Yellow-headed Blackbird, Centennial Marsh, Camas Prairie, Idaho

Bird Break


WC needs a break from the various and sundry crises, and assumes readers do, too. So WC declares a bird break. These photos are from a recent trip to Camas Prairie. WC is genuinely baffled how Camas Prairie can support so many Horned Larks; there are clouds of them, and they’ve been around since there…

Brewer's Blackbird

Blackbird, Fly


Yes, we’ve looked at North American blackbirds before but spring migration is getting under way. And for WC, blackbirds are the very icon of spring migration. The Red-winged Blackbird is perhaps the most abundant and most commonly studied bird of North America. In Idaho’s limited wetlands, the males’ calls are almost deafening. Idaho shares this…

Common Goldeneye Drake

Let’s Do Ducks


In celebration of the University of Oregon’s – WC’s alma mater – success in the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Basketball Tournaments, let’s have a gander at some real ducks that are moving through in early spring migration. Common Goldeneye is a circumpolar, boreal diving duck, breeding in Alaska and Canada in North America. It’s closely related…

Hooded Merganser Drake, with his hood mostly raised

What Do You Mean by Hoodie?


When WC talks about “Hoodies,” he means Hooded Mergansers, the smallest but most spectacular of North America’s mergansers, a family of diving ducks. Did WC mention the hood? It’s usually carried like, this, lowered, as it were. But if he wants to impress a lady, or intimidate a rival, he can raise that hood, to…