Category Archives: birding

You Share the Planet With #2: Glistening-green Tanager


It’s taken me one year for the 2nd installment of this series on species of birds new to me, and perhaps to you too. I want to resist the temptation to only present the most colorful species when I do … Continue reading

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Wildlife of the real Gilligan’s Island(s)


Please don’t ask how I come up with these things because I can’t explain it, but I found myself wondering if anyone had ever eBirded Gilligan’s Island? Rabbit hole: entered. Quick history: Gilligan’s Island was a goofy comedy brainchild of … Continue reading

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My lifer Whooping Crane – something I thought I might never see


It’s been a long time coming, but I was recently guided to my lifer WHOOPING CRANE by my nephews Benjamin and Matt Hack (+ special guest star Matt’s friend Kaitie) at a lake near Dexter, Michigan. This is an ENDANGERED … Continue reading

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The Wild Side for April 2019


Check out the latest newsletter of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Program. Note: Only do this if you want to learn cool stuff about wildlife in the Sooner State and how to support them through your education … Continue reading

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The nightjars are returning! — A Feathered Reptile


The world needs to better appreciate the unique style of of Gretchen Newberry and her use of art in her #SciComm! This just in! The last of the migrants are on their way back, as evidenced by this announcement by … Continue reading

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You Share the Planet With #1: The Malay Peacock-pheasant


If you’re like most people – I mean literally most, as in >99% of the people who have ever lived – then this one you will file under TIL (today I learned). My Ornithology students are currently exploring the diversity … Continue reading

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007 — History of Ornithology


BY: Bob Montgomerie, Queen’s University | 7 January 2019 A couple of years ago, my family and I had an early morning stopover in Frankfurt, Germany, en route to our spring bolthole in the French Pyrenees. As we stumbled bleary-eyed … Continue reading

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Binocular advice for birders


I’m frequently asked about my recommendations for binoculars. My first recommendation is yes, you should get a pair. Sure, you can do a lot of birding without binoculars – and 90% or more of the birds I encounter I detect … Continue reading

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Handbook of the Birds of the World newsletter #50


The August newsletter of HBW Birds Alive– a milestone as the 50th in this series – has just been released. I’ve already lost track of how many new things I just learned in a few minutes’ browsing. Highlights:    

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Violent storms and violet skies on the Oklahoma prairie


Though it’s not easy to orchestrate given my other commitments, a singular joy of mine is to head west each June for a whirlwind investment of about 24 hours in conducting the Lookout, OK Breeding Bird Survey route.     … Continue reading

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Historical data – shorebirds and a sea turtle on the Virginia Coast Reserve


Long ago my life was quite different. I spent a lot more time outside and I traveled to some pretty wild places. I did not, however, carry a camera with me. Back in those days, you might have a compact … Continue reading

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Audubon’s The Birds of America at the University of Michigan


Since touring the natural history collections at the University of Michigan a few years ago, I have included an abridged version of this tale in my classes when trying to impress upon them the significance of John James Audubon and … Continue reading

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The Wild Side newsletter – March 2018


The Wildlife Diversity Program of our Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation publishes a great little e-newsletter: The Wild Side. This month’s issue hearkens to the extraordinary ecosystem diversity our state packs into its relatively modest area: mixed-grass prairie, Ozark caves, … Continue reading

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HBW Alive – newsletter #45


I’m always excited when I see the notice in my inbox of a new newsletter from Handbook of the Birds of the World. Here’s the first thing that caught my eye in this one: Okay. First, I am going to … Continue reading

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HBW Alive #42 – December 2017


The latest newsletter update from the Handbook of the Birds of the World is out, and it took me about 10 seconds to open the file and learn something new. In this case, the first thing I learned was that … Continue reading

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Vicarious early winter in Vermont


Snow squalls sweep across the mountains in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. ./ © K.P. McFarland Fear not, during these short days and long nights of December, we’re still finding plenty of life in the fading light. Once we pass … Continue reading

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AUTHOR BLOG: To the Grasshopper Sparrow, the Grass May Be Greener on the Other Side — Auk & Condor Updates


Emily Williams Linked paper: Patterns and correlates of within-season breeding dispersal: A common strategy in a declining grassland songbird by E.J. Williams and W.A. Boyle, The Auk: Ornithological Advances 135:1, January 2018. Late in the summer of 2013, when Alice … Continue reading

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Handbook of the Birds of the World – newsletter #37


So much exciting new material in the latest update from HBW Alive!  Here’s a teaser: Nº37, July 2017 Analytics: the new powerful tool with all your stats, graphs and maps! My Birding started out by offering a bird sighting recording … Continue reading

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2016 Christmas Bird Count – Stillwater, Oklahoma


The brainchild of ornithologist Frank Chapman at the American Museum of Natural History in 1900, the National Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Count was among the first true citizen science endeavors. Today, with more than a century of data under … Continue reading

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