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

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

Birding Both Ends: Two Long Island Rarities

Tim HealyBird News, Bird Sightings, Birding, Chase, RaritiesLeave a Comment

When it rains, it pours. Fall migration can feel a bit slow at times when the winds and weather fail to cooperate, but these bouts of inactivity are frequently punctuated by impressive flights and exciting vagrants. Once the conditions finally shift favorably after a few days of stagnation, the action along the Atlantic Flyway can really heat up. Coastal New … 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

New York’s Magic Pelagic

Tim HealyBird News, Bird Sightings, Birding, Mammals, Rarities, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

Pelagic birding trips appeal to my inner explorer. Searching for wildlife on the high seas offers a special kind of thrill, an opportunity to break from more typical, terrestrial efforts and visit a realm beyond the boundaries of humanity’s collective comfort zone. The inhabitants of this habitat are inherently fascinating in their adaptations and lifestyles. Truly monumental surprises can occur … Read More

Arizona Birding Adventures, Part 2

Tim HealyBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, Butterflies and Moths, Mammals, Rarities, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

It was difficult to leave Portal behind after the fantastic experiences I enjoyed while exploring the Chiricahuas. I’d seen so much in such a short period of time that even if the remaining days of the trip were completely birdless I would still consider the vacation a success. Of course, the second half of my visit to southeastern Arizona turned … Read More

Arizona Birding Adventures, Part 1

Tim HealyBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, Butterflies and Moths, Mammals, Rarities, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

The last time I visited Arizona was the first time I visited Arizona. During the summer of 2005, my family embarked on one of our most ambitious cross-country camping trips, driving through the Rockies from New York to California and returning by way of the desert southwest. Our time in the state was focused on visiting the National Parks: Grand … Read More

Black Hawk Down East

Tim HealyBird Sightings, Birding, Chase, RaritiesLeave a Comment

Birds always find ways to surprise us. No matter how much you know, no matter how well you prepare, no matter how long you’ve been tuned in to the wild world of birding, there will be times when you get caught completely off guard. I think that’s wonderful. This Tuesday morning, I was standing in the Tucson airport after a … Read More