Category Archives: Birding the Americas

Canyon Birding by Train

We didn’t intentionally plan this, but scheduling vagaries put us on three train trips to three canyons over three weeks in March.  A triple header spring fling.  Two of the trips were part of Road Scholar’s ‘Scenic Railroads of Arizona’, … Continue reading

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Penguins: White Tie and Tails

Having just returned from the far southern reaches of South America, it seems appropriate to write about the most popular bird from that part of the world, the penguin.  Unafraid of humans (they have no land predators), flightless and shuffling … Continue reading

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When Your Best Friend is a Sapsucker

One of the few bird groups with a name sillier than woodpecker is the sapsucker.  To make matters worse, the poor sapsuckers are actually part of the woodpecker family, Picidae.  In North America, there are 22 species of birds in … Continue reading

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The Twelve Days (and Six Birds) of Christmas

In spite of my obsession with birds, my true love never gave me a partridge in a pear tree, let alone any of the five other birds mentioned in ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, a carol published in England 214 … Continue reading

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Thanksgiving and a Tale of Two Turkeys

When November rolls around, thoughts turn to Thanksgiving, being thankful and, inevitably, turkeys.  Whether turkeys think about our holiday has yet to be proven, and except for the annually-pardoned White House bird, domestic turkeys have no reason to be grateful.  … Continue reading

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Smallest North American Bird, the Calliope Hummingbird

Many of us might guess (correctly) that the California Condor is North America’s largest wild bird, but few of us know that our smallest bird is the Calliope Hummingbird. California Condors are pretty hard to ignore.  Once nearly extinct, and … Continue reading

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Using eBird for a Checklist of Birds in Your Yard

  If you’re like me, you keep track of birds you’ve seen in or from your yard.  Some people write bird sightings on their calendar, some check off birds in a field guide and some keep a formal list in … Continue reading

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