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Next-Door Nature

tales from a wild metropolis

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migration behavior

Broken Record

Arrrggghhh!  I can NOT get that song out of my head!!  I don't know where I heard it, maybe the grocery store's Music to Inspire Endcap Impulse Purchases station. It's familiar but definitely not a favorite. I have eclectic musical... Continue Reading →

Border Battles

Last Sunday morning I unexpectedly found myself sitting ringside for a brief but furious brawl. Two male red-bellied woodpeckers (Melanerpes carolinus) were having a boundary dispute that started with an argument over some shrubbery then escalated into a full-on aerial... Continue Reading →

Tangled Up in Blue

Happiness is a shy little bird. Hiding from sight in life’s nooks and crannies, impossible to find if you look but then it darts out and lands on your shoulder just when you least expect it. It sidles up beside... Continue Reading →

Blinded by the Light

I've never been much for following trends and this week was no exception. I'm writing from an altitude of 10,000+ feet and, as I fly west-to-east across North America on my way home from a conference in Fort Collins, Colorado,... Continue Reading →

Wobbling Waxwings

I recently came across a report that cedar waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) have returned to Texas. Every time I hear someone mention this species I'm reminded of  my days as director of a wildlife center in Houston. For a few weeks... Continue Reading →

Snow Birds

Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Most years, snowy owls (Bubo scandiacus*) are homebodies, satisfied to stay put in the sweeping, flat, treeless tundra, even as calendar pages flip past the holidays and into a new tax season.... Continue Reading →

The Urge for Going… or Maybe Not

See the geese in chevron flight, a-flapping and a-racing on before the snow They've got the urge for going, and they've got the wings to go. ~ Joni Mitchell, The Urge for Going Vaguely aware of dusk approaching, I was... Continue Reading →

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