Migrants and Mysticetes

Tim HealyBirding, Mammals, Migration, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

Weather and fall pelagic trips often don’t mix well. The September two-day trip out of Hyannis, Massachusetts that I hoped to attend with the Brookline Birding Club was regrettably called off due to interference from the remnants of Hurricane Florence. The cancellation was a bit of a letdown, but I told myself that I was satisfied with the offshore action … Read More

Sparrow Survey: Assessing Environmentally Friendly Land Use

Tim HealyBird Sightings, Conservation Issues, eBird, Field Work, Migration, Rarities, ScienceLeave a Comment

It’s been some years since I worked full-time for any kind of field research project. My current job as a biology teacher doesn’t offer quite as many opportunities to “do science” outside the classroom, but I still find ways to get my fix. Ecology-focused field trips and school projects allow me to share the importance of the natural world with … Read More

The Satisfaction of Discovery

Tim HealyBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, General News and Info, Migration, Migration Update, RaritiesLeave a Comment

The excitement of a rarity chase is one of my favorite aspects of birding, but it’s nothing compared to the thrill of finding something unusual yourself. For me, the feeling of accomplishment that comes with turning up even a minor regional oddity often rivals the triumphant joy of a successful twitch or long-distance trip. That finder’s high is a hell … Read More

Listing Priorities

Tim HealyBird Sightings, Birding, Chase, eBird, Listing, RaritiesLeave a Comment

The week began with a Barred Owl. Just minutes after midnight, my tired brain registered a series of emphatic hoots somewhere in the woods beyond the campground loop. I smiled as I continued preparing for bed. It had been 14 months since I last encountered the species, which is essentially unheard of on Long Island. These birds are quite common … Read More

A May in the Life of a Birder

Tim HealyBird Sightings, Birding, Listing, Migration, Rarities, ScienceLeave a Comment

A cut above the rest!

Week 1: So it begins Even though the first waves of Neotropical migrants typically arrive before the calendar changes to the fifth month, most East Coast birders would agree that May is the peak of the excitement. This year, some of my migration highlights came a little early. A few advance bouts of favorable conditions brought Prairie Warblers, Northern Parulas, … Read More

Snowy Owl Season: Reflections on Winter 2017-18

Tim HealyBird News, Birding, Conservation Issues, eBird, General Rant, ScienceLeave a Comment

Please enjoy owls responsibly

Bubo scandiacus is a highly evocative species. One of the largest, most striking members of the ever popular owl family, Snowies have a special magic that drives people wild. Wherever these Arctic predators go, excitement bordering on chaos usually follows. I’ve been hooked on Snowy Owls my entire life. I spent my early childhood dragging around a beloved plush Snowy, … Read More

Fun Challenges and Cautionary Tales from Fall Banding

Steve BrennerBanding, Identification, MigrationLeave a Comment

Fall migration out east is a conflicting time for birders: the rarity machine is usually churning out goodies after goodies. Also, fall warblers dressed in brand-new plumage are pulsing through the woodlots of every town. These days most birders have come to appreciate the subtle nuances of fall warblers. The ID challenge is fun and rewarding, and in a way … Read More

Birding the Depths

a guest bloggerField Work, General News and Info, Research, ScienceLeave a Comment

Guest post by Ian Gardner With one of the highest murder rates in the world, recently overrun by cartels, a history of violence against environmental activists, and hosting a plethora of tropical diseases, Honduras is not the first country you’d think to visit in Central America for birding. But it also contains 23 bio-reserves covering 20% of the country, 9 mountains … Read More

Baby Barn Owl Banding!

Alex LamoreauxScience1 Comment

This evening I was able to tag along to watch Nate McKelvie, environmental educator at the Milton Hershey School, band four juvenile Barn Owls from one of the Hershey Trust’s old barns on the north side of Hershey. This is one of two known nesting sites in the area this year. The four juveniles were between 41 and 50 days … Read More

Rajah Scops Owl: Malaysian Mega

Steve BrennerBird Sightings, Rarities, ScienceLeave a Comment

Rare birds are cool. This much we know. But what happens when a rare bird transitions from a neat stroke of birding luck to a downright biological discovery? That’s when the real fun begins and we get to go beyond birding. When migratory birds turn up in places they are not supposed to be, everyone gets jazzed to see it … Read More