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Who Else Likes My Brush Pile?

A couple of weeks ago, I extolled the virtues of my back yard brush pile.  I find myself surveilling the structure nearly every day breakfast, and last week was tickled to see a Red Fox effortlessly hop my 5-foot fence as I enjoyed toast and coffee.  It was clearly well-practiced at the ambush, probably hoping [read more…]

Brushing Up

Earlier this fall, I had an ash tree that needed some pruning back.  One cut led to another, and soon I had a daunting pile of limbs, branches, and twigs to deal with.  I lopped the bigger stuff into campfire wood (local use only, wouldn't want to inadvertently spread Emerald Ash Borers…) and chopped a [read more…]

Tee ’em Up!

I usually photograph birds on an opportunistic basis, toting my camera with me on outings and grabbing images as the chances present themselves. When I find a good photo opp I’ll tarry to get the most out of it, and if conditions are great an extended photo frenzy may even result. But in this blog [read more…]

Feeding Turkey Vultures

I’m up in the north woods of Wisconsin on a family vacation. I’ve been coming up to a lake place nestled in 100 acres of woods here for 40 or so years, first as a youngster experiencing the benefits of messing around on the lake and in the woods, and now bringing along my own [read more…]

What is happening to Evening Grosbeaks?

Evening Grosbeak feeding on box elder seeds.

In the summer of 1981, when my husband and I moved into our house in Duluth, Minnesota, Evening Grosbeaks instantly became woven into the fabric of my daily life. They were the first birds I heard calling in the trees as we lugged boxes and furniture [read more…]

A Surfeit of Redpolls

In the first week of February I was invited to a week of PolarTREC training in Fairbanks, Alaska as an alumni teacher.  I was pretty thrilled to be asked, and working with the next cadre of teachers was energizing and inspiring.  I had a lot of great trips down memory lane to the summer of [read more…]

Is bird tape the solution for window kills?

According to the American Bird Conservancy, the number of suspected window-killed birds in North America lies somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000,000 annually.  That's a pretty broad range, but it illustrates 1) just how difficult it is to accurately determine the full impact window strikes have on bird populations and 2) how far a simple solution [read more…]

Do-it To-it Suet!

Here at my home base in Boulder County Colorado snow and gusty winds are forecast tonight, with more snow tomorrow and expected highs in the twenties.  When nasty weather hits I like to make sure some suet is available for my backyard birds.  I've used lots of commercial suet blocks with success but it is [read more…]

Playing with Food

I've had a few nice opportunities lately to photograph waterbirds, particularly enjoying the chance to catch some interesting feeding behaviors.  I hope you enjoy these pics as well!

In September I rigged up my kayak so I could use my telephoto from a tripod.  [read more…]

Thompson and Toops: Hummingbirds and Butterflies

So who are those 48 million wildlife watchers out there?

The question may be as tongue-in-cheek as the figure is absurd, but it still needs to be asked. Who are all those birders out there who are not ABA members, who don’t contribute to their local listervers or to NAB—and what are they reading?

[read more…]