Howdy from Texas — they have birds here

The great-tailed grackles are out in force here in the Brazos Valley of Texas, and it almost seems as if they outnumber the bluebonnets and other wildflowers blooming in spectacular clusters along the highways I drove from Houston airport to College Station. What starlings are to many areas of the country, the great-tails are toContinue reading “Howdy from Texas — they have birds here”

Some days, the birding gods smile upon us

One-third of the way through my “Big Month,” it’s time to assess my progress. Having set 60 as a “reach” goal, I find I have a legitimate shot. Yesterday was a particularly encouraging day. I headed out to the Pole Farm, hoping to find one of the “should have” birds, the common grackle. I wasContinue reading “Some days, the birding gods smile upon us”

A walk in the woods with the experts

I was back at the Pole Farm this morning as I often am on weekend mornings, but this time I wasn’t going solo. I was a last-minute substitute for a friend on a Washington Crossing Audubon Society guided walk, and what a treat it was. About 20 birders assembled at the Cold Soil Road parkingContinue reading “A walk in the woods with the experts”

One great bird: the Northern harrier

Four birds with “Northern” in their name are regular visitors in my part of New Jersey. The Northern cardinal is ubiquitous at home, and the Northern mockingbird and Northern flicker are regulars in the neighborhood. But the most thrilling of all is the Northern harrier. To find a harrier, all I need to do isContinue reading “One great bird: the Northern harrier”