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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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bird behavior

Fast Food

When humans talk about making a breakfast, lunch, or dinner run, it's understood that we're speaking metaphorically. Truth be told, we'll probably drive, not jog, to a local café, convenience store, or Kroger. The same cannot be said about the... Continue Reading →

Vice Squad

I was just trying to help, I swear. In fact, the primary directive in wildlife rehabilitation is: First, do no harm. But the indignant male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) I had just lifted out of a shoebox clearly interpreted my... Continue Reading →

Virtuosity

Maybe Bobby McFerrin was a house wren (Troglodytes aedon) in a previous life. This thought popped into my mind when, after listening to On Being's Krista Tippett interview the singer, I went out for a walk with my canine companion.... Continue Reading →

Oddly Normal

I don't live far from the eclipse's Path of Totality, but I decided to stay put just the same. I didn't even order eclipse glasses. I know there will be plenty of great video to watch throughout the day, and... Continue Reading →

Multi-Tasker

I found a blue jay feather this morning while I was out walking my dog, Dash. That isn't remarkable — jays are a common species here, and because the color blue is relatively scarce in the natural environment (except for... Continue Reading →

Spotted!

Supermarket tabloids love just-like-us features so they pay paparazzi top dollar to catch somebodies acting like nobodies. Today I'm focused on the Towhees. They like to keep a low profile but I'm a pro and I know how to find... Continue Reading →

Baby Blues

Identifying songbirds by their calls is not my forte. Sure, I can distinguish most common backyard residents with distinctive voices, including mourning doves (Coo.... coo, coo), Carolina chickadees (Fee-bee-fee-bay or chickadee-dee-dee), American robins (Cheerily, cheer-up, cheer-up! Cheerily, cheer-up!!), red-winged blackbirds... Continue Reading →

Town Crier

My flight into Cape Town landed early last night, just before 9p. That was fine by me since, by that point, I'd been on the plane about 11.5 hours, and in transit from Blacksburg, Virginia for about 31 hours.  For... Continue Reading →

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