What about darkness?

Posted March 26th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

I found an article from Canada pointing out the fact that a 22-mile section of power lines being erected by Minnesota Power will include a $500,000 "bird diverter," to keep whooping cranes from running into it. This, of course, is the wind power folks. Here’s my favorite part: North Dakota Public Service Commission Chairman Kevin [...]

Old King Coal

Posted March 26th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

See the photos and video here (National Geographic)  It’s fairly old news by now but I figured I’d put it out there anyway in case you hadn’t seen it… Seems a National Geographic videographer captured images (and even a short video, above) of an all-black king penguin while on a visit to South Georgia island (for you Shackleton [...]

Birding, Hollywood-style

Posted March 26th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Many moons ago I penned (or do we say keyboarded in this computer age?) a column about a certain book I had read called, The Big Year, A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession by Mark Obmascik. It was a pretty good read with all the mania, competition, and human foibles which accompany this whacky birding hobby [...]

Light play

Posted March 24th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comments (2).

I mentioned in the previous post how light can have a profound effect on how we perceive bird colors (and everything else in the visual spectrum for that matter). I found another example among the photos I took in Arizona a couple weeks ago. The gorgets (draping head and throat feathers of male hummingbirds) of hummingbirds are made [...]

Another gotcha

Posted March 24th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

When it comes to identifying birds, many obstacles–both real and perceived–often stand in the way. Light quantity and quality can skew colors and size perception. Brush or other hindrances can throw off a confident birder. Frequently a bird will show abnormal coloring such as soot (from roosting in a warm exhaust area), fruit (from eating berries), [...]

On the wishlist

Posted March 24th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

I have seen 339 bird species within the boundaries of the state of North Dakota. To add any more the challenge becomes that much more difficult. But many are possible. One potential candidate sits high on my wishlist-barn owl. Most sightings within the state are quickie one-day events. And I can’t recall any happening east [...]

Winter sustenance the easy way

Posted March 19th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Call it a case of human meddling, unintended consequences, the inevitable result of man’s presence in the modern world, or the unceasing adaptability of nature. But whatever label we attach, it happens continually all around us. Some critters not only survive but thrive in and around our presence, others suffer and retreat. It’s the unending [...]

Avifauna envy

Posted March 18th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Yeah, we all suffer from it. There’s a bird not found where you live. You see pictures of it and hear reports from others seeing it, but you feel lacking. You wish you could see it, hear it, maybe photograph it. You say to yourself, ‘if only I could see this particular bird…’ The funny thing [...]

Details, details

Posted March 17th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

‘Guilty.’ That’s my plea when accused of making hasty bird identifications. I suppose it comes with experience, skill level, maybe age. But know this: it leads to complacency and threatens to undermine your skills. A friend of mine is very good at pointing out minute details when studying a bird through binoculars, details I quite often overlook. Every time this occurs [...]

Raptors, hands-on

Posted March 17th, 2010 by kcorliss. Comment (0).

Yet another opportunity came to my attention recently regarding the extending of one’s experience with raptors–again in an academic setting. This time it’s U-of-Wisconsin-Stevens Point. The photos from their website are cool: (But then they probably wouldn’t include shots of folks having a bad time…) Anyway, the cost of the course is $425. What’s the [...]