10000 Birds – Paddling Piney Z Lake

Four months ago, a full parking lot wouldn’t have caused my blood pressure to spike. Four months ago, I would have taken to the crowded pathway at Lafayette Heritage Trail Park like a horse to pasture, reveling in the outdoor exercise and rare time away from my new baby. Four months ago, I wouldn’t have…

10000 Birds – Birding with Baby

Over a month had gone by since the birth of my first child. When you don’t know anything about babies, the initial 30 days are a crash course in hormones and learning how to take care of a newborn – feeding, diapering, and so much more. I barely had time to shower, let alone take…

10000 Birds – New Birds, New Reasons to Be Late to Work

I recently moved to Tallahassee, a city known for its robust network of lakes and ponds. From natural formations to impoundments, reservoirs to golf-course carve-outs, there is a lot of water in Tallahassee. My new house sits adjacent to one such lake, which probably used to fill up naturally during rainy times but has been artificially impounded…

10,000 Birds – Wakulla Springs State Park

Moving means finding your new birding haunts. We all have them: our favorite places to take friends and family when they visit, the bird-friendly areas we pop in on when we have the chance, the landscapes that entrance us. Now that I live away from the beach, Wakulla Springs has become that place for me….

10000 Birds – Birds of Washington, DC

There are a lot of birds in Washington, DC. Oh sure, you can go to Rock Creek Park or the Tidal Basin to seek out living avian species, or visitors can head to the Smithsonian museums for a dose of past and present bird lore from all over the world. In early June, I took note of…

10000 Birds – The Amusing Case of the Gulf Breeze Canada Geese

Next door to my hometown, the Gulf Breeze Zoo occupies 50 acres near the Santa Rosa Sound. While I harbor mixed feelings about zoos in general, this facility seems to make the best effort possible to keep animals in interesting enclosures, move them to different areas of the zoo to maintain novel surroundings, and invest…

10000 Birds – The Skimmers have Returned to Navarre Bridge

A few miles from my home, a bridge rises gradually over the water of Santa Rosa Sound. Linking the mainland of the Florida Panhandle to the barrier island of Navarre Beach, half the bridge structure slopes to the water as sandy edges and sea wall. Between the grasses growing in tufts here and there, Black Skimmers and Least…

10000 Birds – Whistling Ducks of Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

I couldn’t believe it. On a sandbar in the center of the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, hundreds of ducks swirled around each other or lay down to take cover against the punishing wind. February had brought zipping breezes and cloudy skies to this part of coastal Texas, but the birds didn’t seem to mind. What…

10000 Birds – Birding or Birdwatching?

Sliding the glass door to my Florida backyard, I shuffled my slipper-clad feet and closed the opening behind me. The sun had broken through an early morning haze, warming my backyard to over 70 degrees F – a bright spot in what had been a generally gloomy February. Plopping myself down on a bright blue…

10000 Birds – Looking for Waterfowl in Gulf Islands National Seashore

After being “officially” closed during the government shutdown, Florida’s Gulf Islands National Seashore didn’t look too worse for wear when my husband and I visited over the weekend. Some sand had drifted over the road, and visitors were climbing the dunes (DON’T DO THAT), but otherwise both the beach and the shoreline along the sound…

10000 Birds – Maine’s Great Black Hawk, Rescued!

A few days before Christmas, I vibrated in the passenger seat of my mother’s car as she turned towards Deering Oaks Park in Portland. The Great Black Hawk – a species with a native range in Mexico to South America – had been spotted in this park for weeks, but not every day. Though I had arrived…

10000 Birds – Graduation Birds

Graduation ceremonies are quite long, and one weekend in December I attended my 5th such ceremony celebrating my husband’s bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. Graduation is a time to reflect, celebrate achievement, look towards the future… But there’s also a lot of empty wait time. So, on the morning of his  Gainesville commencement…