Canadian Woodcock Farewell

Hello faithful followers and casual readers! It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? I am long overdue in posting here that CanadianWoodcock.com is on the way out, and I have shifted my blogging efforts to a new platform. You can now find me blogging on Seagull Is Not a Dirty Word at seagullblog.com. The tone and…Continue readingCanadian Woodcock Farewell

In Defence of Feeding the Wildlife

As a serial apartment-dweller, I long for birdfeeders. I grew up with kitchen windows framing feeders flush with birds, but small, urban rental units rarely provide this opportunity. I brim with envy of friends and family with backyard birdfeeder bonanzas. So when I moved last month to a main-floor rental with a treed yard beside…Continue readingIn Defence of Feeding the Wildlife

The Morepork (and Four Other Ridiculous Birds Named After Sounds)

Recently, while leading a birdwatching tour, I casually mentioned to my tour group that I was a fan of birds with one-word names. We had reached a point in the tour where we were becoming familiar and comfortable with one another (and we’d been talking about Dovekie for some reason), so I thought nothing of…Continue readingThe Morepork (and Four Other Ridiculous Birds Named After Sounds)

Of Mothing and Privilege

How many blog posts, over the years, have I started with the phrase “it’s been a while”? Too many to count, probably. I’ve just come to accept it as an inherent feature of any writing project of mine. Maybe I have trouble staying focused on a given task or maybe – for significant periods of…Continue readingOf Mothing and Privilege

Powerful Woodpecker, and the Other Best Bird Names in the World

I recently saw an Instagram post about the Powerful Woodpecker and – as happens every time I hear that spectacular name – a little tingle went down my spine. If you love a good bird name like I do, you simply must agree that this one really has it all. It’s simple, truthful, and evocative.…Continue readingPowerful Woodpecker, and the Other Best Bird Names in the World

Of White Geese and Expert Birders

A warning. This is my longest, and probably most fatuous post to date. For ease of digestion I have broken it into three short chapters. Still kinda long. You have been warned. Chapter 1 – The Problem with Experts I’ve always admired people who are singular of focus…those who have a defining passion which they…Continue readingOf White Geese and Expert Birders

A Stubborn Survivor – the Dovekie

I’ve been on a bit of a rant recently. First I ranted about how people behave around owls, then about people who don’t like seeing dead birds (or something to that effect). I’ve got more rants pre-loaded into the chute, too. There’s a never-ending supply, if we’re honest. But as much as everyone loves a…Continue readingA Stubborn Survivor – the Dovekie

Getting Uncomfortable: Leaning in When Things Feel Icky

I’ve been thinking a lot about comfort recently. Not about simply having it, per se, but about how the pursuit of comfort – or perhaps the avoidance of discomfort – informs the ways people speak and act. I think one could easily argue that comfort is among the largest influences on human behaviour, full stop.…Continue readingGetting Uncomfortable: Leaning in When Things Feel Icky

Birders Behaving Badly: Celebrity Owl Edition

There’s something about owls that makes people absolutely lose their minds. I’m not kidding, and I’m not exaggerating. In my day-job I have the great fortune to work with – and teach people about – these enigmatic birds, and I’ve seen it time and time again. Owls bring different things out of different people, from…Continue readingBirders Behaving Badly: Celebrity Owl Edition

Why is that White Bird White?

I’m not sure where you are in the world as you read this, but in my home province of Ontario the scenery has changed drastically in the last 24 hours. Our first snowfall of the season was a banger, with nearly a foot of the stuff accumulating over the course of a day. I am…Continue readingWhy is that White Bird White?

Thumb-birding: a Birder Identifies Bird Emojis

Birding is like a drug. Maybe you try it once with a friend, and you’re unconvinced. It’s confusing, you don’t really understand what’s happening, and in the end you just don’t really get the appeal. But then a week later you’re at a party and somebody’s like “hey, wanna do birding?” and you’re all “I…Continue readingThumb-birding: a Birder Identifies Bird Emojis

The Scourge of the Birding Facebook Group: Cormorants

If there was an award for the most-reviled bird here in my home province of Ontario, Canada – or maybe throughout the Great Lakes region – choosing a winner would be an easy task. Perhaps the Canada Goose springs forward in your mind. These loud, abrasive, gregarious birds are hated by many for their aggressive…Continue readingThe Scourge of the Birding Facebook Group: Cormorants