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19 04, 2018

“Our” Fox Sparrow

By | 2018-04-19T21:10:07+00:00 April 19th, 2018|Baie-D'Urfé, birds, garden|0 Comments

Fox Sparrows are not the commonest of the sparrows around here. Normally they pass through the area in a 10-14 day burst in spring and then back again after breeding. They nest in the forests north of Montreal. Numbers reported are usually quite low ... they normally start to build up about now and then are through and gone by the start of May. Occasional birds are seen during winter if and where they [...]

11 04, 2018

Listing … but at the same time, not listing

By | 2018-04-11T15:13:27+00:00 April 11th, 2018|birding, birds|0 Comments

As I roar down the home straight to  achieving seventiness on the other side of summer, I have to make a dreadful admission. I'm a biologist. I'm a birder. I keep lists, because, well LISTS! That's what the above two groups do and anyway, I like lists. But somehow I am not quite so consumed by the ticks as I once was ... I will always keep lists because the good statisticians at eBird [...]

21 03, 2018

Two Books for Sharing

By | 2018-03-21T17:26:58+00:00 March 21st, 2018|biology, books, conservation, plants|0 Comments

Over the winter months I have read and enjoyed two stunning and very different books, one at the start of winter and one at the end, that each spoke to me and the way I view and interact with natural things. We all have sources that we enjoy and learn from, but these two are ones that I want to share and encourage all my friends to try to find and read too (it [...]

22 02, 2018

Parson Spider

By | 2018-02-22T10:49:30+00:00 February 22nd, 2018|spiders|0 Comments

A new member of the menagerie - coming into the kitchen last night and putting the light on scared the daylights out of a small but smart spider that ran at high speed for the nearest cover. That's a new one, I thought, and so I captured it (later released - don't worry). I believe - confidently - that this is the Parson Spider (Herpyllus ecclesiasticus)   - so named because the abdominal “stripe” on [...]

8 01, 2018

A birder’s lot is quite a happy one

By | 2018-01-08T12:05:27+00:00 January 8th, 2018|arboretum, birding, birds, MBO, snow, winter|0 Comments

With Apologies to Gilbert & Sullivan When a birder’s not engaged in his employment Or revising his life-listing special plans His capacity for innocent enjoyment Is just as great as any honest man's Our froze-toes we with difficulty smother When feeder filling duty’s to be done We take one consideration with another A birder’s lot is quite a happy one Featured Image (Click to enlarge)

1 01, 2018

First Birds of 2018

By | 2018-01-01T15:15:20+00:00 January 1st, 2018|birding, birds|0 Comments

Whether or not this is a good omen only the "Merchants of Woo" can tell me, but I was up and out at dawn this New Year's Day to photograph the sun rising over the St-Lawrence River in Baie-D'Urfe (temperature around -24C ... I suffer for my art and birds) when the first birds of the year appeared. Two American Crows flying directly out of the rising sun across the frozen river and calling [...]

24 12, 2017

Christmas Eve doing good …

By | 2017-12-31T14:50:07+00:00 December 24th, 2017|arboretum, birds, MBO, winter|0 Comments

Christmas Eve and our first shift of the winter filling the bird feeders at the banding station. A couple of friends and we two have divided the next three months up so that the feeders are replenished a couple of times a week at least between now and the end of March when, hopefully, spring will be in sight and regular banding/censusing can restart. Today was simply beautiful at -10C (so not too cold) [...]

26 11, 2017

Mesozoic Birds (with video)

By | 2017-11-26T15:16:24+00:00 November 26th, 2017|birds, palaeontology|0 Comments

Here's your thought for the day ... Tyrannosaurus rex had feathers and has been described as the "20,000-pound Roadrunner from Hell" . Last year at around this time I took a short online course (University of Alberta Palaeontology Department via Coursera) on the subject of how birds evolved from feathered dinosaurs. Of course, I had known about this for years but hadn’t got into the subject in any depth. Quite fascinating and a [...]

17 11, 2017

Leaf Blowers – Noise Pollution

By | 2017-11-18T13:40:47+00:00 November 17th, 2017|audio, conservation, garden|3 Comments

This in environmental post so appropriate for the Greenbirding website I think. This morning at 7:30 we were less than pleased to hear the penetrating noise of leaf blowers from a neighbours yard being wielded by their garden contractors. We thought they would be finished soon. We breakfasted, did some chores, went out for an hour and it is now 12:45pm and the blowers are still blasting away. Five hours plus! Is this reasonable? [...]