Britain’s Birds: An Identification Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland–A Book Review
OCTOBER 4, 2016
British birders are very serious about birding and their birds. and share their expertise , or do big years or write excellent blog posts. inches.
The Smell of Napalm in the Morning
SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
Photo: This area holds 3 to 4 breeding pairs of White-tailed Eagles , which represents the biggest density per square mile anywhere in the country.
There’s a bear! There’s a bear!
OCTOBER 13, 2016
In the most of Europe, Brown Bear is a mythical creature that lives only in mediaeval tapestries and folk tales. By us. And I came here to track them.
Do you count gulls? But how?!?
NOVEMBER 12, 2015
Cover photo: Yellow-legged (left), Caspian Gull (right) – Courtesy of cro-ringing.blogspot.com. How to count tens of thousands of birds that are all white below and grey above? Gulls are harder to tell apart. If I focus on individual birds, I can, but then I am missing the big picture. But how? What is your approach?
Urban birding at its best
JULY 21, 2016
The rain had plans of its own and now, 36 hours later, it is still going strong. However, I am a stubborn person.
How Many Birders Are There, Really?
APRIL 7, 2016
Jason A. Crotty is a birder and lawyer living in Portland, Oregon. Jason’s first contribution to 10,000 Birds tackled the importance of the National Wildlife Refuge System. How many birders are there in America? As it turns out, there are very few estimates. Indeed, there appears to be just one. In 2013, the U.S. That’s a lot of birding.
THE BIGGEST URBAN PYGMY CORMORANT ROOST IN THE WORLD DECREASED!
DECEMBER 24, 2015
Worried by the lack of appropriate action by the authorities (as described in the previous post ), this year I invited two more wildlife protection organisations to take part in the annual census of Pygmy Cormorants in Belgrade. percent of their European population. They are choosing specific locations with willow trees located right by the water.
Things I Learned While Birding at Laguna del Lagarto, Costa Rica
FEBRUARY 6, 2016
Last weekend, I guided a trip to Laguna del Lagarto for the Birding Club of Costa Rica. Since all sorts of rare species are possible at this remote lowland rainforest site, I was looking forward to this trip for a while. In fact, a friend of mine saw a Harpy Eagle at Laguna in 1998. One of the only feeders that sees Brown-hooded Parrots.
A Marvelous Marsh Hawk
NOVEMBER 16, 2015
Most birders in the northern hemisphere are familiar with the Marsh Hawk , an expected denizen of marshes, tundra, and grasslands across a huge swathe of the globe. Though movement is not the only way the harrier finds its prey: its owl-like facial disc allows for pretty precise pinpointing of prey by sound. Northern Harrier coming in for a landing.
Birding the Pannonian Sea Sands
AUGUST 4, 2016
Sandy terrains are at their best during spring migration and this is the off season for such habitats. But first, where did all that sand came from?
The slaughter tourism trade in Serbia
AUGUST 6, 2015
Twenty years ago, flocks consisting of a thousand European Turtle Doves were a common sight in Serbia in spring. Ten years ago, those flocks were reduced to a few hundred birds. Nowadays, the flocks are even smaller, merely a few dozen birds. As we speak, in Serbia these birds are still hunted in August and September. Left: David Lindo, a.k.a.
How I dipped the Horned Grebe
DECEMBER 10, 2015
…or, how critical are you in twitch or dip situations? Here is one example. To those unfamiliar with the Old World geography, this means that these grebes breed way north from the banks of the Danube, where I reside, and overwinter by the coasts, away from land-locked Serbia. As a consequence, this species is only a rare vagrant in Serbia.
Oh Sweet Canada! Canucks Vote on Best Bird
SEPTEMBER 21, 2016
The contest: Canada’s national bird. Click here to hear all of their arguments (the visuals are not that exciting). Sign me #TeamGrayJay).
How to create an IBA and get a permanent headache in five easy steps
MAY 26, 2016
First: Dream about it. As a teenager in Yugoslavia, I used to buy National Geographic in secondhand bookshops. Fascinated with New York’s Jamaica Bay, I started dreaming about creating a similar wetland reserve on the Danube inside Belgrade, the area I explored by kayak. Here it goes: Second: Get to know your birds.
Big Whoop, Indeed: Whooping Cranes in Louisiana!
APRIL 27, 2016
In the fight against extinction, score one—actually, make that two—for Whooping Cranes. For the first time in 75 years, a pair has successfully nested in Louisiana , producing not one but two fuzzy, wild-born chicks. With the bird’s total population hovering roughly 600, every new addition counts—and counts big. Warning: cute baby alert!).
Only for Dogs and Birders – Kalamas Delta, Greece
OCTOBER 15, 2015
“The estuary and the delta of the River Kalamas form the most important wetland of northwest Greece”, so the “ Birding in Greece ” guidebook claims for the area where I am heading, a bit late since I overslept this morning. Yet, beside a few Little and one Great Egret , a raft of Eurasian Coots , no birds. The lagoon of Vatatsa. The Grey Plover.
Prespa Lakes National Park, Greece: the largest Dalmatian Pelican colony in the world
OCTOBER 1, 2015
The other day I was exploring a new area for the first time, birding the national park that I’ve watched only in BBC documentaries, the place famous for the largest Dalmatian Pelican colony in the world – more than 1300 pairs! Have you heard of it? Can you pinpoint it on a map? Coming from the northeast, there are two tarmac roads leading there.
Better Birding: A Book Review (& a New Year’s goal)
JANUARY 5, 2016
New Year’s resolutions from birding friends are starting to trickle in as I write this review. It is the last day of 2015, time to select the bird of the year past and set goals for the bright open future, when everything is new again. Maybe this is the year I should simply resolve to be a better birder. Armistead and Brian L. Sullivan. Sullivan.
Brown Falcon foraging after a bush fire
OCTOBER 16, 2016
These rest areas offer shade and picnic tables and often water and toilets too. Brown Falcon in the car-park. Brown Falcon turning leaves.
Saint Michael’s Summer
OCTOBER 29, 2015
Following some bird call, I walk across the hanging deck bridge. Little by little, that woodpecker-like voice takes me ever further and yet, I see no bird. Finally, I sit on the bench by the Lazareva (Lazarus) River, in a limestone canyon sprinkled with all the colours of Saint Michael’s Summer. The Common Firecrest, (c) Goran Gligorijevic.
Mountain Plover at the Shore
FEBRUARY 14, 2016
North Carolina is perhaps unfortunate to have a lot of such places. Or if not the vehicle, you’re willing to walk a lot. The hours rolled past.
Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja
JANUARY 26, 2015
An unmistakable and improbable-looking bird. Pete Dunne. You can never get enough spoonbill! Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area. Look at all that pink!
Greater White-fronted Goose in Queens
FEBRUARY 22, 2016
Back on Friday, 12 February, I was dismayed when I read the weekly New York City Rare Bird Alert email. Oh well. So be it. searched Meadow Lake.
Rosefinches, Griffons and Woodcocks
JUNE 25, 2015
Early morning finds me driving southeast through spruce forests, mountain meadows, pastures and an occasional potato field, across Mt. Zlatar in western Serbia, heading towards the town of Sjenica and, behind it, the bridge on the River Vapa. As we go lower, from glorious sunshine, we enter the morning fog. Are we going to bird in the fog? There!!
Vermilion Flycatcher in Colusa County California
FEBRUARY 10, 2016
The Vermilion Flycatcher ( Pyrocephalus rubinus ) is usually found near the US – Mexican border but we were fortunate this year to find an adult male in northern California! With his fiery red head and flaming vermilion breast he was not hard to find. Photo of female (below) by Gary L. Clark, courtesy Wikipedia Commons.
Playback or Birding in the Dark
MARCH 31, 2016
It is a cold night in early March and the young moon barely visible through the thick branches of the oak forest. Two of us are sitting in a car parked by the side of the road, all four indicators blinking just in case of some drunk driver. portable speaker is placed on the top of the car, playing Tawny Owl calls from a smartphone.
Migration and More: A Bird News Update
SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
With fall migration well underway everywhere, it’s a good time to see what’s flying in bird news. Prothonotary Warblers (like the dapper bird above captured for posterity by Corey) should carry frequent-flier cards—a recent Audubon-led study found that one geolocator-toting individual racked up more than 5,000 miles in eight months.
Blue Jays On the Move
SEPTEMBER 9, 2016
Many aspects of fall migration are not calculated to appeal to a bone-idle birder such as myself. The warblers are confusing.
A Marbled Godwit Foraging Near Seal Rock San Francisco
DECEMBER 16, 2015
The Marbled Godwit ( Limosa fedoa ) in the photo above, shown landing at Fort De Soto County Park in Pinellas County, Florida, is used with permission from my friend Mia McPherson of On The Wing Photography fame. It’s nice to have friends that are excellent wildlife photographers. Click on photos for full sized images.
How Fast Can A Roadrunner Run?
APRIL 4, 2011
According to Mark Lockwood’s Basic Texas Birds: A Field Guide , with or without Wile. E. Shocking, no? Meep-Meep! … a.
The Ross Sea – the Last Intact Marine Ecosystem on Earth – and I
JANUARY 21, 2016
“Below the 40th latitude there is no law; below the 50th no god; below the 60th no common sense and below the 70th no intelligence whatsoever.” (“Antarctica” by Kim Stanley Robinson, 1998). Right: Robert McCormick, by Stephen Pearce. Enough History – Back to the Future. Finally – the Seabirds. Photos (3) © Oceanwide Expeditions. Now you know.
Dusty, Dry Forest Birding in Costa Rica
MARCH 5, 2016
Tis the dry season in Costa Rica and on this side of the mountains, we are under the direct rule of the glaring sun. walk outside and move from shadow to shade, keeping to the edges of walls and houses. If there were more trees in the Central Valley, the walks would be more leisurely, and, I dare say, with a bit more moisture in the air.
Birds at Rockaway Beach
SEPTEMBER 7, 2015
I spent the early morning hours the last two days on the beach in the eastern Rockaways, taking advantage of slanted light and cooperative birds. Please forgive and indulge me by checking out this photo-heavy post. think it’ll be worth your while. It literally tossed it in the air several times as it tried to separate the meat from the shell.
The Brown and Peruvian Pelicans
OCTOBER 8, 2015
The Brown Pelican and the Peruvian Pelican are closely related and once were considered the same species. They are indeed very similar in all plumage stages, but the Peruvian Pelican is nearly twice as big as its northern counterpart. Brown Pelicans in non-breeding plumage. Photo: Lance and Erin (Creative Commons – Flickr). Birds
Red-necked Phalarope on the East Pond of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
AUGUST 31, 2015
Yes, I was staring at – and taking pictures of – the rump of a shorebird and liking it. Birding is weird like that.). Much better, no?
A Terek Sandpiper flagged in Japan visits Australia
DECEMBER 27, 2015
I had only just written about the observation of a Little Tern flagged in Taiwan last week when another flagged bird from overseas placed itself in our path! This time we were walking the beach near the port in Broome where we regularly encounter large flocks of shorebirds at this time of year. The metal band was placed on the right tarsus.
Caspian Gull: The continental gull
MARCH 6, 2016
The world is still turning, the blog didn’t crash, no anonymous threats against my family on social media … I guess my small series on gulls may continue with part 2 of 3, which will focus on the Herring Gull ‘s second side-kick: Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans. You can’t get further away from any ocean than this. And Jackdaws.
JULY 4, 2015
The Squacco Heron , Ardeola ralloides is an Old World heron, closely related to (and sharing a genus with) the eastern pond-herons. It shares the common characteristic of white flight feathers which fold away on landing to leave a cryptically coloured bird, well suited to its preferred reedy habitat. Birds heron Squacco Heron
Northern Hawk Owl in Germany
JANUARY 10, 2016
Few things can spell out “winter birding” as poetically as the sighting of a rare northern owl that has more or less unexpectedly found its way to southern, more balmy environs. First, most of Europe’s owl species are breeding in Germany anyway and are better found at other times of the year.
A Gathering at Colusa National Wildlife Refuge
NOVEMBER 4, 2015
As I always do on the way home, following a short visit to the San Francisco Bay Area, I take in at least one of the National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) found in the Sacramento Valley. usually stop at the two refuges that have easily accessed auto tour routes, the Sacramento NWR and Colusa NWR. The only scuffles I witnessed were between conspecifics.