Proper preparation often makes the difference between merely seeing some good birds and coming home with a trip list bursting at the seams and a few lifers to boot. It’s easy to enjoy a birding trip without studying your field guides and knowing your geography, but to many birders the prep is half the fun.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
If you’re at a Great Lakes park this summer, you might read poetry on signs where you expect to find information. Nature poems masquerading as official park signs can be found throughout Apostle Islands, Pictured Rocks, and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshores, as well as Isle Royale National Park at trails, vistas, and beaches as part of the National Park Service’s centennial celebration.
As a birder and naturalist, I have a love/hate relationship with roads and parking lots in national parks. On the one hand, it’s not difficult to agree with Ed Abbey that all pavement is the opposite of progress. Roads kill things outright and bring more tourists, a certain percentage of which will be destructive in their own way. Then I stop and think about the best birding spots I’ve found in the parks – and a majority of them of were either in a parking lot or within sight of some kind of pavement.
Local TV stations have been carrying ads for the new IMAX movie, National Parks Adventure for several weeks now. So when it opened in Salt Lake on Saturday, I was right there in line for tickets.
Record Visitation Strained Some National Parks This Year, Creating Concern Over What 2016 Might Bring
"Find Another Park." That twist on the National Park Service's "Find Your Park" campaign leading into the agency's centennial year was voiced this year in some parks as record visitation strained staff and impacted resources and left Park Service managers wondering how high visitation might go next year, according to a sampling of parks by the Traveler.
Throughout the fall there are many reasons to visit your national parks. Here’s a look at some of those excuses to hit the road...if you really need one! For more details on a specific event, check the individual park’s website.
Taiga is a word of just two syllables, and yet it connotes remoteness. Its synonym – boreal – is slightly more familiar, though it too conjures the distant, the mysterious. But if you travel to the Great Lakes, to the national lakeshores that line the southern shores of those inland oceans known as Superior and Michigan, you can find yourself deep in the coniferous forests, the taiga or boreal forests, more familiar to the Canadian landscapes to the north.
I’ve spending an awful lot of time thinking about the birds no one sees. That’s not something birders, or anyone, ponders often. We like to think about our lists, talk about the birds we’ve seen and the ones others have seen that we just missed. We don’t talk about the birds that no one ever sees, mostly because we don’t know anything about them.
Birding The National Parks: What Do Chiricahua National Monument And Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Have In Common?bootstrap
I write this from the south shore of Lake Superior, not far from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Two days ago, while casually birding the lakeshore, my wife Sarah spotted a Black-crowned Night-heron. That’s an extremely unusual bird to find as far north as the Superior shore.