., where the red—although prominent—covers well less than 50% of the body are not included.   Red Birds in Texas Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra) The summer tanager is about the same size as the familiar cardinal. Although called a “tanager,” and was classified as a “tanager,” the summer tanager is now considered a member of the cardinal family, (Cardinalidae).[1] Its plumage and vocalizations are similar to other members of the cardinal family. These birds are often out of sight, foraging high in…

The 3 Pink Birds in Florida

Of the three large pink birds associated with Florida, only one is truly native to North America—the roseate spoonbill. The flamingo is a transplant from the Bahamas and the scarlet ibis is a rare vagrant from South America or an escapee from an aviary or zoo in North America.  Table of Contents Pink Birds in Florida American Flamingo Roseate Spoonbill Are roseate spoonbills endangered? Difference between roseate spoonbills and flamingos Scarlet Ibis All three birds are in good standing with the International Union for Conservation of Nature1, where their populations are listed as birds of “least concern” meaning they are not recognized as “threatened” or “near threatened.” Pink Birds in Florida 1. American Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) There are six species of flamingo worldwide. But only one, the American flamingo, finds its way to Florida. Description Length (Height) 1.5 m (5 ft) Wingspan – Up to 1.5 m (5 ft) Weight…

10 Finches Found in Florida

Any discussion of finches requires careful definition of terms. True finches are small to medium-sized passerine birds taxonomically classified in the family Fringillidae. Additional “finch-like” (and described as “finches,” e.g., in some earlier Peterson Field Guides) are also included in the families Cardinalidae and Thraupidae. Table of Contents Florida Finches American Goldfinches Pine Siskin Purple Finch House Finch Indigo Bunting Painted Bunting Evening Grosbeak European Goldfinch Cuban Bullfinch Greater Antillean Bullfinch All are “Passerine” birds that have feet adapted for perching, with three toes pointing forward, one backward. These three families are grouped under the superfamily, Passeroidea. It should be noted that the scientific names shown in this discussion may not agree with many common wild bird guides. Ornithologists have disagreed upon, and continue to debate, the exact relationships (and therefore generic names) of many birds in this group. Finches in Florida Family Genus Common Name  Scientific Name Fringillidae  Spinus…