Bryan's Blog

The Adventures of a Field Biologist and Boy Explorer

The Vermont Independence Birding Map

There is virtue in slowing down, staying put. Birders with limited physical mobility know this well. Here’s a map for them. These are Vermont birding sites with access for folks who might use a cane, walker or wheelchair. Accessibility at…

On Bogs: An Essay for Orion Magazine

Blogger’s Note: Here’s a version of my contribution to Orion Magazine‘s feature “The Place Where You Live,” published in the July-August 2013 issue. By Bryan Pfeiffer On my way to work in Peacham Bog I am blood walking. Black flies…

Mid-Priced Spotting Scopes

IT MUST BE TOUGH BEING AN INVESTMENT BANKER or hedge fund manager. So many pricey spotting scopes; so little time. Swarovski, Leica or Kowa? How does the one percent decide? Life is so unfair for them. But if you’re among the…

Buying Binoculars

It is a monumental decision in the life of any birdwatcher. At stake is nothing less than the pleasure you get in the company of birds. So here is some wisdom on buying and using binoculars. Magnification and Light First…

Barnacle Goose at Mud Creek in Alburg, VT

Attila Zsaki and Michelle Nokken, sharp birders from Montreal, located this Barnacle Goose at Mud Creek Wildlife Management Area (link to a PDF map) in Alburg, Vermont, on Saturday, March 30. Dwight Cargill reports that it’s still there today (April 2)…

Migration’s Misfits

Pick your favorite sign of spring: squirrels mating, mud oozing, maples flowering. Mine is a vulture soaring. Change in the air is a naked, ruddy head gliding in on big wings. But more than being a vernal messenger, the Turkey Vulture is an avian iconoclast. It topples simplistic notions of migration.

Diapause: The Retreat of an eNaturalist

Fifteen years ago I left journalism for nature. I swapped a necktie for binoculars and a reporter’s notepad for a field book. As a self-employed field naturalist, my income sank to levels of voluntary poverty. Yet I inherited wealth in…

The Real Meaning of Groundhog Day

Blogger’s Note: You can also hear me read this as a commentary on Vermont Public Radio. Pay no attention to Phil and the pranksters in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, today. Instead, listen for bird song. Black-capped Chickadees offer their wistful fee-bee serenade. Northern Cardinals launch into…

Dragonfly Swarms

Those mobs of airborne dragonflies you’re seeing are either on the hunt or in migration. Here’s the scoop on dragonfly swarms.

The Buzz on Bumblebees

WOODSTOCK, VT – In the delicate and passionate matters of “the birds and the bees,” Vermont may have no greater authority than Kent McFarland. Courtship and reproduction occupy a good portion of McFarland’s workday. No breeding behavior is too racy,…

Our Bottles Ourselves

By Bryan Pfeiffer Bobby Martino’s office is a menagerie of empties: sticky bottles, clacking cans and the aroma of stale beer. Here in the bottle room of M&M Beverage and Redemption Center in Barre Town, stale beer is the least…

Killing My Kindle

By Bryan Pfeiffer (for Vermont Public Radio) Downtown Montpelier is lucky enough to have three independent bookstores, a pleasing blend of creaky wooden floors, informed employees, hand-made signs, and a wise selection of titles. Not long ago, Ruth and I…