A few more hints to the birding quiz

Photo by Chris Bosak

Here are a few more hints for the birding quiz I posted yesterday. I received some great guesses yesterday and some were very close and on the right track (think immature bird). See there’s one hint already.

Another hint: I recently took a quick camping trip to Pittsburg, N.H., up at the northern tip of the state, a few miles from Canada. That’s where I saw the bird.

Also, remember the size of the bird — about the size of a robin, it not a bit bigger. (The adults are indeed bigger than robins, but not greatly so.)

Thanks again for playing along. Answer coming later today.

Bobolinks — again at last

Photo by Chris Bosak A male bobolink perches in a small tree and overlooks the fields at Happy Landings in Brookfield, CT.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A male bobolink perches in a small tree and overlooks the fields at Happy Landings in Brookfield, CT.

It’s been a while since I’ve taken some decent Bobolink photos. That is partly because Bobolinks, like many birds and especially birds that need large fields or meadows to nest, are in decline. It’s also because I hadn’t visited any of those habitats recently.

But Happy Landings in Brookfield, thankfully. offers acres of field habitat and Bobolinks and other birds love it. So does this birdwatcher.

More on Bobolinks coming up.

Cedar waxwing on the hunt

Photo by Chris Bosak  A cedar waxwing eats an insect on a branch in Brookfield, Conn., spring 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A cedar waxwing eats an insect on a branch in Brookfield, Conn., spring 2017.

Most photos of cedar waxwings eating are of the handsome birds chowing down on berries of some sort or another. I got this guy (or girl) eating a white insect. As long as they are eating, it’s all good, I guess.

Not bad for an iPhone photo

I walked out the front door and this black swallowtail was nice enough to land on the rhododendron right in front of me. The rhododendron, by the way, is awesome in bloom for about three weeks each late spring. Only better when a nice butterfly stops to check it out. I didn’t have my “real” camera with me so I did the best I could with my iPhone.

Stunned eastern wood-pewee survives

I found this guy on my porch as I was walking into the house this afternoon. He must have bumped into the bedroom window, and became stunned. I was happy to see that its neck looked OK. A broken neck from a window strike is fatal to birds.

Often, they are only stunned and need to collect their wits before they fly off and return to their day. I picked up the bird to keep it warm and calm. I was going to put it in a box and place it away from lurking predators. However, after a few seconds, I felt the bird try to flap its wings in my hand. I loosen my grip and the bird flew to a nearby branch. It immediately let out its trademark song, a high-pitched “pee-wee.”

It was an eastern wood-pewee and we will hear that song in the woods all summer.

Connecticut duck stamp winners announces

On occasion I’ll run a bird-related press release on this site. It’s been a while since I ran one, but I love ducks and the Connecticut duck stamp winners were announced. As usual, the artwork is terrific, so I figured why not post them here.

Enjoy … and buy duck stamps — either from your state or the federal stamp. All proceeds go to conservation efforts.

Here it is from Connecticut DEEP:

In a contest filled with great artwork, a panel of judges recently selected world renowned and Connecticut artist Chet Reneson’s depiction of a pair of surf scoters flying at the mouth of the Connecticut River with the Saybrook Jetty and Lighthouse in the background as the winner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Continue reading

New way to make your own bird art: Paint by Sticker

You’ve heard of color by number and paint by number, now the latest thing is Paint by Sticker. There is a birding option for Paint by Sticker from Workman Publishing and I received the book a few weeks ago. I admit I was a bit skeptical at first, but I really am enjoying the book. It is fun to see the work come together into a neat finished project.

As the name suggests, you have a white outline of a picture with numbers and shapes on it. in the back of the book are correlating stickers to be placed in the shapes.

Here are a couple photos to illustrate the new trend. (Don’t laugh, it was my first attempt.) There are 12 photos to do, including blue jay, spoonbill, waxwing and oriole. Below the photos are some thoughts from the publicity department at Workman.

From Workman:

“Nearly a year old, with over 450,000 copies in print, the Paint by Sticker series has surpassed coloring books with its simplistic approach to mindfulness in which “paintings” are pieced together one sticker at a time. These activity books have allowed adults to re-create the Mona Lisa and kids to re-create some of their favorite zoo animals.


“Paint by Sticker: Birds is a true celebration of the birds that provide beauty, soundtrack, and vibrancy to our lives. The piecing together of these posters ultimately reveals some of the most stunning birds, from the mandarin duck to the roseate spoonbill. This book fuels creation, while transporting participants into a meditative state.”

For more information, see http://www.workman.com

For the Birds column: What is that bird trillling?

Photo by Chris Bosak A Pine Warbler sits on a deck railing in New England this fall.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Pine Warbler sits on a deck railing in New England this fall.

Here is the latest For the Birds column, which runs weekly in several New England newspapers.

The birds are moving through, that’s for sure.

Mornings in New England are now filled with the songs of so many birds it’s hard to separate the voices. Throw in a mockingbird imitating the songs of several birds, and the confusion ratchets up a level.

A tufted titmouse (peter, peter, peter) broke the morning silence one morning this week for me; a robin (cheery up, cheery oh, cheery up) the next morning. I love mornings filled with birdsong.

Have you heard a bird trilling recently? A long series of quick, high-pitched notes often rings out throughout New England during the spring. But what is that triller?

Continue reading