Birds We’ve Met Before

Tim HealyBehavior, Bird Sightings, Birding, General RantLeave a Comment

Knowingly seeing an individual bird that has been previously encountered is a special treat in the world of birding. Most birders would probably agree that the fascinating life cycles of these wild creatures are among the greatest draws that keep people invested in the hobby. It is a truly remarkable privilege to witness multiple chapters in the stories of specific … Read More

Boreal Bird Blitz

Tim HealyBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, Photography, Rarities, Science, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

No one likes to let vacation time go to waste. As my schedule began to fill up with responsibilities and obligations, it became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to orchestrate a grand international adventure for my February break this year. Nevertheless, I still had a few days to spare and didn’t want to spend them just sitting around. I … Read More

Churchill Photo Highlights

Steve BrennerField Work, Photography, ScienceLeave a Comment

It was a cold, northerly summer for yours truly this year. Fortunately, that summer was in one of the bird world’s great locations – Churchill, Manitoba. I spent two months ~25 miles outside the town of Churchill at the edge of the tundra along the coast of Hudson Bay conducting research on high latitude nesting of Savannah sparrows and Yellow … Read More

Finch Flight Frenzy

Tim HealyBird News, Bird Sightings, Birding, distribution, eBird, General News and Info, Migration, Migration Update, Predictions, Rarities, ScienceLeave a Comment

“Mr. Healy, I have a question I’ve been meaning to ask you.” My coworker approached me as I was stowing my binoculars after a brief pre-work survey of the schoolyard. “I’ve been at my place in northern Jersey for years now, but this year I’ve noticed something different. There are these birds, I can only describe them as…finches?” I smiled, … Read More

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