From Summer Breezes to Fall’s First Fronts

Tim HealyBird Sightings, Birding, eBird, Field Work, Listing, Migration, Migration Update, Morning Flight, Rarities, ScienceLeave a Comment

I’ve often said that people who are more actively observant of the natural world around them are more acutely aware of the seasonal cycle. When you spend most of your free time watching the comings and goings of animals, you can’t help but notice the gradual, steady changes each day brings on our yearly journey around the Sun. This is … Read More

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

The Prospect Park Progne: a Mega Martin Mystery

Tim HealyBird News, Bird Sightings, Birding, Chase, eBird, Identification, Listing, Migration, Mystery Birds, RaritiesLeave a Comment

As the doldrums of March draw to a close, spring migration begins to heat up a bit more rapidly. The excitement of the May peak is still a ways out, but the rising anticipation in both birds and birders is palpable. This year, April kicked off with a bang of legendary proportions! The morning of the 1st brought clouds and … 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

Life in Queens: A New Patch

Tim HealyBanding, Bird News, Bird Sightings, Birding, eBird, Listing, Research, Science1 Comment

My recent move from Nassau to Queens was one of the final big events in a very eventful 2019. A few months out, I’d consider myself comfortably settled in, and the pros certainly outnumber the cons so far. Somewhere in between “notably shorter, easier commute” and “return to reliance on laundromats” on the Cool-to-Lame Scale lie the changes to my … 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

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

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