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

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

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

Things That Are Like Birds but Aren’t Birds – Part 3

Welcome back to another episode of TTALBbAB, the show where there are no birds and we’re all a little sad about it. You join us in the middle of our search for suitable birding substitutes to carry us through the long, hot summer and into the sweet oasis of fall migration. In Part 1 we…Continue readingThings That Are Like Birds but Aren’t Birds – Part 3

Things That Are Like Birds but Aren’t Birds – Part 2

Welcome back friends.  In Part 1 we looked at how wayward birders can survive the avian desolation of July by training their binoculars on some colourful insects known as “butterflies”.  Did you try it?  Was it good for you? Well maybe you’re the sort of person who’s too cool for butterflies.  Or maybe you’ve breezed…Continue readingThings That Are Like Birds but Aren’t Birds – Part 2

Things That Are Like Birds but Aren’t Birds – Part 1

If you – like me – live in the temperate part of the northern hemisphere, there may be no more boring month for birding than July. After an adrenaline-packed May fueled by spring migration and a pleasant June kicking off the breeding season, July hits like the midsummer heatwaves it brings, stopping everything dead in…Continue readingThings That Are Like Birds but Aren’t Birds – Part 1