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

2021 – The First 100

Tim HealyBig Days, Bird Sightings, Birding, christmas bird count, eBird, Listing, Mammals, Photography, RaritiesLeave a Comment

I’ve always appreciated the seasonality of birding. When you’re paying close attention to the goings-on in the world outside your windows, the annual cycle of nature is conspicuous and easy to track. This visible, reliable schedule has been a major boon throughout the pandemic, which has caused weeks and months to blur together and warp all perception of time. The … Read More

The Season So Far: Fall 2020 Highlights

Tim HealyBig Days, Bird Sightings, Birding, eBird, Listing, Mammals, Migration, Migration Update, Photography, RaritiesLeave a Comment

Each of the four seasons has something special to offer the birding world. I will always cherish the lively color and music of spring when birds return after months of absence. Winter brings the festive joy of Christmas Bird Counts and new year lists, while summer offers breeding bird surveys and plenty of free time for adventures. Even so, I … Read More

Morning on the Mountaintop: Bicknell’s Thrush Quest

Tim HealyBird Sightings, Birding, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

2019 was easily the fullest, most dramatic year of my life for birding. In contrast, 2020 has by necessity been a much more subdued affair. Birding close to home has nevertheless been unexpectedly rewarding, with no shortage of unexpected surprises spotted from my fire escape and at nearby Astoria Park. As the end of the school year drew nearer, the … 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

2019 Top 10 Birding Highlights

Tim HealyBirding, General Rant, Listing, Rarities, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

Like many nature-based bloggers, I enjoy closing each year with a retrospective highlight reel. Ever since 2016, this personal countdown has taken the form of a Top 10 Lifers post, detailing the best new species I tallied during the preceding months. 2019, however, has been the undisputed biggest year of my life thus far. A pair of long-awaited dream trips … 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

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