Fourth Annual 4th of July Birding Challenge!

Steve BrennerBig Days, Birding, Contests4 Comments

It’s a big year for the annual Nemesisbird 4th of July Birding Challenge: It’s an election year in the US (in case you have been under a rock for 9 months), it’s the Fourth year of the 4th of July birding challenge, Hamilton the musical swept the Tony Awards, and the sequel to Independence Day is in theaters. What more could … Read More

What’s left of the Prairie State…

Alex LamoreauxBirdingLeave a Comment

After a very busy May, which included (winning!) the Birding Cup in central PA and then guiding at the Biggest Week in American Birding, I ventured out to central Illinois to help with some bird surveys on two proposed wind facilities. Other than spending a few half-days birding Illinois during cross-country trips, I have never really spent much time in … Read More

Screech-Owls at the Biggest Week

Alex LamoreauxBird SightingsLeave a Comment

Besides mind-blowing views of 30+ warbler species, another highlight for many birders during the Biggest Week in American Birding is seeing Eastern Screech-Owls sleeping out in the open. These little, camouflaged owls often have their cover blown by angry flocks of songbirds and can be spotted roosting out in the open, or if you know which owl nestboxes to keep an eye … Read More

Unusual American Golden-Plover – McLean County, Illinois

Alex LamoreauxBird SightingsLeave a Comment

Vast agricultural areas aren’t exactly the first landscape that comes to mind when thinking of ideal migrant shorebird habitat. For me the vast coastal marshes of the Delmarva will always be at the top of the list for the country’s best shorebird-watching, but while doing bird surveys in central Illinois recently I was happy to encounter many large flocks of American Golden-Plovers flying … 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

Crimson-collared Grosbeak at Laguna Atascosa NWR

Alex LamoreauxRarities, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

April 17th, the first full day of our Nemesis Bird Nature Tour to south Texas, brought us to the headquarters of Laguna Atascosa NWR. This vast refuge is one of the last homes for Aplomado Falcons and Ocelots in the United States, but our sights were set on hunting down a visiting rarity – the immature male Crimson-collared Grosbeak that has been hanging out … Read More

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

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

Yellow-billed Loon and Common Mew Gull – Race Point, Cape Cod

Alex LamoreauxBirding, Chase, RaritiesLeave a Comment

On February 27th, Steve Arena discovered the first Massachusetts record of Yellow-billed Loon at the infamous Race Point at the tip of Cape Cod. This huge loon species is a hard bird to see almost anywhere in the Lower 48, only found occasionally along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. This first-winter immature is only the second record along the East Coast, and … Read More

Cooperative Florida Scrub-Jays – Merritt Island NWR

Tim SchreckengostBirdingLeave a Comment

During this year’s Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, I met up with a few folks from the Leica Birding Team to search for Florida Scrub-Jays at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The obvious place to look for them within the refuge is along the Scrub Trail. Drew and I dipped on them last year, but we turned the tables … Read More