I’ve been going on (and on and on) about my recent adventures in Guatemala while Charlie regularly visits tropical hotspots. This isn’t to say that all the best birding takes place proximate to the equator. Arctic Bay in Canada’s Nunavut Territory, for example, supports a surprising range of birds. You can find waterfowl (Snow Geese), waders (Baird’s Sandpiper), raptors (Rough-legged Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Gyrfalcon) and even passerines (Horned Lark, American Pipit, Lapland Longspur, Snow Bunting) without looking too hard. A variety of gulls and pelagic seabirds also thrive in these environs. You might hear the cry of the Qarsauq (Red-Throated Loon) or spy an Aqiggiq (Willow and Rock Ptarmigan) in winter-white plumage. You’ll most certainly spy the ubiquitous arctic trickster, Toolagak (Raven), who signifies that some spirits can never be dampened or chilled.
An ecosystem that sustains such superb birds cannot help but nourish some dynamic naturalists as well. Clare Kines, the gifted writer behind The House & other Arctic Musings, makes his home sound exotic, enticing, and downright hospitable, all pretty valuable traits when you operate a B&B in the frigid North. I first praised Clare and his resident avifauna 60 editions of I and the Bird ago, back when he hosted edition #11. Since that time, though we’ve never met offline, I’ve come to consider Clare a friend, someone I really look forward to sharing a drink or some birds with. I’m sure you will too once you begin reading his blog. Just be sure to start with his very quotable presentation of I and the Bird #71!
What environs nourish the naturalist in you? No matter where you reside, your daily scribblings about birding or wild birds matter, especially to the audience of I and the Bird. Our next host is the estimable Ecobirder so please get your links, accompanied by brief summaries, to me or Ecobirder at tiercel63 AT yahoo DOT com. The deadline is April 1 for the 4/3 edition.