Yellow Warbler, Creamer's Refuge, Fairbanks

They Are Not “Wild Canaries”


When WC was a young pup, even more ignorant than now, he’d see these bright, yellow birds flitting around in the willow and alder thickets. When WC asked someone, possibly his scoutmaster, what they were, he was told they were “wild canaries.” They’re not, of course. They are Yellow Warblers. WC mentions this because he…

Evening Grosbeak, Payette Lake, Idaho

The Same, But Different


WC spent the Memorial Day weekend in Central Idaho, on Payette Lake. At a little over 5,000 feet – an altitude that in Alaska supports only rock, ice and lichen – it presents a Ponderosa Pine forest, with trees up to five feet in diameter. True, the forest is damaged by over-cutting, wildfires and Pine Beetles,…

Bath Time for a Hot Date


You can be pretty certain you’re not disturbing a bird when it is unworried enough to bathe where it fills the frame of your camera. This male Wilson’s Phalarope – remember among Phalaropes the male is the drab one – took a long, unhurried and very thorough bath about ten feet from WC. Centennial Marsh,…

Western Tanager Male, Boise, Idaho

Yardbirds: May 2017


WC has had some fun birds in the backyard this month. And even was able to photograph a few. The photos are all taken through windows, and as a result aren’t really very good. But they are adequate to document what’s been around.       In more than 20 years of birding in Alaska,…