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Thursday, March 16, 2023

What Birds Are Singing Now?


Who is singing now? Just a sampling of the birds singing here in MA now (yes, female cardinals sing, as do many female birds). Snow on the ground does not stop them. Their hormones triggered by day length, are their directing force to herald a new season of reproduction.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Eastern Bluebird Thoreau Quote


I went out this morning and had a beautiful Eastern Bluebird is a quote from Thoreau..
"Princes and magistrates are often styled serene, but what is their turbid serenity to that ethereal serenity which the bluebird embodies? His Most Serene Birdship! His soft warble melts in the ear, as the snow is melting in the valley around. The bluebird comes and with his warble drills the ice and sets free the rivers and ponds and frozen ground. As the sand flows down the slopes a little way, assuming the forms of foliage where the frost comes out of the ground, so this little rill of melody flows a short way down the concave of the sky."
Henry David Thoreau, Journals–March 2, 1859
And so now, as then, the bluebird is singing as the ice and snow melt here in Thoreauland (I live next to the town where he lived) and bring me joy, just as it did HDT. Full circle of timelessness, some things remain to lift out spirits and hearts, just look and listen.
(Fyi that quote and others plus complete info on attracting are in our Stokes Bluebird Book).

Monday, March 06, 2023



by Lillian Q. Stokes and Matthew A. Young

The complete guide to finches of the United States and Canada, including a special section on Hawaiian Finches. A publishing first! Coming to you in early 2024, published by Little, Brown and Company.

From finch fanatics to fledgling finch fans, from goldfinches to crossbills, the Stokes Guide to Finches of the United States and Canada finally gives birders and some of America’s favorite birds their due–a guide to all things finch! 

This authoritative guide will include beautiful photos; detailed identification information on each finch species’ plumages, subspecies, and voice; the latest range maps; complete information on all aspects of the lives of North American finches; rare and vagrant species of finch; special section on Hawaiian finches, the honeycreepers, one of the most endangered groups of finches; the latest scientific studies; extensive information on finch irruptions, conservation, research, attracting finches and much more. Authoritative, fun and accessible, this guide will appeal to novice through advanced birders and capture the spirit and personality of this amazing group of birds. Stay tuned for exciting updates!

Lillian Q. Stokes is an award-winning author and nature photographer who coauthored 35 Stokes Guides on birds and nature, including Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, which have sold over 5 million copies. She was the host and producer of the first PBS national birding tv shows. Lillian was captivated by Red Crossbills which she studied during the legendary 2020-2021 finch superflight, and she was moved to tell their story and the story of their finch relatives. As a former psychiatric social worker, Lillian recognizes the wellness benefits of connecting people to nature and that has been a continuing goal of her work.

Matthew A. Young is a nationally recognized finch and Red Crossbill expert and founder and president of the Finch Research Network. Matt got hooked on Red Crossbills as a young birder at Yellowstone Falls when Red Crossbills descended over him. Over the last ~25 years he’s worked in the social work field with special needs adolescents for almost 10 years, and worked at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology across 15+ years where he was and Audio Engineer on several audio guides and Merlin packs. Matt works in the social work field as a Care Manager where connecting people to nature continues to be a desired goal.


Bluebird in snowstorm, came to suet and hulled sunflower.

The March snowstorm here in MA brought in lots of birds including, 45 goldfinches and this less-than-happy Eastern Bluebird who comes to suet and hulled sunflower. Birds especially need feeders in weather like that so keep hulled sunflower, suet, and finch feeders full.