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 …


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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 …


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 …


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The August Brooklyn Pelagic a.k.a pterodroma magic

Drew Weber|

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For the 3rd August in a row, I’ve managed to find myself on Paulagics fantastic overnight pelagics. This year they have moved to a new boat, the Brooklyn IV, and a new dock in Brooklyn which is more convenient than the old spot in Freeport. There had been several fantastic pelagics just north and south of us recently, including double-digit …


Brooklyn Overnight Pelagic AKA Skua Fest 2015

Luke Musher|

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East coast pelagic birding is what it is. Usually it’s relatively unproductive (ignoring the pelagic birding off of North Carolina) with low numbers of individuals, and you’re lucky to see one or two rare or heavily sought after pelagic species. On the west coast it is not unusual to see hundreds of shearwaters and tens of thousands of storm-petrels, plus the rare …


The Thousand Mile Chase

a guest blogger|

Village of East Apple River, Nova Scotia. Photo by Matt Sabatine.

This post comes from Matt Sabatine, who recently had the chance to bird from Pennsylvania to Nova Scotia, where some great birds have been reported recently. The reliable duo of rarities in Nova Scotia was just too good to resist. A EURASIAN KESTREL has been hanging out in the area of Hartlen Point outside Halifax, Nova Scotia since December, and a FIELDFARE has been …


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Greater White-fronted X Snow Goose hybrid – Lancaster, PA

Alex Lamoreaux|

Greater White-fronted X Snow Goose hybrid adult, with Snow Geese along PA896 in Lancaster County, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Yesterday evening while driving north along PA896, I noticed Snow Geese landing in a field near the road. As I drove past, I saw that it was a ‘small flock’ of only about 400 Snow Geese, so I hesitated a few moments about whether or not I should stop and scan through them for anything besides Snows. I decided to …


Almost a nemesis

Drew Weber|

Florida Scrub-Jay

One of my targets for my recent trip to the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival was the Florida’s only endemic bird– the Florida Scrub-Jay, a social member of the corvid family. There are 2 other species of scrub-jay, Western Scrub-Jay which I’ve seen in Arizona, and Island Scrub-Jay, which is found on the Channel Islands off the coast of Los …


Harris’s Sparrow and ‘Gambel’s’ White-crowned Sparrow

Alex Lamoreaux|

First winter Harris's Sparrow (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Arlene Koch’s famous backyard habitat near Easton, PA which has lured in countless uncommon, unusual, and rare birds over the years is currently hosting a first winter Harris’s Sparrow as well as an adult ‘Gambel’s’ White-crowned Sparrow! I was able to make a quick stop by her house this past Sunday and was happy to get great views of both …


Coastal waterbird notes from southern Belize, Fall 2014

Alex Lamoreaux|

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

We are spoiled in the United States with many concentrated birding efforts taking place throughout fall and spring migration such as hawkwatches, seawatches, Big Sits, and other surveys which all help to pull in loads of data on bird numbers and distribution, but there are very few endeavors taking place in countries like Belize. Thanks to the Belize Raptor Research Institute, there …