Welcome to WhitneyBarlow.com, where you’ll find stories exploring animals, evolution, people, planets, and a few of the places they overlap. Check out my work on the Selected Publications page.
Featured Story: Notes on Planning Ahead
From: The Last Word On Nothing
It was the first day of spring, and I was on a mission—a fact-checking mission, to be exact. For the past three months, several American Museum of Natural History employees and I had been tracking a Rufous Hummingbird who had lost her way while migrating to Mexico and ended up at the museum, of all places. She’d made our patch of winter-blooming shrubs at the 81st Street entrance her home and had grown into a local celebrity. Some say she’s the first hummer to overwinter in New York. The perfect news hook, I thought, for the first day of spring.
I just had to make sure she was still there. We’d seen the bird regularly the previous week, and as part of the Editorial team, I’d been planning an article for the news blog weeks before that.
But as I approached her favorite spot on my walk to work that morning, I saw white puffs of smoke rise from the shrubs as roaring machines overpowered the shrieks of birds. The throat lump of those environmental destruction moments in FernGully, or Avatar, or The Lorax, or whatever, came. And I panicked. Keep reading…
Cover Image: Hand-colored engraving from William Jardine’s The Naturalist’s Library. Courtesy of Flickr/Dedree Dees