End of winter birding quiz answer

At second look, maybe this one wasn’t so easy. The most popular answers — chickadee and titmouse — are indeed common backyard feeder birds, so they are good guesses. It also does look like a blue jay — the third-most common answer — as it’s hard to gauge how large the bird is in the photo.

Only 10 percent of participants got it right: white-breasted nuthatch. The giveaway is coloration (although it shares blue, black and white with blue jay), especially the rusty red feathers exposed as it flies. Of the options given, it is is only bird that features that rusty red.

The photo above was taken a few seconds before the one of the nuthatch flying off.

Take a look at the original photo again:

 

Thanks for playing along!

Advertisements

A flurry of winter bird photos before spring begins

Photo by Chris Bosak A red-bellied woodpecker grabs a peanut from a feeder, March 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A red-bellied woodpecker grabs a peanut from a feeder, March 2018.

Andrew, my 14-year-old going on 21, and I took a walk in the woods together this evening. These walks don’t happen as often as they used to or as much as I’d like, so I was more than happy when he said ‘yes,’ when I asked if he’d like to come along.

The trail behind my house is covered in snow, but it’s been walked on and packed down so it’s not much different than walking on dirt or on a sidewalk. But, as my walks with Andrew almost always go, we veered off the path to check out one thing or another. As we ventured away from the path, the snow at spots was still a foot or more deep. A foot or deeper on March 19, two days away from the official start of Continue reading

Preening away II

Here are a few more preening photos to go along with my last For the Birds column post. Click here in case you missed it.

Photo by Chris Bosak A yellow-crowned night heron preens in Norwalk, Conn., summer 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A yellow-crowned night heron preens in Norwalk, Conn., summer 2017.

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.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Piping Plover preens on the beach at Milford Point, Conn., in April 2014.

Great work by The Trustees on this magazine story

Story in Special Places, the magazine of The Trustees

Story in Special Places, the magazine of The Trustees

Kudos to the layout team at Special Places, the magazine of the The Trustees of Reservations, a Massachusetts conservation organization with many terrific lands under its care. I was asked to write a story on winter birdwatching, which of course I accepted. The editorial and layout team did a great job of packaging the story and making the story look great. (All of the photos are mine, too, except for the nice shot of the snowy owl, which was taken by Ryan Pennesi.)

I know this photo of the layout makes the story close to impossible to read (if not impossible). The text will be available soon at the website of The Trustees. Check out what this great organization has been up to at www.thetrustees.org.

 

A little late, but here are my 2017 top 10 birding highlights

As I do every year, I wrote my Top 10 Birding Highlights of the Year column a few weeks ago for the New England newspapers that run For the Birds. Thing is, I forgot to post it here. So, without further delay (I think three weeks is enough delay), here it is …

…..

Photo by Chris Bosak A Great Gray Owl perches in a tree overlooking a field in Newport, N.H., in March 2017.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Great Gray Owl perches in a tree overlooking a field in Newport, N.H., in March 2017.

I almost forgot to write my favorite column of the year: A look back at my year’s top birding highlights.

With Christmas and New Year’s falling on Mondays, I got a brief reprieve from my column, and last week I was eager to share the results of the local Christmas Bird Counts.

What should I write about for my next column, I thought one day last week? Oh yeah, I never did get to my 2017 top 10 birding moments, did I? Thankfully, I remembered just in time.

So, before it gets too far into 2018, here’s my highlight list from 2017.

10. Camping with my son and his friend. Between coaching baseball and other excuses, it had been a few years since I had taken my boys camping. This past summer, my older son, Andrew, got done with school a week before my younger son, Will, so I took the opportunity to visit my favorite spot in Pittsburg. Andrew brought a friend with him. and we swam, hiked, canoed and talked by the fire. They are also old enough now that I was able to leave them alone for a few hours while I went looking for birds.

9. The spring got off to a good start as a good number of eastern towhees showed up before the warbler rush. This April, as I eagerly awaited the return of the warblers, tanagers and buntings, a good number of towhees were reliable sightings Continue reading

Bird on a wire — this one a red-shouldered hawk

Photo by Chris Bosak  A red-shouldered hawk perches on a wire in Brookfield, Connecticut, Jan. 2018.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A red-shouldered hawk perches on a wire in Brookfield, Connecticut, Jan. 2018.

When I drove past this red-shouldered hawk near Brookfield (Conn.) High School, I doubted I would be able to find a place to safely pull off the road and snap a few photos. I had to try, however, so I pulled into parking lot a few dozen yards down the road and started to turn around. I noticed, however, that the parking lot afforded an even better view of the bird and just as close. I’ll take that luck any day. Notice the reddish chest and belly barring, as opposed to the more brownish markings of a broad-winged or red-tailed hawk.

More photos from Erie’s historic snow

Photo by Chris Bosak
Historic snowfall in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dec. 2017.

Of course I have to post more photos of the snow that Erie, Pennsylvania, experienced during Christmas week. Here’s the original post in case you missed it.

In fact, I’m going to post new photos every two hours this weekend. What else do we have to do when its this ridiculously cold out?

OK, this is the last one. The regularly scheduled bird photos will resume shortly.