Fact-checking

As I’ve been recovering from back surgery—a recovery that is taking a bit longer than I was led to expect—I’ve had plenty of time to check my phone, and more specifically, my news feed. I had to laugh when this item popped up. Seems that USA Today needs to check with an actual birder before choosing photos to accompany their articles!

Note that this is not a yellow bird, rare or otherwise. Even more significantly, this lovely photo is of a House Finch, not a Northern Cardinal.

That would be bad enough, but there’s more:

Here we finally get to see the yellow cardinal (which happens to be male). However, this is a male House Sparrow, definitely not a younger cardinal—or its mate!

These are rather significant mistakes in an article on I topic I know a bit about. It makes me wonder how many mistakes (intentional or otherwise) appear in their articles on other topics!

“Safer at Home” Birds

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While some states are beginning to open up, Colorado just instituted a new rule—we have to “recreate” within ten miles of our homes. No hiking in the mountains, unless we already live there. No driving out on the plains to look for raptors. No chasing rarities in other parts of the state. If the bird isn’t in my immediate area, I’m simply out of luck.  I can’t even walk the trails at our county’s nature centers, as they’re at the other end of town, far past my ten-mile radius.

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