Cyanerpes cyaneus

Photograph by John Harshman.

Photography Contest XIV, Winner.

Cyanerpes cyaneus – Red-legged honeycreeper. Dr. Harshman writes, "Neotropical honeycreepers belong to the largest bird family, the tanagers, an explosive radiation that includes the Galápagos finches (but none found in the continental USA). Unlike the finches, most tanagers are known for their bright colors. I suspect that the tanager ancestor found its way into South America from the north during or slightly before the Great Faunal Interchange. Hawaiian honeycreepers are a whole separate radiation, descended from some extremely lost flock of fringillid finches."

We received relatively few entries this year from only a few photographers (not all of whom observed rules 3 and 7, incidentally). Consistently with rules 8 and 12, not to mention 11, we have decided not to hold a poll this year, but rather with the assistance of our wife and Professor Steve Steve have carefully chosen a winner and two runners-up. The winning photograph by John Harshman is displayed today. We will display the runners-up on consecutive weeks and then most likely display honorable mentions every other week thereafter. Dr. Harshman will be invited to choose from one of these books: Neil Shubin, Some Assembly Required; Dan Levitt, What’s Gotten Into You?, both generously donated by the National Center for Science Education; or a copy of one of our own books, Why Intelligent Design Fails, No Sense of Obligation, or Why Evolution Works and Creationism Fails.