Spring Warblers

Courtesy of the Galveston Ornithological Society Warblers are the gems of spring, almost every color one can imagine. Several ground-dwelling species are yellow, a few of the rare ones have dark hoods, several have black throats, the females are largely duller to nest sit, small groups like tail-bob water thrushes add diversity and interest while […]

Early Spring Migrants

Our spring migration roughly runs from mid March through mid May, with a very few birds outside those parameters. The general peak of the movement is around 20 April, which is why FeatherFest has the dates it has and the GOS builds around it. Most wintering birds like waterfowl and sparrows leave before that time, […]

Wintering Shorebirds

Birders fear groups like Empidonax flycatchers for difficulty of identification but I’ve discovered that for a variety of reasons, birders really crash on wintering plovers and especially small sandpipers. By far, the most important two field marks are the bill and legs (not unlike white egrets!). Each bill is surgically made to perfectly match the […]

South Florida Waterbirds

Florida has more kinds of aquatic habitat than any area equal-sized on the Planet. Aside from a never-ending salty shoreline, with estuaries, salt marsh and mangroves, there are freshwater habitats representing the full gamut of possibilities: All three of the river types, lakes with Karrst Plane Topography, ravines with steepheads and others I’m certain you […]

Birds Across Borders: Prothonotary Warblers

It can be sad to say farewell to fall migrants, their springtime return with bright breeding plumage and musical songs seeming ages away. While we might miss them here in the U.S., their presence is enjoyed by wildlife watchers on their wintering grounds in Central and South America. The Prothonotary Warbler is a small songbird […]

Species Spotlight: Brown-headed Nuthatch

Look high in the canopies of pine forests and you might see these smalls birds with chisel-like bills as they hop from trunk to tree branch. The tiny rubber-ducky squeaks of these vocal insect eaters are hard to miss when they gather in small flocks. Controlled burns can help create the standing dead trees where […]

Wintering Hummingbirds

Many people in the Florida panhandle enjoy Ruby-throated hummingbirds during summer and fall but are not aware a hummingbird might spend the winter in their yard. People take down their feeders during late fall because of the mistaken idea that feeders will entice hummingbirds to remain and then succumb to cold weather. When it is […]