The Irish Setter has a knack for making itself the subject of controversy. A brief examination of its history brings us immediately to the first dispute—the origin of the breed. Something more or less like an Irish Setter has existed in Ireland since the 1700s, albeit in a piebald color. How it came to be…… Continue reading Irish Setter
All British retrievers trace back to the same source—the Canadian water dogs imported in large numbers in the early 1800s, variously called Newfoundland or St. John’s dogs. The shorthaired version of this cold-hardy, water-loving working breed evolved into the modern Labrador Retriever. However, a furrier type was also known and imported. This was called the…… Continue reading Golden Retriever
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…… Continue reading Beagle
The modern pit bull has a long and checkered history. It is one of many breeds that trace back to the ancient molossus of Greek and Roman times, raised by the latter for entertaining the masses in the arena. The molossus subsequently gave rise to the old-fashioned bulldog. This was not the the short-legged, short-nosed…… Continue reading American Pit Bull Terrier
The green-winged teal (Anas crecca) has the distinction of being the smallest dabbling duck in North America. The male has a rather striking color pattern. His head is a rich cinnamon color marked with an iridescent green stripe running back from the eye. If you can get a close look, notice the thin white line…… Continue reading Green-Winged Teal
Don’t dismiss this drab duck—seeing a Garganey in Kansas is a rare treat.
The northern pintail (Anas acuta) is both unique and graceful. The male’s head is chocolate-colored, contrasting with his white neck and the white finger that outlines the backside of the face. Most of his body is grayish, with a brown tint on the back. A band of yellowish white separates the gray flanks from the…… Continue reading Northern Pintail
The northern shoveler (Spatula clypeata) is named for its odd-looking bill, accentuated by a sloping forehead. Although this appendage makes the duck look slightly ridiculous, it has its uses. Over 100 bristles line the edges of the bill. The result looks and acts something like a comb that the shoveler can use as a filter…… Continue reading Northern Shoveler
The male cinnamon teal (Spatula cyanoptera) is an unusual bird, unlikely to be confused with any other duck. He is mostly deep red from his eyes to his body. This red color is neatly trimmed at both ends with black, the oversized bill being blue-black and the tail being pure black. In the early fall,…… Continue reading Cinnamon Teal
This migratory duck is sure to delight with its unique pattern and aerial acrobatics.