Category Archives: birds

Oh, Canada

The word Canada is evocative.  It calls forth impressions of grandeur; tall, jagged mountain peaks, swaying grasslands, fathomless oceans, expansive snowscapes, and frigid glacial lakes. These impressive landscapes are home to some of the most charismatic and tenacious creatures ever … Continue reading

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The Charm of Birds

Recently there has been a video making its way around the birding listserves. In it, a clip from the movie Downfall (German: Der Untergang) is shown wherein Hitler blasts into a tirade over news he’s lost the war. However, in … Continue reading

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F.O.Y.  As far as acronyms go, this one doesn’t mean much to the vast majority of people. But to birders, it can represent a treasured landmark. First Of the Year. Many birders keep many different lists, but a perennial favourite … Continue reading

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Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

The Whooping Crane was, and is, one of the most endangered birds in North America. Though probably never abundant, the population reached a staggering low of about 15 birds in 1941 due to hunting and habitat loss/degradation. From these beleaguered … Continue reading

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Are we there yet?

Sharp-tailed Sandpipers have always held an allure for me. For starters, they are rare here in British Columbia (and absent from the rest of Canada). Although present along the coast every autumn, usually from mid-September into October, they are always … Continue reading

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What’s the Teal-io

Every once in a while in birding, something completely surprises you. Sometimes it’s an assumption that you’ve always had, that you suddenly realize is completely false.  Sometimes it’s an epiphany about some field mark – maybe one that every other … Continue reading

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Tussocky: not a town in Italy

Picture walking through the tundra. What did you see? A vast flat expanse, 24 hours of sunlight, a bounty of singing birds, and the buzz of mosquitoes? Well you’re almost correct…except for the bit about it being flat. Instead, raise … Continue reading

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Gulls, garbage, glory

Landfills are wonderful, exciting places.  I personally try to visit them often, and it’s a different experience every time.  I’ve had the fortune to bird garbage dumps from 60 degrees N to 55 degrees S. The only place potentially more … Continue reading

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From Astrapia to Zosterops

I like bird books. A lot. Some say it’s wonderful to have an extensive ornithological library at your fingertips. Others say “you bought them, you move them into the new place”. While it’s true that a Rubbermaid tote full of … Continue reading

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