It’s day 21. I’ve made it to day 21.
I just have to let that sink in for a moment. Because I’m kind of surprised—I didn’t think I would last this long. When I started this Bird-A-Day Challenge on New Years Day (click here to learn more), I wasn’t even sure I would last two weeks. (I expected 14 species of birds would just about sum up how many I could see during my day-to-day life—especially in winter.) But, much to my amazement, I do see at least 14 species. (Here’s the list from my first 14 days). In fact, I see many others. What’s more, I even see some less ordinary birds, at least when I’m looking for them. Here's my strategy:
When it comes to decorating color schemes, black kites prefer white. It’s long been noticed that the raptors adorn their nests with white plastic. But these baubles are more than ornamental—they’re a signal of sexual prowess and serve as a “No Trespassing” sign to potential rivals, researchers report today in Science.
Along the Florida-Georgia border are 80 quail hunting plantations that make up 300,000 acres of accidental nature reserve. Each year scientists and land managers burn tens of thousands of acres and use various other means to mimic natural conditions, preserving a wealth of biodiversity, including the embattled bobwhite quail. Eddie Nickens and photographer Rob Howard Investigate.!--/end tags-->
I’ve been watching birds rush, tackle, and pass all weekend. Well, NFL players whose teams bear the name of a bird. Baltimore Ravens. Atlanta Falcons. Today the Seattle Seahawks face the Chicago Bears. The football frenzy has got me wondering what species these avian ambassadors might be.
Today I did something I have never done before. I went birding by myself. Just before dusk, I grabbed my binoculars and a bird guide, then bundled up the baby and loaded him and the dog into the car. We headed for Croton Point, a park close to where I live in New York’s Hudson Valley. There, I scanned the river for ducks, peered up under the pines in hopes of finding a Long-Eared Owl, and drove right past a “Do Not Enter” sign in an effort to get a little closer to the water. I thought some waterfowl might be hiding in the cove. Alas, nothing. Then I drove over toward the Croton train station, where a little inlet is a popular winter hangout for Bald Eagles...!--/end tags-->
I am not a “lister.” I just want to be upfront about that. Yet, here I am on Day 14 of a strange new quest that has me, yes, listing birds. Many serious and even casual birders keep lists of the birds they’ve seen: life lists, year lists, state lists, backyard lists, and on an on. But this is a different type of list. I’m listing a bird for every day of the year—just one bird a day. The goal is never to repeat a species, nor to go a day without seeing a new one...Find out more.