Beagle

Beagle

The Beagle is a breed old enough to have its origins shrouded in mystery. We know for certain that, when the Romans arrived in the British Isles soon after the birth of Christ, they found small hounds already employed in hunting. About a thousand years later, William the Conqueror and his Norman soldiers brought along hounds of their own that probably influenced the Beagle. Thus, … Continue reading Beagle

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

Arguably one of the most influential canine types in history was the molossus, the mastiff of the ancient Greeks and Romans. This dog was both versatile and useful, guarding property and herding livestock. Unfortunately, it also found a place in the Roman arena, satisfying the populace’s thirst for blood sports. Many modern dog breeds trace back to the molossus, including the old-fashioned bulldog (not the … Continue reading American Pit Bull Terrier

Garganey

Garganey

The garganey (Anas querquedula) isn’t much to look at, but attention to field marks can pay off for birdwatchers hoping to add this uncommon species to their life list. First off, look at the male’s head. Contrast is a key feature of the breeding male duck. His dark crown is bordered by a white “eyebrow” stripe. Also note his dark bill and the reddish cast … Continue reading Garganey

Mallard

Mallard

The mallard (Anas platrhynchos) is a duck that most will recognize readily. The yellow bill, green head, white neck ring, chestnut breast, gray sides, orange legs, and black tail curls of the male are familiar sights across the country. In flight, notice his white belly. The female is less conspicuous. She is mottled brown overall. She shares orange legs in common with her mate, but … Continue reading Mallard