Splitting Harlan’s Hawks?

Red-tailed Hawk_CanonCity-CO_LAH_8371.nef

If you’ve been birding for any length of time, you know that species come and species go. The birds don’t change, but our perception of which variations are actually different species is constantly undergoing review. We have lumpers, who combine disparate species into one, and splitters, who separate subspecies into two or more different species. Add in the (relatively) new ability to examine DNA, and you have a recipe for constant change.

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Is that a Northwestern Crow?

DumasBaySanctuary-WA_LAH_9606

I spent Thanksgiving week in the Pacific Northwest, visiting family (granddaughters!) and friends. Somehow, in the midst of tickles and snuggles, craft projects, and a delicious turkey dinner, I managed to squeeze in an hour of birding—and it wasn’t even raining.

Since we were in Federal Way for lunch that day, we headed for the tiny Dumas Bay Sanctuary. And I do mean tiny. If you walk north along the narrow beach, you quickly run into signs warning of private property. And if you head south instead, the park boundary markers stop you after only a few yards. At least the birds have permission to trespass, and we birders have binoculars.

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December Bird Quiz

I thought I would offer two clues this month. The first one is harder. If you would like more information, click to continue the page. Now can you name this bird? The photo was taken in Arizona in April. I will post the uncropped photo on Saturday, giving you one more chance. The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.

Lazuli Bunting_Patagonia-AZ_LAH_3706

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I’m Thankful For This…

Wild Turkey_CheyenneMtnZoo-CO_LAH_2224

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m sure you’re busy today, so today’s post will be short.

In honor of all the turkeys that will give their lives so we can celebrate God’s generosity, I’d like to share a cartoon I recently discovered. Not that it’s new. This website has been around a while now. But I didn’t know about it, and if it’s new to me, then it might also be new to you.

Please click on over to Bird and Moon and prepare to be delighted. I’m linking you to one of my favorite cartoons, but be sure to check out the rest of them, plus the store and everything else. Just don’t let dinner burn while you’re distracted!

Bird and Moon: Science and Nature Cartoons

(No, I wasn’t paid to promote this. I just think it’s awesome!)

Birding Niagara Falls

2017-08-29 14.54.40(If you’ve just tuned in, this is the fourth post in a series about our 2017 trip around the Great Lakes.)

By the time we left Grand Rapids, I had spent some enjoyable mornings birding Michigan while my husband, Pete, had attended a number of successful meetings. We had also visited two of the four states I had been missing, moving me that much closer to my goal of visiting all fifty. The trip was going well. And  now it was time for Pete to check off his own bucket list dream.

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Persecuting Cormorants

Double-crested Cormorant_PuebloCityPark-CO_LAH_6764

Early one morning a couple of weeks ago, some friends and I were birding around Kettle Lakes, a number of large ponds on U.S. Air Force Academy property. We exclaimed over the accuracy of a Belted Kingfisher’s dive to nab a fish for breakfast, in spite of the distortion caused by the air-water interface. A Great Blue Heron followed suit, coming up with a flapping fish in its beak.

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