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February 2009


  Cover   One of my favorite places, next to the Celery Farm, is the country of Belize in general and the village of Crooked Tree in particular.
   Belize is a developing country, and tourism is a major industry. A couple of friends of mine, DeeDee Burnside and Georgina Thomas, got the idea of doing a coloring book for the younger children of the Crooked Tree School after hearing how some of the boys like to shoot birds with their slingshots.

  (A wonderful account of this is on Diane Brown's "Oak in the Seed blog. Here is the link to that post.)

   The two women decided to help the children realize that hurting the birds was not just a bad idea, but that in the long run learning about the birds would be far more beneficial to them and the nation's tourism industry than stoning the birds.

    DeeDee did the drawings, and Georgie got her church to handle the printings costs.

    They will deliver the coloring books -- along with several pairs of binoculars for these schoolchildren (read Diane's post on that here) -- when we go to Belize next month.

   Click "Continue reading..." to see one of the wonderful illustrations from the book. Feel free to print it out,  color it yourself and send it to me. The winner will win something or other... and no fair using a clay-colored Crayola.

Continue reading "AMAZING COLORING BOOK" »

Fred Weber's CF Big Year checklist

    Last year, Fred Weber set out to see how many species of birds he could see at the Celery Farm. He used the standard-issue "Checklist of Birds" from the kiosk, and he visited the Celery Farm every chance he got. 

  He spent 1,000 hours at the Celery Farm, and, when the year was over, he rued the fact that he did not spend more time there. 

   By the end of 2008, he had seen or heard 192 species of birds -- with another three "probables."  That is nearlt four-fifths of the species of birds that have been recorded at the CF ever.

   I have been bugging Fred, an unassuming guy, to send me a copy of his list, which I am reproducing in its entirety here.

   Click "Continue reading..." below to see Fred's Big Year list.

   Note: I want to keep track of as many significant Celery Farm "big years" as I can. Marsh Warden Stiles Thomas has a CFBY total of 170+, and I know that John Workman and that Fanning fellow have racked up some amazing CFBY's as well. I will post that info as well as I receive it. By putting it on the Web, it becomes permanent and accessible.

Continue reading "Fred Weber's CF Big Year checklist" »


  Ace birder Fred Weber saw a record-setting 192 species of birds at the Celery Farm last year. He was nice enough to share his scorecard -- the Celery Farm bird list available at the Franklin Turnpike parking lot kiosk.

   It is both amazing and fascinating. I will post it, in jpg form, as soon as I can.
    Seymour Drakes said it best: This is the new gold standard for birding at the CF.
    Fred, forever modest, would likely disagree, but this list will speak for itself.