Laura Erickson

Laura Erickson

Laura Erickson, 2014 recipient of the American Birding Association’s prestigious Roger Tory Peterson Award, has been a scientist, teacher, writer, wildlife rehabilitator, professional blogger, public speaker, photographer, American Robin and Whooping Crane Expert for the popular Journey North educational website, and Science Editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s written eight books about birds, including the best-selling Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds (co-authored by photographer Marie Read); the National Outdoor Book Award winning Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids; 101 Ways to Help Birds; The Bird Watching Answer Book for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; and the National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America. She’s currently a columnist and contributing editor for BirdWatching magazine, and is writing a field guide to the birds of Minnesota for the American Birding Association. Since 1986 she has been producing the long-running “For the Birds” radio program for many public radio stations; the program is podcast on iTunes. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota, with her husband, mother-in-law, licensed education Eastern Screech-Owl Archimedes, two indoor cats, and her little birding dog Pip.

Mar 222017
 
The decline, East to West, of the Golden-winged Warbler

The once common Golden-winged Warbler now has one of the smallest populations of any songbird not on the Endangered Species List. An estimated 400,000 breeding adults remained in 2013—a drop of 66 percent since the 1960s, based on Breeding Bird Survey numbers. This survey, which focuses on males singing on territories, began in 1966; we […]

Mar 152017
 
Heartbreaking news about lead use in our National Wildlife Refuges

I hate political, or personal, drama—it’s rather an odd thing for a Chicago woman of Irish descent, born-and-raised as a Cubs fan, but that’s just the way I am. I got all three of those traits, along with my normally low blood pressure, from my Grandpa. But today I can feel that blood pressure rising, […]

Mar 072017
 
The Pathological Moseyers Visit the Bog

I was in Colorado this month during the annual Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival. It’s sad when even a lovely conflict makes me miss the wonderful local event, so on Saturday I headed to the bog with my little birding dog Pip and my friend Lisa. Earlier in the week, the forecast had called for snow […]

Feb 182017
 
Dealing with Uncertainties

At the end of every year, I plot out the coming year using an electronic calendar and a paper one. Year after year, I’ve always enjoyed marking in birthdays of friends and family, putting in all my anticipated speaking engagements and birding trips, and thinking how tidily the new year is shaping up. There’s some […]

Feb 142017
 
February's romantic rituals

February is a romantic month for people who celebrate Valentine’s Day, and also for several kinds of birds with early nesting cycles. Great Horned Owls may start nesting in February, though in north country during most winters, they’re more likely to wait until a bit later. Bald Eagles and ravens often engage in their splendid […]

Feb 112017
 
Twice as many?

In 1492 when Christopher Columbus arrived in America, the people already living here were well aware of their land’s ornithological treasures. On October 12, 1492, Columbus wrote in his diary that the only wild animals he saw at all were parrots, but he had seen much more by October 21, when he wrote, The melody […]

Jan 312017
 
More about that Pink-footed Goose

I received an email a little while after my Monday program aired on KUMD. The writer said he’d looked at all the photos I’d posted on Flickr of the Pink-footed Goose I saw in New York City, and not one of them showed the pink feet. He wondered how I could be sure of the […]

Jan 112017
 
Facing 2017

Next month I’m celebrating the 2-year anniversary of my heart attack or, in medical parlance, my acute myocardial infarction. Having survived it at all, and especially having recognized my bizarrely mild symptoms in time so the damage was limited, makes me exceptionally lucky. Having the medical insurance to get superior care during the emergency and […]

Dec 192016
 
House Sparrows

When I was a small child, long before The Waltons was on television, I used to pretend that I belonged to a happy little family that lived in my neighborhood. Every evening at bedtime, as it grew dark outside, I’d listen to them sharing their stories about their day’s adventures and saying good night to […]

Dec 132016
 
Berkeley Pit Goose Die-off

Human mythology, folklore, and fairy tales are full of stories about someone doing a seemingly innocent thing that ends up releasing chaos and death. A common element in these stories, from Pandora’s box to Humpty Dumpty, is that once it happens, it can never be fixed. The mess created when the little children opened the […]

Nov 302016
 
Coming Home from Uganda

I’ve spent the last two weeks in Uganda. I finished my packing during the heady days of the World Series and the glorious aftermath of my beloved Chicago Cubs winning it all, and left the morning after my hometown held a parade that drew an estimated five million people, united in a way Americans never […]