Lincoln’s Sparrow: little brown job
Paradise Tanager: not so much…
Don’t get me wrong- I love the colorful birds too. It’s just that the understated groups hold a particular appeal for me, aided by the furtive nature of many such species, making it a special treat to get a good look. (combine the hard-to-see with the glittering color and you get pittas- *mind explodes*)
Winter sparrow time in the states is obviously a joy, but my real passion is traveling to new countries to see birds- especially to the tropics. My first real tropical birding experience occurred when I visited eastern Ecuador as a graduate student scouting a potential field site. The colorful toucans, tanagers, and trogons were of course fabulous, but I found it particularly thrilling to try to identify, from fleeting glimpses, the hundreds of brown or gray understory species that crossed my path. I have visited an additional three continents since then, and the Amazon rainforest continues to hold a special place in my heart- although the rainforest of southern Thailand was similarly evocative, especially when I realized that the multitude of babbler species (you got it, a diverse group of brown birds) were so reminiscent of my all-time favorite bird group, the antbirds.
Dot-backed antbird: a study in black and white and polka dots.
So now you know a little bit about what interests me. This blog is a space for me to share my birding adventures, both at home with the sparrows and abroad with the antbirds.