Tuesday, May 3, 2016


Birding is magic. No matter where we go, there is always something incredible to see.

Dream. Organize. Research. And go! When I am completely alone, I can hear all the barely audible sounds. A leaf crunching.  A "peek" note not quite that of the Yellow-rumped Warbler. The soft patter of feet on bark. An odd acorn falling from the oak.  And it's my ears, not my eyes, that lead me to the birds. 

The island subspecies of the California Quail
Take for example this island subspecies of California Quail(above) and Orange-crowned Warbler(below).  It was important that we find these birds.  According to the people on Catalina Island, the California Quail is different from the one on the mainland.  One person even boldly declared it a separate species.  Not yet.  There are 8 subspecies of this quail!  I couldn't tell this one apart from the other subspecies of  California Quails I've seen in the past. Apparently, it's the smaller version that was brought to the island during a time when there were still indigenous people living there.

the island subspecies of the Orange-crowned Warbler
With our next bird, the Orange-crowned Warbler, we didn't have to look far!  Unlike other Orange-crowned Warblers, this subspecies lives all year round on the Channel Islands. It even looks very different from the other OCWA's I've seen. It looked bigger and that bill!!! 

Orange-crowned Warbler found on the mainland-note bill difference
 We did see quite a difference in behavior and appearance. 

Western Gulls fighting over a dead Garibaldi
No matter where we go, we always observe something very special.  It's addicting. It's fun.  And sometimes, it's super exhausting!

Black-chinned Hummingbird
Either way, we're having fun visiting our feathered friends.

A curious Olive Warbler
You see, it's not about finding them anymore.  It's about understanding them in their natural habitat. I used to think it was so hard to find some of these birds, but today, thanks to experience and a lot of work out in the field, it's so much easier!  Some might say magic!

Female Gila Woodpecker on Ocotillo

What a beautiful world!  What an amazing place to explore!  Forget the politics, the family and friend drama, and all the other things that weigh us down.  

"Yes, operator.  Is there any cell service here?"
OH! And don't forget work which seems to take over our personal lives!!!  My job doesn't define who I am.  It isn't my only reason to live.  Work is just work. It pays the bills. And I like my students and subject matter. I mean, it's a job and it makes my day go by fast. When I'm out in nature with my birds or working with others, I'm happy.  Each day holds a magical moment if we allow it into our lives.  Until next time....  

Lazuli Buntings


  1. Hello Kreesh, i still remember this spelling, hehe. It is very well said, and the photos very well done. I wish you the best, be happy and radiate that happiness, the universe will be affected by the positive vibes.

    1. hello Andrea!!! How are you?!! Yes that is my Cape Verdean chosen name:) I love that you remember that. And positive vibes always bring us positive vibes:)

  2. I like hearing you're watching how the birds live too. Interesting little worlds they have and how they interact with us and each other. Great photos! Did you ever get a phone line? Ha! Enjoy the adventure.

  3. The quality of these shots is excellent. I also like the artwork but then I would.

    1. Thank you Adrian. A new camera lens also helps:) I like your clever artwork:)

  4. a wonderful series of bird images. i think most people feel better and happier if they are outside with nature around them

  5. Your ears seem to be as good as your eyes!

  6. The quail is a stunner. We're never happier than when we are outdoors as well. Thanks for sharing your joy today. And magical bird photos!

  7. You found some beautiful birds.

  8. Beautiful photos...I love your shot of the gulls and the little yellow bird especially! And the blue colour on the buntings is amazing.

  9. Wonderful post Chris with stunning photos. Really enjoyed this post and your passion for birds just comes shining through - magical :)


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