Gotta Atlas ‘Em All!

Tim HealyBehavior, Big Days, Bird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, eBird, Photography, Science, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

The long-awaited Third New York Breeding Bird Atlas officially kicked off at the start of 2020. Last year, for obvious reasons, it was difficult to engage in as much exploration as I would’ve liked. My reduced vehicle access and the various travel restrictions made it difficult for me to venture beyond NYC for much of the breeding season. Even though … Read More

HundredQuest: Global Big Day 2021

Tim HealyBig Days, Bird Sightings, Birding, eBird, General News and Info, Listing, Mammals, Migration, Rarities, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

It’s finally May, and May means migration! There is no single month that can top the action and excitement of peak spring birding here in New York. This mad dash to the breeding grounds is the most intense time of the year for many species. As much as I adore fall migration, the southbound movement of birds is a more … Read More

Apartment Birding and Fire Escapism

Tim HealyBird Sightings, Birding, eBird, Listing, MigrationLeave a Comment

When I first moved into my Astoria apartment in early December, I immediately began keeping a “yard list” of birds seen around my new home. My expectations for the potential of this urbanized neighborhood weren’t particularly high, but I reasoned that watching for birds of note outside my window would be a fun way to pass the time between proper … Read More

The Snowy Owl’s Supper, a Pellet Mini-Mystery

Tim HealyBehavior, Bird Sightings, Birding, Identification, Mammals, Mystery Birds, Science1 Comment

My fondness for Snowy Owls is well-documented. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to live in a corner of the continent where sightings of these nomadic raptors are an annual occurrence. I’ve spent many a winter’s day trudging about on the barrier beaches of Long Island in search of Snowies. It was through such scouting efforts that I honed my field … Read More

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

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

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

Tern It Up

Tim HealyBird Finding Tips, Birding, General News and Info, Identification, Listing, RaritiesLeave a Comment

Long Island has no shortage of beaches. Depending on what coastal activities you prefer, there’s a debate to be had about which beach is best. My own opinions on the matter operate off different metrics than most swimmers and sunbathers. Even though Jones is the typical go-to for most of my beachy needs, my top pick varies largely based on … Read More