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April 2021
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Member of:

Society for Ecological Restoration Ecological Society of America Delmarva Ornithological Society

Naturalist's Library: Bright Wings

Earlier this winter, I received a copy of a new anthology of bird verse called Bright Wings: an Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds.

Published by Columbia University Press, the book is edited by former US Poet Laureate Billy Collins and features the paintings of well-known illustrator David Sibley.  The compact, duodecimo volume (about […]


I and the Bird #113

Welcome to the 113th Edition of I and the Bird!  I hope you enjoy your visit.

For this edition of I and the Bird, I decided to see what quotations from verse and literature would be invoked by the various submissions that I received.

In the spirit of several earlier IATB efforts that made […]


Critical Moment for Conservation on Farmland

In short, the Farm Services Agency is accepting public comments on the environmental impact of two possible policy alternatives for the Conservation Reserve Program, an important mechanism for protection of wildlife habitat and biodiversity on working farms. At the same time that biofuels are threatening to reduce CRP acreage via economic competition, FSA is considering (see Alternative 2 below) reducing the CRP acreage enrollment cap from 32 million acres (the cap authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill) to 24 million acres, a full 25% reduction. […]


New Eagle Regulations: Misunderstood?

A recent New York Times piece on the new US Fish and Wildlife Service Bald and Golden Eagle regulations made the rounds on Twitter last week.  The reception of the new rule among birders and nature bloggers seemed to be negative, but I remain puzzled as to why the birding community would […]


Quick eBird Entry Tips

Good news for me and for all of you busy birders out there! I recently checked the eBird news site and noticed a feature that details some ways to make eBird data entry quick and painless. These time-saving tips include keyboard shortcuts so that you needn’t scroll up and down the checklist searching for the proper box in which to tick a species. […]


Spoonbill Mania

The rash of unexpected Roseate Spoonbill sightings this summer has been a treat for birders up and down the east coast.  While northward movement of juveniles during post-breeding dispersal is known for the species, the numbers of birds involved and the extent of the northward movement this season is impressive.

According to the Birds […]


Merganser Moms

The first really fun observation I would like to share is the experience of watching female Common Mergansers shepherding their large broods of chicks while the youngsters learned to fish. […]


Ivory-billed Woodpecker Film Opens

It’s been more than four years since I left Arkansas, Ivory-billed Woodpecker T-shirt in hand, just days after the news of the rediscovery of the species broke in the national media.  During five months in the swamps over the winter and spring of 2004-2005, I had really gotten to know the Big Woods.  Lately […]


A Helpful House Sparrow

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is one of those critters that birders love to hate.  The species makes a habit of usurping the nest sites of native species, especially bluebirds, and is therefore reviled by many a birder.

Initially released on this continent in the early 1850s in New York City and parts of […]


Biofuels and Habitat Loss

Renewable.  Sustainable.  Green.

All of these buzzwords make us feel good about our progress toward mainstreaming alternative energy sources.  We need to power an increasingly energy-hungry world in the face of global climate change, and we all know that fossil fuels are not the solution.

What often gets lost in the excitement surrounding “green” […]