My pursuit to see Sandhill Cranes…

Ever since I started seriously birding a little over a year ago I have wanted to see Sandhill Cranes. There was just something about them that drew me in. Maybe it was their adorable colts or all the pictures I had seen of the large numbers that congregate in Nebraska during their stopover while migrating? Whatever it was, something bit me and I knew I had to see one! So imagine my excitement when I started hearing about seven of them right here in North Carolina! They weren’t that far away – I mean I can get to either end of the state in under 4 hours. I quickly started to devise a plan and was even able to convince my youngest (19 years old and not terribly interested in birding) to accompany me on this adventure. We set out early for Pocosin Lakes NWR, more specifically Pungo Lake, and spent the next 3 1/2 hours talking about school and life, just catching up (sure do miss her when she’s not around). I’ll admit, we were also hoping to find some of the large black bears that call the refuge home…but no luck! We were, however, greeted by thousands of Tundra Swan and 7 Sandhill Cranes! I actually squealed with delight when I saw them! Mind you, when I have a target bird I am not always lucky enough to find it so I tried my hardest not to get […]

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“The Bluebird carries the sky on his back”

I just love this quote by Henry David Thoreau! The bluebird is such a bright, beautiful shade of blue and always seems to evoke a smile from me, even when I am feeling down. It’s as if he really carries the Carolina blue sky on his back. They have been a favorite bird of mine for years. I had seen them around our neighborhood for years before ever seeing one in my own backyard. I remember that day vividly! I was so excited that three of them had landed in my tree but they didn’t stick around long enough for me to get a picture of them. They would return every once in awhile but never with any regularity even though I put out mealworms for them. But finally during the spring of 2019 a pair of them decided to nest in my backyard. My husband put up a nice Bluebird nest box for them, they checked it out and decided to move in. The female got to work and started building her nest over the course of about 10-14 days, and I would sneak out while she was gone and check on her progress. One day while checking on her progress I discovered a bright blue egg, one more the next day and each day after that until there were 5 beautiful blue eggs in the nest. Then she would sit on the eggs while her mate brought her […]

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The Health Benefits of Birding

I know I love grabbing my camera and binoculars and heading outdoors to go birdwatching. Every day of birding is different than the day before, you never know what you’ll see or find next and for me that is exhilarating! Part of the thrill is wondering what bird I may discover that day. There have been a few times that I have come across a rare bird for my area which always adds to the fun. Birding or birdwatching really is an easy hobby to start. You don’t need much equipment and since birds are basically everywhere you don’t have to travel far to watch them. Start by walking around your own yard or a nearby park. The best part is your yard and most nearby parks are free! According to a 2016 survey by the US Fish and Wildlife Service more than 45 million people watch birds around their homes and away from home. If 45 million people are doing it there has to be something to it. Plus, birdwatching can be very beneficial to your health. It is great exercise and great way to get some fresh air – Some days I will be caught up in my birding and photography that I don’t even realize the miles I have walked or hiked. Birdwatching gets me outside enjoying the sun and the fresh air. It is great for your brain – Think of the workout your brain gets […]

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