Chasing Birds

I've got a garden to tend, birds to find, beers to drink, and stories to share.

June 5, 2015
by Brittany

Self-reliance or Something Like It

If you could only take three things to a desert island, what would they be?

I loathe those kinds of questions. Particularly that one. Mostly because I’m a take-the-kitchen-sink kind of person (except for when I’m backpacking). And I’m sorry, but there are only two people who could survive with only 3 things: MacGyver and Chuck Norris.

In the real world, no matter how much you think you’re prepared for something, you just aren’t. What you are is at the mercy of Mother Nature. And sometimes, she just. doesn’t. stop. In California: month after month of negligible or no precipitation. In Michigan, there’s a joke that the state has 4 seasons: Winter, Still Winter, Almost Winter, and Construction. But that last season has changed to “Is This Summer? Well, The Sky Isn’t *As* Gray…” and people aren’t laughing anymore.  In Colorado, we’re experiencing the effects of El Nino: precipitation and lots of it. And we truly, honestly, wholeheartedly do appreciate the extra moisture (we’re thinking of you, California!), but…enough already. more

January 24, 2015
by Brittany

2014 Wrap Up

I’ve finally gotten around to going through last year’s field season photos (yep, 6 months later). Better late than never, I guess. And the 2015 field season is beginning to creep up on me. In a little over 3 months, I’ll be back on the road, indulging my wanderlust, exploring Colorado’s topography. I feel like I have way too much to do before then and yet it can’t come soon enough. Colin and I have been working on a fancy pants camping setup for Sally (including, hopefully, a new camper shell) and I’ve set some major personal and slightly-less-major work-related goals for myself (arbitrary deadline: May 1st). More to come on all of that. Anyhow, enjoy the photos. I will do my best to post more frequently this year, both photos and stories. more

May 17, 2014
by Brittany

A Lifetime First: Lekking Grouse (of any kind)

SO. I spent yesterday morning sitting about 20 feet away from 35-40 Sharp-tailed Grouse on their lek! Yep, even on my mornings off, I get up at the crack of dawn to go look at birds. Though this was a particularly special experience; it’s not like I was getting up at 4 am to go check out some sweet Mourning Doves staring at each other or something.

In the last couple of years, I have developed a strong rule about observing first with my own two lenses, that is, without looking through a camera lens. So I spent the first half hour or so soaking in the experience first-hand: watching their comedic jitterbug dances and listening to their funny little pops, rattles, and hoots. It was tough to get good photos with my little camera in such low light, but I did my best. These were digiscoped through my binoculars. To get the full experience, listen to their calls in the player below. Enjoy! more