Category Archives: Birding

Uganda: Leucistic Malachite Kingfisher

While on our wonderful boat ride along the Kazinga Channel that separates Lake Edward and Lake George in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, we came across a leucistic Malachite Kingfisher. The bright orange bill and legs contrasting with all white plumage made this bird unique!

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Leucism is genetic mutation that occurs when melanin and other pigments are absent  in feathers which results in pale or all white birds. Albinism occurs when there is no production of melanin only, resulting in white birds having pink eyes.

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For comparison this is a normal looking Malachite Kingfisher. These striking 5 inch kingfishers are widespread south of the Sahara in Africa. They are often found sitting quietly low over still waters or flying fast flashing blue and orange as they zip from reeds and favourite perches.

Uganda: Gorillas at Bwindi Impenetrable NP

  This was an exciting day, it is not often that one gets a chance to see Mountain Gorillas! After breakfast we drove the half mile to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park headquarters at Buhoma for our pre-trek briefing. Following our orientation, we were assigned the Rushegera group and the charasmatic Omac as our guide. 16Continue Reading

Species Spotlight: Eastern Screech-Owl

  If you’ve ever heard an odd, eerie trill while walking along a woodland path or even a wooded urban trail have no fear! Contrary to its it’s name, the Eastern Screech-Owl rarely screeches. Chances are that you’ve heard this wonderfully melodic and calming call without realizing it!     This small owl is oneContinue Reading

Uganda: Mabamba Wetlands

It was an eventfully start to our first full day, with thunderstorms and heavy rain at day break, and Johnnie, our guide, having to change a flat tire he got in the hotel car park! The hours drive to the Mabamba Wetlands, was punctuated with short stops along the dirt road for Green-throated Sunbird, Green Crombec,Continue Reading

Uganda: Entebbe Botanical Gardens

I was invited by Laura Kammermeier of Nature Travel Network and the Uganda Tourist Board to a FAM tour of Uganda’s major birding and primate destinations. Since I thoroughly enjoy East Africa it was an easy decision to make! Making the most of our mid-afternoon arrival, Ethan Kistler, Nate Swick and I spent a couple ofContinue Reading

New Field Guide to Northern Central America

  A new Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Northern Central America has arrived! Available this month, the new field-carry-sized guide covers the birds of Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. At first glance, the design is what we expect for today’s guides… maps and vital info on the page opposite the illustrations. JustContinue Reading

Species Spotlight: Sandhill Crane

  Being the most common crane in the world does not make the Sandhill Crane any less a wonder to see. A large and gray with a brilliant crimson crown, the Sandhill Crane is a spectacular bird–growing to just under four feet tall!     Migrating in large numbers, Sandhills often congregate en masse inContinue Reading

Species Spotlight: Burrowing Owl

  A favorite (if such a thing can be said) among Owl lovers is the pint sized Burrowing Owl. Unlike many species of Owl, the male and female Burrowing Owl are virtually identical in size. Standing at just up to ten inches tall, and weighing in at a mere six ounces, these Owls are quiteContinue Reading

My Journey To Sax Zim Bog

  Minnesota is much more than the 10,000 lakes that make up its state nickname. It boasts a multitude of habitats — vast spans of hardwood lots, open prairie and bogs. In the winter months, Minnesota’s northern reaches turn into a boreal paradise, playing host to a wonderful array of wildlife!     This pastContinue Reading

Puffin Photo Adventure!

  Ten miles southeast of the quaint town of Cutler, Maine, lies a true gem for birders and photographers. Machias Seal Island spans a mere twenty acres, but during the summer months, the rocky shores host thousands of breeding seabirds. Most notable among them is the Atlantic Puffin.     The island is contested, claimedContinue Reading