Category Archives: Birds

Double Tea Time for Towhees

My hearing is not as good as it was ten or twenty years ago, mainly for high notes.  That’s one reason I was pleased to hear an Eastern Towhee singing today when I walked down to get the newspapers.  It took me a moment to identify the song.  One problem with losing the high notes […]

Also posted in Conservation, Michigan (including Kalamazoo) | Comments closed

Quote 1, Aldo Leopold and the Odyssey of Evolution

Every once in a while someone puts a thought so well that other people ought to know about it.  As I come across such a wise saying, or wise crack, I’ll put it in a post like this, for a while at least. Here’s the first one. We know now what was unknown to all […]

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Early Spring at Mildred Harris Audubon Sanctuary, Kalamazoo

In Oshtemo Township, it’s 64 degrees and sunny this afternoon and the wood frogs in the pond close to the road were clacking loudly.  This morning though, a few miles away at Harris Sanctuary, it was high 30s at the beginning and high 40s at the end. I spent the early part of the morning […]

Also posted in Conservation, Land Trusts (& other private land conservation), Michigan (including Kalamazoo), Plants and Plant Communities | Comments closed

Stewardship Work Days at Aububon’s Harris Preserve Sat 9 April AM and Tues 12 April early PM

Saturday 9 April 2011 is the first Harris Sanctuary (Audubon Society of Kalamazoo) stewardship day, or to be blunt, first work day.  Hours are 9-11 AM. The second work day is Tuesday, April 12, hours 5:30-7:30 PM. Anyone who has an interest in the sanctuary and its management is invited to join in the effort […]

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The Ott Preserve and Attacks on Perpetuity

Preserved natural areas are vulnerable.  I don’t mean they’re delicate.  It’s true that some will need a particular kind of management, such as prescribed fire, and some may not tolerate a lot of human traffic, but good-sized natural areas–a few hundred acres–are often fairly robust.  They’re vulnerable not because they’re fragile, but because there are […]

Also posted in Conservation, Land Trusts (& other private land conservation), Michigan (including Kalamazoo), Plants and Plant Communities | Comments closed

New Attack on the Harvey N. Ott Preserve, Battle Creek, MI

The Ott Preserve at the east edge of Battle Creek was the subject of an attack several years ago.  The 260 acres had been preserved early in the 20th century through joint efforts of local naturalists and John Harvey Kellogg.  In 1977, Calhoun County bought the preserve using money from the federal Land and Water […]

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Christmas Bird Counts, Murphysboro to Kalamazoo

Whatever else Christmas may mean to a birder, it definitely means the Audubon Christmas bird count. The National Audubon Society sponsors a continent-wide set of local counts to be taken some time around Christmas, specifically on a single day between December 14 and January 5.   Local groups of birders count birds in circular areas 15 […]

Also posted in Michigan (including Kalamazoo), Southern Illinois Ecology | Comments closed

Our Little House in an Unpredictable Habitat

When I taught ecology to biology majors and minors I would occasionally include a question on the final exam something like this:  Describe two ways in which the study of ecology could save your life. I was happy to accept answers at any level of the environment from “If I don’t build my house in […]

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Rare Bird in Oshtemo

I became a birder the summer of my freshman year in high school, a bird-watcher a few years later, and an ornithologist a few years after that. I’d have to find my life list to tell you just when I made my last entry, but I think it was sometime toward the end of my […]

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Getting Maps Right for the Color-blind Naturalist

The January 2010 issue of The Auk published my review of the Atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario, 2001-2005.  It’s a fine book. It may be a little heavy for some readers–it weighs more than seven pounds. The next (April) issue of The Auk published a Letter to the Editor that made reference to the […]

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