Tag Archives: birds

Fish Aren’t Biting? Let’s Kill Some Cormorants!

This week I’ve been sitting on the Navy Street jetty in Oakville, Ontario. I while away the ours watching the aerobatics of common terns and Caspian terns feeding at the mouth of Oakville Creek. I haven’t seen or heard a cormorant yet. Continue reading






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All Together Now: “Spill, Baby, Spill!”

This happens whenever I doze while listening to Morning Edition. I had this crazy dream. All those patriotic delegates at the Republican National Convention – the smiling mob who roared at Sarah Palin’s self-congratulation about pit bulls and lipstick – every one of them flew to Louisiana on their own dime. BP and the Chamber of Commerce didn’t pay a penny. And they were mucking around in the swamps with baggies and soda straws, prepared to siphon oil off sick birds. And Rudy Giuliani was cheering them on: “Spill, baby, spill.”






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Listening for The First Song of Spring

After 12 days of snow cover and subfreezing temperatures, I’ll take any sign I can get that spring will come. I heard it just before daybreak this morning in the song of a Carolina wren. It’s been around all year, of course, and I hear its call notes every day. But today it sang its strident territorial song for the first time this winter. It’s singing a week earlier than I expected.






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Posted in Playing by Ear | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

A Cacophony of Cranes Made Me a True Believer

Every December a  dark moment comes when I tell myself that I’m too old for cutting, splitting, and stacking firewood.  This moment arrives with the first ice storm of winter, when I need to work outside in marginal conditions with … Continue reading






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Teaching Whooping Cranes To Migrate

This Way Survival: An ultralight plane piloted by an Operation Migration team member guiding whooping cranes from Wisconsin to their winter nesting grounds in Florida. [Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux/NYT] Ever since childhood, Whooping cranes have animated for me a personal … Continue reading






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