What’s In A Name? Respect For The Bird Or Vanity Of Its Late-coming Discoverer?

Olive-backed Thrush aka Salmonberry Bird aka Swainson's Thrush

In field guides, this species is listed as Swainson’s Thrush, with a note that they are often called Olive-backed. And a case can be made for Salmonberry Bird, at least for the population on the NW coast of the U.S. and the coast of Canada’s Inland Passage. I’m going with Olive-backed because it could be […]

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HUMMERS DON’T LIVE BY NECTAR ALONE

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird Sipping Nectar From Tiger Lily

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird feeding on a tiger lily bloom: I say feeding because she could be sipping nectar or eating insects attracted to the nectar. Hummers rely much more insects than it appears because we are spoiled by the sight of them on flowers. 60+%, depending on time of year, of their diet can be […]

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BIRDING GEORGIA’S SAPELO ISLAND

At 16,500 acres, Sapelo is the fourth largest island along the one hundred miles of Georgia coastline. 97% of the island is state-owned and managed entities primarily focused on environmental, marine, and wildlife research. Their ‘lab’ the largely intact and near-pristine habitats on and surrounding the island. Entities include the University of Georgia Marine Institute, […]

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LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE: RAPTOR IN ‘SONGBIRD CLOTHING’

Loggerhead Shrikes are nicknamed Butcherbird (not to be confused with true butcherbirds of Australia). An apt moniker as demonstrated by the shrike and unfortunate grasshopper below. Loggerhead Shrikes are song birds that are Raptor-mini-me’s. Skilled hunters from perches, they use their strong hooked beaks’ “tomial teeth”, pointy projections on the upper cutting edge, to dispatch […]

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BIRDING FLORIDA’S ‘NATURE COAST’

“A string of counties studded with emerald-like gulf waters, deep springs and rivers, stretching along the same Florida coast” John Muir 1867 https://www.naturecoaster.com/discover-the-history-of-floridas-nature-coast/ “A string of counties”: Eight counties to be exact. Eight counties carved from the Big Bend Coast geological region. Eight counties that came together in the 1990s to form an unofficial region […]

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HAPPY EARTH DAY: A STORY OF ENVIRONMENTAL RECLAMATION & REDEMPTION

This Sandhill Crane pair is raising their family in Sweetwater Wetlands Park in Gainesville, Florida. When Ann and I lived in Gainesville in 1977-78, the 125 acres that now comprise the park had been ‘murdered’. Sweetwater Branch was the recipient of treated and untreated wastewater from Gainesville’s sewage plant. It caught trash from overflows of […]

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GREAT BLUE HERONS: DINOSAURS AMONG US

Great Blue Herons are favorites of mine. They are tough & adaptive survivors. They have survived everything we have thrown at them. They even seem to take sweet revenge by raiding urban koi ponds and in an infamous case here in metro-Atlanta stealing trout off the lines of fishermen on the Chattahoochee River. But just […]

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BARRED OWLS ARE GREAT PARENTS & EARLY THOUGHTS ON OMDS OM-1

These are the barred owls that make Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve home. In these shots they are taking well deserved naps. Their nest box has 3 active owlets & like all youngsters the owlets are either sleeping or wanting to eat. These two are Poster Birds for active parenting. After mating and up to laying […]

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A COMING-BACK STORY: OSPREYS

Close Up Of Osprey Soaring In Blue Sky Over Southeast Georgia Coastline

I think it’s clear that I love conservation comeback stories. It’s maybe more accurate to say coming-back stories. There’s not many better than the Osprey’s. They were big time victims of the 1950-70s pesticide onslaught that took down many of our bird species, especially large raptors. DDT being the primary villain. Many local Osprey populations […]

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