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 […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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Eurasian Tree Sparrow in Minnesota

On January 4, 2017, Two Harbors’s wonderful birding guru, Jim Lind, reported on eBird that there was a Eurasian Tree Sparrow hanging out with a flock of House Sparrows right in town. It may have been there earlier than that, because I later read an MOU listserv post by Kim Eckert saying it had first […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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