As my long-time fans may remember, back in 2007 – which is to say, more than a decade ago, and YES I am dying a little inside at that realization – I dipped on the Coney Island Creek Western Reef Heron, a major rarity from another continent that was seen by pretty much every other birder on the eastern seaboard. As a result (albeit a very very indirect result) I left my boyfriend, moved more than halfway across the U.S., and got a master’s degree and a tattoo.

Last Friday, a Kirtland’s Warbler appeared in Central Park for the first time ever, shortly before I was obliged to get on a plane to Tennessee. By the time I got back, it had moved on, but not before giving everyone else spectacular views – as well documented at this very site.

So, faithful readers, what’s next for Carrie?

1. Get a Ph.d.
2. Emigrate to Spain
3. Take up Crossfit
4. Start a new religion
5. ?

Featured Image: This Kirtland’s Warbler is not the tiny jerk in question. Photo by Jim Hudgins courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Written by Carrie
Carrie Laben, after years of writing and birding in New York, moved to Montana to pursue her two great passions more effectively. She recently graduated with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Montana in Missoula. When she is not cranking out essays and speculative fiction stories, or wandering around on mountains failing to see the birds she is looking for, she is likely to be drinking one of the many fine local microbrews or attending a potluck with something from the local farmer’s market in hand. On Mondays from 3 to 3:30 Mountain Time you can find her answering questions about birds on live chat at