Boot Canyon Birding

After a sleepless night in both car and tent, with lightning crashing down around us, it was difficult rising Saturday morning for our 10-mile hike to find the only pair of Slate-Throated Redstarts in the country. So we dragged our heels to the Pinnacle trailhead near the Chisos Basin Visitor Center, missing the opportunity to…

Big Day in Big Bend

Despite temperatures that reached 103 and exhaustion from the travels of the day before, we persevered an cracked the Family Big Year goal of 250. We weren’t sure at first. Birds don’t tend to be out in the middle of the day in such extreme heat. However, these are desert birds. Just like humans, they…

Texas, Here We Come

About two weeks ago, the family decided we would divide and conquer. Jackson and I would travel to Texas after his middle school graduation and Maura and Fiona would journey to Wyoming later in the year. Though this felt strange to not be together for these possibly momentous trips, it did make sense economically. Plus,…

Magic Is Everywhere

It seemed like perfect timing: Cornell Lab and eBird’s Global Big Day and our family nearing the 200 mark. With the right weather, location, and timing it seemed like that big number could be met. First was location. After much research with our birding friend, we decided on two very different locations: Burrage Pond in…

A Wild Goose Chase

When we read on eBird that a Pink-Footed Goose was spotted in Ottawa, we knew that we had to go see it. We decided that we would leave on Saturday night after I went over to my friend’s house. I got picked up at 10:30 PM and we started driving north toward Montreal, the last…

Go For It?

Over three months and 162 birds ago, I dreamed of ending our Family Big Year in dramatic fashion: dashing to Colorado, or some other unpredictable location, to find the namesake of our blog, the Pink-Footed Goose. We would be hiking through a snowstorm, exhausted and near giving up, edging closer to the lip of ridge….

Along the Florida Birding Trail

We started off the day driving from Naples heading to the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park. But before we left, we saw a Eurasian-collared Dove on a wire outside our hotel. While driving along the highway, we saw a few egrets in marshes along the side of the road. We kept looking for new…

Common Gallinules on the Pipeline

Thursday, March 14 It was the fourth day of our trip to LA, MS, AL, and FL. We were on our way to Jackson, MS, and we had decided to stop by the Ross Barnett Reservoir. There had been recent spottings of Common Gallinules there and we wanted to check it out. A dirt road…

From Sea to Bayou

Despite the cold breeze that already existed before our airport ferry rushed into the open Boston Harbor, the four of us decided to brave the elements and sit out on the deck to get an early start on birding. It would be in stark contrast to the warm weather and semi-tropical travels we would soon…

The Island of Whistling Ducks

Tuesday, March 12 We started off following the song of a Blue Jay hoping that it was an exotic bird. It was a little frustrating, knowing we were looking for it for about 10 minutes. We felt that this was a sign that the Audubon Park, in New Orleans, was worthless for our birding big…