Birding in the American Southeast

I recently wrote an article for the Saporta Report, a metropolitan Atlanta newspaper, on the joys and possibilities of birding in Georgia. It might have some useful information if you’re ever in the area and want to identify the birds that are flying by overhead, so check it out:

…While the awesome wilderness of, say, the mountains of north Georgia guarantee an incredible experience for birders and other naturalists, local parks and preserves like Lullwater have much to offer as well. Just recently, for example, I stopped in at the Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve (also in Decatur) and the Dunwoody Nature Center (in Dunwoody) and managed to get a few glimpses of some of the metro area’s more interesting avian visitors, including the pileated woodpecker, red-shouldered hawk, yellow-bellied sapsucker, and winter wren. A vigorous hike in Sweetwater Creek State Park (in Douglas County), also not far from downtown Atlanta, turned up a young Cooper’s hawk in addition to more common birds of the forest, such as titmice, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and so forth — a good day, considering that I was also treated to incredible vistas and the historic mill ruins on the Sweetwater’s banks. Continue reading

From West to East: A Road Trip Journal (Part 1)

This is the first in a series of posts on a summer trip. Sorry it’s not quite summer anymore; things have been busy, but hopefully I’ll get the rest of these out before too long!

A little bit of background: I spent this summer studying ancient Greek language at the University of Berkeley. In late May, a few days before I was scheduled to catch my plane at Hartsfield-Jackson airport for Berkeley, I invited a few of my best friends over to bid them a fond farewell for the summer. Suffice to say, we ended up on the roof at three a.m. discussing how incredible it would be to do a cross-country road trip after my class was over. Now, we had thrown around this possibility dozens of times before, but this time, everything was a bit different. For one, none of us was a kid anymore; Tyler, my next door neighbor, had just graduated from University of Georgia; my brother, Carl, is going into his senior year at Emory University; and Nick, a good friend from high school, and I are both going into our junior years (Emory for me, Haverford for him). Moreover, all of us were itching to get out of our quiet suburbs and see some of the world before the relentless march of years and responsibility would make it impossible for us to take the trip together.  Before we knew it, we were taking solemn oaths that we’d be hitting the road in shortly more than two months. Obviously, we did, or I wouldn’t be writing this now.

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