Birds

Birds get malaria, too

Just like people, birds have the misfortune of being visited by a variety of blood-sucking insects, insects that can transmit all manner of parasites through their bites. Some of those parasites, including ones related to human malaria, come in the form of haemosporidia--single-celled protozoans that take up residence in their host's bloodstream. Using modern lab techniques, scientists are now able to discover the diversity of these parasites living in the bloodstream of wild birds by isolating their DNA from the blood of infected birds.

Using eBird to keep up with recent sightings in your area

There's a great feature in eBird that allows you to see recent checklists from whatever area you'd like, giving birders the ability to keep up with sightings in their area. As migration picks up, this function allows you to learn what's being seen at local hotspots, even if there are no posts to the local listserve or Facebook birding group. I don't think many birders are taking advantage of this function, so here I present an illustrated tutorial on how to access it.

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