Birding in the National Parks

Birding In The National Parks: Are You Planning Your Park Birding Trips For The Year?

Much of the northern half of the country is locked into winter now, which makes it a perfect time to plan your birding trips for the rest of the year.

Birding In The National Parks: How Do Birds Fare During A Polar Vortex?

Thanks to what was described as a “drunken” meander of the jet stream last week, much of North America experienced some the coldest weather seen in many years. At Voyageurs National Park, the temperature dipped to -42°F the morning of January 3rd , followed by daily highs of -17°F and -19°F on the 5th and 6th. That’s deadly cold to an improperly prepared human. It’s not all that fun even for cold-adapted mammals like moose.

Birding In The National Parks: Looking Back On 2013

New Year’s Eve seems as good a time as any to reflect on 2013. It’s been a big year for me, with birding explorations around the country, including the first trips of my life to Saguaro National Park and Chiricahua National Monument.

Christmas Bird Count Coming To Death Valley National Park On Saturday

Christmas is past, but counting birds is not. At Death Valley National Park, the annual Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for this coming Saturday.

Birding In The National Parks: What Are 'Important Bird Areas'?

As reported here Sunday, the National Audubon Society designated areas around Canyonlands National Park a Globally Important Bird Area (IBA). Parts of more than 15 other national parks are included in the Global IBA system.

Birding In The National Parks: Snowy Owl Invasion, Round Two

It’s happening again! No, not another government shutdown. That’s next month. What we have here is another invasion of Snowy Owls.

Birding In The National Parks: Christmas Bird Counts Around The Corner

The weather outside might be frightful, but in the parks, the birding’s delightful. With Thanksgiving still on the horizon, we shouldn’t be talking about Christmas yet, but the Christmas Bird Count spirit has overwhelmed me!

Birding In The National Parks: Twitching

Are you a "twitcher" or a "chaser" when it comes to birding in the national parks?

Birding In The National Parks: Chasing Boobies And Other Out-Of-Place Birds

“I’ll chase that bird with you if the furlough is still going on.”

Birding In The National Parks: Yes, Birding Is Suffering From The National Parks' Closure

Though the loss of birding opportunities due to the closure of national parks pales to the economic hardships dealt by the closure, the timing of the government shutdown -- during the fall migration -- will lead to a loss in data.

Birding In The National Parks: A New Peterson Reference Guide To Seawatching: Eastern Waterbirds In Flight

From time to time I start to get the idea that I’m becoming a pretty good birder. When that happens, all it takes is a quick trip to the fall lakewatch at Whitefish Point here in Michigan to set me straight.

Birding In The National Parks: This Fall In The National Park System

Spring migration may be the grand pageant of color for birders across North America, but the flip side in autumn is not to be overlooked by birders hoping to catch some rare sightings or just hone their birding skills. Spring is a frenzied rush to breeding grounds. Food, sex, and territory are all that’s on the minds of our feathered friends in May. In the fall, it’s all about heading south for a relaxing winter with the new kids.

Birding In The National Parks: Telling The Birds From The Cacti At Saguaro National Park

One of the complaints about birding in summer in many parts of the country is the plethora of leaves hiding the birds. Just when you think you’re about to get a good look, the sparrow dives into a bush or behind a leafy branch, never to be seen again. I figured that meant desert birding would be easy. Cacti don’t have leaves.

Birding In The National Parks: What Bird 'Sparked' Your Interest In Birding?

This week marks a bittersweet fifth anniversary of the last time I visited Yellowstone National Park. I’d love to have gone back by now, but life has conspired to keep me out of the northern Rockies.

Birding In The National Parks: A Conversation With American Birding Association President Jeffrey Gordon

A conversation with American Birding Association President Jeffrey Gordon.

Birding In The National Parks: Interesting Numbers From Acadia Birding Festival

The numbers are in from the 15th annual Acadia Birding Festival, and two of them are very impressive: 151 and 200,000.

Glacier National Park Has A 17-Year-Old Harlequin Duck!

There are young Harlequin ducks, middle-aged Harlequin ducks, old Harlequin ducks, and then the real old Harlequin duck that calls Glacier National Park home.

Birding In The National Parks: Is There A Lack Of Diversity In Birders?

When spring migration ends, the biggest birding lull of the year sets in. It’s a good time to sit back, recover from your migration birding binge, and reflect on some things. One of the things I’ve noticed this week is that I’m white.

Birding In The National Parks: Chasing Warblers And Other Birds

It's that time of year. Yep, the warblers are descending on national lakeshores for nesting.

Birding In The National Parks: Petrels And Cats Don't Mix At Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Feral and outdoor cats are notorious for being efficient hunters, as shown by the well-known “kitty cam” study in Georgia. Now, the latest bad news about feral cats is from Hawai’i, home of some of the most endangered birds on the planet.

Birding In The National Parks: Looking For The Regulars At Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sometimes, if you look around, you can find some pretty good birding in your own backyard.

Birding In The National Parks: Birding In Saguaro National Park In Summer

It’s no secret that we birders tend to do things a little differently than “normal” travelers. Valentine’s Day weekend at the sewage treatment plant? Getting up at 4 a.m. every morning of your vacation? Perfectly acceptable behavior for the seasoned birder. But Saguaro National Park in August???

Birding In The National Parks: Acadia Birding Festival

Most of the United States has now passed the coldest (by average) depth of winter, so it seems appropriate to take a look at places to book some spring birding adventures in the national parks. One spot always comes to minds when I think of late spring, birds, and national parks -- Acadia National Park

Everglades National Park's Wading Birds Nesting Success Falls Far Off Average

South Florida, including Everglades National Park, has seen a precipitous decline in nesting success among wading birds, according to a report by the South Florida Water Management District.

Birding In The National Parks: In The Wake Of The Christmas Bird Count

Did anyone partake in a Christmas Bird Count in or around our national parks? Preliminary reports from the field indicate some robust species counts.

Nesting Birds Prompt Seasonal Closure Of Paurotis Pond At Everglades National Park

Hundreds of endangered Wood Storks are settling down for the nesting season at Paurotis Pond in Everglades National Park, and that means the pond and the surrounding area have been temporarily closed to visitors.

Birding In The National Parks: Will We Soon Lose The Island Scrub-Jay?

That rare bird you spotted on your last trip to Channel Islands National Park may be a good bit rarer than you thought. The Island Scrub-jay (Aphelocome insularis) is now estimated to be one-fifth of what had been previously believed, according to a study by the Smithsonian Institution’s Migratory Bird Center.

A Year Of Birding In The National Parks

Kirby Adams ranged far afield in the national parks looking for birds in 2012, relating his experiences that took him all the way north, and a bit east, to Newfound in Canada. Let's take a look back at those columns.

Birding In The National Parks: Counting Birds This Christmas Season

As the National Park Service approaches its centennial, one of birding’s grand traditions is turning 113 years old this winter. Yes, it’s Christmas Bird Count time, and things are a little different this year.

Birding In The National Parks: A Second Look At Newfoundland's National Parks And Birding

It’s time to head north once again to wrap up our discussion of birding the national parks on the island of Newfoundland. Gros Morne is certainly the most famous of Newfoundland’s parks and a gem of the entire Parks Canada system, but the other corners of the island have parks with their own unique birding opportunities.
Syndicate content