Welcome to #BirdGlamour!
I am not shy about professing my bird-nerdiness. Birds, being our only living dinosaurs, have fascinated me for as long as I can remember.
Friends and family often ask me “What’s this bird?” The most recent one was a picture posted by a friend on Instagram asking about the identity of an owl (he was having a sick run of awesome owl sightings.) I identified it as a Short-eared Owl, and described it as having a “dramatic smoky eye.”
Over the next few days, I started thinking “what if I showcased different species of birds using their diverse eye patterns and colors as a template for eye makeup?” I mused the question out loud to my husband on a drive, and his response was “That’s awesome! Do it! You have to do it!”
And thus #BirdGlamour was born!
Bird Glamour is where I, inexperienced with eye makeup, ask our friends the birds what they would recommend wearing for different occasions. I’ll post a new bird eye look each Friday afternoon. If you have a favorite bird you would like to see done, feel free to comment! Comparison images are from (unless otherwise indicated) the Sibley eGuide to Birds of North America Android app.
Newest Bird Glamour looks will be at the top! Also, check out my social media handle @Lisavipes on Twitter and Instagram for the latest on Bird Glamour!
November 9, 2018 – Mandarin Duck
The Mandarin Ducks of Vancouver and New York ruffled a few feathers, for better or for worse! Likely escaped domestic birds, Mandarin Ducks call eastern China, southeast Russia, and Japan home (there are also feral populations, introduced in the 1900s, in western Europe). People rushed to see this vibrantly-colored duck! Although some birders consider this sighting “artificial,” the Mandarin Duck provides outreach opportunities to educate people on wildlife harassment, not feeding bread to ducks, and why releasing exotic species into the environment is not a good idea!
Read more on my thoughts about the Mandarin Duck here! lisagbuckley.com/2018/11/09/its-ok-to-like-the-mandarin-duck/
October 31, 2018 – Happy Hallowe’en Bird Glamour – Barn Owl
My latest Bird Glamour episode is posted on YouTube! Discover Barn Owl-based eco-friendly rodent control and Barn Owl mythology while you learn how to transform yourself into a Barn Owl for Hallowe’en!
HOO is in your barn? It’s not a ghost, but a Barn Owl showing you its ghostly Bird Glamour for Hallowe’en! Barn Owls are active at night are often found roosting in old buildings. Ditch those rodenticides in Barn Owl territory: a family of Barn Owls can eat up to 3000 rodents!
October 26 and October 21, 2018
American Three-toed Woodpecker versus Black-backed Woodpecker
American Three-toed Woodpeckers (top) and Black-backed Woodpeckers (bottom) have a lot in common. The males have yellow markings instead of red, they both can be found (if uncommon) in northern conifer forests, they both like dead, burnt, or flooded trees, and they both have three long toes instead of the four long toes that other North American Woodpeckers have. American Three-toed Woodpeckers differ from Black-backed Woodpeckers in that they have a lot more white on their face and down their back, whereas the Black-backed Woodpecker lives up to its name!
October 6, 2018 – Wood Duck
Ready to take a big leap? Use Wood Duck Bird Glamour for inspiration! These bright beautiful ducks are cavity nesters. Wood Duck chicks jump out of their nests, falling 15 m (50 ft) and being A-OK (it must be a scary leap)! Wood Ducks have strong claws that help them perch in trees.
September 28, 2018 – Green Kingfisher
Be inspired by Green Kingfisher Bird Glamour: dive headfirst into the water (for fish)! Breeding in the southern US, Central, and South America, Green Kingfishers excavate nest burrows directly in dirt banks using their beaks and feet. All that digging will dull their large black beaks!
September 21, 2018 – Spix’s Macaw
Bird Glamour is feeling blue that Spix’s Macaw is likely extinct in the wild due to illegal wild bird trade and habitat loss. 83 captive birds are involved in an international breeding program to reintroduce these charismatic blue parrots to the wild in Brazil. For more information on Spix’s Macaw conservation work, follow the link here to the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots.
September 14, 2018 – Green Heron Video
My latest Bird Glamour video on the life history of the Green Heron!
September 7, 2018 – Common Nighthawk
PEENT! PEENT! Common Nighthawk says while giving us Bird Glamour tips for hunting flying insects at dawn and dusk. These intricately dappled brown birds with white crescent wing patches look like tree bark during the day. Males dive through the air to make loud BOOMing noises for mates.
August 31, 2018 – Red-breasted Nuthatch
Red-breasted Nuthatch uses bold black & white eye stripes with blue-grey & rusty orange for Bird Glamour feeder visits! You’ll see Red-breasted Nuthatch at nut, suet and seed feeders in winter. In the summer, these cavity nesters line nest entrances with sticky sap to deter predators!
August 24, 2018 – Great Horned Owl
What meal pairs well with Great Horned Owl Bird Glamour? Almost anything! Great Horned Owls have the most diverse diet (which matches their diverse habitat) of North American raptors, and are even known to eat hawks! Nests in old hawk and corvid nests, as well as platforms and ledges in urban areas!
August 17, 2018 – Northern Pintail
Northern Pintail Bird Glamour is perfect for Early Birds and Night Owls alike! Blue and black bills are paired with white and dark chocolate colors, which are perfect for April tundra nesting or nighttime migration! Populations are still strong but Northern Pintails are sensitive to wetland habitat loss.
August 10, 2018 – Green Heron
Add Bird Glamour to your next fishing trip! This small heron winters in the southern US and Mexico and breeds in the eastern US as far north as southern Canada. Green Heron wears a handsome chestnut and iridescent blue-green plumage while luring fish with grass, twigs, and insects! What a catch!
August 3, 2018 – Mourning Dove Video
Check out the third episode of Bird Glamour on YouTube to learn more about Mourning Dove feeding habits and the impacts of lead on their populations!
July 27, July 13, July 6 – Comparing the Connecticut Warbler, MacGillivray’s Warbler, and Mourning Warbler
Mourning Warblers lack the distinct eye-rings seen in similar-looking Connecticut and MacGillivray’s Warblers. Breeding in eastern North America, but coming as far west as Alberta, Mourning Warblers will perform the broken wing display to distract predators away from their nests!
Look into my eyes: Connecticut Warbler gives us Bird Glamour tips for warbler ID! All Connecticut Warblers have full white eye-rings: similar-looking Mourning and MacGillivray’s warblers don’t! This boreal nester prefers eastern Canada and US tamarack and spruce bogs!
MacGillivray’s Warbler (top) gives us Bird Glamour for breeding (and hunting beetles and other insects!) in the Pacific region and the Rocky Mountains! A “broken” white eyering paired with a dark mask distinguishes this look from the similar-looking Connecticut (bottom) and Mourning warblers!
July 20, 2018 – Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow celebrates variety in Bird Glamour! Song Sparrows are found in most of North America, but look different based on geography. Coastal birds are darker because of more melanosomes in feathers, which might give feathers strength against mites and decay in humid climates!
June 29, 2018 – Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler gives us Bird Glamour in royal blue and black! This New World warbler nests in hardwood forests (like maples) of eastern North America, but are climate change-threatened: Audubon’s models show that summer ranges will shift 100% with a 78% decrease by 2080!
June 22, 2018 – Tree Swallow Video
Tree Swallow has Bird Glamour evening wear! Iridescent blue-black with crisp white is an elegant colour combo for taking over Mountain Bluebird nesting boxes and eating flying insects! Check for cavity-nesting Tree Swallows near fields, ponds, and nest boxes! Check out the video!
June 15, 2018 – Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglets are small in size, but royal in Bird Glamour! Ruby-crowned Kinglets nest in spruce-fir forests across Canada and the western US! Sporting a partial white eye ring and stealthy red crown, kinglet nests contain up to 12 eggs. Egg clutches are small, but large clutches can weigh as much as the female!
June 8, 2018 – One Year Glamour-versary, Bird Glamour on YouTube, and American Dipper!
In honor of my One Year Glamour-versary, I started a YouTube channel for Bird Glamour! The videos will be a combination of Bird Glamour tutorial and cool facts about the featured bird. Videos will be uploaded once every two weeks to start.
Visit Bird Glamour on YouTube!
This week’s bird is the American Dipper!
American Dippers are a bird from western North America that frequent cold mountain streams. They are considered an indicator species for the health of a stream, which refers to the level of pollutants and physical alterations to the habitat. Dippers get their name from their characteristic “dipping” motion – bobbing along the edge of streams. Dippers are songbirds (despite their aquatic habitat) that actually dive right into the cold water, looking for invertebrate larvae and fish eggs for food.
June 01, 2018 – Varied Bunting
Varied Bunting adds a splash of summer Bird Glamour to brushy woodlands and clearings of Mexico! Thorny brush may make this cardinal species seem hard to find, but with boldly blended purple, red, and blue, Varied Bunting is not shy! This bird needs more study! There is very little published about the life history of the Varied Bunting, including the life of the Varied Bunting in its home areas in Mexico.
May 25, 2018 – Red-eyed Vireo
Every birder has a group of birds that they feel they have to “relearn” every spring. Vireos are that group for me. To celebrate refamiliarizing myself with vireo songs, I Glamoured the Red-eyed Vireo!
Red-eyed Vireo is summer Bird Glamour ready! Contrasting eye stripes & red eyes are perfect for foraging insects off leaves & flowers in forest canopies (North America in summer, Amazon Basin in winter). Red-eyed Vireos love caterpillars, which make up 50% of their summer diet!
May 18, 2018 – Double-crested Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant has Bird Glamour underwater fishing tips! Heavy bones and less preen oil makes for good diving, but remember to air-dry your feathers! Black feathers contrast yellow-orange face skin for the breeding season. Plastics and other garbage found in the ocean are often used in nest building…along with the bodies of dead birds!
May 11, 2018 – Ruddy Duck
Ruddy Duck uses black and white Bird Glamour to court females during mating season! A bright blue bill is used in the Bubbling Display: males fluff up two feathery horns while they beat their large bills against their chests, making the water bubble. Males finish off their display with a loud burping noise!
May 4, 2018 – Northern Flicker
Northern Flickers team up to give me and my friend Nadine some Bird Glamour tips for home carpentry! There are two types of Northern Flicker: eastern Yellow-shafted Flicker has a black mustache and yellow feather shafts while the western Red-shafted Flicker has a red mustache and red-shafted feathers! There are also hybrids of the two subspecies!
April 27, 2018 – King Eider
King Eider has royal Bird Glamour tips for tundra nesting! Sensitive to climate change, King Eider pairs pastel green and grey with a vibrant yellow-orange bill while diving down to 25 m for marine invertebrates. A bold black and white eyeliner help to identify the male King Eider from other species of eider.
April 20, 2018 – Pacific Wren
Pacific Wren has Bird Glamour tips for your next musical number! Pacific Wren wants to sing about how it’s not a subspecies of the similar-looking Winter Wren! In 2008, genetic & song differences showed that Pacific Wren is indeed a separate species! Check out this paper that separates the two species!
To hear a Pacific Wren song, click here.
To hear a Winter Wren song, click here.
April 13, 2018 – Osprey
Osprey is here to offer Bird Glamour tips for an almost exclusively fish diet! Osprey are as particular about their habitat as they are about their black & white fashion: osprey need elevated nesting areas within 20 km of shallow, fish-filled waters!
April 6, 2018 – Herring Gull
Herring Gull gives Bird Glamour tips for looking good while looking for food! A species of Low Concern (populations decreased 3.5% per year from 1966-2015) Herring Gull uses no-nonsense white and grey, with a dab of red on the bill, for feasting on invertebrates and taking opportunities to scavenge!
March 23, 2018 – Harlequin Duck
Harlequin Ducks (aka Squeakers!) give Bird Glamour tips for wintering on rocky sea coasts and breeding along chilly fast-moving streams in northern US, Canada, and the Arctic! Keeping warm and afloat is hard work, so add colorful whimsy to warm air-trapping feathers!
March 16, 2018 – The Urban Interface’s Swainson’s Hawk “Pandora”
Meet our Bird Glamour model Pandora, Swainson’s Hawk Ambassador for The Urban Interface @TUIWildlife! Swainson’s Hawks do long-distance migrations from summer breeding grounds in North America to winter homes in Argentina! Learn more about (and support!) the Ambassadors here: http://www.theurbaninterface.com/animals/
March 9, 2018 – Costa’s Hummingbird
Costa’s Hummingbird is giving us a splash of summer Bird Glamour! Costa’s Hummingbird recommends putting your face out there! Even if shy (they like a separate feeder), flair out your iridescent purple face feathers for displays on the southwest coast of North America!
Here is a video showing the mating display of the male Costa’s Hummingbird!
March 2, 2018 – Willow Ptarmigan
In honor of the fresh snow, Willow Ptarmigan will give us this week’s Bird Glamour tips! Roaming tundras since the Ice Age, it is Willow Ptarmigan fashion to keep your red plumage all year – especially if you’re a British Willow Ptarmigan – while molting to your white winter plumage elsewhere else around the world!
February 23, 2018 – Snow Bunting
Snow Bunting has Bird Glamour tips for high Arctic breeding! A tundra nesting bird in steep decline, male Snow Buntings don’t molt into breeding plumage: males rub their brown feather tips on snow until they are worn away, revealing white and black feathers underneath! Don’t try that type of makeup remover or exfoliator at home!
February 16, 2018 – Horned Lark
Horned Lark has Bird Glamour tips for visiting open fields and high elevations! An Arctic breeding bird in decline, Horned Larks vary the amount of yellow around a bold black under-eye mask. Little black “horns” can be tricky to see! Horned Larks pave the area around their nests with pebbles!
February 9, 2018 – Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker has Bird Glamour tips for visiting feeders in eastern North America: be fierce with red and white, and keep ’em guessing with your name since your red is on your head, not your belly! Look for Red-bellied Woodpecker during the Great Backyard Bird Count on February 16-19!
January 26, 2018 – Evening Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak has Bird Glamour tips for visiting winter feeders! Use that heavy bill to crush and crunch larger feeder while rocking a heavy yellow eyebrow! Evening Grosbeak are irruptive so you might not see these large finches every year!
January 19, 2018 – Snowy Owl
This week’s Bird Glamour is the Snowy Owl! Snowy Owl recommends black eyeliner surrounded by snowy white for daytime hunting (yup, a diurnal owl!) Some years Snowy Owls stay in summer Arctic and northern breeding grounds, but other years travels south, like this year!
December 29, 2017 – Common Redpoll
Here is the last Bird Glamour of 2017! Common Redpoll is a stylish and cold-hardy winter bird. Use red accents with a brown and cream base for looking fab while surviving -50 C temperatures in nighttime snow tunnels and breeding in lands around the Arctic Ocean!
December 25, 2017 – Northern Cardinal
A Bird Glamour Happy Holiday Special! Northern Cardinal recommends a vibrant red with black eyeliner for singing in backyards and quiet neighborhoods. Both males and females sing complex songs!
December 22, 2017 – Boreal Chickadee
Boreal Chickadee has important Bird Glamour tips for visiting my feeders! This mostly Canadian chickadee uses browns and greys, instead of the classic Black-capped Chickadee black and white, for the perfect seed-caching look in boreal forests.
December 15, 2017 – Pine Grosbeak
Here are some Bird Glamour tips from Pine Grosbeak! “Layering pinks (for males) and oranges (females and young) over grey is the perfect look for finches nipping off conifer buds and eating seeds at feeders!”
December 8, 2017 – Great Blue Heron
I asked Great Blue Heron for Bird Glamour tips! North America’s largest heron with great night vision (high percentage of rod-like photoreceptors) recommends shades of blue-grey for wading for fish in both fresh & saltwater environments.
December 1, 2017 – Varied Thrush
I asked Varied Thrush for Bird Glamour tips while foraging for insects in forests. “It can’t be any forest: old growth/mature forests larger than ~40 acres in Pacific Northwest are our scene. Orange with black stripes never goes out of style!”
November 24, 2017 – Wild Turkey
Gobble gobble! Since our US friends have turkey on their minds, Bird Glamour celebrates Wild Turkey! Our largest North American game bird, turkeys have a fossil record in the US back to the Pliocene!
November 17, 2017 – Steller’s Jay
I shared this Bird Glamour while I was tweeting on @realscientists during the week of November 12, 2017. I asked my friend Steller’s Jay for Bird Glamour tips on what colors to wear for visiting feeders & caching nuts. Steller’s Jay says “This handsome blue you see isn’t really a pigment: it’s all light refraction!”
November 10, 2017 – Lark Sparrow
Lark Sparrow has Bird Glamour tips for walking – not hopping – in fields: be bold! Now wintering in Mexico, Lark Sparrows have an elaborate courtship display and will reuse thrasher & mockingbird nests! Request by @kuchtam
November 3, 2017 – Ae’o (Hawaiian Black-necked Stilt)
October 31, 2017 – Halloween Special: Harpy Eagle and Bearded Vulture
|The Harpy Eagle.|
|The Lammergeier, or Bearded Vulture, getting ready to crack open some tasty bones!|
The Harpy Eagle is a neotropical raptor known for eating sloths and monkeys! Harpy Eagles are a lovely smoky grey color and also come with a resplendent crest of feathers. For Halloween, I decided to take the Bird Glamour up a notch and add a feathered crest. Rich joined in on the Halloween fun and went as the Bearded Vulture, a bird of prey (not really a true vulture!) from Asia and Africa that is so hardcore it breaks and eats bones.
October 22, 2017 – The Cockatiel and the Barred Owl
My friend Nadine got in on some Bird Glamour action to stage a play for you called “The Cockatiel and the Barred Owl,” a tale that reminds us our exotic feathery friends, such as cockatiels, are really better off indoors or in nice aviaries.
October 27, 2017 – Bohemian Waxwing Video Tutorial with Audubon Society
I worked with the Audubon Society to develop my first-ever Bird Glamour video tutorial! You may see more of these in the future!
October 6, 2017 – Bohemian Waxwing
Bohemian Waxwings, and the closely related species Cedar Waxwings, start flocking up in the fall and visiting berry bushes! You’ll hear their high-pitched trilling in the tops of fruit trees. Unfortunately, fruit that has been hit with frost can ferment, creating alcohol that the waxwings consume. This can lead to their deaths, either through intoxication-related accidents or alcohol poisoning. Be sure to clean frost-hit fall fruit off of your trees!
September 29, 2017 – Secretary Bird
Stomp! Stomp! Secretary birds are a long-legged bird of prey native to sub-Saharan Africa. They spend a lot of time hunting on foot…and using their feet to capture their prey with a viciously quick and powerful stomp! Read more about the snake-stomping Secretary bird here.
September 16, 2017 – South Korea: Black-faced Spoonbill and Long-eared Owl
My friend Suijin (ichnology graduate student) joined me in some Bird Glamour! She is a Long-eared Owl. I went as the Black-faced Spoonbill (a bird that is, unfortunately, facing dwindling numbers). Spoonbills have a specialized bill that sweeps the sediment of a shallow lake or river to stir up fish and other tasty treats, leaving crescent-shaped marks. In South Korea, there is an Early Cretaceous bird track type called Ignotornis gajinensis that preserves spoonbill-like crescent scour marks! It is likely that this bird trackmaker had a bill like that of a modern-day spoonbill! Here is a link to the paper: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10420940.2012.660414
September 8, 2017 – Black-browed Albatross
A fitting Bird Glamour before our flight to South Korea! Albatross are a fascinating, but endangered, group of birds known for their amazing long-distance flight. Learn more about albatross here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-amazing-albatrosses-162515529/
September 2, 2017 – Vulture Awareness Day: Hooded Vulture and Lammergeier
Vultures do not get the love they deserve. Important scavengers, vultures are threatened by poisoning (unintentional and deliberate) as well as ignorance.
The Hooded Vulture is a Red-List species. Learn more here.
|Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus).|
The Lammergeier, or Bearded Vulture, is actually not in the vulture group: it’s a fancy-pants bird of prey that has adapted to the high-altitude mountains of Asia and Africa. It is famous for not only decorating its white plumage with red and orange mud but also for breaking and eating bone!
September 1, 2017 – Western Tanager
A common sight during the summer, the insect-hunting Western Tanager is a little different from other birds that have bright red in their plumage. Western Tanagers use rhodoxanthin, rather than carotenoids, to produce their bright orange-red colors.
August 25, 2017 – Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Annual Auction: Anchiornis
In honor of the SVP conference, I had to do a fossil-themed Bird Glamour. I put it to a vote, and Anchiornis huxleyi won by a fair margin. You can see why: this feathered dinosaur made a big splash in the news when paleontologists figured out the original feather colors from preserved melanosomes! Here’s a write-up on the study, showing how we know the feathers were black, rusty-red, and white.
August 18, 2017 – Yellow Warbler
“Sweet, sweet, I’m so sweet!” Yellow Warblers are a common sight among the tops of deciduous trees and tips of branches during the summer, foraging tiny insects. While mostly yellow, the males have rusty red stripes on their breast.
August 11, 2017 – Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
During our trip to Turkmenistan to help assess an application for a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I saw so many birds that left an impression on me. One of my favorites was the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. My photography skills were just passable enough to take a picture of a Blue-cheeked Bee-eater catching a flying insect on the wing.
|It’s grainy and taken from a moving train, but I love this picture.|
August 4, 2017 – Great Grey Owl for International Owl Awareness Day
July 28, 2017 – Barn Swallow
This week’s #BirdGlamour tips come from the busy Barn Swallow! These frequent barn inhabitants hunt insects on the wing and recommend a simple yet striking dark blue and rusty orange for hunting out high-protein nibbles. #sciart #scicomm
July 21, 2017 – Sora
July 18, 2017 – American Kestrel
Recent #BirdGlamour tips come from our friend American Kestrel! This itty-bitty falcon isn’t afraid to frame their eyes with bold geometric black patterns when hovering over their prey…and neither should you!
July 7, 2017 – Killdeer
Ow, ow, I hurt my wing…or did I? Surprise! I picked up some acting lessons while getting #BirdGlamour tips from our friend Killdeer! This plover is famous for its broken wing display, which they use to lure predators away from babies! Killdeer recommends lining red eyes with black, white, and buff. Perfect for attending and performing in Shakespeare In The Park.
July 3, 2017 – Atlantic Puffin for World Seabird Day
The Atlantic Puffin is one of many seabirds that, on #WorldSeabirdDay, wish we humans would stop throwing so much plastic waste into the oceans.
June 30, 2017 – Anna’s Hummingbird
Anna’s Hummingbird, the city of Vancouver’s Official Bird, is known for striking deep pink hues contrasting with vibrant greens. Anna’s Hummingbird recommends this look for a day of sipping sugary drinks at your local flowers and feeders. Be sure to keep your hummingbird feeders clean: dirty hummingbird feeders are dangerous to our flying jewels!
June 23, 2017 – Blue Jay
A familiar guest at our feeders, Blue Jays are a bright and cheeky member of the corvid family (crows, ravens, magpies, and jays.) Blue Jay recommends various shades of blue for visiting your local seed and nut feeders!
June 17 – Western Meadowlark
Western Meadowlarks have been present during every one of our field expeditions into the prairie provinces, waking us at the crack of dawn with their boisterous, melodious voices. Western Meadowlarks recommend balancing neutral browns with a vibrant yellow for early morning choir performances.
June 16 – Gray Jay
While hoped to be Canada’s National Bird – but now it seems like that won’t happen – the Grey Jay is an important part of First Nations traditional stories and artwork (read more here,) and a beloved visitor to campgrounds and hiking trails…or anywhere where people are going to bring snacks into the woods! Grey Jay recommends smoky grey with a dark grey eyeliner, partnered with white highlights. I wore this Bird Glamour look to the welcome reception for the British Columbia Field Ornithologists’ meeting in Tumbler Ridge.
June 9, 2017 – Short-eared Owl
My first Bird Glamour! Short-eared Owls recommend a dramatic smoky eye (it helps if you have yellow eyes, but that’s something owls do best) with pale beige highlights.