May 2005

“The soft color tones combine to make a most charming picture of pleasing loveliness. He appears to be a well groomed aristocrat among birds.” So Life Histories of North American Birds author Arthur Cleveland Bent described the Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo…

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Another installment in Things One Finds Under Rotting Logs. It still surprises me that I lived for decades, including a long childhood (not yet complete) spent thoroughly exploring the yard and neighborhood and its more secretive non-human denizens, before I…

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As I mentioned, on Saturday I participated in the North American Migration Count, in which individual counties are scoured by teams of birders each year on the second Saturday in May to produce a “snapshot” of spring bird migration. I…

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The Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius) is a handsome small butterfly, but not outstanding; it is easily confused with other orangey species such as coppers or skippers. But this unassuming insect, no larger than a man’s thumbnail, is unique in North American…

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Today, at dawn, I went out in the field to open my nets and heard the unique and exuberant R2D2-like song of the Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis). They were back from their southern winter vacations. As a banding intern in…

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I wish I could talk more about birds in this space, but what with the snow (we ended up with “only” 4.5 inches) and cold, migration is pretty much at a standstill. I’m left to cope with one of my…

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