Species Spotlight: Virginia Rail

  Have you ever found yourself walking through a marsh or swamp, only to be startled by an otherworldly sound coming from the reeds that you’re walking past? Chances are good that what you’re hearing is a Virginia Rail. Very secretive birds, they are rarely seen and usually only heard during their breeding season whenContinue Reading

Hunting for Long-eared Owls

  Arriving in the parking area of an out of the way park in central Ohio, I was greeted with near darkness and cold temperatures. A good friend had decided to brave the weather and come out with me to venture into the wild in search of one of the most elusive owl species inContinue Reading

Scoters, Friends, And The Ties That Bind

  After a long week, I decided to spend some time alone on the shore of a local reservoir. A report had come in a couple of days before of a flock of Black Scoters and a possible Surf Scoter, and I thought I’d try my luck for some peace, quiet, and ducks.    Continue Reading

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! Leucism is genetic mutation that occurs when melanin and otherContinue Reading

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

Separating Juvenile Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks

Fall. Accipiters. Confusion. It is that time of year when juvenile accipiters, in particular Cooper’s Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk, show up in our backyards and have us scratching our heads as to which species it is. A year ago I put the above image up on facebook and asked which of the two accipiter’s itContinue 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