2016

To close out the year, we spent about a week of the Fall migration in Cape May, New Jersey mainly to watch the raptor flight and then went to Panama in December with Bill and Dottie to bird the Canopy Tower and Canopy Camp resorts. The weather cooperated at both locales and our guides in Panama were great, so we saw a bunch of nice birds.

Canopy Family, Panama-December 2016

Canopy Family, Panama-December 2016



It's been a while since I updated and fixed the broken links in my gallery of bird images, but I've done a little work on Charadriiformes and Passeriformes. Meager as the contents of Charadriiformes is, at least there shouldn't be any broken links there. Passeriformes is a whole 'nother issue. I've tried to "stub" it out, so that I can easily add more content in the future, but that might also result in some broken links. I apologize ahead of time. While I've added several images to Charadriiformes, much of the work in Passeriformes, especially, Parulidae was to get the taxonomic classification in line with Clements 2014. I know, the checklist is now up to its tenth installment, but I think I'll never be current.

  • November 14, 2016 - Black Hawk, Common: gallery created
  • November 14, 2016 - Hawk, Sharp-shinned: gallery created
  • November 14, 2016 - Hawk, Gray: gallery created
  • November 14, 2016 - Penguin, Galapagos: gallery created
  • November 14, 2016 - Sunbittern: gallery created


  • In March we went flew into Tucson, Arizona to participate in a Raptours hawkwatching tour, led by Bill Clark and Sergio Seipke. The main target was Common Blackhawk and it was a terrific success. There is a location a few miles south of Tucson in Tubac where a hawkwatch has been established at Ron Morriss County Park. This area turns out to be along the Spring migration filght-line for Common Blackhawk and Zone-tailed Hawk, another of our target birds. We had a great time birding with old friends - Bill Clark, Ned Harris and Paul Napier, and meeting new ones - Sergio Seipke, and Brits - Russ Peacey and Jon Watson. Go here to see a small subset of the birds we saw.

    2014

    We spent our Christmas 2014 holiday in Costa Rica with Field Guides at the Rancho Naturalista and it was wonderful. The hummingbird feeders off the lodge's deck provided a spectacular non-stop show with dozens of hummingbirds constantly buzzing about and trying to dominate each other. Arm-length views of feeding and perched hummers were the norm. You can see a slideshow of the birds we saw during our tour of Costa Rica here.

    The fruit feeders that the lodge's staff maintain and the flowers and shrubs around the lawn were excellent for watching the birds staging to feeders and baths. Several paths on the grounds of the lodge provided looks at lots of new and exciting birds for us and the hikes were easy and leisurely. One of my favorite places on the grounds were the hummingbird pools a very short hike from the lodge. Several pools are formed in the bed of a stream that comes down out of the mountains and forms a deep ravine. Rancho Naturalista has built an observation deck on one side of the ravine about 25-30 feet above the stream overlooking these pools. It was a very entertaining and unique experience to watch hummingbirds and other species of birds visit and bathe in these pools. Go to Images to see a couple of short videos of birds bathing at the hummingbird pools. Best of all, the weather was great the whole time we were in Costa Rica. The accomodations and hospitality at Rancho Naturalista were fabulous and they out-did themselves by throwing a wonderful Christmas dinner party. You can see a slideshow of some of the birds we saw here: Rancho Naturalista, Costa Rica

    In April 2014 we birded the Hawaiian islands, in particular, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. We spent 10 days with a group looking for the endemics and then Suzanne and I stayed behind for a few more days to take a couple of helicopter sight-seeing tours. For someone who hasn't done much international birding, Hawaii has a lot of different and unusual birds, even if they're not native to the islands. On the other hand, the endemics are quite rare, difficult to see and, unfortunately, some are gravely endangered. With a bit of effort we were able to see some of the special endemics, however, getting presentable images of many was quite difficult, so you'll have to be satisfied with what I've been able to put together above. I've got "documetation" images of a couple of other endemics, but they're not worth presenting here. In Hawaii around 1930 an aviculture club noticed the abscence of birds and bird song, so they decided to try establishing birds from their home lands. This is how many of today's more common birds became established around the islands. See some pictures of our trip here: Birding the Hawaiian Islands

    2012

    During the Christmas-New Year holidays of 2012-13 we flew in to Corpus Christi, Texas and spent a couple days in and around Corpus Christi, Padre Island, Mustang Island and Rockport before driving to south Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. There we birded a few of the local hot spots and hooked up with dear old friends Bill Supulski, Dotty Linoleum (Lamolinara!) and Bill Clark. Bill and Dottie were as gracious of hosts as you could asked for and put us up (put up with us?) for two nights. I learned my raptor trapping and banding skills from Bill Clark back in Cape May, New Jersey about 20 years ago and accompanied him on several of his Raptours hawk-watching trips. I hadn't seen him since he relocated to Harlingen a few years back. He was kind enough to let us join him and his posse as they trapped and banded raptors (White-tailed, Red-tailed and Swainson's Hawks) at at recently harvested sugar cane field. In no particular order, we visited: JFK Causeway, Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, Hazel Bazemore County Park, Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond, National Butterfly Center, Frontera Audubon Society Weslaco Thicket, Estero Llano Grande State Park, Santa Anna National Wildlife Refuge, Anzalduas Park, Harlingen Thickets Park and South Padre Island Convention Center. Here are some highlights: Birding the Rio Grande Valley

    Suzanne and Tony with a White-tailed Hawk.

    At the beginning of March 2012 we went to Panorama Ski Resort in British Columbia, Canada to go out with RK Heliski for three days of backcountry heliskiing. You can go here to see a brief video of what it's like heliskiing in the Purcell Mountains.

    2011

    On Thanksgiving day 2011 we flew into Albuequerque, New Mexico and drove the short distance south to Socorro where we stayed for the following week or so while visiting Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The weather during our stay was unseasonably mild - typically in the 20s or 30s at sunrise, but rising into the 40s or 50s during the day. We only had rain on the morning of our first day at the refuge, not including the winter storm that arrived the day after we left Socorro, which shut down the refuge for several days. The main attraction at Bosque del Apache is the wintering Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese and other waterfowl and raptors. There are quite a few mammals present, including Coyote, Bobcat, Collared Peccary/Javelina, Mule Deer and Elk, some of which are easier to see than others, but we lucked out and stumbled into a few. The birds were great, but getting good looks at birds other than cranes, waterfowl and raptors takes a wee bit more work. Above I've presented the highlights of our visits. Here's a slideshow of the highlights of that trip.

    A friend's recent retirement from the U. S. Forest Service and relocation to south Texas had him fondly reminiscing about how he got into volunteering with a local songbird banding project managed by Suzanne and his favorite recollections. You can read his story here. It's amusing and enlightening at the same time.









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