Bryan's Blog

The Adventures of a Field Biologist and Boy Explorer

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.

A Pre-Blizzard Snow Storm (of Geese)

Before the snow falls here in the Northeast, I offer you video of a blizzard of Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese taking off at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in central New Mexico earlier this month.

Better Know A Duck: Northern Pintail

CAN WE REALLY KNOW A DUCK? Ducks are so … out there. Yeah, out on the water, far away from us. But ducks are “out there” in other ways. First, they’re courting now. In the cold. And when they finally breed in spring, well, it’s kinda violent and twisted. And after the female lays eggs, the males blows town. Gone. Deadbeat dad. But you gotta love Northern Pintail.

What’s This? No. 21

My next What’s This? nature challenge was along the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico last week. I won’t reveal whether this is animal, vegetable, mineral or other