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June 2011

May 2011

Counting bats

I did a bat count last night in my backyard until the mosquitoes got the better of me. Alas, I saw no bats but got a lot of mosquito bites. A coincidence? I think not.

If you know of a roost near you and would like to help the state do its annual summer bat count, follow the link below. In an ideal world, you would do two counts before June 21.

 Summer Bat Count project page

Says MacKenzie Hall  of the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey writes: "Your data is an important piece of the bat research puzzle, and we're learning a lot from it. (If you didn't already...check out our summary of last year's results.)"

Bird Watcher Column: Footnote

In writing about "The Crossley ID Book," I quoted Crossley on the difficulty of ID-ing female Red-Breasted Blackbirds, saying that these birds provide problems for inexperienced birders. I did not have room to expand on that thought, so I thought I'd add my two cents here.

I have found these birds tricky to identify on occasion as well, especially early in the year when I am not thinking "Red-winged Blackbird" yet. And I have been on walks where very good birders mis-identified one of these birds at first glance.

Everybody wants to identify birds quickly and accurately, but sometimes we fall short. (At which time, I, for one, wish I had remained silent.)