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Speaking of Nature: Become a part of the background: Reasons why you can, and should, take up nature bathing
07-02-2024 1:20 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

Sometime back in the 1980s, in response to increased urbanization and technological development, the government of Japan decided that it was a good idea for people to turn off their electronics and get back to nature. Thus it was that the concept of...

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Speaking of Nature: Introducing the Alder Flycatcher: After 27 years of waiting, the bird finally allowed itself to be photographed
06-25-2024 2:21 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

This week I have the rare pleasure of introducing you to a new species for the first time. After 27 years of reporting on my observations, I have finally acquired a photograph that I think is worthy of such an introduction. I have been exploring the...


Speaking of Nature: The return of some familiar feathered faces: Tree swallows come home to the same fields they used the previous year
06-04-2024 1:38 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

One of the great joys of the spring is the year’s first appearance of the tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor). In my yard this event almost always occurs in the first week of April and this year was no exception. It was a close call, but the first...


Speaking of Nature: Wilson’s warbler sighting my first in a decade: The story of a bird named after the ‘Father Of American Ornithology’
05-21-2024 1:37 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

In 1794, a Scot named Alexander Wilson arrived in the newly-independent nation of the United States of America and got to the business of starting a new life for himself. He had been employed as a weaver back home and thought he could make a go of it...


Speaking of Nature: Capturing my Bermuda nemesis: The Great Kiskadee nearly evaded me, until I followed its song
05-07-2024 1:51 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

We’ve reached that point in the school year when it is actually painful (I mean physically painful) for me to leave my yard in the morning. May is the true month of the reawakening and blooming of Nature’s splendor and last week she was in full...


Speaking of Nature: Bird of my dreams, it’s you: Spotting a White-tailed Tropicbird on our cruise in Bermuda
04-30-2024 12:11 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

It was the morning of April 16 and I was up early. It seems to be impossible for me to sleep late at this time of year because I am so excited about seeing the first birds of the season, but this particular morning was a little different. It was the...


Earth Matters: From Big Sits to Birdathons: Birding competitions far and near
04-18-2024 1:46 PM

By JOSHUA ROSE

A few months ago, headlines flared that Peter Kaestner had seen his 10,000th bird species. This could have been anticlimactic, as Kaestner has been renowned for years among birders for traveling worldwide and seeing more species than anyone.However,...


Speaking of Nature: Molting for amore: Spring has arrived and male goldfinches are starting to molt into their nuptial plumage
04-09-2024 12:16 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

It just so happens that I am a creature of habit and I always write my column on a Thursday. On this particular morning I find myself luxuriating in an unexpected, but most welcome, deviation from my normal routine. A huge winter storm has arrived and...


Speaking of Nature: No power, no problem: The late-March storm that set a new record
04-02-2024 12:17 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

As seems to be the case more and more often, March went out with a bang. And, in agreement with my assessment of the year from last week’s column, it seems only fitting that we experienced our most major winter storm of the season in what was...


Speaking of Nature: Is this Grackle really common? Behold the bird’s colorful iridescence on a sunny day
03-26-2024 12:35 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

After a while, one learns what to expect with each month and each season. July is going to be hot and humid, October will be colorful and somewhat melancholy, January will be cold and sleepy, and then there is March. March is the month for which the...


Speaking of Nature: One lucky duck: Stumbling upon an entire flotilla of Common Mergansers
03-19-2024 1:23 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

It was a rainy Sunday morning at the beginning of March and I was suffering from cabin fever. It hasn’t been a particularly cold winter, but I had been cooped up nonetheless. Saturday had gone by without incident, like so many Saturday’s since the new...


Speaking of Nature: Bring the birds to you: A behind-the-scenes tip of nature photography
03-12-2024 10:23 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

Every week, rain or shine, winter or summer, I try to find something fun, interesting and positive to talk about in my column. This is actually an easy thing to do, but what can be somewhat problematic is finding a photo that will pair nicely with the...


Speaking of Nature: The bird that surprised me: Brown Creeper uncommon for most of year, expertly camoflauges among dead trees
03-05-2024 1:20 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

It was the end of a very long day, but, because of the increasing daylight that we have all been enjoying, it was still light out when I got home. I pulled up to the garage, but I had to get out to open the garage door because my door opener had died....


Speaking of Nature: From rare to regular: The Carolina Wren may soon become a regular backyard bird for all of us
02-27-2024 2:53 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2023 was the warmest year ever recorded. I remember it being hot in the summertime, but I think the effect of this heat was most noticed by me in the autumn. The Thinking Chair...


Speaking of Nature: A romantic evening for two birders — To hear the wonderful sounds of the Saw-whet Owl one must go outside at night
02-13-2024 11:06 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

It was a cold winter’s night and my beautiful wife Susan and I were watching movies. There was a fire crackling in the wood stove, we were enjoying good food and drink and we were both all snoodled up and comfy. It was everything you could have wanted...


Speaking of Nature: Where have all the birds gone?: They’re there, and here’s a handy tool to keep track of their appearances
02-06-2024 1:46 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

I receive emails from readers throughout the year and I do my best to respond to them in a timely manner. Sometimes messages pile up in my inbox and sometimes things get filed incorrectly, but I genuinely do try to respond to every one. This year (the...


Speaking of Nature: Drama at the feeders: The arrival of winter means the arrival of some foul-weather friends
01-24-2024 10:30 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

It appears as though winter has finally arrived. November and December (most of which is technically autumn) were very mild and all through the Christmas break the high temperatures were consistently above freezing. This resulted in little to no snow...


Earth Matters: Bird joy as resistance in a troubled world
02-03-2023 2:31 PM

By MEGHADEEPA MAITY

When I look at the news, I’m far more likely to see a Black victim of police brutality than to see a Black birder like Dexter Patterson (a.k.a. The Wisco Birder) singing and laughing in the woods. Today’s mainstream media have shown a necessary,...


Speaking of Nature: The grand deception of the northern mockingbird
01-24-2023 4:03 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

I have no idea how many photos exist in my personal collection, nor, I am afraid, will I ever know. I can say (definitively) that in the past 6 years I have taken exactly 104,308 photos, but that is where “exact” comes to a close. My records prior to...


Speaking of Nature: A tale of two sparrows
01-10-2023 3:54 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

For the past couple weeks I have found myself grumbling during my mornings at the kitchen window.For some reason my yard has become popular with a flock of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and I am not at all pleased. The house sparrow is an...


Speaking of Nature: 2023 resolutions: Pointing the lens at plants
01-03-2023 4:27 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

Welcome to 2023! Another calendar has been used, another red journal finished and safely tucked away on a shelf and newness has taken over. I place a brand new desk blotter calendar on my office desk, I unwrap a brand new red journal and begin to...

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