WILD THINGS: 2 SCENES FROM A BREEDING SEASON

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She flew in and landed atop the fence, although it wasn’t immediately clear that she was a she. Mourning doves are sexually monomorphic, meaning both genders look...

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...

WILD THINGS: THE AFTERNOON THAT HASN’T ENDED

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It was mid June, hot as Hades and I was on the sidewalk outside of Harpoon Harry’s after lunch.  This was three years ago. The heat was that all-encompassing,...

WILD THINGS: FLAMINGO SIGHTING IS FRESH OMEN FOR 2021

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10:22 a.m. and the year was still pure. I had not seen a bird. I was in the living room, staring at my laptop, trying not to look...

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: VEXED BY A DUCK

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I hate chasing birds. And I hate getting up early. And, closing out my third decade living in the Keys, I don’t much like the cold. 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: COUNTING ON THE BIRD COUNT

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The 121st Christmas Bird Count, Key West edition, started with Ellen Westbrook and three guys named Mark (Songer, Whiteside and me) standing at the foot of White...

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: YOU’VE GOTTA HAVE STANDARDS

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It’s not that my wife hates birdwatching. She just has very stringent standards for when she will go. The idea of walking around for hours, staring into bushes,...
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