Earth Matters : Guides aside, birds are where you find them

By David Spector

As birdwatchers travel we keep track of birds we encounter, especially those new to us. And when we travel, we want information about finding such birds.

The Massachusetts birdwatcher visiting California wants to know when and where to experience snowy plovers, tufted puffins, western screech-owls, western bluebirds, western tanagers and other western birds; the California birdwatcher on an exchange visit to Massachusetts would want information about piping plovers, Atlantic puffins, eastern screech-owls, eastern bluebirds, scarlet tanagers and other northeastern species.

Published in Earth Matters on January 25, 2021.

Blog Sunday Birding with Scott : Enticing Non-seed Eaters

By Scott Surner

Today I’d like to touch upon some of the birds that are returning, but are not seed eaters. The birds I have in mind require or prefer a slightly different menu. In the next ten to fourteen days, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Gray Catbirds and Baltimore Orioles will be returning to our area from their wintering grounds. If you’ve never tried to entice one of these species into your yard, now maybe the time to give it a try.

Published in Blog, Sunday Birding with Scott on April 19, 2020.

Earth Matters : How birds and other organisms can tell us where we are

By David Spector

The ways birds use the sun, the stars, their own internal clocks, the Earth’s magnetic field, odors, and other cues to navigate are well documented. Birds can also help a human to know his or her location.

Published in Earth Matters on June 19, 2017.

Blog eNewsletter : Prowling for Owls

By Dan Ziomek

It’s 2 AM somewhere in Hadley. The thermometer reads a balmy fourteen degrees as two souls step from the warmth of their vehicle and enter the darkness of cloudless night. A few moments later the winnowing call of the eastern screech owl can be heard coming from the speaker one of them has set up. They proceed without speaking to their positions 50 yards on either side of the speaker and wait silently. What are they waiting for you ask?

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on February 22, 2016.

Blog eNewsletter : Youth Birding Excites and Inspires

By Dan Zoimek

When you are young, every bird you see is a life bird (one you’ve never seen before). Learning bird songs is like learning a foreign language, but hearing them repeatedly allows you to remember them for the rest of your life.

Published in Blog, eNewsletter on January 7, 2016.

Earth Matters : Ducking for the elusive, but fierce goose hawk

By David Spector

The wilds of western Massachusetts are not very dangerous. Many threats — mosquitoes and ticks, poison ivy and nettles — are relatively familiar to most people who walk the woods. Poisonous snakes are rare here, and an attack by a large mammal would be extremely unusual. There are birds, such as any member of the heron family, that I would be very careful about handling but that pose no threat in the wild. One local bird species, though, makes me nervous.

Published in Earth Matters on April 10, 2015.

Earth Matters : O, say can you see an eagle?

By David Spector

When I see a bald eagle, however, my own experiences resonate more deeply with me than all its history and symbolism. My memories of the bird go back to even before I first saw one. When I started recording bird sightings, this species was high on my wish list of birds to see, and, to increase my chances, I read about its shoreline habitat and distribution.

Published in Earth Matters on December 5, 2014.

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