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...
Christmas vacation – part deux

Christmas vacation – part deux

The day after our water dance with manatees in Crystal River we headed across Florida to Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. There we checked into our hotel, had a bite and napped getting ready for a night time kayak excursion in Indian River Lagoon looking for...

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Will eagles dare?

Will eagles dare?

A pair of mature bald eagles has been hanging out at Lake Junaluska for a few months now. I have heard two separate reports of these birds carrying nesting material. In the dark musty cobweb covered labyrinth that serves as my memory, I seem to remember reading about...

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Swimming with mermaids

Swimming with mermaids

Christopher Columbus had a lot of misconceptions about where he wound up in 1492 and what he saw. Mermaids were listed in one of his journal accounts. But to Chris’ credit mermaids had been around in literature basically since the beginning of literature. The name...

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A long time coming

A long time coming

Some time around mid-September I added tic number 207 to my 2017 bird list. It was a merlin I saw one afternoon along the Blue Ridge Parkway while I was watching migrating broad-winged hawks. Then – nothing; nothing for a long time. Not that there weren’t some great...

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Stay calm and creep on

Stay calm and creep on

Two years in a row – for this Hendershot family that’s like a tradition. We pedaled the Virginia Creeper Trail again this year for my bride’s birthday. We did it last year and you can read about it here: http://www.smokymountainnews.com/archives/item/18877-creep-on....

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All’s well that ends with an elk

I had the pleasure of leading a birding trip for Alarka Expeditions on Friday September 29. I had been in the field the previous two weeks and migration seemed to be going strong, so I was expecting a pretty birdy outing. And things started well. We ran into a number...

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