My most memorable hawk-viewing experience was from my childhood, while picnicing on a hill behind my house in Newton, Massachusetts. It was 1975 during spring migration, and an immature Golden Eagle soared high overhead, gliding towards the north. Bald Eagles are a possibility in Eastern Massachusetts, but Golden Eagle was totally unexpected. One or two occasionally winter in New England, but at the time, Golden Eagle was not at all on my radar screen - and spotting one migrating north over metropolitan Boston is a once in a lifetime experience, and apparently a memorable one for a 10-yr-old.
My biggest challenge is when I am birding away from my home state in unfamiliar territory. I've been birding long enough that I am not familiar with almost all the common bird songs at home. But when I am in new territory I have to spend several days becoming acquainted with the songs of the birds there. Then it is so easy to assume that you are seeing one of the familiar birds from back home -- but often the species are different in a place which is new to me. Ken Ostermiller firstname.lastname@example.org
May's book giveaway is Kenn Kaufman's new Field Guide to Advanced Birding! I have yet to see this wonderful book, but I have the older edition and it is great. So you wanna win this book? Leave a comment here on my blog in answer to this question:
What was your most difficult field ID challenge?
Comments MUST be posted here on this blog, by Wednesday, May 11, at 6:00 PM Mountain time. If you must sign in as anonymous - I MUST have your name or a way to contact you.
Winner will be randomly chosen.. the numbers in the hat thing, OK?
Aah.. the Elusive Mountain Plover. What a glorious bird! My friend Gary Lefko, recently reported on our state list serve that he had had a FORTY-THREE Plover day! That sounded like fun.
So my sister Lauren and others of the Wrenegade Birding Team headed out to the prairie last week to find Plover. We did. Four actually. For one gal - it ended fifteen years of plover searching. Fabulous! Well, Lauren and I took another try at it and we did find another few birds. One pair we had a great time watching, photographing and listening to. We could also hear others vocalizing in the area around us, but we could only ever spot one more. They are a delightful bird, beautiful beyond belief in their muted prairie colors. If you haven't ever seen one, it's time to go look.