A Shadow and A Song

I just finished A Shadow and A Song which began in the late 1950's before Cape Canaveral became Kennedy Space Center.

Several rivers & marsh land in the backdrop of Merritt Island hosted the Dusky Seaside Sparrow where it thrived.  A cast of characters & strong-minded individuals become tangled up with the sparrows. The author, Mark Jerome Walters, D. V. M., chronicles the balance between saving an endangered species & advocating for growth & development to benefit humans.

Boston Globe Article on Storm Birds

Dovekie by Jeremiah Trimble

Dovekies blow in by a storm by
Jeremiah Trimble



Pied-billed Grebe by Margo Goetschkes

"Didappers, helldivers, and dabchicks" are expert swimmers and enjoyable to watch. They're poor flyers who paddle  and run on the water's surface to avoid danger. The French have a moniker for grebes - "sack of lead" because these birds submerge so quickly.


Sanderling by Nate Dubrow
I've been walking amongst the flocks of vocal Sanderlings who are searching for small crustaceans and fragments of sea life. They're like children's wind-up toy tracing the receding waves and quickly flee the incoming wave.

Talkin' Birds Radio Program

Tune in to Ray Brown's Talkin' Birds in 2017!

Ray Brown is a broadcast veteran with more than 3 decades of experience in commercial and public radio and television. His first gigs were at WNRI in Woonsocket, RI, and WJAR in Providence, RI. In the late 1970s, Ray landed a job at Cape Cod's WCOD-FM, where he served as a host until he moved to Boston in the early '90s. He's now been broadcasting on Boston's classical station, WCRB 99.5 FM, for fifteen years. Ray frequently hosts pledge drives for WGBH TV and radio in Boston, as well as for PBS. He's also the voice of Simon and Schuster's Pimsleur language-learning programs.

Beginning in February of 2015, Ray began appearing as a regular guest on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Saturday with Scott Simon. The topic: birds.

Talkin' Birds is a live and interactive radio show about wild birds and the beauty of nature—attracting birds to your backyard, feeding them, and learning more about them. We feature expert guests and contests for prizes like bird feeders and other bird-related items each week.

Talkin' Birds mission is similar to Newburyport Birders':

Encourage appreciation of our environment and promote the preservation and protection of natural world.

Talkin' Birds STATS

  • Talkin' Birds has broadcast more than 500 shows over the course of 9 years.
  • 9,000 podcast listeners download Talkin' Birds each month.
  • The Talkin' Birds Facebook page has more than 7,000 likes.
  • Listeners have called or written in from all 50 states, 6 Canadian provinces, and 13 foreign countries.

Boston Globe Articles on Talkin' Birds

The Boston GlobeBroadcaster Ray Brown watching, talking birds by Linda Matchan

Happy New Year,

Bald Eagles & Color Bands

Bald Eagle

MA: Were Gold & now they're Burnt Orange
NH: Black
ME: Red
NY: Blue
Bald Eagle by Phil Brown

Black has also been used in CT, RI, VT.

Most MA gold-banded eagles now 10 years old or more, but there are some still out there.  
MA uses 2 colors is that they ran out of alphanumeric combos for gold bands.

For same reason as above, NY also uses bi-colored band with red over black.

Color bands general placed on the left leg, except ME which places red band on right; 
in all cases there should be a silver federal band on the other leg.

Bird Sightings for Essex County, MA & Southern NH - December 29, 2016

Snowy Owl by Phil Brown

Route 1, Topsfield:
Snow Goose

New Hampshire Seacoast:
Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Bonaparte’s Gull, Northern Gannet, Razorbill, Cooper’s Hawk, Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Merlin, Northern Harrier, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Harlequin Duck, Great Cormorant, Purple Sandpiper, Black-legged Kittiwake, Belted Kingfisher, Snow Bunting, Black Guillemot, American Pipit 

Various Areas in Nahant: 
Yellow-breasted Chat, American Kestrel 

Argilla Road Fields, Ipswich:
Greater White-fronted Goose, Cackling Goose, Canada Goose, American Black Duck, Mallard, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, American Crow, Snow Bunting, Horned Lark, Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, House Sparrow, European Starling, American Tree Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, American Goldfinch, Northern Cardinal

Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport/Newbury:
Peregrine Falcon, Red-tailed Hawk, Mute Swan

North Shore Community Garden, Danvers:
Snow Goose 

Kenoza Lake, Haverhill:
Ruddy Duck, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Hooded Merganser, American Black Duck, Mallard, Greater Scaup, Lesser Scaup, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull

Beverly High School, Beverly:
Snow Goose, Canada Goose

Linebrook Road, Ipswich: 
Fox Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Eastern Bluebird, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-tailed Hawk

Route 128 at Centennial Park, Peabody: 
Sandhill Crane

Choate Island, Essex: 
Townsend's Solitaire, Eastern Towhee

Cashman Park, Newburyport:
Peregrine Falcon, Ring-billed Gull, Great Blue Heron, Red-tailed Hawk 

Tuxbury Pond, Amesbury:
Carolina Wren, Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Plum Island:
Ross' Goose, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Razorbill, Common Loon, Red-throated Loon, Mute Swan, Snow Bunting, Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, American Tree Sparrow 

Salisbury Beach State Reservation, Salisbury:
Red Crossbill, Pied-billed Grebe, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Northern Gannet, Ring-billed Gull, Herring Gull, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, American Tree Sparrow

Cummings Center, Beverly: 
Snow Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard

Crane Beach, Ipswich:
Snowy Owl
Woodsom Farm, Amesbury:
Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Flicker, American Robin, Northern Cardinal, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Mockingbird, American Tree Sparrow, Song Sparrow, European Starling, Mourning Dove, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-capped Chickadee, Mallard