Sunday, February 24, 2013
You just never know what creature, avian or otherwise, will show up in the Free State, (That's Maryland, for you out of towners).
Witness this beautiful, and rare for us, Trumpeter Swan, which for the past 10 days or so has graced Cash Lake at the National Wildlife Visitors Center.
We are lucky in this fairly small state to have a wide range of habitats - from the Appalachian Mountains in the west with their unique plants and birds (Ruffed Grouse! Northern Goshawk!) to our central farms to the unique coastal habitat, with its Loblolly pines, crustaceans and Brown-Headed Nuthatches.
We even have ocean, with sharks, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, other marine life and yes, of course, birds such as Atlantic Puffin, South Polar Skua and - seen for the first time last August - Herald Petrel.
Now, to catalogue all this, comes the amazing Maryland Biodiversity Project. 368 species of bees and 101 species of mammals (that includes us humans). Who knew???
Overall, the site has so far catalogued 9,476 species of living things in Maryland, with more than 2,600 phorographs .
The site, established last year, is run by ace Maryland birders and naturalists Bill Hubick and Jim Brighton. To make things even cooler, the two are doing a "Biodiversity Challenge" in 2013, trying to see 1,000 species if plants and animals. Wish them luck ... and follow their Facebook site as well!
Friday, February 22, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013
This is a special time for Lisa and Warren. We met 11 YEARS AGO tomorrow. Since then, we have been chasing each other - and birds, like this beautiful Ring-Necked Duck - like mad.
Here's some cool stuff to celebrate the day:
First, have you seen eBird's real-time checklist submission map? It shows when and where anyone in the world submits an eBird checklist. Amazing how much use eBird is now getting. 6,475 checklists today, alone, as of 1045am.
Second, DONT FORGET today is still part of the Greater Backyard Bird Count. Still time to go birding and put in those checklists!!!
Third, have you heard the incredible story of Wisdom the Laysan Albatross? She is not only the world's oldest-known living bird, but just produced a healthy chick at age 62!!! Mind-blowing.
Best of all, it is ALMOST SPRING! The days are getting long and an early Osprey just settled in near us at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary.