Bryan's Blog

The Adventures of a Field Biologist and Boy Explorer

Avian Infidelities

Blackbirds do it. Chickadees do it. Even educated emus do it. Some birds are cheaters. Their trysts, dalliances, one-morning stands, and other infidelities would constitute a racy script for a wildlife soap opera.

What’s This? No. 10

Today’s What’s This? – Number 10 in the series – amounted to shock and awe on the mountain, something I’ve never before seen. I shot it today (June 13) on the trail up Mt. Worcester in central Vermont. (A Bicknell’s…

Insect Illumination

Joining me this year for Vermont Public Radio’s annual Insect Show was my pal and insect intellect Kent McFarland of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Listen to the show whenever at VPR.net. You can also learn how to catch a…

What’s This? No. 9

The What’s This? challenge returns after a week of my chasing birds around northern Vermont and New Hampshire. Some of those highlights included two Bicknell’s Thrushes singing off the summit of Vermont’s Mt. Worcester on Monday, June 10, and a Tennessee…

Painted Skimmer in Vermont

David Hoag, a skilled observer of flying things, found and photographed this Painted Skimmer (Libellula semifasciata) on his home turf of Grand Isle, Vermont, on June 3. (Sorry about the belated report; I’ve been busy myself chasing flying things.) This…

Orchids and Ornithology

Ruth watches a Nashville Warbler in the good company of Yellow Lady’s Slippers in Wolcott, Vermont.

The Most Elegant Plant in the Woods

IN THE STRUGGLE FOR STATURE, a tiny plant might find no greater sponsor than biologist Carl Linnaeus. The father of modern taxonomy had a fondness for Twinflower. But it shouldn’t take the guy who brought order to nature to bring…

What’s This? No. 8

Nope, it’s not mutant cotton candy (sorry, Sara). But What’s This? No. 8, from Vermont today (May 27), is fairly easy compared to most of the other What’s This? challenges. Name it and win $5 off any of my outings…

Birding Vermont’s Moose Bog

Adapted from Birdwatching in Vermont by Ted Murin and Bryan Pfeiffer University Press of New England ISBN 978-1-58465-188-8 AT DAWN ON MOOSE BOG, Gray Jays float like ghosts through a dense forest of spruce and fir. Boreal Chickadees betray their hiding spots…

What’s This? No. 7

If What’s This? No. 5 was too easy and What’s This? No. 6 was tough, here’s one I’ll rate moderate in level of difficulty. (It’s got a decent beat and it’s okay to dance to.) I shot this one in…

The Forecast Calls for Birds

By Bryan on May 22, 2013 (Revised May 7, 2014) Songbirds pouring from the skies at dawn. Thousands of hawks gliding past a mountain summit. Rare oceanic birds blown in to shore. Birdwatching like this doesn’t necessarily begin when you…

What’s This? No. 6

Our previous What’s This? challenge (Number 5) was much too easy. So I’m back at it a day later with a new one from a woodland spruce bog in Vermont on February 13, 2011. Name it and win $5 off any…