Egregious– and Hilarious– Error

Do editors (as opposed to acquisitions people and Spellcheck) exist any more?

First, visit Pluvi’s post, appropriately titled AAAARGH!

For non- birders, the cover of The Peregrine does not show a Peregrine or even a falcon; the cover of The Goshawk shows a Gyrfalcon.

Now, go here. See the long bio of Nobel Prize- winning Aussie codger Patrick White? It is all very interesting but it is a bio of A DIFFERENT WRITER WITH A DIFFERENT FIRST NAME.

T. (Terence) H. (Hanbury) White, an Englishman born in 1906, was the author of, among many things, The Once and Future King (on which Camelot was distantly based) and Mistress Masham’s Repose (amazingly, also republished by New York Review of Books Books).

I wrote to NYRB:

“In your forthcoming section you have a note for The Goshawk. There are two problems.

“First, it is NOT BY PATRICK WHITE, the Australian novelist whose bio accompanies your description, but by the English novelist T(erence) H(anbury) White, author of The Once and Future King and Mistress Masham’s Repose.

“Second, the cover uses a detail from Holbein’s portrait of Cheseman, of a Gyrfalcon. This is akin to using a picture of a cat to illustrate a book called “The Dog”. (You have already used a photo of a “Buteo” hawk on the cover of Baker’s The Peregrine, an error of the same order of magnitude).

“As the author and editor of several books concerned with birds of prey (A Rage for Falcons, Eagle Dreams, and the Lyons Press edition of The Goshawk) I think I can speak with some authority. Please correct these errors on this wonderful book!”

I will report if they respond. But…

Don’t hold your breath.

Isn’t anybody literate anymore?

Bird- Eating Bats

Dr. Hypercube was kind enough to unearth Darren’s old post on bird- eating bats and my additions re New World hoary bats:

“The hoary bat, Lasiurus cinereus, has some very strange “spatial” habits. In the summer, the males live in the southwest, while the females range as far north as the Arctic circle. In the fall the females join them in the southwest, and then they ALL migrate to southern Mexico, Baja California, and South America. I can’t think of another animal that does anything remotely like this!

“I should add: they apparently mate during the migration. And I wonder: their migration seems to correlate VERY well with that of Nearctic Passerines.”

I should add here: we are talking falcon- like on- the- wing predation here. Several tropical genera of bats– New World false vampires, Old World ghost bats, and more– kill and eat roosting passerines.


We store our good cut glass rim- down; perhaps we shouldn’t. Libby lifted this one up and it separated from its rim, perfectly, as though it had been cut. There was NO pattern where it separated. Anyone with a physics, engineering, glassmaking background have any ideas?

I have an idea a similar phenomenon was noted in the question and answer page in the back of New Scientist magazine a few years ago but I am not sure if that would be on line, or how to find it.

For what it’s worth it was antique, quite old (not one of yours, Johnny UK!)

Bloggy links

Shrunken heads are not pc!

I would think not.

One of the joys of the Pitt-Rivers Museum, and the reason that it is a treasure trove, is that its collections come from a more self- confident age. See link to it in favorites. HT David Zincavage, who is self- confident.

Here is a wonderful map on a wonderful site, worthy of Indiana Jones or better Roy Chapman Andrews. HT Doc Hypercube.

Annie D sends this list of… interesting.. book titles. My DEFINITE preference is “Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan”, though it only made second place. Sigh.

Photo posts soon.

Busy not Dead…

As I said below in comments. The eagle book, sure, but other deals are in the air, including but not limited to new editions, new gun articles, new (old) gun deals, new Gorbatov projects, new birds…

Probably only afew will work out but there has been more in the air in the last two weeks than in the last two years.

I’ll try to post a few pics & links right away but bigger things loom…

Giant Bats Snatch Birds from Night Sky

I heard this interesting story on NPR while driving into work this morning. Bat researchers in Spain have discovered that the giant noctule bat or Nyctalus lasiopterus preys on migrating songbirds who fly at night, something not previously known. It was previously thought that some songbirds migrated at night to avoid predation by diurnal raptors. Apparently it’s not safe to fly at night either!

From the article:

“Popa-Lisseanu is an expert on giant noctules, and says it has long been known that these bats feed on flying insects. What wasn’t known until recently is that the giant noctule may be the only bat that eats birds on the wing. “


“‘They wrap the prey between their wings and the tail membrane,’ Popa-Lisseanu says, ‘so they make kind of a cage for the bird.’ She says the bats eat just the ‘most profitable parts’ of the migrating bird, such as the breast, where birds accumulate fat and muscle.

When they get close to the ground, the bats open their wings and drop the mangled carcasses.”


Gorbatov Prints

The fabulous Russian artist Vadim Gorbatov visited the US last fall under the auspices of the Raptor Education Foundation. He paid a visit to Steve and Libby in Magdalena and Steve posted on the visit and Vadim’s art here and here and here.

People intrigued by the samples Steve provided may want to know that the Raptor Education Foundation is selling a selection of Gorbatov prints that are available here.

I didn’t do a very good job with the last link. On the REF main page look at the link roll on the left side. Click on “Gallery” and then click on “Contemporary Art Gallery”

Bird Cam

This picture of two bald eagle chicks was taken this afternoon in a nest near the Fort St. Vrain Power Plant in Platteville, Colorado. Xcel Energy, for impact mitigation and public outreach purposes, has positioned cameras on raptor nests located near several of their power plants. Their Bird Cam can be accessed here.

Raptor enthusiasts can see views of bald eagle, osprey, kestrel, peregrine, and great horned owl nests.