Common Tern chicks and an egg in a nest on the beach.

Birth of a Common Tern

A sequence (on Flickr) of photos of a Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) hatching from its egg. Shot in 1981 when I was a volunteer on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tern banding project on Falkner Island, off Guilford, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Disruptive camouflage

When you look at a Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) in isolation it looks boldly-striped—the antithesis of what you'd expect from an animal trying to blend into its background. But in natural settings the black-and-white stripes work very effectively to break up the silhouette of the bird, making it surprisingly hard to spot against the background. At Hammonsasset ...

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

Wood Duck family (Aix sponsa). Photoshop painting. Available as a limited edition print.

Photo of the finished slow-cooker chili on a plate.

Beef & tomato chili in a slow cooker

A slow-cooked beef chili with the accent on tomatoes, and finished with fresh vegetables. Serve it with kidney beans and rice if you must, but I prefer a bed of green beans, fresh baby corn, asparagus or other veggies. This recipe just fits a 4 quart slow cooker.

Photo of a Great Black-backed Gull with a leg entangled in fishing line.

The dangers of ‘ghost gear’

Discarded monofilament line and other fishing gear can be incredibly persistent and deadly in the environment. Experts estimate that modern monofilament line will take as much as 600 years to fully degrade in marine conditions. That's 600 years of deadly entanglements and thousands of dead or maimed animals. This Great Black-backed Gull's foot is entangled ...

Photo of the beach and surf at Cape Canaveral National Seashore, Florida.

“Saving the world requires saving democracy. That requires well-informed citizens. Conservation, environment, poverty, community, education, family, health, economy—these combine to make one quest: liberty and justice for all. Whether one's special emphasis is global warming or child welfare, the cause is the same cause. And justice comes from the same place being human comes from: ...

Book cover: This Fine Piece of Water.

This Fine Piece of Water

Tom Anderson's book This Fine Piece of Water: An Environmental History of Long Island Sound is a well-written and enormously useful resource on the human and biology history of the Sound, as well as an examination of the many serious environmental threats facing Long Island Sound and its coastlines. One of the few book-length explorations ...

Megan Jaegerman forest wildlife diagram (detail of a portion of the diagram).

Superb visual explanations

Edward Tufte on the brilliant datagraphics of former New York Times visual journalist Megan Jaegerman. Superb diagrams and visual explanations.

Photo of a Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron

“Your sigh, I am told, is like the sound of rain driven against tower bells. You smell like wild ginger. When you lift your foot from the river, water doesn't run off it to spoil the transparent surface of the shallows. The water hesitates to offend you.” —Barry Lopez, The Search for the Heron, River ...

Illustration of a Blue Jay, see in a side view.

Local toughs

For some reason many people aren't fond of Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata), but I just love it when a gang of these big raucous songbirds show up at the backyard feeders. American birders often take this gorgeous bird for granted, but Blue Jays are usually the first species European visitors want to track down in ...