Call it cruisin’ for birds, driving slow or riding with someone driving slow, and looking for birds. It’s a frequent activity of many birders, particularly this time of year. It’s the time of year when birds that nest in an area but migrate south for the winter have returned or are returning
“We are fascinated by shovelers,” a reader wrote recently, “Maybe you could find an upcoming article regarding these unique ducks.”
I like the suggestion. Shovelers are unique in several ways. They’re shallow water ducks, puddle ducks, like mallards and black ducks, pintails, gadwall and
Spring is here. It began by the calendar on the 20th of March, one of two days of the year when the position of sun and earth make the day and night of equal length all over the world. From that day until mid-summer each day will be a little longer, each night a little shorter. But the difference
A red fox went across our property earlier this month, before the warm weather came. There was snow on the ground, snow and ice covered our marsh. The fox came out of the woods across the road to the west, crossed a field of grass, the road in front of our house, crossed our marsh on the ice, then
I’ve been out-foxed by squirrels. I’ve tried to keep those bushy tailed bird feeder marauders off the bird feeder outside my study window and the feeder outside the dining room window. Squirrels have found a way to circumvent my efforts.
I know people who have purchased bird feeders that tipped
The cardinal is not a southern bird. But I think of it as one, as a bird with a similar distribution as the mockingbird. It was south to me when I was a boy. I lived in northern Iowa and cardinals were described as birds of the southern part of the state.
Then one summer a cardinal was heard and seen
“There’s a swan in the run, Dad,” my daughter told me one morning as we were getting the horses in the barn. Our run is a lane for the horses, fenced, approximately twenty feet wide and leads from the end of our barn to a pasture, a second pasture. On one side of the run is the pasture behind
After I retired my wife, our older daughter and I purchased a home in the country, 42 acres with a house and a barn, a large yard, two fenced pastured, a hay field and a pond. We also got a variety of trees. In the yard around the house were sugar and silver maples, a red maple, tulip-trees, walnut
The sky is clear and blue, this morning, an example of October’s bright blue weather. Today is a few minutes shorter than yesterday and tomorrow be a few minutes shorter than today. Tree leaves are changing from green to yellow and orange and red. Corn stalks in the fields are yellow-green and soybeans
School bus drivers, oil and gas truck drivers stop for railroad crossings. I stop for turtles. I stop and when the road and traffic permits I get out, pick the turtle up, carry it across the road in the direction it was heading, then put it down, silently wishing it safe travel.
A turtle in the road
One hundred years ago, in 1916, representatives of the United States and Great Britain signed the Migratory Bird Treaty.
Great Britain signed for Canada. The Migratory Bird Treaty was an agreement to save the birds of North America. From the time settlers from Europe had begun coming to America
I heard a robin chirping when I stepped outside one morning earlier this month. It was a young robin, a fledgling I thought, perhaps just out of the nest.
An adult robin sang from a tree nearby. A third robin on the ground picked something up from the grass, flew the short distance to the youngster
May is the month to look for warblers in Indiana and in the other mid-latitude states of the U.S. May is the month when the warblers that nest in those states return after spending the winter farther south, many in South America, and May is the month when warblers that nest farther north pass through
Recently I wrote an article which I titled, Birds and Climate Change. In that article I listed summer birds I’ve seen this winter. By summer birds I mean birds that normally migrate, birds that leave northern Indiana and go south for the winter. I wrote that I’ve seen more summer birds in northern
My sister found it in a used bookstore in Augusta, Georgia, bought it and gave it to me. It’s obviously very old. Its cover is dull and splotchy, the title, Field Book of Wild Birds, is faded and hard to read. It’s the size, the height and width, of Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds
When did red-winged blackbirds become feeder birds? There were seven of them, all males, scoffing up seeds at my bird feeder this morning. There were more red-wings than any other bird. This didn’t just start this year. Red-winged blackbirds, mostly males, have crowded my feeder from early spring
The leaves have fallen from the maple and oak trees in our yard and from the walnut tree out by the barn. Acorns and walnuts have fallen and are scattered among the fallen leaves. When I look out my study window I look across a road, then a field where the grass is yellow, then at a woods, the trees
October has come, October with its bright blue weather.
The wild turkey, read in a recent magazine article, is a winner. A winner among birds was described in the article as a bird that has increased in number, or is increasing or both. The wild turkey has certainly done that. Once it was found in limited numbers in only a few places. Now wild turkeys
A robin sang from a branch near the top of a maple tree in our yard, a house wren sang from a lower branch of another maple nearby. A song sparrow sang from an oak. It was early morning. The sun was up, just above the horizon and I stood on the back step of our house, listening to the morning chorus
Sparrows have a bad name. Many people don’t like them. Ask why and people who dislike them say they’re just little brown and gray birds. They’re colorless. They’re noisy too, but they don’t sing. They just chirp. They’re messy. They make nests that are bunches of sticks, grass and, often
Robins have returned after spending the winter farther south. I hear one or two singing from the trees in our yard when I step outside every morning, if it isn’t raining. I see one often on the lawn. Red-winged blackbirds are back and several call from the cattails of the marsh while others
Boobies are birds. Boobies are also people who are not considered very smart, who are dunces, fools. The two are related, by name at least. The word booby is from the Spanish word, bobo, which means fool. From Spanish to English a name for a person who acted like a fool became booby.
Boobies, the feathered
Another dreary, gray-sky day I thought as I sat at my desk one morning trying to compose an article for a newspaper. But no words came, nor even a subject. I shifted my gaze from the computer screen before me to the bird feeder outside the window behind my computer. Four blue jays and a cardinal were