Notes

The very first Gray Catbird I ever saw was skulking in thick shrubbery on the Michigan State University campus when its mewing calls caught my attention. I expected it to be a real cat, and was delighted to learn that at least one bird was named for a feature I could recognize. Catbirds are in the same family, Mimidae, as thrashers and mockingbirds. They sing a long string of imitations and notes, occasionally punctuated by a mew. The catbird is long and slender, a bit smaller than a robin,...

Otee

O Q A Lake Superior May is usually punctuated with u i cold, steady drizzle and thick fog perfect for watching migrants. On the shore, especially at Minnesota Point, warblers hop and skulk in the sand at the edge of the water. Apparently, bug-catching in cold weather is easier near water. It's fun to look down upon warblers for once. When my children were little and I was housebound on cold, rainy days, I birded through the window, running out whenever a chickadee flock came in with attendant...

Peder Svingen Duluth Mn

Fork-tailed Flycatchers, elegant creatures belonging in southeastern Mexico and Central and South America, have appeared somewhere in the United States or Canada every year since 1970, usually in autumn. Sightings are as unexpected, and almost as unbelievable, as apparitions of Elvis. Three times Frank Freese saw one on his Columbia County property in mid-November 1978. He brought ornithologists to the spot, but the bird appeared for Frank alone. Fortunately, his photographs were more...

Note

The prettiest and jauntiest of our Hawks, and yet no prig is how early American ornithologist Elliot Coues described the American Kestrel. William Brewster, another nineteenth-century scientist, called it most light-hearted and frolicsome. Kestrels return to the North Country in March after wintering in the southern states and Mexico. Driving to Port Wing, we usually count at least a dozen, and even children caught up in the escapades of Mario Brothers look up. Kestrels hunt in open country,...