As some us are taking those first trips to the mall for gift buying, or digging out the Christmas tree lights from the attic, others are checking binoculars, spotting scopes and other birding equipment in preparation for the 117th Audubon Christmas Bird Count.
The holidays are here, and so are some great gifts for those who love birds. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a unit of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY has some exciting offerings. Purchases help to fund the lab’s mission to improve understanding and protection of birds.
Reports from Mexico indicate that monarch butterflies have started to stream into their overwintering grounds at the volcanic hills near Aputzio de Juarez (about 100 miles west of Mexico City) during the latter part of October. There is a large number of monarchs in the U.S.
As River Talk readers may know, one of my pet peeves is the problem of discarded fishing line along water bodies in the Upper Delaware River region.
With the arrival of colder autumn weather comes the honking of skeins of high-flying geese as they pass overhead. Not only geese are on the move, but a myriad of species of waterfowl make their way south for more favorable habitats. Many songbirds, too, are on the move south; some will winter as far as the South American continent.
While talking with an acquaintance at a recent gathering, the topic of trails came up. George lives in a 500-acre community where a series of trails weave through a large forested area protected from development.
October is all but behind us, and the falling leaves tell of the upcoming colder weather on the way. However it is also the tail end of Indian Summer, when mild days bring out some late-season insect life and even some last-minute reptiles and amphibians.
How many times have you gone on a bird walk and happened across an otter, bear, or other animal that was not on the day’s agenda of expected wildlife to see. You might be in a bird blind and all of a sudden, a bobcat walks across a game trail in front of the blind (and too close to focus with your long birding lens).
“Myths and misunderstandings abound in nature and can lead to undesirable outcomes.”