The Latest

The Incredibly Rare ‘Half-Sider’

October 14, 2020 -

Nature is certainly full of surprises. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Mother Nature hurls an unexpected curve ball which catches you completely off guard. Such was the case in late September, when experienced bird banders in southwestern Pennsylvania netted an extreme rarity that one biologist likened to discovering a unicorn! The finding… Read more »

What’s With the Dots on the Windows?

October 4, 2020 -

The next time you swing by the Exhibit Hall, you’ll likely be seeing spots—not because you’re that much older than your last visit (although six months of social distancing may have you feeling that way!), but because of last week’s bird-friendly upgrade. Thanks to over $12,000 of generous grant funding from the National Fish and… Read more »

Where There’s Smoke . . .

September 21, 2020 -

Ah, 2020. Already a truly unforgetable year, and still over three months to go! It will undoubtedly go down in history as the year of PPE, since we’ve all needed an armored suit of Personal Protective Equipment to survive the horrors of this year’s Pandemic, Politics, and Embers. Since pandemic-fatigue is a very real phenomenon and… Read more »

Capture-Mark-Release-Recapture

September 10, 2020 -

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity recently to spend a morning doing one of my very favorite things in the world . . . banding birds. I find nothing more magical than seeing up close these brightly plumaged wonders of nature which are usually encountered only in brief glimpses, through binoculars, as they flit… Read more »

The Perfect Storm . . . A Decades-Long Barrage of Stressors

August 29, 2020 -

How many times recently have you heard someone declare how badly they want 2020 to be over? Unless you’re the human equivalent of Eeyore and a true glutton for punishment, this year has been one nightmare after another, and it has dampened the collective mood all around the globe. The narrative of this year has… Read more »

On the Cusp of an Irruption

August 23, 2020 -

The Red-breasts are coming!   The Red-breasts are coming! With the temperature pushing 90o again, it’s difficult to even begin to think about winter wildlife, but, thanks to a surprise encounter yesterday, I have begun doing just that.  My son and I took an enjoyable hike yesterday morning on one of our favorite wooded trails in… Read more »

Family Entertainment for the Dog Days

August 13, 2020 -

So, here we are . . . firmly embedded in the depths of the dog days. There’s nothing like late July and early August in Baltimore. You sweat when you walk out to get the mail, have trouble sleeping at night since you keep sticking to the sheets, and can’t sit down on your car… Read more »

Guess It Comes With The Territory

July 14, 2020 -

So, the first field season of BBA3 (see my blog entry from June 17th) will begin winding down over the next few weeks. Sure, there are a handful of species–many of the raptors, woodpeckers, Corvids (crows and jays), wrens, several of our sparrows–that continue breeding through August, but for the vast majority of Maryland’s birds–and… Read more »

Lepidoptera 101

July 6, 2020 -

As an avid birder, I’ve come across many over the years who share my interest but also extend their fascination with colorful flying critters to butterflies, as well. Particularly if one dabbles in photography, there’s a natural progression from snapping pictures of brightly-hued feathered wings to brightly-hued scaly ones. In fact, the sequence often goes… Read more »

Random Musings

June 26, 2020 -

Ah, these early weeks of summer!  Humid days, cool evenings, lots of rain, and critters out in force . . . what’s not to love about nature at its busiest time of year?   CHUBBY CHEEKS — I led a guided bird hike last week with a lovely family of three, including an energetic and… Read more »