Bryan's Blog

The Adventures of a Field Biologist and Boy Explorer

Gratitude for Gulls

This may be the perfect gull. Cosmopolitan, versatile and elegant in flight, Bonaparte’s Gull is a gull for people who don’t like gulls. It slices the frigid air like a swallow. It drifts and swoops and swirls before me here on the Niagara River as the giant falls roar in the distance.

Tape Back Vermont

A seasonal (and sacred) repair job on my beloved Toyota Tacoma. Credit for this play on the “Take Back Vermont” mantra where credit is due: my pal Gregory Sanford, archivist, historian and defender of Vermont’s most sacred and threatened traditions (like duct tape repairs).

A Blue Ross’s Goose

Lessons on rare goose identification that might also help your overall birding skills.

Vermont’s First Snowy Owl — and Other Snow (Birds) in your Forecast

The Arctic has come visiting. Vermont’s first reported Snowy Owl of the season showed up yesterday, November 12, at the Whiting Library in Addison. We’ve got news of other white birds as well.

On War and Hairdressing

My Veteran’s Day contribution comes from a precious friend, Erica Heilman, who produces radio exploring the depths, summits and dusky corners of the human condition. Over the course of two days, Erica interviewed Vaughn Hood, who was a 118-pound barber when he was drafted into the Vietnam War. Never have I heard anyone talk about the Vietnam War with such honesty and simple eloquence. Erica calls it “the story of an extraordinary American life.”

Lint Alert

Those specks of lint or dust floating in woods near you aren’t refugees from the dryer cycle. They’re adult woolly aphids on a final fall fling.

Backgrounder: Where Are the Snow Geese?

The latest news on why you may — or may not — find Snow Geese here in Vermont or New York.

Monhegan Migration Update No. 6: Moonset

Moonset through clouds this morning from Monhegan Island, Maine.

Monhegan Migration Report No. 5: Life and Death in Flight

Here on Monhegan Island, the north winds deliver us migrating songbirds, and the raptors take them away.

Monhegan Migration Report No. 4: Summer Weather and Summer Tanagers

Three Merlins and three Sharp-shinned Hawks chased Northern Flickers in open warfare this morning, a natural event each fall on Monhegan.

Monhegan Migration Report No. 3: The Usual Oddities

THE USUAL RARE BIRDS HAVE ARRIVED. Yeah, it’s an oxymoron. How can rare birds be usual? Well, this is Monhegan Island, after all, where oddities (avian and human) are commodities. Take Lark Sparrow and Dickcissel, which basically breed no closer to…

Monhegan Migration Report No. 2: Yellow-breasted Chat

It’s all about the yellow now on Monehgan Island. Here’s the day-two report.