Sense of Wonder: Molting … and eclipses?

Molting is the replacement of all or a substantial subset of a bird’s feathers. Birds generally molt once or twice a year; how often depends on the species. Some male birds molt into feathers called “eclipse plumage,” and [...]

2024-06-17T17:39:53-04:00June 17, 2024|

World Migratory Bird Day Interview

Despite a childhood that was far from “outdoorsy,” Susan Bonfield stumbled onto a life path with birds, all the way to World Migratory Bird Day. Bird Town Pennsylvania was privileged this past May to [...]

2024-06-17T13:14:17-04:00June 16, 2024|

Pollinating Insects

Flowering plants are living beings that need to reproduce, but they’re immobile. So, how do they reproduce? Plants have co-evolved with insects to obtain pollination services by rewarding them with nutritious nectar in exchange for the distribution of pollen to complete reproduction.

2024-06-08T14:14:29-04:00June 8, 2024|

The Bird at My Window

Spark Bird. Dappled morning light danced through the cottage curtains of my shared bedroom. Outside was a massive ficus tree framed by my neighbor’s huge hedge, with a break just large enough that I could peek through [...]

2024-05-28T15:01:28-04:00May 28, 2024|

Seeds for Birds

Native plants provide nectar, bugs, and fruit for birds. What else can they provide? Today’s column will focus on two great seed-producers! You can have beautiful garden flowers that also provide a fall and winter feast for birds [...]

2024-05-28T21:26:27-04:00May 28, 2024|

Important Bird Area? What’s that?

This article explores the history of IBAs and the program in Pennsylvania. Then it highlights 6 IBAs across the state with a feature of a key featured bird species that is protected at each location.

2024-04-22T16:29:35-04:00April 22, 2024|

Sense of Wonder: Night Flight

Something massive and extraordinary, perilous and strange, is happening, now. It's one of the great spectacles of nature, and until recently it was invisible to us. It's happening high in the sky—in the dark, while we're sleeping—the passage [...]

2024-04-19T11:19:21-04:00April 15, 2024|

Migrating Wonders, the rufa Red Knots

Springtime would not be complete without a trip to Cape May in hopes of spotting robin-sized and colored shorebirds called Red Knots, from the subspecies rufa, as they forage intensely for horseshoe crab eggs. They are gathering much-needed [...]

2024-04-15T15:04:54-04:00April 13, 2024|

Aerial Bird Food

Swallows, flying over a field, look like they’re performing amazing acrobatics in an empty sky! But they are actually feeding in a habitat filled with flying insects that aren’t visible to us.

2024-04-13T17:23:03-04:00April 13, 2024|
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