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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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birds

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 →

Lonesome Doves

It's a fine world, though rich in hardships at times. ~ Larry McMurtry There's a sweetness in the lament of a mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) that makes the sorrow bearable, and believable. Theirs isn't an pop tune about a hookup... 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 →

British Invasion

It seems to happen once each century. In 1775 the Redcoats showed up in Boston, the Beatles made a big splash about 200 years later in 1964, and in the sweet-spot in-between the House Sparrows (Passer domestics) arrived. . It’s difficult... Continue Reading →

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