My Bird Blog can be found at 10,000 Birds,
where I cover the wild bird rehabilitation beat.

Hog Island:  The Art of Bird Camp

I have been working in the avian world for 25 years, but last summer I was out-birded by a 14-year-old girl.

Actually, I was bested by an entire group of teenagers, all gathered – along with 36 adults – on Hog Island, Audubon's famous camp off the coast of Maine. Each year Hog Island offers programs, taught by a stellar staff of naturalists and artists, to groups of all kinds (teenagers, adults, families). I was there for Arts and Birding, a five-day adult course in photography, videography, sketching, painting, writing, or any combination thereof … plus lots of birding.

Wildlife Rehabilitators vs. Bird Thieves

I don't mean people who steal birds. I mean birds who steal, sometimes from people.

It's a sad fact of life: sometimes birds take things that don't belong to them.

Raptors mug each other mid-air. Bowerbirds steal each other's nest decorations. Stellar's Jays take acorns from Clark's Nutcrackers. Gulls grab french fries from tourists, and occasionally descend into shoplifting. Crows, who are probably the most larcenous birds on earth, make off with anything they can get their beaks on.

Shutting Your Trap

This is the kind of insanity that goes on with leghold traps.

A few years ago my friend Astrid called me on the phone. She had taken her border collie for a walk in the woods in the local 1200-acre state park, and her dog had stepped on a leghold trap.

Crows, Contest Killing, and Communication

What we've got here is a failure to communicate.

After scrolling through piles of furious emails regarding my recent blog about Rip Van Winkle's Crow Killing Contest, it seemed to me that all of us needed Dr. Phil. Accusations were leveled, assumptions were made, direct questions went unanswered, and there was no monitor to call the room to order.

Rehabber Slang Part 2, etc.

There is no excuse for putting a banner photo like this on a renowned birding site. It's just that when summer is over and most wildlife rehabilitators are fried, this is the kind of thing that will make most of us fall to our knees, choking with laughter, tears spurting from our eyes. It's sad but true: by September, we're far beyond the reach of subtle humor.

Rats, Raptors, and Reckitt Benckiser

Mice/rats in your house or business? Call the pest control company.

A company representative will come to your door and tell you the poisons they use are "safe." Alert: they're lying.

"But they're not allowed to lie," said a man who told me he had found a dead hawk on his land. When queried, he admitted he had recently hired a local company to get rid of the mice in his house. He seemed baffled.

Back editions may be found at my original site,
The Crooked Wing.

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