Friday, March 23, 2018

Pip meets Dr. Daniel Klem

Pip meets Dan Klem!

Dan Klem is one of the real heroes in ornithology. Way back in the 1970s he was the first one to research how dangerous glass is for birds, and through the decades was the John the Baptist of bird conservation, a voice crying in the wilderness. He painstakingly built the scientific case about this one issue that takes out on the order of a BILLION birds every year. Pip was thrilled to meet him!! 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pippy Longspur

Pippy Longspur

For the past 10 days or so, people have been reporting Smith's Longspur here and there in my area. I've only seen this species once, in Arkansas in 2006, and badly wanted to see one for my Minnesota list. So last weekend Russ and I went to Two Harbors in search of one, but without luck. Another turned up this week at the old Stella Jones Pier in west Duluth. I missed it there on Wednesday, but yesterday, Russ and I headed there during his lunch break. Of course, Pip the birding dog came along.

I had a tricky time finding the one little buffy outlier among a few large flocks of Lapland Longspurs. I got two excellent but quick looks before it flew each time. The first time it flew just as I was grabbing my camera; the second time I kept it in view through my binoculars in flight and got a great look at but no photos of the wider amount of white edging the tail compared to the other birds—Smith's Longspur has two white outer tail feathers while the Lapland Longspur has only one.

Lapland Longspur
Lapland Longspur
I'm sure Pip has been with me at least once before when I've seen Lapland Longspurs, but I've somehow neglected to add that fairly common species to her life list until yesterday. So her new total is now up to 270! She seemed happy when I told her that, in the same way that she's happy when I tell her the Cubs won, or say, "Look, Pip! It's stopped raining!" or "Look, Pip! It's raining!"

Monday, May 15, 2017

Unexpected Lifer!


Pip was along to see the first EVER Lewis's Woodpecker reported in Bayfield County, Wisconsin!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


I haven't been doing a good job of posting Pip's new birds, but today she saw her first White-winged Scoters. I don't know about her, but I'm pleased as punch!

White-winged Scoter

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Pip gets a lifer and a World Series win!

Pip loves her Cubbies! 

 At 12:47 am EDT on November 3, 2016, (it was still before midnight on November 2 here in Duluth), the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. Pip had watched all seven games with me. She and I are usually in bed before 11, but I was so elated that I couldn't tear myself from the television, watching the celebration, for over an hour. When I could finally turn the television off and settle down for bed, I took Pip outside first. And in our backyard, what should we hear but a Boreal Owl—Pip's lifer! My education owl Archimedes was calling back and forth with it, too. What more proof did we need that Nature itself approved of our beloved Cubbies finally taking it all?

  Boreal Owl