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…

Sparrows Are Hard


More than once, WC and Mrs. WC – the real birder in the household – have stared at a Little Brown Job, the birder slang for a nondescript sparrow, with one or more field guides in hand, and ended up completely stumped on the identification. Sparrows are hard. To illustrate WC’s pont – and possibly…

Hawk Launch


Hawk diversity was a little thin on WC’s recent trip to southeast Arizona. But there were a lot of Red-tailed Hawks. Here’s a three second sequence of a Red-tailed launching after prey. The three photos represent 1.9 seconds of elapsed time. This hawk is a big bird, but he gets under way very quickly. It…