BLACKPOLL CONUNDRUM WARBLER SPOTTED KEY WEST

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A male blackpoll warbler is easily identified by the black cap that makes it resemble Moe from the Three Stooges or, arguably, me, intermittently, from 1970 to...

WILD THINGS: BIRD MIGRATION IN THE KEYS

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You want to see signs of rain when you wake — puddles that weren’t there the night before, maybe wet streets. You don’t want it to have...

WILD THINGS: NORTHERN GANNETS ARE THE POINTY-HEADED MOUTH-BREATHERS OF THE SEA

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The wind was up, so it was likely to be “sporty” crossing the Northwest Channel, but as I cleared the anchorage behind Wisteria Island and moved through...

WILD THINGS: Drama in the distant treetops

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Certain aspects of your life are hard to explain. For instance, I would not want to answer to a jury of my peers why I wasted so...

WILD THINGS: SINGING WITHOUT KNOWING THE WORDS

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There’s an oft-quoted line from “To Kill A Mockingbird”: “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy … but sing their hearts out...

WILD THINGS: SOUTHERN SEADUCK REDUX

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When I got there, Ellen Westbrook was standing on the South Roosevelt seawall with her binoculars up, staring out at the horizon, which was a bad sign.  Gah,...

WILD THINGS: WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PAINTED BUNTINGS

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The name bunting comes from a Scottish word that basically means plump. That seems judgmental. If they are plump, they are pleasingly plump, and no one talks...

Common grackles — victims of their own success

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I’d say I can’t tell you the last time I saw a common grackle, but that wouldn’t be true. I saw one last Saturday while riding my...

WILD THINGS: THE SUBTLE GENIUS OF SWALLOW-TAILED KITES

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The kite shot out from nowhere, just above the road, doing something of a bootlegger turn, its face angled one way, its body sliding another. Its wings were...

WILD THINGS: THE ART OF BLENDING IN

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The wind made it difficult to think. Tilt your head the wrong way and your hat would fly off and tumbleweed down the beach. It didn’t matter...
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