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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NEW CHAPTER IN EASTERN BLUEBIRD CONSERVATION SUCCESS STORY

Eastern Bluebird enjoying a Spring day – in February Decatur Georgia’s Legacy Park (formerly Decatur Methodist Children’s Home) open fields have been replanted with native grasses and bluebird boxes have been added to supplement the natural cavities in tree snags that are safe to leave standing. There are plenty of fence posts and telephone lines, […]

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BIRD HEALTH FIRST, IMAGE QUALITY SECOND

This is the male of the pair of Barred Owls that call #clydeshepherdnaturepreserve home. After skipping nesting in the preserve in 2020 and then nesting in a large dead tree snag cavity in the front part of the preserve last year that drew a paparazzi-sized crowd, the pair has returned to the owl box deeper in the […]

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IN PRAISE OF LEAF “LITTER”

I will start by admitting that I’ve not always praised dead, fallen leaves ‘littering’ our lawn. I invested (heavily) in a wide range of tools, especially gas-powered, as well as yard crews, so that each Fall we could rid our little ecosystem of unsightly disorder of dead organic material on top of our lawn. Then […]

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PUFFER JACKETS: A CASE OF BIOMICRY?

Male Pine Warbler Puffed Up In Cold Rain

When the cold fronts start moving through the South, the birdwatching web sites light up with posts from many new birders along the lines of: “Bless their hearts, are my poor little babies going to freeze to death?” The answers back are along the lines of: One way birds stay warm is by using their […]

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RED-TAILED HAWK: CLOSE QUARTERS PRECISION FLYING

I’ve seen it hundreds of times. A bird of prey that has been sitting quietly still and unnoticed deep in a tree canopy suddenly explodes into flight. Maneuvers through the branches and limbs of the treetops to take its prey. I’m awestruck every time. This Red-tailed Hawk hunting in our yard on two recent days […]

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RARE WINTER VISITOR TO OUR YARD: BALTIMORE ORIOLE

Female Baltimore Oriole. Or maybe immature male. Males don’t molt to their bright adult orange until their second year. This bird was visiting our yard in Decatur, Georgia which is deep inside metro-Atlanta on January 29th. I had to add Baltimore Oriole to my yard’s eBird checklist. And was lucky to have photos. They are […]

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PINE WARBLER: WINTER BRIGHT SPOT

Male Pine Warbler Puffed Up In Cold Rain

Pine Warblers live year round with us. They don’t head to the tropics in winter like their neotropical cousins. They are literally and figuratively a bright spot on drab, grey, winter days. Especially our days of ‘wintry mix’. What holds them here is their fondness for, guess what, pine nuts. Something we have a lot […]

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