Bird Surprises

Justine Weber|

American Woodcock on her nest.

Before moving to Syracuse and becoming a plant ecology graduate student, my field work was bird-based. I was a point-counter, transect-walker, and wife of the bird-obsessed. In fact, last summer’s field season left me with the vestiges of being a real birder – I realized this after I found myself subconsciously tallying what birds and how many were singing in …


Review: Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians

Justine Weber|

Eastern Phoebe nest (photo from Wikipedia)

As I sit at my desk on a very rainy Syracuse morning, I’m beginning to feel excited – and impatient – about spring migration. It has started right? I don’t have to worry about the 6 inches of snow I saw in a New York fen on Thursday to convince me otherwise, right? Right? If you’re feeling this same impatience …

How we missed the Kirtland’s Warbler

Justine Weber|

(photo credit BSBO)

[dc]W[/dc]hen we registered for The Biggest Week, Drew and I excitedly looked through the workshop and field trip offerings to pick something special to add to our week of birding. There was a long list of great field trips to area hotspots, expert keynote speakers, and birding workshops on the docket, but we found one thing that we knew we …


Review: Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast, A Natural History

Justine Weber|

[dc]T[/dc]here is no doubt about it. Spring is upon us in all of its glorious proliferation. Trees are leafing-out, yards are being mowed, and spring migrants are winging their way back to us in earnest. Frankly, I’m a bit worried about warblering season, as the unseasonably early tree leaves will make the little buggers impossible to see. (And let’s be …


Nemesis Bird + The Biggest Week

Justine Weber|

Prothonotary Warbler - Magee Marsh, Ohio (Photo by Anna Fasoli)

[dc]A[/dc] few of us from the Nemesis Bird team are excited to be heading to The Biggest Week in American Birding in NW Ohio for some spring migration excitement. Anna, Alex, Justine and Drew have been invited to attend the festival as Official Bloggers for the event. We will be joining a crew of excellent bird bloggers from across the country …

Review: The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals

Justine Weber|

Red Squirrel at the Duck Pond - I currently have seen Eastern Gray Squirrel, Fox Squirrel, Red Squirrel, and Southern Flying Squirrel so far this year. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Alright birders, let’s take a break from spring migration (if that’s even possible) and challenge your other-nature knowledge. Do you know the defining features of a mammal? Sure, the average person could provide the correct – if not complete – answer of “they have hair.” But I know second-graders who can do that. A more knowledgeable person might add “they …

First SCCCMA Surveys Complete

Justine Weber|

American Tree Sparrow

Our first surveys of PSU’s new Rockview property took place this past Sunday (12/4), and went very well. We had an excellent turnout of volunteers (thanks again to all who offered their time and skills!), and observed some excellent species. Penn State’s piece of Spring Creek Canyon Cooperative Management Area is 452 acres of varied habitat, and in about 3 …


Spring Creek Canyon Cooperative Management Area: An Introduction

Justine Weber|


Most avid birders have a repertoire of favorite birding spots: hotspots where they are likely to find a high diversity of species, or seasonally unique species, or even just an easily-accessed spot that will consistently provide a good list. In an area that is birded frequently (say, Centre Country), that list of spots, though still worthwhile, tends to remain stagnant. …


Review: Mammals of North America, second edition

Justine Weber|

Mammals of NA cover

It should be immediately stated that I am most definitely not the bird enthusiast in the Weber household. Indeed, while Drew can easily get up at 4am to find some passing warblers, or stare through a scope at a flock of gulls for (what may seem like) hours, I enjoy sleeping in until the sun rises and there are times …