Bryan's Posts About Birds

Life in Flight in the Rio Grande Valley

A sampling of life on the wing here in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Many of these butterflies, in profile, are no bigger than a nickle or so (but they are indeed priceless).

The Year in Flight

2015 is so almost over. It’s nearly history. So rather than offering you the predictable year-in-review, here’s 2016 in Preview — some of the life in flight that I expect to see in the new year. You might see it as well if you join me outside for a field trip or a seminar.

A Wren and a Revelation (and a Threaded Pipe)

From the canyon came a wren during the Gila River Christmas Bird count. But not just any wren. This is the wren of vertical walls, the wren of rocky dreams, the wren with a cascading serenade, here at my cabin in New Mexico.

Kinglet’s Greetings

A flash of red and green from New Mexico. Even on the shortest days of the year, male Ruby-crowned Kinglets now flash as they do during the breeding season. It’s as if flames were erupting from their head. My guess is that it’s about winter feeding turf.

Get Goosed This Weekend

If you haven’t seen the snows of autumn, this weekend should be a good bet for getting goosed. In the December warmth, thousands of Snow Geese continue to flock and fly in Vermont and New York

Gratitude for Gulls

This may be the perfect gull. Cosmopolitan, versatile and elegant in flight, Bonaparte’s Gull is a gull for people who don’t like gulls. It slices the frigid air like a swallow. It drifts and swoops and swirls before me here on the Niagara River as the giant falls roar in the distance.

A Blue Ross’s Goose

Might I have an exceedingly rare blue-morph Ross’s Goose here? I’ve been ruminating on this bird for nearly a year with no decision. Well, I had actually made up my mind on this bird, but I like to question my assumptions from time to time. In this case, it offers you a lesson in bird identification.

Vermont’s First Snowy Owl — and Other Snow (Birds) in your Forecast

The Arctic has come visiting. Vermont’s first reported Snowy Owl of the season showed up yesterday, November 12, at the Whiting Library in Addison. We’ve got news of other white birds as well.

Backgrounder: Where Are the Snow Geese?

For three decades, as autumn leaves blazed and swirled across Vermont, an annual rite of fall was the Champlain Valley “snowstorm.” Snow Geese in migration, sometimes more than 10,000 in day, filled the skies and covered fields in a honking blanket of geese. But here’s the forecast for the fall of 2015: the blizzard ain’t happening anymore. Instead we’ve got flurries.

Monhegan Migration Report No. 5: Life and Death in Flight

Here on Monhegan Island, the north winds deliver us migrating songbirds, and the raptors take them away.

Monhegan Migration Report No. 4: Summer Weather and Summer Tanagers

Three Merlins and three Sharp-shinned Hawks chased Northern Flickers in open warfare this morning, a natural event each fall on Monhegan.

Life in Flight at Maine’s Eagle Hill Institute

From a classic field station and center for learning Down East in Maine, here’s a report on butterflies, moths, dragonflies, damselflies, orchids, lichens and some of the people who love them.