October Big Day 2019

Tim HealyBig Days, Bird News, Bird Sightings, Birding, eBird, Listing, Mammals, Migration, Migration Update, Rarities, Science, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

Who doesn’t love a Big Day? Any excuse to get out and count birds in the name of science is a worthwhile cause in my book. eBird has been orchestrating Global Big Day events each May since 2015, an international effort to record as many of the world’s species as possible within a 24 hour period. Last fall, the Cornell-based … Read More

Going Wild in Panama, Part 3

Tim HealyBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, eBird, Mammals, Migration, Science, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

Most evenings in Panama, the excitement wrapped up by the time the sun set. There were several other guests who shared my interest in checking out the rainforest in the dark, so the staff arranged a night drive about halfway through my stay at Canopy Tower. I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity for some after hours exploration. We slowly … Read More

Going Wild in Panama, Part 2

Tim HealyBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, eBird, Mammals, Migration, Science, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

I awakened well ahead of daybreak after my first night in the Canopy Tower. The local Mantled Howler Monkeys were up shortly afterwards, their wild, thunderous shouts ringing out from all directions around my lofty perch on the observation deck. Slowly but surely, the dawn chorus of birdsong stirred to life as light returned to the landscape. I don’t know … Read More

Going Wild in Panama, Part 1

Tim HealyBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, eBird, Mammals, Migration, Science, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

I’ve spent most of my adult life dreaming about Panama. The country has ranked highly on my short list of priority destinations for years, largely due to its relatively close proximity, accessibility, and rich biodiversity. For birders who seek the natural treasures of the Neotropics, Panama is a fantastic first choice. It boasts more birds than any other nation in … 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

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

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