Ducks in the City

Alex Lamoreaux|

Canvasback (male) in flight above the West Fairview boat launch. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

The majority of waterways in Pennsylvania are frozen up tight, as are most of the northeastern states, aside from a few small pockets here and there. Luckily for birders, one stretch of open water along the Susquehanna River is near the mouth of the Conodoquinet Creek where the West Fairview boat launch is located. This location is a birding hotspot throughout the year; …


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Deceased Long-tailed Duck undergoes a makeover

Nathan Goldberg|

Long-tailed Duck (Photo by Josh Engel)

This past weekend, my friend Steve Huggins texted me a photo of an adult male Long-tailed Duck he had found off of Lake Michigan near North Avenue Beach. He knows I worked at the Field Museum, and said it was all mine if I wanted to pick it up. The next day (Sunday, March 2nd), my mom and I headed …


Winter Waterfowl in Illinois

Nathan Goldberg|

Adult male White-winged Scoter (Photo by Nathan Goldberg)

Last Saturday (the 15th), Michael Retter and Matt Hale drove up from West Lafayette to stay at my house for the weekend (specifically for the Gull Frolic, more on that coming soon). They had to head out on Sunday, but before they left, we birded a bit looking for Scoters on the lakefront. This winter has been quite unlike others …


Monday Morning Blues

Alex Lamoreaux|

Red-breasted Mergansers like this male are common at the inlet (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

My friend Mark Mizak found a kayak that he wanted to buy online, but it was in New Jersey. Mark is heading south to Florida for the rest of the winter before heading back to Montana to work as a wildlands fire-fighter. He offered to take Josh Lefever and I along to get his new boat on a day-trip to …


Will, Grundy, and Cook County Illinois Birding

Nathan Goldberg|

Female Long-tailed Duck (Photo by Nathan Goldberg)

Yesterday, I was able to get out for a day of birding with my friend and one of my mentors, Geoff Williamson. In 2013, the ABA bestowed Geoff with the ABA Ludlow Griscom Award, which is for those, “who have dramatically advanced the state of ornithological knowledge for a particular region” (http://www.aba.org/about/awards.html). Geoff helped me when I first found birding, …


Phone Skope Big Year 2014

Tim Schreckengost|

American Robin - Tim Schreckengost

Towards the end of 2013 I started thinking about how I could do a Big Year. I really enjoy digiscoping, so why not a Phone Skope Big Year? I am trying to digiscope as many species as possible with my iPhone 5 and Phone Skope Adapter using a variety of optics. My goal is to digiscope 200 species for the …


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Harlequin Duck and Presque Isle Migrants

Alex Lamoreaux|

The continuing odd couple - immature male Harlequin Duck and female Long-tailed Duck. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

With a Sunday free from obligations and spring migration kicking into full swing, I joined up with Chad Kauffman and Mike Dreibelbis to head up towards Presque Isle State Park. We planned to meet up around 6am and drive west, stopping in Armstrong County for a rarity and then spending the rest of the day at Presque Isle. Since February …


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Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, NJ

Corey Husic|

Long-tailed Duck

Last Saturday, I traveled to Barnegat Lighthouse State Park in New Jersey. Although slightly chilly, the sun and lack of wind made the birding conditions excellent… or at least better than most January days along the Jersey shore! Upon arriving, a small group of Black-crowned Night-Herons passed directly overhead, circling around the lighthouse several times before moving over the open …


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Waterfowl Fallout at Beltzville State Park

Corey Husic|

Long-tailed Ducks

When Drew Weber posted about possible fallout conditions for Saturday, I was excited to check out the reservoir at Beltzville State Park. Unfortunately, I was unable to get out and had to wait until today, Sunday. Since the night had not been rainy, I figured some birds may have left. There was the possibility, however, that some birds would stick around …


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Centre County Waterfowl

Alex Lamoreaux|

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The rainy weather made perfect conditions for some waterfowling here in Center County today, so around 9:45am Anna Fasoli and I headed to Bald Eagle State Park. We were instantly greeted by 14 Tundra Swans, and the largest raft of waterfowl I have seen at BESP. We were able to find 12 species of waterfowl at BESP. All of the photos …