The first of a few pieces I am doing for Audubon's new The Sketch series is up, this one about the Monk Parakeet. They're little features about quirky birds, accompanied by a drawing from artist Jason Polan. A piece on House Sparrows is coming soon, and I'm working on a couple more. Stay tuned, and enjoy!
Monday, June 29, 2015
Monday, June 22, 2015
Everything about this is great.
The first season of Fargo on the FX network was a great watch, and a big hit (it won the Emmy for Best Miniseries, doncha know). Last week the network gave us its first glimpse of the show's second season, in the form of a twenty-second teaser trailer. Check it out:
On the particular day I filmed the male black-backed footage (December 20) I was bush-whacking off a of a popular hiking trail on public NCC land; only ten minutes from my house in Ottawa. I wasn't necessarily looking for birds this day, but wildlife in general, as we had had fresh snow the previous evening. Approximately 1.5km's in, I heard the faint 'pecking' sound of a woodpecker some 30 feet from me and instantly recognized it to be a male black-backed woodpecker. This bird was very comfortable with my presence and I set up my tripod less than 15 feet away from it.
I photographed the willing model before deciding to capture some video footage. I shoot a variety of wildlife and nature clips for my YouTube channel and the clip was posted there later that day.
It was definitely hard to keep this secret for four months, but was great to finally be able to share it last week - and the response and exposure has been very positive and exciting so far!
Sunday, June 14, 2015
I don't like doing trip reports on this blog, but I do like doing whatever the hell I want to. So here's a trip report.
3. The butterfly lady who yelled at me at the NBC for walking too fast when she was looking for a Gray Cracker
2. Stripes worker who really wanted to give Zach a fork
1. Paranoid waitress/conspiracy theorist in Leakey, Texas
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
The adventure continues!
We are a third of the way though our epic, vicarious journey to Antarctica, stowing away with the crew of Google Street View. We've just left the Falkland Islands, which dazzled us with winged splendor, introducing us to hordes of penguins, weird geese, and even a tiny, endangered wren. A great first stop, indeed.
But we must move on. Our next stop across that cold southern ocean is the wild South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
There isn't much human history on the South Sandwich Islands, save for a handful of whale-butchering operations operated on the largest island, South Georgia, in the early 20th century. This was messy business, according to my intensive research (cough cough Wikipedia cough wait why am I typing all this out), and occasionally involved some downright frigging disgusting things: "A rotting whale could fill with gas to bursting, ejecting a fetus the size of a motor vehicle with sufficient force to kill a man." Great!
Well, lucky for us, the whale carcasses are gone but the birds remain. Let's check it out.
The first stop in the South Sandwiches is a small island off the coast of South Georgia, and it's a doozy. It's called Prion Island (good start), and it's heavily protected by the small South Georgia government because of all the cool creatures that live there, like South Georgia pipits and burrowing petrels. And like these penguins: