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Bird Walks

Usually about 6 a.m. a group of people meets on the front porch. Once fortified by a cup of coffee, we set off to survey the island’s bird life. Early in the season we see many varieties of migrating warblers, male eiders in full regalia, and herring and black-backed gulls sitting on their eggs. If you’re really lucky you might find a spotted sandpiper nest.

By July, the first batch of chicks has hatched and the smaller birds are already fledged, some have already started a second brood. On a typical day we might see common yellowthroats and yellow warblers, eastern kingbirds, cedar waxwings, red-breasted nuthatches, song sparrows, barn and tree swallows, catbirds, robins, grackles, starlings, gulls and cormorants, and american goldfinches. Visiting ruddy turnstones and golden plovers often show up in late July.

As you walk through the thickets you’re surrounded by the calls of unseen birds and the glistening morning sun on the water adds to the beauty of the moment. It’s a good way to start your day connecting to the wholly other, observing other life forms go about their lives and seeking to understand. Just another gorgeous morning on Star.

Posted in Rutledge Marine Lab.


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