Recording each new bird species you see sounds obsessive but it's a great tool for increasing awareness.
The January day I went looking for the Pink-footed Goose, I also saw a Barnacle Goose. Normally found in Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard, and the U.K., the Barnacle Goose is a rare visitor to Colorado. Even though we were already searching for a rare bird, the way I saw the Barnacle Goose made it an even... Continue Reading →
The more you learn, the more there is to learn. This is true about every part of my life, but one of the clearest examples is the Cackling goose. Cackling geese are very similar to the ubiquitous Canada goose seen on ponds and lawns all over North America, so similar that I didn't realize we... Continue Reading →
When we were driving to Texas (nearly twenty years ago), Kurt made a surprise stop in Lafayette, Louisiana to show me something special. It was the Cypress Island Preserve on Lake Martin, an oasis in the midst of developed land, a rookery packed with wading birds. I was not yet an active birder, so I... Continue Reading →
While visiting Hawai'i in November, my lifelist* got a big bump. I'd been to the Big Island in 2007, but I wasn't keeping track of the birds I saw at that time. In fact, the only bird I remember from that trip was the one I didn't see: the endangered Hawaiian Goose, known as the... Continue Reading →
I love birding but it has its frustrating moments. Like when you get a good look at an unfamiliar bird, notice all the field marks you can, then run to your field guide to look it up, only to discover that the bird you thought would be a cinch to identify is not in the... Continue Reading →
This winter, we've had an unusual visitor to northeastern Colorado: a Harris's hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus). Normally a resident of southernmost Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, this chocolate-brown and chestnut-red hawk is far from home. Back in December, a friend told me about this vagrant* after the hawk had been reliably sighted roosting in trees belonging... Continue Reading →