My New Book


Digiscoping with an iPhone 5s

SouthPadre Birds

Hey Minnesota and Wisconsin friends, my buddy Clay Taylor from Swarovski and I will be at the National Eagle Center on December 7, 2013 for the Optics Expo and if you have any questions about digiscoping or would like to learn more about using your smartphone with a spotting scope, this would be a great [...]

Rehydrating A Baby Snapping Turtle


We have had a bit of a dry season here in Minnesota. Some would even say we are in a moderate drought. On one of my bike rides in September, I noticed some freshly hatched snapping turtles on the Cedar Lake Trail–most of them were in various states of flatness from bikers running [...]

Common Tern Parenting

This is a video of some common terns that I digiscoped at South Beach in Massachusetts recently and there was some beach bird family drama.

It was too funny because the terns had young that were just out of the nest and old enough to fly–teenagers. They were in that stage of teaching the young [...]

PhoneSkope & Swarovski Objective Lenses

1 Robin Nest

Right before I left Europe I was faced with a packing choice I had not expected. The new Swarovski series of scopes have a choice of objective lenses. It’s a modular system and you can switch out your objective lenses. Due to the infamous bathtub video, I have all three on loan for a bit. [...]

Digiscoping with an iPhone Tip

red bellied woodpecker

Not too long ago, I was chatting with someone who had a company that made a camera app for iPhones. They told me how their app allows you to use your iPhone headphones as a remote shutter release. I said, “Well, the camera app that comes with your iPhone does that already.”

They looked at [...]

The Lonely & Quiet Of Winter


I have been surveying the same patch for on and off for the last three years in southern Minnesota. I really enjoy watching how the patch changes during the seasons: seeing when certain birds arrive, listening to all the birds on territory, noticing when certain birds leave and when winter birds arrive.

But every [...]

Random Northern Cardinal


Never get tired of cardinals.

Because I Love Bird Camouflage


I was recently at the Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival in Harlingen, TX. If you can’t tell by how often I talk about South Texas, it’s one of my favorite places to visit not only for the birds, but also for the great friends I’ve made at the festival. Next year is the 20th Anniversary [...]

iPhone Digiscoping Adapters

iPhone adaptors

All sorts of adapters for digiscoping using an iPhone and a spotting scope are cropping up. I can barely keep up with testing them. This post covers two different adapters that are very similar and work well with my Swarovski ATM scope.

From left to right we have the iTelligent iPhone adapter, Kowa iPhone [...]

Pine Siskins

pine siskins

Whoa, pine siskins are crowding out the goldfinches at our feeders (for newer birders, the pine siskins are the streakier finches in this photo).

Looks like Ron Pittaway’s Winter Finch Forecast wasn’t too far off. For pine siskins he wrote:

“Some siskins currently in the Northeast should move south this fall and winter because [...]