The Final LeConte-down: Eking out a Victory over a Nemesis

Tim HealyBird Sightings, Birding, Chase, eBird, Listing, RaritiesLeave a Comment

When Drew first established this blog so many years ago, he christened the new site with a title based on one of the most evocatively named phenomena in birding. The concept of a nemesis bird is something most birders are familiar with, though the exact definition may vary from person to person. It could be that incredible vagrant you “just … 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

2020 Top 10 Birds

Tim HealyBig Days, Bird Sightings, Birding, christmas bird count, eBird, General Rant, Listing, Migration, Photography, Rarities, Science, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

Every year offers a different set of experiences. In 2019, I saw so many lifers that I couldn’t imagine narrowing them down to a Top 10. 2020 stands in stark contrast to last year’s international adventures, and though I managed to make the most of this challenging reality I did not crack into the double digits for new birds observed. … Read More

Adirondack Adventures

Tim HealyBird Finding Tips, Bird Sightings, Birding, Butterflies and Moths, eBird, Mammals, Science, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

New York is home to an impressively diverse array of natural habitats. The Empire State’s various ecoregions run the gamut from the beaches and marshes of Long Island to the grasslands and high peaks near the Canadian border. The Adirondack Mountains are perhaps the wildest, most distinct region of the state, representing the southern edge of the boreal forest biome … 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

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

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