Richard K. Simpson

Monthly Archives: June 2015

This is a post for those who may not have traveled extensively throughout Arizona. It will be a longer post, but its full of beautiful pictures! When most people think of Arizona, they either think of the Grand Canyon or that the entire state is a hot, miserable, desolate desert, like this picture. I had this view of Arizona at one point, as well. However, a fellow adventurer, Meghan Duell (check out… Read More

Yesterday, I finished my field work in southern Arizona on black-chinned hummingbirds. While I may not have filmed/captured as many hummingbirds as I was originally hoping, I was able to get some great data and will hopefully be back next year to finish up my work on the species. Now I am at home, for a few days, before I travel to South Carolina to visit my mom and attend a family… Read More

I now have uploaded several hummingbird videos to my YouTube channel! I have videos of shuttle displays for three species:  Broad-tailed hummingbird (from below)  Costa’s hummingbird (from below; from the side)  Black-chinned hummingbird (side A – from below; side B – from below) In addition, I have a cool video of a broad-tailed hummingbird illustrating the angle dependence of iridescent coloration

This will be a short update today, due to internet limitations, but much more to come once I’m done with my field work. I’ve been filming and trapping male black-chinned hummingbirds lately with success! I will upload a black-chinned shuttle video to YouTube as soon as I can, similar to this one of a broad-tailed hummingbird shuttle from my work last year. I’ll also upload a video of a Costa’s hummingbird shuttle, and… Read More

Last week, my advisor Kevin McGraw (link) came to visit and help out with my fieldwork. While the weather tried to ruin his visit (constant 15+ mph winds), we did get to trap some cool hummingbirds. Since my fieldwork here is focused on black-chinned hummingbirds we caught several of them, but we couldn’t resist capturing some of the other beautiful and interesting species that occur here. We managed to catch a broad-billed hummingbird and… Read More

I just recently had my first first-author paper accepted for publication in Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B! The paper was the result of work I started as an undergrad at Trinity University, where I worked with both Troy Murphy (link) and Michele Johnson (link) on my honors thesis. It is crazy to think that I started this work four years ago. Briefly, we were testing a novel hypothesis to… Read More

Southeastern Arizona is home to a unique geological phenomenon called the sky islands. Basically, there are several isolated mountain ranges throughout SE Arizona. The more notable ranges include the Chiricahua, Huachuca, and Santa Rita mountains. These ranges are also home to many unique birds of the United States that can only be found in SE Arizona. Some of these unique species can be found in SW New Mexico, and certain parts of… Read More

In addition to searching for black-chinned hummingbirds at the Audubon Research Ranch, I’m also conducting my work at The Nature Conservancy Sonoita-Patagonia Creek Preserve. While this place is less than an hour drive away, it is fairly different from the ranch. The preserve is a rich and lush riparian area, surround by a mesquite filled semi-arid environment. You can easily find multiple hummingbird species here, which makes things a bit more complicated,… Read More