About Chris Bosak

Bird columnist and nature photographer based in New England. Co-managing editor of The Hour newspaper. Bird

Female Common Yellowthroat

Here’s a female Common Yellowthroat, one of the many confusing fall warblers to watch out for as you hit your favorite birdwatching spots this fall.

Photo by Chris Bosak Common Yellowthroat, first year, southern New England, Sept. 2013

Photo by Chris Bosak
Common Yellowthroat, first year, southern New England, Sept. 2013

5 New England ‘poster birds’ for climate change

Photo by Chris Bosak Bobolink

Photo by Chris Bosak
Bobolink

In response to the recently released State of the Birds 2014 report, Patrick Comins, the director of bird conservation with Audubon Connecticut, spoke about the 5 “poster birds” that will be most affected by climate change and the accompanying shifts in bird population. He was speaking specifically about Connecticut, but certainly all of New England will see this impact.

Comins spoke during a telephone conference to journalists on Wednesday.

Here are the birds he picked:

Saltmarsh Sparrow: Currently breeds in Connecticut, but has difficulty with rising sea levels and high tides. Rising tides will only become worse over the next several decades.

Bobolink: This meadow nester will likely not nest or be seen often in Connecticut over the next several decades.

Dunlin: This handsome shorebird currently nests and may be seen throughout winter along the New England coast. It’s nesting ability in Connecticut, as Comins put it, will “become zero.” It will move its range north and perhaps New England will get some winter views of this bird.

Blue-winged Warbler: This handsome bright yellow warbler will “move up and out.”

Veery: Comins almost picked the Wood Thrush for his final bird, but chose the Veery. It will become scarce in New England.

The phrase “over the next several decades” may give some people cause to relax and think “I’ll never notice it” or “maybe things will change.” But the “next several decades” will be here before we know it. There have been staggering declines in bird populations over the last 40 years. We’re talking some species dropping in number by 50, 60 even 80 percent. That’s just the last 40 years. That’s basically yesterday evolutionarily speaking. Jeez, I can remember 40 years ago. It bothers me to think this decline all happened in my lifetime.

Hopefully the State of the Birds report will get the attention it deserves and affect positive change for birds and all wildlife.

The full report may be found here.

Are birds in our future? State of the Birds 2014 Report

Photo by Chris Bosak A Piping Plover preens at Milford Point in spring of 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Piping Plover preens at Milford Point in spring of 2014.

The State of the Birds 2014 report was released this week. It is a comprehensive look at how our bird populations are faring and how they might fare in the future. It’s fascinating stuff and a must read for anyone interested in birds and conservation.

Here’s my column on it, with input from Connecticut Audubon officials. 

Visit www.stateofthebirds.org for the full report.

Tricky fall migration

Photo by Chris Bosak A female Common Yellowthroat perches in a tree in West Norwalk late this summer.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A female Common Yellowthroat perches in a tree in West Norwalk late this summer.

Here’s the latest For the Birds column, which runs weekly in The Hour (Norwalk, CT) and The Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.)

I’ve mentioned before that the fall migration, for the most part, is less ballyhooed by the birding community.

There are many reasons for this. The spring migration is so eagerly anticipated because it follows winter (usually a harsh one in New England) and birders are itching to see signs of rejuvenation in the natural world. The early flowers do a good job of heightening our spirits, but there’s nothing like the birds’ returning to really get us out of the winter doldrums.

The spring migration is also marked with a wide variety of colorful birds, most notably the warblers and other songbirds that pass through in April and May. The males are in their bright breeding plumage and singing their hearts out. The females are not as brightly colored and not as vocal, but are still a sight for sore eyes in the spring. The birds have a real sense of urgency in the spring migration, too. They need to get to their breeding grounds to get a good nesting spot and get down to th Continue reading

A few extra meadow close-ups

Well, I promised a different meadow close-up photo every day from the latter part of July through the end of August. I delivered on that promise. The problem is, however, I still have a few meadow close-ups I wanted to share. So here you go, a few more photos to wrap up my meadow macro photography project. Click on “continue reading” for a few more.

Photo by Chris Bosak A dried up milkweed pod at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A dried up milkweed pod at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Continue reading

I’m trying to work on Labor Day, but it’s tough with these guys flying around

Photo by Chris Bosak An Osprey soars over the Norwalk River on Monday, Sept. 1, 2014.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An Osprey soars over the Norwalk River on Monday, Sept. 1, 2014.

So I’m sitting here at The Hour office along the Norwalk River trying to get Tuesday’s pages out, but every five minutes one of these guys flies across my view. Love this time of year for Osprey sightings. More on that here.

Drying up flower, the last meadow close-up

With summer coming to an end (sort of), here’s a fitting end to this collection of close-up photographs taken at a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust. The purpose of the photos was to draw attention to the beauty and importance of meadow habitat, which unfortunately continues to be destroyed for development. This leaves the plants and animals that depend on the meadow to seek other homes, or worse, perish. Ultimately some of these species will disappear if the destruction rate continues. Support your local Land Trust or other conservation group.

Photo by Chris Bosak Dried-up flower from a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Dried-up flower from a meadow property of the Darien Land Trust, summer 2013.

Here is the latest in a series of close-up (macro) photographs I took last summer while tromping through the meadow properties of the Darien Land Trust. From July 24 to Aug. 31, I’ll post a different close-up meadow photograph on this site.

Here’s more background on the project.