Bryan's Posts About Birdwatching

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.

Start Your Year with a Snowy Owl

Happy New Year. Now go find a Snowy Owl. I’ll guide you there with an interactive map of Snowy Owl sightings since December 1.

A Triple (Treble) Bird Score

I have seen a Virginia Rail in Virginia, an Arctic Tern in the Arctic, a Mangrove Cuckoo in a mangrove…. You get the idea. But then there’s this woodpecker here in New Mexico — the source of my treble (not trouble).

Hot Birds in Vermont

Here are a couple birds you don’t see every winter in Vermont: Baltimore Oriole and Harlequin Duck. And since I’m far away from both those birds, I’ll offer a bonus shot of a Mexican Jay.

The Pulse of Ten Thousand Wings

Tens of thousands of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes can change your life for good. Here’s my next dispatch from Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in south central New Mexico.

On the Road with Cranes and Geese

My apologies for the scarcity of late here on the blog. Once my work was done on the new web site for the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, I hit the road with Ruth for a month of writing in a cabin somewhere in…

Vermont’s First Snowy Owl of Autumn

Reed Webster found this Snowy Owl in Westminster, Vermont, on October 25 – our first report of the season. The Arctic has come visiting a bit early this fall. When they do come, Snowys usually begin to arrive here in New England by mid to late…

Bob Spear (1920-2014)

CONSIDER EVERYTHING YOU KNOW about the past half-century of birdwatching in Vermont. Long before your field guides and checklists, before bird apps and atlases, before nature centers and eBird, before VINS and VCE, there was Bob Spear. On the long, green path of…

The 2014 Snow Goose Scoop

The snows of autumn begin.

Snow geese are once again moving through Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison, Vermont. Follow the migration on my new page: THE 2014 SNOW GOOSE SCOOP.

Get the latest reports on goose counts. Read about why snow geese no longer gather in the numbers we enjoyed during the 1980s and 1990s. You’ll also find range maps, articles, and other resources on the biology and ecology of snow geese.

You’ll even find help identifying the rare Ross’s Goose among the honking blizzard of white.

The Second Sunrise: A Final Monhegan Migration Report

He flashed yellow like an autumn sugar maple. When he launched from the meadow, the sun rose a second time over Monhegan Island. And as we left the island Monday for a wild boat ride, this star of fall migration – a young male Yellow-headed Blackbird – was still flying sorties and issuing his kuh-duck flight calls to the departing birdwatchers.

Dawn and Rare Birds

SUNRISE THIS MORNING is better than any warbler on Monhegan Island. Well, except for yesterday, when I found a Connecticut Warbler on the Burnt Head trail. Other big news from a flight of birds on Wednesday was one or more Yellow-headed Blackbirds, first discovered by Steve and Jane Mirick.

The Fog of Birding

In the rain, wind and fog on Monhegan Island today, we studied the finer points of common birds. When the winds blow strong from the south, as they have the past two days, migrating songbirds do not come to Monhegan. No worries among the group of amiable birders I am now guiding here. We’re enjoying whatever flies across our path.