Buteo jamaicensis

Soaring adult red-tail Don Hendershot photo A red-tail by any other name and there are several “named” red-tails. But I dare say for we sons and daughters of the South, simply the word hawk conjures up mental images of Buteo jamaicensis either scanning its...

Windy City peregrines

My bride and I spent a few days in Chicago last week. She was there for a business seminar and I was there for moral support. But, alas, I also had work to do so after walking with her to the 737 Building on N. Michigan Ave. I returned to our room and began recording...

Week two – Cooper’s Hawk

Cooper's hawks like all raptors exhibit sexual dimorphism -- the male is on the left, female on right. USF&W photo I find it comforting that the Cooper's is patrolling the skies over Waynesville — that there is something wild among us. I had to stop at the...

A Year From the Naturalist’s Corner: Vol. I

The Naturalist’s Corner has been in print since 1994 when I began the weekly outdoors column for Scott McLeod, then editor at Waynesville North Carolina’s Enterprise Mountaineer. When Scott left the Enterprise Mountaineer in 1999 to start his own regional weekly...

Back in the saddle

I have had, since 2004, one of the best gigs any bird nerd could ask for. That was when I was awarded my first Forest Service (FS) bird survey contract for three districts in the Pisgah National Forest. To say I didn’t know what I was getting into would be a great...

read more
Testing the early spring winds

Testing the early spring winds

I had the great pleasure of leading an early spring birding trip for Alarka Expeditions this past weekend – April 21 and 22. Alarka Expeditions is a brand new eco tour/environmental education enterprise based in Cowee, North Carolina adjacent to the Nantahala National...

read more
Puc Puggy’s digs

Puc Puggy’s digs

One of Western North Carolina’s most celebrated visitors acquired his love of - and curiosity about - nature at his father’s side along the Schuylkill River just outside of Philadelphia in the late 1700s. William Bartram was born in 1739 (along with twin sister...

read more
Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung

It doesn’t take a calendar to know spring is here. Spring is surely in the air but it’s also in the trees; it’s clawing through the dirt; it’s singing from vernal pools, streams and lakes; it’s even in the heavens. Orion is chasing Taurus out of sight as we turn away...

read more
Fingers still crossed

Fingers still crossed

Status of the Lake Junaluska eagles remains a mystery but I still have my fingers crossed for a successful nesting venture. There was some disturbance near the nest a week or so ago – tree trimming on adjacent property – and for a day or two it seemed the eagles were...

read more
The eagles have landed

The eagles have landed

The eagles’ neighbors have known for months – observant birders and other Lake Junaluska regulars have either known or suspected – I have sat on the news for a while as I consulted with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and...

read more