Welcome to the High Arctic. One of the wonderful things about birds is that they can be found almost anywhere in the world. South Polar Skuas have been seen near the south pole, several species have been seen near the north pole. Deserts, rain forest, cloud forest, parkland, crowded cities, mid ocean, all places they can be found. No matter where we find ourselves, we are surely able to find birds.
Likewise in the world that is I and the Bird we are able to "visit" with birds from all over the world. But where exactly do these varied birds that we write about live? Well, let me show you. This link is to a Frappr map, containing pushpins of the birds of I and the Bird #11. As you join me on a journey south through the world of I and the Bird, you can refer to the map for your bearings. I should note that I have endeavored to put the location of the bird here, not the blogger. Where I couldn't figure out where the bird was? Well, then I put in the writer's location, or at least my best guess as to the writers location. Oh and one more thing, at the end of our journey, at the bottom of my post, you'll find another Frappr Map link. This one is for the visitors to I and the Bird #11, please feel free to leave your location on this second map.
So come with me, and lets head south.
Our first stop on this journey to the lower latitudes, and beyond into the southern hemisphere, is with Dave at Bird TLC. Dave writes of a Snowy Owl, that got off of its map, and ended up in the excellent care of the folks at Anchorage's Bird Treatment and Learning Center, suffering a broken wing.
On our first Canadian stop (not including me, which would be a Canadian start)Vancouver is for a wee bit of whimsy before getting back to the matters at hand. Ratty's Ghost is the blog of a talented artist and wit, and she gives us an illustration of her Silly Bird, along with a short couplet of verse.
One of the vagaries of the longest undefended border of the world is that it has quite a range in latitude, so we slip back across the border to the beautiful Olympic peninsula in Washington to visit some birds at the Dharma Bum's site. Even a walk in the fog can produce stunning birds, as this story about Black Turnstones shows, and if that wasn't enough check out this truly amazing way to get close to a Bald Eagle.
Continuing south, we'll make the first of a couple of stops in Minnesota, Duluth to be precise, and home of Laura's Birderblog. Laura talks about Barred Owls falling down chimneys, tapeworms, but mostly about Dave Barry and Me. Well not me, her. It's the name of the post, oh never mind.
Still in Minnesota, we'll head down to the Twin Cities where we can find the Birdchick. She's also rubbing, uh wings, with a celebrity, a California Condor at the Raptor Center. A great chance to get up close and personal with a great (in both senses of the word) bird.
I think we head back across the border to Canada now, over to take a walk with Pamela of Thomasburg Walks, in Thomasburg Ontario. She's got many birds (a record sort of) stopping by her feeder there, as she starts the First Count of this years Feederwatch program.
Now we find ourselves in Hallowell Maine, home of the Boreal Songbird Initiative Blog. This wide ranging post takes us to see American Tree Sparrows in Hallowell, Blackpoll Warblers in the Virgin Islands, and Rock Ptarmigan in Canada's Northwest Territories so we can see What Do Ptarmigan, tree sparrows and St. Thomas have in common. Be sure to further explore the BSI site and get involved in this worthwhile endeavor, and encourage Dr. Wells to leave us with more excellent posts.
Still heading south, but jumping all over the map, we head over to Wisconsin for some Birdbrained Stories. Gwyn takes us on a walk with her through a marsh as Seasons Change. A delightful walk, despite the wind and scarcity of birds, and resulting in this portrait of an Osprey, a moment savored on the breeze of a waning day.
Whoa, back over to Wisconsin, Madison I believe, to some Research at a snail's pace. I and the Goose #1, finds us, or rather Pascal, crawling through Canada Goose poop for the opportunity to find them in the right light. It seems to be worth it judging from the look of his portrait of a rather frosty Cackling Goose.
And speaking of geese, lets head over with bootstrap analysis to Belle Isle in Detroit (strangely enough due north of Windsor Canada). In her own inimitable style she tells the story of some very travelled geese, who have ranged from Nunavut to Maryland to Ohio before showing up as Collared Geese and More Collared Geese at Belle Isle.
Okay, on to Chicago, Navy Pier actually, where Birding is NOT a crime. The Windy City more than makes up for its nickname, as BINAC does his darnedest to resolve some swallows into clear view, in the face of winds, no scope and a pursuit by a couple of homeless people, while the Midwest Cave Swallow Invasion continues.
Over to the Big Apple, or rather to Croton Point Park, Croton on Hudson New York where our fearless leader, Mike of 10,000 Birds, the founder of I and The Bird, finds a respite from despair, along with several species of birds Back On Point.
Utah ho! Lets take a trip to Salt Lake City with Science and Sarcasm. While there on business she manages to find time Western, urban, soggy-pants birding, and sees several species, including a life list Peregrine Falcon perched high upon a spire.
Tyrone Pennsylvania is where one can find Via Negativa's author Dave, and it is where Dave witnessed what appear to be Crow wars. What followed from that is his well written search for answers on crow aggression. Not to be missed.
Maryland now, where a Snail's Tale foray into Black Hill Regional Park, nets him a couple of photograph's of a Fuzzy Bird, of the sandpiper persuasion. And perhaps sends him on a quest for a new camera.
We now make what is the shortest leg of our journey, over to the seat of the American government, Washington DC, and a DC Birding Blog. Perhaps while we are here, we might listen intently for Chewy, the call that would alert us to a lingering Gray Catbird, sticking it out through the colder months that are descending there.
A short trip south, but a substantial one west, might find us in Pratt Kansas, home to the Outdoor Quill of Mike Blair. With any luck it might find us in a marsh with Common Egrets, and a great deal of luck might find events fall into place that would lead to a beautiful fluid photograph of an Egret Ballet, if we had the necessary photography skills like Mike to capture it.
One of Floyd Virginia's best promoters, and pundit Fred First, shares with us another Fragments from Floyd when we travel down to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Listen carefully as you read Vox Populi, and you will hear also the cacophony of grackles as they rise and fall out of view.
Not only will be have to travel over to the west coast, and the ranches of Santa Barbara but we'll have to travel back in time, to a time when California Condors were still plentiful, for this post from Beakspeak. We are lucky to have him share with us a story that an acquaintance shared about Growing up with California Condors. Ah, if only they were still that plentiful.
And finally, our last stop in North America, before we really head south, we head over to the area near Waco Texas, and meet up with David, the next host of I and the Bird, and the fine fine writer at Search and Serendipity. Of course we also find ourselves on the wrong side of the fence doing some illicit birding, but I'd only feel guilty if I missed reading about it.
And now it is really time to earn those frequent birding miles, and head over to Singapore, where the amiable hosts of Bird Ecology Study Group make their home. At it does appear that they may be just a little too amiable as they've ended up with some Drunken Javan Mynas. Don't they know that you can't serve fermented fruit to mynas (sorry I just couldn't resist that pun, try as I might.)
Grrl Scientist, who's Living the Scientific Life, hails from New York, but brings us a tale of some Monarch Flycatchers who hail from all over Australasia. She finally lets the cat out of the bag and tells us of the study that shows that Backtracking Birds Shows that Islands are Not Evolutionary Dead Ends. A fine read.
As we continue south, how fitting is it that the last two spots we visit, both on the opposite side of the earth from where we started, are from two of my favourite bird bloggers.
Charlie, of Charlie's bird blog, lives a life that most of us are envious. Although he lives in Great Britain his job with British Airways takes him all over the world, and allows him to follow the lives of birds in many exotic locals. His trip to Ile aux Aigrettes, in Mauritius has added yet another location that I want to see, and probably never will. Oh to see Pink Pigeons.
And then over to Australia, to visit Duncan at Ben Cruachan Blog, in Victoria. His Return to Candlewood, also makes me long to visit down under, and to see some of the magnificent birds in his neighbourhood.
So, what of something from your host. I'm sorry but this marks the first I and The Bird that I don't have a post to contribute. But if you're a new visitor, have a look around, perhaps you'll see something you like. And new or old, don't forget to leave your location on this map, and show where in the world you are.
And don't forget that Search and Serendipity is hosting I and the Bird #12 in two weeks. Send your posts to David at Search and Serendipity or to Mike at 10,000 birds. And if you see someones work that should be in the premiere bird carnival, let them know. Don't be shy.
Oh, and one last thing. Mike, along with Charlie, Nuthatch, and Pamela have launched an excellent new project. The Birding Gear Big Board an excellent source of information about birding products, reviewed by bloggers you trust.