A tale of beauty: what peahens want!

Darwin’s other big idea (in addition to the theory of evolution by natural selection) was sexual selection. “We are, however, here concerned only with that kind of selection, which I have called sexual selection. This depends on the advantage which certain individuals have over other individuals of the same sex and species, in exclusive relation…

Sparrow-friendly hedges

We all need a place to call home. Somewhere where we feel safe and protected. Where we can chatter away in peace and security. Sparrows are no exception! House sparrows have declined markedly since the 1970s, although numbers have increased slightly in the past decade. There are a number of possible reasons (See Link 1),…

Frisky butterflies in the Spring sunshine!

The fine weather earlier this week – at the end of March 2021 – saw the emergence of some butterflies, Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells, from their winter hibernation. Although they are hunkered down somewhere over the cold months, you would probably never find them (unless they are inside the trunk of an old tree), as…

A day in the life of a Turnstone

So nice to get a bit of sunshine! Last night was freezing! I was just thinking, how long is it til we fly back to Greenland? Forget it! You are not even the right colour. Remember what we look like in our summer outfits? Oh yes, long time yet. I know. I just like to…

Butterfly eyespots III. Deflect and sacrifice.

I described in my first blog on butterfly eyespots (Conspicuousness or eye-mimicry?) how they can be effective at deterring predators from attacking them, although the jury is still out as to whether this happens because the eyespots are highly conspicuous, startling signals, or whether it is because they genuinely fool predators into thinking that they…