The Birders’ Trail

The Big Catch

The Big Catch

Great Blue Heron eating Northern Pike. Photo © Lelund Shaum. The morning was beautiful as Mr. Heron made his merry way to the swamp called “Shining Waters.” He was hoping to satisfy his growling...

Full-fledged Pest Controllers

Full-fledged Pest Controllers

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Photo © Kevin Shank. One sunny late spring morning Mr. Gray, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, hopped cheerfully about in the lush green bushes and trees on Oasis Ranch. His sunshiny...

Summertime Search

Summertime Search

One warm summer day, my cousin and I had a contest to see who could find the most kinds of birds, animals, trees, plants, or leaves. We met at the trail that led into the woods. Our backpacks were...

Books, Brothers, and Birds

Books, Brothers, and Birds

Yellow Warbler. Photo © Darren Shank. It was not a good day for birds, I decided. The trees swayed in a brisk spring breeze, and gray clouds scurried overhead. The birds were probably hunkered down....

Our Birding Circle

Our Birding Circle

As I went about my morning work on November 17, the lovely day beckoned me outdoors. Why not do the Nature Friend bird circle project today? The thought niggled at the back of my mind. Why not? So...

Eagle Encounter

Eagle Encounter

Bald Eagle approaching nest. Photo © Kevin Shank. On May 24, a beautiful Sunday afternoon, my dad, my brothers, and I headed off on an excursion. After hearing about a Bald Eagle nest about fifteen...

Shivering for Birds

Shivering for Birds

Sharp-shinned Hawk, © Joseph WhetstoneHairy Woodpecker, © Joseph WhetstoneBald Eagle, © Janet Whetstone “Oh! Look at those Cedar Waxwings!” Joseph exclaimed. Less than ten minutes into our bird...

The Tiny Bird With a Big Voice!

The Tiny Bird With a Big Voice!

Who would’ve thought a House Wren could have such a big mouth? Certainly not me. Surely such a tiny bird couldn’t eke out more than a squeak or two, maybe a quiet warble. I was mistaken…hugely....

Wildflower Adventures

Wildflower Adventures

The morning was pleasantly breezy. As I snatched a wildflower guide plus pen and paper, I could feel that I was in for an adventure or two. This would be my first wildflower hunt, and I was somewhat...

What Is So Rare as a Morning in June?

What Is So Rare as a Morning in June?

Early one bright blue morning, I drove deep into a gap of Shade Mountain to a two-acre clearing maintained for wildlife. White puffy clouds floated along, pushed by the breeze. It was the last week...

Spring Adventures

Spring Adventures

Birds were singing that beautiful morning, and there were hardly any clouds. I was walking up the pasture lane from where I had been birding. Dad came walking down the lane. “I was back in the other...

The Heron’s Lunch

The Heron’s Lunch

“No way! Nooo waaay!” Mom suddenly exclaimed. As I followed her gaze, I was completely astounded. We were speechless at the epic sight before us. Great Blue Heron. Photo © Susan McArthur...

Our First Christmas Bird Count

Our First Christmas Bird Count

Red-winged Blackbirds. Photo © Rusty Dodson/Dreamstime.com. On Friday, our good friend Nathan came to our place and asked if we would be interested in helping him with the Christmas Bird Count. “Of...

Late Winter Waterfowl

Late Winter Waterfowl

Our annual late winter waterfowl chase was scheduled for February 20. We usually travel to Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area in Lebanon and Lancaster Counties, Pennsylvania. We hope to hit the...