Out the Window preview: July/August 2011

Here’s your bimonthly teaser for my “Out the Window” column in WildBird magazine:

It was a cool but sunny morning during fall migration, and the yard was bustling with bird activity. Hordes of ravenous Lesser Goldfinches swarmed the thistle sock, a dozen Gambel’s Quail queued up to drink at the water feature, a handful of White-crowned Sparrows scrounged seeds dropped by the resident Pyrrhuloxias and Curve-billed Thrashers, and four descendents of Red Junglefowl—our pet hens Joni, Bonnie, Grace and Pearl—chased grasshoppers, scratched in the dirt, and basked in the autumn sun.

Chickens in a birding magazine?!? Equal-opportunity bird lovers who are not yet subscribers to WildBird can use this link to Amazon.com to get six colorful, information-packed issues (a full year) and benefit the conservation and education programs of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO). Single copies of Wildbird are also available at newsstands and bookstores.

You’ll find subscriptions to WildBird and other birding magazines plus field guides, feeders and accessories, seeds for hummingbird-friendly plants, and more at SABO’s online shop, The Trogon’s Nest, powered by Amazon.com. Father’s Day is June 19shop now for that bird-loving dad or granddad!

Birds + clay + Arizona = FUN!

I recently connected with a kindred spirit in master polymer clay artist Carol Simmons. Carol also shares my passion for nature in general and birds in particular, so it didn’t take much wheedling and prodding on my part to convince her to team up for a clay + birds workshop in southeastern Arizona next April May!

Carol will share her techniques for creating and using her exquisite intricate cane veneers, and I’ll lead optional low-key, beginner-friendly bird walks and field trips. Casa de San Pedro Bed & Breakfast has been tapped to host the workshop, and early April mid-May birding along the San Pedro River is a colorful and inspiring experience (so are the breakfasts!).

For more information as the workshop develops, please bookmark Carol’s class and workshop schedule.

UPDATE: The workshop is scheduled for May 13-19, 2012 at Casa de San Pedro Bed & Breakfast. Fees and registration information to follow.