Screech-Owls at the Biggest Week

Alex Lamoreaux|

Brown type Eastern Screech-Owl roosting near its nestbox (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Besides mind-blowing views of 30+ warbler species, another highlight for many birders during the Biggest Week in American Birding is seeing Eastern Screech-Owls sleeping out in the open. These little, camouflaged owls often have their cover blown by angry flocks of songbirds and can be spotted roosting out in the open, or if you know which owl nestboxes to keep an eye …


Unusual American Golden-Plover – McLean County, Illinois

Alex Lamoreaux|

Leucistic/dilute American Golden-Plover (back) with 'normal' American Golden-Plovers in the foreground (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Vast agricultural areas aren’t exactly the first landscape that comes to mind when thinking of ideal migrant shorebird habitat. For me the vast coastal marshes of the Delmarva will always be at the top of the list for the country’s best shorebird-watching, but while doing bird surveys in central Illinois recently I was happy to encounter many large flocks of American Golden-Plovers flying …


Rajah Scops Owl: Malaysian Mega

Steve Brenner|

Rajah Scops Owl. Photo by Andy Boyce (Kinabalu Park, May 2016)

Rare birds are cool. This much we know. But what happens when a rare bird transitions from a neat stroke of birding luck to a downright biological discovery? That’s when the real fun begins and we get to go beyond birding. When migratory birds turn up in places they are not supposed to be, everyone gets jazzed to see it …


Crimson-collared Grosbeak at Laguna Atascosa NWR

Alex Lamoreaux|

Crimson-collared Grosbeak immature male hiding in a potato tree (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

April 17th, the first full day of our Nemesis Bird Nature Tour to south Texas, brought us to the headquarters of Laguna Atascosa NWR. This vast refuge is one of the last homes for Aplomado Falcons and Ocelots in the United States, but our sights were set on hunting down a visiting rarity – the immature male Crimson-collared Grosbeak that has been hanging out …


South Padre Warblers on Parade

Alex Lamoreaux|

Cape May Warbler adult male (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Sandwiched between the rush of spring-breakers in March and the arrival of beach-goers in June, there is another invasion of visitors to South Padre Island during the end of April and beginning of May. They may be much more discrete than rowdy, drunken college kids but dress just as gaudy and they don’t crowd the beaches with 4X4’s and umbrellas like …


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Trumpeter Swans with ‘captive’ neck-collars in PA

Alex Lamoreaux|

Trumpeter Swan Z675 which is currently in Schuylkill County with Z603. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Trumpeter Swans are rare but increasing in Pennsylvania, and more are found every year. Many of the swans found in PA have yellow neck-collars or yellow wing-tags from the Ontario reintroduction efforts. However, there has been an interesting rush of sightings of 3 different neck-collared Trumpeter Swans in PA since March 10th; all of which have stained, white neck-collars with 4-digit codes on …


Yellow-billed Loon and Common Mew Gull – Race Point, Cape Cod

Alex Lamoreaux|

Atlantic Brant flying over the dunes at Race Point, Cape Cod (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

On February 27th, Steve Arena discovered the first Massachusetts record of Yellow-billed Loon at the infamous Race Point at the tip of Cape Cod. This huge loon species is a hard bird to see almost anywhere in the Lower 48, only found occasionally along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. This first-winter immature is only the second record along the East Coast, and …


Cooperative Florida Scrub-Jays – Merritt Island NWR

Tim Schreckengost|

Florida Scrub-Jay - Tim Schreckengost - 23896896023_2b5f6af56c_k

During this year’s Space Coast Birding & Wildlife Festival, I met up with a few folks from the Leica Birding Team to search for Florida Scrub-Jays at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The obvious place to look for them within the refuge is along the Scrub Trail. Drew and I dipped on them last year, but we turned the tables …


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Northeast Goose Finding Tactics

Alex Lamoreaux|

Greater White-fronted Goose among Snow Geese (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

With the Delaware Goose-a-palooza 2016 coming up this weekend, we’ve put together a short summary of the Northeast’s common and unusual goose species and also a few helpful links for participants. Remember that if you haven’t signed up for the event, please email Alan Kneidel and he can register you for a team and goose-searching territory. The objective for each team during the Goose-a-palooza is …


Cape May Pelagic – February 6th, 2015

Alex Lamoreaux|

The mighty Great Skua passing the boat. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

This past Saturday was the Cape May See Life Paulagics trip, and our boat-full of eager birders were in for a great day on the ocean. We sailed out of the Cape May canal while the first hint of light rose above the horizon, passing 2 Harlequin Ducks, 7 Great Cormorants, 30 American Oystercatchers, and a nice spattering of the usual seaducks around …