We all know about the more charismatic of the endangered and threatened bird species. Trail closures in Acadia National Park and Big Bend National Park remind us that Peregrine Falcons nest on cliffs in parks across the country. Piping Plovers are diminutive shorebirds that bring outsized responses of both appreciation and consternation when their nesting causes beach closures in the national seashores along the Atlantic.
Big Bend National Park
Some portions of Big Bend National Park in Texas will be closed in the coming months to give peregrine falcons a little solutide during their nesting season.
I’ve managed to get around North America quite a bit during my five years as a serious birder. At least it seems like I have. When I plot a map of every checklist I’ve ever entered at eBird, it looks like I’m neglected large swaths of the continent. What’s with the interior plains? The west coast south of Olympic National Park? Alaska isn’t even on the map because there were no pins there, so I cropped it out.
Whether you were looking to improve your technical expertise with a camera, or curious about the thought processes that professional photographers went through in framing their photos, Contributing Photographers Deby Dixon and Rebecca Latson covered the bases for you through the past 12 months. Here for your review, and just a click away, are the columns they wrote in 2014.
Getting into Big Bend National Park in Texas could be a little bit more expensive next year, as officials are proposing a $5 increase in the daily entrance fee for vehicles and a $2 increase in the backcountry camping fee.
Yet another wayward soul intent on making their illegal mark on a national park has been done in by their need to promote their vandalism.
What’s your ideal place to stay for a wintry escape into the National Park System? Is it a cozy cabin with fireplace and ample wood, or perhaps something in a warmer climate with views of sun-kissed turquoise waters? Or does your desire lie somewhere in-between? Fortunately, the park system is large and diverse. Finding that perfect home-away-from-home for a winter adventure may come down to deciding if you like it cold and snowy, or hot and sandy.
Finding ways to get students to parks is an ongoing challenge, especially with school budgets for field trips facing cuts in many areas. Those difficulties are even greater in places like Big Bend National Park, since it's many a mile to the nearest town. Thanks to help from partner organizations, a recent "Good Neighbor Day" at Big Bend attracted a nice crowd, and many of those attending were first-time visitors.
Many areas in the National Park System are famous for autumn color, and visitors flock to places like Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Acadia National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park to enjoy the seasonal palette of natural beauty. There are, however, some other parks where fall color can be either a surprise—or a favorite destination for savvy travelers.