I’ve been interested in birds since the 1990s and started keeping a life list in 2016. My outdoor time is … More An Embarassing Birding Mistake Reminds Me That There’s Always More To Learn
Last fall, I observed a bald eagle bathing on the lake shore. Later, I walked the beach looking for any prints the eagle might have left. Journaling about bird tracks seemed like an easy task, but it wasn’t until I compared tracks from different birds that I really learned something.
Continue reading Nature Journaling Bird Tracks: Using Comparison to Improve Observations
When I was an undergraduate (over thirty years ago), I spent a year working with Alex, the African gray parrot who was part of Dr. Irene Pepperberg’s research project on animal cognition. My experience with Alex included some unforgettable lessons. One of the greatest I learned from Beatrix Gardner, one of the researchers who taught the chimpanzee Washoe sign language.
Continue reading A Dandelion for Alex
For years, I’ve wanted to make my own Advent calendar. I’ve had a clear idea of what I wanted to make but never started. While the weirdness that is 2020 is one of the reasons I’m finally doing this, collecting images that I can use for inspiration was what actually got me going.
Continue reading Collecting Inspiration for My Advent Calendar
In early October, my sister brought me dead bird she found in our yard. Despite having the bird “in hand” (I didn’t actually hold it) and recording it in my nature journal, I came away uncertain of the species. While I was convinced it was some kind of thrush, probably a hermit thrush, there were a few things that left me uncertain. The main point of confusion was its size. It was much too small.
Continue reading When Your Bird Isn’t Average: Challenges in Identification