Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nature's Domain

Earlier this year, Larry and Ray Hennessy launched their new nature photography blog. Their goal was to create an informative blog about nature and wildlife photography, and they've been quite successful. The site creates a community of naturalists and photographers that can share their ideas and their passion by displaying their work. Check out the site at Nature's Domain.

My first post on the site is a brief trip report of my recent trip to Panama's Canopy Tower. It was my first foray into the world of eco-tourism and birding outside of the northeast, and I had an absolute blast. Please check out the post and all of the incredible wildlife I was able to capture. It can be found here. Thanks, everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Bird Count

If you're not familiar with CBCs, they are all day bird counts in a given area. That could be a town (East Brunswick), a county (Sussex), or any other location you can think up (the Raritan River Estuary). The events this year run from December 14th until January 5th, and you can still get in on many that invite the public or decide to have your own just for fun!

Long-Eared Owl seen in Morris County (c) 2008

The Christmas Bird Count is a great way to get outdoors during the winter season and have a good time. It's also a great way to serve as a citizen scientists; the data gathered during these events may help conservation organizations to determine the health and status of many groups of birds.

Visit Audubon's Christmas Bird Count site for more information! Bundle up and get out there!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

There are a few sounds still which never fail to affect me. The notes of the wood thrush and the sound of a vibrating chord, these affect me as many sounds once did often, and as almost all should. The strains of the aeolian harp and of the wood thrush are the truest and loftiest preachers that I know now left on earth. I know of no missionaries to us heathen comparable to them. They, as it were, life us up in spite of ourselves. They intoxicate, they charm us.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 31 December 1853

Photo by Eddie Callway of (c) 2008

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ivory Gull continues in Cape May

Ivory Gulls breed in the high Arctic and even spend winters far north of NJ, usually on pack ice in the Bering Sea or off the coast of northeastern Canada. Last winter it was a real treat to have an Ivory Gull as far south as Massachusetts. Last week another individual showed up even further south - right here in New Jersey! The bird has been hanging out at a marina in Cape May, feasting on fish that have washed ashore. On a few occasions the gull appeared to be heading off for good, but so far has returned every day for more easy meals.

Photo by jomilo75 (c) 2007

The above photo is a mature Ivory Gull in its usual habitat. The immature bird in Cape May is mostly white, but has some black spotting on its wings and back. As of December 7th, it was still being seen at Bree-Zee-Lee Marina.

I won't be able to spare the time needed to get down there until December if anyone can speak gull, try and convince this young fella to stick around.