2022 The Year in Birds

January 1st, 2023

2022 was a slower year than 2021. I still haven’t left the country since Covid, but I did make four trips to New Orleans and two to Arizona, so there were a few life birds to add. I finished the year with 365 species total and 19 life birds as well as a Brooklyn first Townsend’s Warbler.
Read the rest of this entry »

2021 My Year in Birds

January 1st, 2022

2021 was a low but not super low year thanks to quarantine. I did make two trips to New Orleans and one to Arizona. Plus there were some really good and one spectacular bird in Brooklyn this year. Also worth noting that I set a new personal best for a Brooklyn year with 216 species. I finished the year with 311 species total and 18-19 life birds including a spectacular surprise of Gray-breasted Martin on my home patch at Prospect Park.

Read the rest of this entry »

2020 The Year in Birds

January 1st, 2021

This was a super low year thanks to quarantine. I finished the year with 197 species, less than I’ve seen probably since I started counting. I never left New York City and rarely left Brooklyn. I didn’t even get to Jamaica Bay. Nonetheless I did get one life bird in 2020, a King Eider that was hanging out at the Brooklyn Army Terminal pier in December.

Besides the Eider, I added five birds to my Kings County list including:

  • A Western Tanager that spent a week or so in Greenwood Cemetery.
  • A Short-eared Owl flying around the Fountain Ave. Landfill on the Christmas Bird Count
  • Cliff Swallows that nested at Canarsie Beach Park under the Belt Parkway
  • A Harlequin Duck at Sheepshead Bay early in the year

What Incumbent Advantage?

December 13th, 2020

It’s almost a truism that the incumbent has an advantage in U.S. elections. In many cases that’s true. Congressional incumbents very rarely lose, for instance. But in modern presidential elections? I don’t see it.
Read the rest of this entry »

2019 The Year in Birds

January 1st, 2020

eBird tells me I saw a reasonable 346 species last year. There are probably a few here and there I didn’t report. 165 of those were in Kings County. That’s not awful given that I didn’t take any international trips or birding tours last year. Thanks to a Shearwater pelagic out of Monterey, I added 4 life birds to my list:

  • Black-footed Albatross Shearwater Journeys_09/15/2019_Leg 5/6 US-CA 15 Sep 2019
  • Sabine’s Gull Shearwater Journeys_09/15/2019_Leg 3/6 US-CA 15 Sep 2019
  • Red Phalarope Shearwater Journeys_09/15/2019_Leg 1/6 US-CA 15 Sep 2019
  • Ashy Storm-Petrel Monterey Bay pelagic–inshore Monterey Harbor to Pt. Pinos (MTY Co.)
  • Black-throated Magpie-Jay Kit Carson Park US-CA 23 Aug 2019

That’s actually five species, but the Black-throated Magpie-Jay isn’t officially countable in the U.S. since it likely either is or descends from escaped pets and does not have an established population. Still a gorgeous bird though.

Read the rest of this entry »

Watchmen Post Episode 6 Hooded Justice

November 26th, 2019

Episode 6. Wow. Hooded Justice is the character I’ve wanted for decades and never, ever seen. Superman may have fought the klan, and Captain America fought the Nazis; but no superhero I can think of has ever taken on real, non-cartoon evil in their own society quite so directly. Indeed that’s the fundamental flaw of all the godlike beings like Superman, Captain Marvel, and Green Lantern. For all their power, they never turn it toward building a better world. The Joker is a psychopathic serial killer, but he doesn’t have a body count anywhere near a run-of-the-mill U.S. president.
Read the rest of this entry »

Currently Reading