Bryan's Posts About Birds

Monhegan Report No. 5: The Fallout

From the heavens at dawn came warblers to Monhegan. Even before the sunrise would make them glow, before they found the trees and insects, we heard the yellow-rump’s thin “seep!,” the blackpoll’s high “tzzeet!” and the palm’s rich “sink!” – the flight sounds of a fallout on Monhegan Island. In the dim light of dawn, we stepped outside to sip coffee and listen to our day of birds approaching.

Monhegan Report No. 2: The Other Migration

On the breath of Boreas, the Greek god of the north wind, migrants blew onto Monhegan Island Tuesday morning. No fallout, but we were busy with some of the place-name warblers: Tennessee, Nashville, Cape May. South winds Wednesday produced a quiet morning.

Monhegan Report No. 1: Beer and a Movie

In the gray dawn on Monhegan Island, Merlins were already on the hunt – Blue Jays in their sights. Like stunt jets, the falcons zoomed and twisted and swooped. The jays couldn’t decide whether to scold or scatter or both.

Hawkwatching Confidential

The fall hawk migration is upon is. Here’s some advice for novice hawkwatchers.

Montpelier Migration

By Bryan on September 8, 2013 It began on Saturday with a couple of Black-capped Chickadees in Montpelier’s Hubbard Park. In a scraggly hawthorn, which had already lost half its leaves, my morning walk then erupted into a festival of…

Solving Shorebirds

A primer on shorebird identification for landlocked birdwatchers.

The Headless Shorebird Challenge

IF YOU’VE READ Solving Shorebirds, perhaps you’re ready for my Shorebird Challenge. Actually, if you’re new to plovers and sandpipers, this challenge may be difficult. That’s because bills aren’t in play in each of these six quiz photos. The challenge starts…

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.

Orchids and Ornithology

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

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…

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…

Flight Happens

May 18, 2013: A breakout day for flying things. It began on one of my guided bird walks to Berlin Pond: Virginia Rail at our feet. Yellow Warblers glowing above. Scarlet Tanager, in a naked white ash, fully framed in…