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‘Bird Notes’ Category

  1. What Rails Remember

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    October 30, 2011 by Joseph C. Neal

    rail

    Birds remember landscapes fundamentally invisible to us non-birds. I am reminded of this by a telephone call on Saturday night from a gentleman who lives at Garfield north of Beaver Lake. He is an experienced outdoors person, but near his home he has encountered a stranger: in size and general coloration, reminds him of the Northern Bobwhite, or quail, but the bill is longish and pointed rather than short and conical. The eyes are dark and large. When he walks toward the bird it doesn’t just fly away like a quail, but sort of pops up and then down with short awkward flights.

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  2. Birding the Wheel of Fortune

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    October 15, 2011 by Joseph C. Neal

    ​If you’re going birding, you’ll have to turn off the TV and today’s Wheel of Fortune rerun. I play it every day myself, planning out my bird watching adventures. This involves one of my most jealously guarded secrets. How do I decide where to go birding today? This is something I only started asking myself seriously about three years ago when the U.S. Forest Service and I parted company after many years of mostly happy marriage. I have devised a foolproof system for figuring out my days. It begins with a checklist. Should I go birding today? Possible answers: (1) YES, and (2) YES.

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  3. Dickcissels Headed for Venezuela

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    September 26, 2011 by Joseph C. Neal

    If you’ve got the traveling bug, I suggest you forget high airline tickets and just hitch up with the Dickcissels. It’s goodbye to Arkansas nesting country, hello winter in ole Venezuela with stops along the way in Mexico and Central America.

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  4. Kite-Spotting in Clifty

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    September 11, 2011 by wcobserver

    Stephen Marquardt from West Fork called me August 22 about a Swallow-tailed Kite, a black-and-white hawk with a forked tail. He was on highway 12 a few miles east of Clifty in northern Madison County. I was incredulous. Northwestern Arkansas has one record in a half-century, and that by birding expert Mike Mlodinow, at Lake Fayetteville on July 28, 2009.

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  5. Sandpipers On the Move

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    August 27, 2011 by Joseph C. Neal

    Deep booms of far away thunder recalls historical accounts of the furious cannonade proceeding Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg. In the wee dark of last Wednesday, hundreds of metaphorical Confederate cannon fired away, not at Union lines on Cemetery Ridge, but on drought and heat smothering northwest Arkansas.

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  6. Green Zone

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    August 12, 2011 by Joseph C. Neal

    Our native post oaks and big bluestem grasses can take the high heat and drought. So can prairie natives like blazing stars and tall compass plants.

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  7. Birding Opportunities In The Dogdays

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    July 28, 2011 by Joseph C. Neal

    If the dogdays are getting you down, consider shorebirds or sandpipers. I know this may sound strange, but by late July it is possible to find around a dozen different species of sandpipers making the transit south through western Arkansas. Even non-birders know at least one: Killdeer.

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