South Padre Warblers on Parade

Alex LamoreauxBirding, Migration, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

Sandwiched between the rush of spring-breakers in March and the arrival of beach-goers in June, there is another invasion of visitors to South Padre Island during the end of April and beginning of May. They may be much more discrete than rowdy, drunken college kids but dress just as gaudy and they don’t crowd the beaches with 4X4’s and umbrellas like … Read More

Winging their Way to a Forest Near You

Cameron RuttBanding, Field Work, Migration, Ranges and Distributions, Research, ScienceLeave a Comment

Amazingly, we’re already well into the second half of April, which probably means a lot more to the rest of you North American birders than it does to me right about now… See, I’ve been stationed here in Manaus, Brazil, for most of the past year, which means that there is vanishingly little seasonal turnover in the mature Amazon rainforest. (If … Read More

Trumpeter Swans with ‘captive’ neck-collars in PA

Alex LamoreauxBird Sightings, distribution, Rarities1 Comment

Trumpeter Swans are rare but increasing in Pennsylvania, and more are found every year. Many of the swans found in PA have yellow neck-collars or yellow wing-tags from the Ontario reintroduction efforts. However, there has been an interesting rush of sightings of 3 different neck-collared Trumpeter Swans in PA since March 10th; all of which have stained, white neck-collars with 4-digit codes on … Read More

Field Life is for the Birds (and the termites, and the frogs…)

Cameron RuttField Work, Research, Science1 Comment

Living afield in the Amazon is a bit like journeying back in time. Yes, we have electricity, at least when the camp generator is running (or, for that matter, simply operational…I’ve now spent two weeks without). Much more importantly, though, these generators operate a pump that pulls water up from a stream to a large freshwater tank that sits elevated … Read More

Conservation victory for shorebirds

Drew WeberBirding, Conservation Issues, ScienceLeave a Comment

I just read an article about one of my favorite Pennsylvania haunts, Conejohela Flats in Lancaster Co. that made my day. Let me set the scene– Conejohela Flats is a series of muddy, sandy islands that sits in the Susquehanna River near Washington Boro. This section of the Susquehanna River is just upriver from the Safe Harbor Dam, and the owners of … Read More

Expectations vs. Reality: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Cameron RuttField Work, Research, ScienceLeave a Comment

Most of us probably have some preconceived notions about what fieldwork in the Amazon rainforest entails. I certainly did. Who knows where these ideas originate or even if they were once rooted in fact at all. Oftentimes, I don’t even think we’re aware of these assumptions until we see something first-hand (like when we catch our first glimpse of a … Read More

Night Flight Call primer

a guest bloggerScienceLeave a Comment

This post comes from Kelley Nunn, who has recently taken up the fascinating challenge of identifying nocturnally migrating birds as the call far overhead. This is a true frontier of ornithology, with lots to discover, and avid birders and researchers are working together to solve the puzzles of figuring out how to identify birds flying high overhead. You can read more … Read More

The Bird with…*Spots*

Cameron RuttBanding, Field Work, General RantLeave a Comment

Fieldwork in a new locale necessarily brings with it a steep learning curve. Everything is foreign from the lay of the land to the host of simplicities that we all take for granted in a familiar location, like knowing where to find those mundane features of ordinary life: ATMs, groceries, and other various appliances (try finding a decent spatula around … Read More

Among Amazonian Royalty

Cameron RuttBanding, Behavior, Field Work, General News and Info, photo study, Science1 Comment

As a sluggish day of bird-banding drew wearily to a close, Osmaildo (one of my Brazilian mateiros) approached the station with a trio of once-white bird bags. The mateiros have literally spent years of their lives in the Amazon rainforest and, as such, not much seems to faze them anymore. Thus, their dispassionate expressions betray little and I am often … Read More

The dawn of my own Amazon Trails

Cameron RuttBanding, Field Work, Science1 Comment

My first trip into the Amazon Rainforest could be broken down like this. Day 2: Discover snake in camp toilet. Day 3: Spot first venomous snake. Day 6: Get soaked in drenching morning downpour while felling trees. Day 7: Get bit by an owl. Day 9: Finally dry off and begin to beat back the encroaching mold. Of course, this … Read More