Book Review - A Pocket Guide to Birds of Galápagos - Princeton University Press
Travels With Birds
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2d ago
      When I think of these legendary islands my mind turns to the luminaries associated with them. Uppermost in my thoughts is a young divinity student named Charles Darwin whose visit changed the course of history. David Lack was surely one of the most important ornithologists of the twentieth century and he was greatly influenced by his discoveries there. And how could one not marvel at the incredible work done by Peter and Rosemary Grant? Graciously, the Grants have provided the foreword to the book.      The fourth name that leaps into my consciousness ..read more
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Eastern Chipmunk - Grande Allée - The Grand River - The Backyard
Travels With Birds
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6d ago
 Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)      This is the third (and last) of the squirrels that live in our area.      Eastern Chipmunk is a great favourite with everyone, especially children, who seem drawn to this little rodent with its pin-striped charm. The fact that it will feed from your hand almost without hesitation does nothing to diminish its appeal.      Its small size and relatively low weight mean that it can evade most devices designed to restrict squirrel access to bird feeders, and it dines with impunity.    ..read more
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COP 27 - American Red Squirrel - Snow - Birds
Travels With Birds
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1w ago
 ".....the signs tell us that the dying birds are the canaries in the coal mine; there's poison in the air, and we'll be next." Graeme Gibson COP 27 Climate Conference, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt General tenor of  discussions - Blah, blah, blah. Deal reached on emissions reduction? - No. (The inclusion of the powerful lobby of the fossil fuel industry was akin to having invited bank robbers into the vault). Promises made - many. Will they be kept? - very unlikely. The clock continues to tick and we now have eight billion people to place demands on the earth's resources.  We are do ..read more
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At Home and Columbia Lake
Travels With Birds
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2w ago
 08 November, 2022 At home, Waterloo, ON      An appropriately named Fall Cankerworm Moth (Alsophila pometaria) was resting on our garage door when I arrived home from a shopping expedition. Miriam quickly grabbed her camera to take a picture. 10 November, 2022 Columbia Lake, Waterloo, ON      On a tranquil November afternoon, with the temperature nudging an amazing 20 degrees, we decided to spend an hour or two at Columbia Lake.      Many Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) had similarly decided it was a good idea.     &nb ..read more
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Visit to Bannister Lake and F.W.R. Dickson Wildnerness Area
Travels With Birds
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2w ago
08 November, 2022 Bannister Lake Conservation Conservation Area, Ayr, ON      Bannister Lake is known as a feeding/staging area for Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis), but there was neither the sound nor sight of a crane anywhere on the morning we visited.      Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) were present in good numbers, but other than that, there was not much at all. Several waves of geese came in, always a stirring spectacle.      There is still a distinct element of wildness about it when their honking penetrates the air and they ma ..read more
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If You Lived Here the Mill Race Trail Would be One of Your Favourites too......
Travels With Birds
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3w ago
"At its heightened moments, birdwatching can encourage a state of being close to rapture. It is an ecstasy that is said to accompany the writing of poetry, sometimes it comes when we are listening to music." Graeme Gibson  06 November, 2022 At home, Waterloo, ON      Many species visit our feeders, grab a seed and fly off with it. Not so when a Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) comes to town! It stays there, gobbles down a copious quantity and then leaves with as much as it can carry.      Now that's efficiency!      November temperatures ar ..read more
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Still staying local.....
Travels With Birds
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3w ago
27 October, 2022 Quest to find Sandy Hills Regional Forest      Someone had mentioned to us recently that we should check out Sandy Hills Regional Forest as a place to go birding. We had heard of the reserve and knew its general location, but not its specific position.      Following a Mennonite's horse and buggy probably wouldn't take us there, but it was heading in the right direction!      When we did find it, it was very agreeable, and certainly a new opportunity to explore nature.      Not having the time that day, we ..read more
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Wanderings through the Region
Travels With Birds
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1M ago
"Bird watching is not merely bird watching. Bird watching brightens our lives. Let us do what we can to share it with our friends. Let us give them the sight of life in action and help them appreciate the joy of life." Lam Chiu Ying 23 October, 2022 The Linear Trail, Cambridge, ON      Twenty-three degrees in not normal at the end of October, but we took advantage of a warm, sunny day to explore parts of the Linear Trail.      Conditions were as near to perfect as one might imagine.      Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata) seems to have ha ..read more
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Glimpses of Nature in Waterloo Region, Ontario
Travels With Birds
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1M ago
 31 August, 2022 Columbia Lake, Waterloo, ON      The heat and lack of rain of late has caused wildlife to seek shade, plants to wilt and trees to shed leaves in order to conserve water. Nature-watching has become a challenge, and not without a level of discomfort as the temperature routinely exceeds thirty degrees.      A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) displayed the stoicism we have come to expect from it, as it searched for food, knowing that its patience and hunting skills would be rewarded sooner or later.     This area would normally be ..read more
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Book Review - In the Footsteps of Audubon - Princeton University Press
Travels With Birds
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1M ago
      This is a wonderful book, covering the quest of one French artist to retrace the steps of another; let us not forget that John James Audubon was born Jean-Jacques Rabin and only later anglicized his forenames.      At times, throughout the narrative, one has the impression that Clavreul undertakes his pursuit of Audubon with a spirit approaching messianic zeal. David Sibley, no mean artist himself, sets the scene for us in a foreword distinctly superior to many, "If Denis's paintings are analagous to poems, Audubon's are like short stories."  &nb ..read more
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