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

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

Tim’s Tips for Surviving the Birding Doldrums

Tim HealyBird Sightings, Birding, Listing, RaritiesLeave a Comment

Not all months are created equal. Seasonal changes can be a double-edged sword, and the same natural cycles that provide fresh turnover in avian activity can also result in relative droughts when birds seem few and far between. Here in New York, March is consistently the least exciting stretch of the year. With wintering species disappearing and the prospect of … Read More