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Request for Photos of Birds with Bugs

Alex Lamoreaux|

Dr. Doug Tallamy, Professor and Chair of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, is looking for good photos of birds carrying insects for a study he is doing in hopes of measuring the impact of invasive plants on insect prey available to birds.

Here is what Dr. Tallamy is looking for in his own words:

“I need all the “birds with insects” photos I can get. I am starting a study to see just how specialized some species of birds are in their diet. The ultimate goal is to see how plant invasions change the availability of insects for birds and then to measure whether birds can adjust to those changes or whether they simply leave those areas. This is all hampered by having very poor data on exactly what birds are eating. “insects” isn’t good enough. I need to know what species of insects. There are so many existing photos out there that are good enough to ID the insect in the beak that I thought I would start a data base from citizen scientists. There could be regional specialization so I think I will seek photos from all over the country. I won’t use any pics other than to ID the insect. I would like to have the date the photo was taken, whether the bird was migrating or not (best guess), the location of the shot (nearest post office is usually good enough), and the photographer and the email address (if he or she feels like sharing that). All participants will be given credit when I publish the results. Any help you can give will be greatly appreciated.”

I know there are some amazing bird photographers out there and even more beginning photographers, like myself, that must have quite a lot of ‘birds with bugs’ photos. If any of you have good quailty photos of birds carrying insects, please consider emailing them to Dr. Tallamy (dtallamy@udel.edu). This is a great opportunity for birders to help with bird research, and to further our understanding of the natural world. Here is a link to more info about Dr. Tallamy.

Loggerhead Shrike with insect prey - Miami, Florida (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

About the Author

Alex Lamoreaux

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Alex Lamoreaux has been an avid birder and naturalist since he was a youngster, growing up exploring the farmland and Appalachian ridges near Hershey, Pennsylvania. He attended Penn State University, studying wildlife biology. Alex has traveled extensively throughout North America, Central America, and South Africa and is a freelance nature tour guide, field biologist, and wildlife photographer. Alex has worked on wildlife research projects ranging from Whimbrel migration along the coast of Virginia to Yellow-billed Cuckoo nesting in the desert southwest. He has been the migration counter at the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory for the past two fall seasons, documenting the massive visible migration of raptors and songbirds along Lake Superior. Alex loves to share his knowledge of nature, and strives to bring the birding community together to share in the fun that studying birds and wildlife has to offer. He has helped to organize and coordinate birding events in his home state of Pennsylvania and beyond. Contact Info Alex Lamoreaux aslamoreaux@gmail.com (717) 943-7086