Unnatural.

Years ago, you’re in an office on the 26th floor of a Chicago skyscraper, doing work profoundly unrelated to nature. You have the feeling of being watched. You look over your shoulder. On the other side of your window there’s a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, clinging to the building, meeting your gaze. The bird had picked your […]

5
Like
Save
Link.

The only bird in the quiet woods was a Great Crested Flycatcher. It’s not unusual, normally. But normal isn’t always normal any more. You hadn’t seen one for a while and it triggered the thought of a Ferruginous Hawk. Why? It didn’t look anything like a hawk. But there was a link somewhere in your […]

2
Like
Save
Kicking a stereotype.

Sunday, early. Bushwhacking through woods and fields. You see the first waves of fall migrants. Warblers, thrushes, hawks in groups. It’s a whole new ball game as the season changes. But you can’t stay. You gotta get home to watch the Bears kickoff. During the game, a familiar idea comes to mind: Stereotype busting. (It’s the […]

4
Like
Save
January’s Jays found. And somebody won a mug.

The January Hidden Bird Contest was different. Instead of finding one bird, you had to find at least three Blue Jays. Or any kind of jay. We’ve been seeing a lot of jays this winter, so we figured we’d honor their abundance by making the contest about them. And there was an abundance of Jay-finders, […]

9
Like
Save
Bird points and ice-age basketball.

You get the paper from the bottom of your driveway on this winter morning. Heading back, you notice that heavy icicles hang from your roof. They look like downward-pointing swords high above the doorstep. But more about them in a moment… “4 points!” Inside, from a kitchen window you notice the backyard bird feeders. They’re […]

5
Like
Save
Storm Robin

 It’s raining like crazy over a woodland lake the way it does sometimes on an August day that starts sunny. The sky darkens. Low clouds roll over and unload. The lake’s surface makes you think of machine-gun fire. Thunderclaps encourage that idea, and lightning. Wind shakes trees. Leaves and branches fly off and spin around. Somebody’s […]

9
Like
Save