Birds in Focus

  • Birds in Focus: Fat, Flight, and Fitness in a Blackpoll Warbler thumbnail

    Birds in Focus: Fat, Flight, and Fitness in a Blackpoll Warbler

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Autumn 2012
    Two wings and a prayer will carry a blackpoll warbler on a remarkable journey to South America this autumn. Well, two wings, a prayer, and…

  • All in the Family thumbnail

    All in the Family

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Summer 2012
    The northern cardinal, crimson and crested, is an avian icon, one of the most recognizable birds on the continent. But the rosebreasted grosbeak is also…

  • The Forecast Calls for Birds thumbnail

    The Forecast Calls for Birds

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Spring 2012
    Songbirds pouring from the skies before dawn. Thousands of hawks gliding past a mountain summit. Rare oceanic birds blown in to shore. Birdwatching like this…

  • Are You Gullible or Lariphobic? thumbnail

    Are You Gullible or Lariphobic?

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Winter 2011
    The herring gull, one of our most cosmopolitan bird species, thrives in picnic areas or parking lots, at farms or fast-food joints, at sea or…

  • Choosing Binoculars thumbnail

    Choosing Binoculars

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Autumn 2011
    It is a monumental decision in the life of any birdwatcher. At stake is nothing less than the pleasure you get in the company of…

  • An Ode to Warblers thumbnail

    An Ode to Warblers

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Summer 2011
    Color, music, grace, and flight mingle in the lives of most birds. But no bird, at least here in the Northeast, pulls it off like…

  • Calling in the Mob thumbnail

    Calling in the Mob

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Spring 2011
    The black-capped chickadee may be the perfect songbird. It is vocal and approachable, inquisitive and dependable. Even the casual birdwatcher finds in the chickadee a…

  • Bird Morphology thumbnail

    Bird Morphology

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Winter 2010
    A forester cannot properly describe a tree without terms like “crown” and “trunk.” A hunter can’t boast of a champion white-tailed buck without discussing the…

  • Hummers thumbnail


    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Autumn 2010
    They are the epitome of avian energy, hovering, darting, and flowing like no other birds, almost as if they weren’t birds at all but rather…

  • Shorebirds thumbnail


    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Summer 2010
    Across great distances they migrate, powered on a diet of arthropods and a blast of determination. When they stop to visit, they are among the…

  • Little Brown Birds thumbnail

    Little Brown Birds

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Spring 2010
    For those of you struggling to learn bird identification, here’s an innovative system to help you name any species you encounter. That’s right. No more…

  • Winter’s Visitors thumbnail

    Winter’s Visitors

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Winter 2009
    No birdwatcher’s life is complete without experiencing the penetrating gaze of a great gray owl. Even a glance from those lemon-yellow eyes will cut through…

  • New Feathers, New Look thumbnail

    New Feathers, New Look

    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Autumn 2009
    When they arrive each spring, displaying color and song and romance, birds are faithful to their given names. Chestnut-sided warblers have chestnut sides. Indigo buntings…

  • Nesting Time thumbnail

    Nesting Time

    by Brian Pfeiffer | Summer 2009
    The Bicknell’s thrush looked like a greedy patron at a salad bar. Stuffed into her bill were a crane fly, a moth, a pupa of…

  • Fireworks thumbnail


    by Bryan Pfeiffer | Spring 2009
    Most of the time, a male ruby-crowned kinglet is a fraud with feathers. When he appears, neither ruby nor kingly, you may wonder how he…