My New Book


Picking My Battles With Bird Photos

pigs eye outflow


As I do my competition for the Big Half Year, I know this issue is going to come up again and again. Which photos to count? Above is a very mediocre or what I would call a documentation photo that I got at Pig’s Eye Outflow in St Paul this week. There’s identifiable [...]

Big Half Year Birds

trumpeter swan juvenile


I got a trumpeter swan while going for some waterfowl in Hastings, MN for my Big Half Year challenge. This immature bird was by itself and not with a family group. I didn’t see any other trumpeters around.


It did some a bit closer when some people arrived to feed the [...]

Big Half Year Bird #12 Wood Duck!

wood duck

It’s taken me quite a bit of practice and today I took 1086 photos and kept 261 of them (less than a dozen of which will end up in the blog). I’m going to start including how many shots I took and deleted to give folks an idea of how many pictures I’ll take in [...]

Digiscoping with an iPhone vs SLR

buff bellied hummer

I digiscoped the following photos using both my Nikon D40 and my iPhone 4s with my Swarovski Scope. Can you tell which ones are the iPhone 4s and which ones are the Nikon D40 photos?

1. Green-winged Teal

2. Northern Pintail

3. Red-eared Slider and Gadwall

4. Red-eared Slider and Gadwall


Redhead Shenanigans

redhead flirting

This is a pair of redheads (a type of duck) seen during last weekend’s Horicon Marsh Bird Festival. Horicon Marsh is over 33,000 acres in size and at first glance it may appear to be managed for Canada geese and muskrats, but redheads are one of the main targets for optimizing habitat.

If you [...]

Birding By Bike

red-breasted mergansers

Birding got the better of me yesterday–you will note there is no podcast today.

I had my day all planned out, serious writing to do, if I got to certain point I would ride my bike for exercise, then tidy up the kitchen, mop the floor, make dinner, record the podcast and then bed. The [...]

Snow Storms During Migration & Goose Collars

banded geese

True to form, our great state of Minnesota received a dumping of snow yesterday. The nice thing about March snow storms is that they melt relatively quickly. Even the city gets slack about it, “Eight inches? No Snow Emergency or parking restrictions, it will melt, deal with it.”

But many people wonder about those early [...]

Gratuitous Grebes!

grebe adult

One thing I love about visiting southern states is that some of the birds I see in Minnesota are so much more camera friendly. Pied-billed grebes are shifty in Minnesota, they don’t trust anyone staring at them for too long or they submerge and resurface further away. While in Corpus Christi, my buddy Clay [...]