birding

Tag archives for birding

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, many of our birds fly away in the fall. Other, very cool birds from even farther north, depending on where you live then arrive. But just about now, where I live, we are at the tail end of the migration out and not quite at the migration in, so this…

People who watch birds identify them, and that process is integral to what makes birding interesting. But the best practices for identifying birds appear on the face of it to conflict with evolutionary concepts of birds, and this can lead to both sloppy thinking and missed opportunities

The first crane and the last crane

The first crane I ever saw is a bird burned permanently in my memory. It came out of nowhere and flew close by, staying in view lit by a nearly setting sun for about five wing beats. A gun was raised to shoot it but the trigger was not pulled.

The Birds of New Jersey

I’ve recently reviewed bird or nature books for some fairly exotic places (see this for all the reviews) including the Antarctic and the West Indies. Now, I have a book on the birds of one of the most exotic places ever: New Jersey! OK, if you are from New York like I am, you know…

I’m sitting here looking at Antarctic Wildlife: A Visitor’s Guide. I’ve never been to the Antarctic so I can’t tell you what I think of this book from the pragmatic angle of how well it works as a guide, but I can tell you that I’ve learned a number of things just looking at the…

Guide to Birds of the West Indies

The West Indies includes the Lucayan Archipelago (Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands); the Greater Antilles (Cuba, Hispaniola [Dominican Republic and Haiti], Jamaica, Cayman Islands); the Lesser Antilles (Leeward Islands [the Virgin Islands of Saint Croix, Saint Thomas, Saint John, Water Island, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, Jost Van Dyke], Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua, Barbuda,…

When is a bird a real turkey?

This post at 10,000 Birds, an item I accidentally bumped into on the Internet while looking for something else, and an unusual sighting moments ago, converge. And, its a nice distracting convergence which I need right now because as I sit here one week before fishing opener, looking at the glassy surface of Hunters Bay,…

Bring your birding to the next level

Description and identification of birds, or anything else, can be done in a rote manner with straightforward reference to details. If information about enough details is available, the identification will be accurate. But as humans we hardly ever do that sort of thing. If you ask someone to describe a car they saw recently, they…

Imma let you hear all about how Hawks at a Distance: Identification of Migrant Raptors is a remarkable and important field guide, but first I want to mention that one of the most interesting parts of that guide is the forward by Pete Dunne, who himself has written a bird book or two. Dunne reviews…

Three days ago I happen to glance out the front window of our townhouse and found myself staring at a bald eagle swooping by, presumably after picking up one of the neighborhood dogs or small children1 A few minutes later, the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, no one was there but a package…