Bryan's Blog

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Bryan Goes Bohemian

Okay, Bohemian Waxwings don’t really wear black berets and black turtlenecks. Nope, they don’t sit in cafes reading Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. But they are free spirits, wanderers now visiting the fruits of our flowering crab apples and other ornamental trees. I discussed them on Vermont Public Radio. You can listen.

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin

Today, Darwin Day, we celebrate the 206th birthday of Charles Darwin. We also learn the answer to my twenty-fourth What’s This? nature challenge and get a short discourse (from me) on a philosophy of science and history made possible by Darwin.

A Shrike Kills a Chickadee (We’ve Got the Video)

Murder and mayhem in Cabot, Vermont. Here we see a Northern Shrike re-attacking a Black-capped Chickadee, which it had earlier killed and left dangling at the gallows on Sunday, February 8.

What’s This? No. 24

Well, okay, you can probably tell that my latest What’s This? nature challenge is atypical — neither fur nor feather, fern nor fritillary. Or is it?


It is with some irony that Ruth Einstein and I use my blog to thank everyone who attended our “Naked in Norway” talk last night in Montpelier. I’m told you were 120 strong — a fine turnout to support North Branch Nature Center. (Everyone stayed fully clothed.)

We Hope To See You (Fully Clothed) Friday in Montpelier

Ruth and I look forward to seeing folks in Montpelier this Friday night for our contribution to the North Branch Nature Center’s Naturalist Journeys lecture series.

A Super Bowl Superb Owl (and What’s This? No. 23 Revealed)

Ten years ago tomorrow, on February 2, 2005, I photographed this Great Gray Owl near Montreal, Quebec. It’s your Super Bowl Superb Owl for 2015. We also have a winner and an explanation in my latest What’s This? nature challenge.

What’s This? No. 23

Another crispy brown thing is your latest What’s This? nature challenge. Name it and you might win fame and a lot of money (okay, only five bucks).

What’s This? No. 22 – Revealed

We have a winner in my most recent What’s This? nature challenge.

Getting Gulls – Lesson One: Your Neighbors

Gulls are nothing if not resourceful and entertaining (unless you’re a southern right whale or a White-crowned Sparrow over Lake Erie). So, with our rainbow warblers long gone for the tropics, and with the vernal serenade still months away, you gotta get with gulls. Here’s your first lesson.

What’s This? No. 22

Your latest What’s This? nature challenge was perched on snow here in eastern Vermont on January 16, 2012. Name it and win $5 off any of my nature outings or workshops.

The Crazy Stuff Birds Eat

For many of us who watch their behavior, birds are what they eat — or at least are predictable in their diets: Kingfishers catch fish. Hummingbirds drink nectar. Robins eat earthworms. Flycatchers catch flies. Except when they don’t.