The Joy of Discovery

I began "A Few Words About Birds" this way: "A recent opinion piece in The Virginian-Pilot, Virginia’s largest daily newspaper, began with the words: 'First of all, thank you for reading.' I’d like to begin, here, the same way. First of all, thank you for reading. I mean that, sincerely." That was followed by a … Continue reading The Joy of Discovery

Fieldcraft, Part Two

In my last blog, "Fieldcraft," I described several situations where my being still and quiet in the field for over 5 minutes enabled me to get very close to—and get decent close-up photos of—a Red-tailed Hawk, a Carolina Wren, and a Song Sparrow. I also relayed Keith Freeburn's story. Keith waited in one spot for … Continue reading Fieldcraft, Part Two

Fieldcraft

I shared a photo recently that turned out to be pretty popular. It was a portrait of an adult Red-tailed Hawk, another bird species that has adapted well to being around humans. Here's the photo. And here's the description that followed: "The payoff for being still. This adult Red-tailed Hawk landed on a utility pole … Continue reading Fieldcraft

Coexisting

In my last blog, "More Bird Notes," I referred to the Common Yellowthroat, a New World wood warbler, as the "raccoon warbler." I also referred to the Brown Thrasher as the "chirpa chirpa bird." I received a few questions about the name, "raccoon warbler," since I'd presented a photo of a younger female that bore … Continue reading Coexisting

More Bird Notes

Birds—especially small birds—are often obscured by stuff in the field. That makes it tricky for both bird watchers and photographers. I'm reminded of Gilda Radner's "It's always something," or my friend Betty Sue Cohen's "There's always a stick, or a twig, or a leaf [in the way]." Natural Stuff Below is an adult female Northern … Continue reading More Bird Notes

Bird Notes

No doubt, some of you have Green Heron fatigue. I understand. But I need to share a few more photos with you. Please bear with me. This is a young bird getting ready to leave for the winter. As I understand it, the bird is headed for a small lagoon in Punta Cana. The bird … Continue reading Bird Notes

The One Constant

"There are 2 things I can't imagine being without: birds and music. OK, there might be a 3rd: potato chips." I jotted those words down in my journal a while back. It's fun and important to write things down. But what I wrote there doesn't reflect how I rank the things that matter. Religion, which … Continue reading The One Constant

A Few Thoughts on Birds and Bird Photography

I paid an early morning visit a few days ago to Lakeside Park in Chesapeake, VA—the park with the litter, the noise, the Canada Goose droppings, the algal bloom, and on and on, yet also the park that was recently host to a thriving community of nesting birds, including many Green Herons. I'm reminded of … Continue reading A Few Thoughts on Birds and Bird Photography

The Killdeer Saga, Part 3

Let me set the stage here, which might be helpful, especially for those of you who haven't read parts 1 and 2. I've followed a Money Point, Chesapeake, VA Killdeer family since early March 2019. They built their first nest and had their first 4-egg clutch on abandoned railroad tracks there. Typical Killdeer. Those eggs … Continue reading The Killdeer Saga, Part 3

The Killdeer Saga, Part 2

I began to write in my earlier blog, "The Killdeer Saga," about the "triumphs, trials, and tribulations" of a Money Point, Chesapeake, VA Killdeer family. I followed the family and took copious photos of the family from early March, when their nesting season usually begins around here, until the end of May. For Killdeer, the … Continue reading The Killdeer Saga, Part 2