Thank you to the birders of Mississippi for a wonderful weekend April 28-29 around Oxford. Special thanks to the MOS, Delta Wind Birds, The Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Wild Birds Unlimited of Jackson, and the other sponsors for making it all possible. The birding was excellent, as passing thunderstorms pushed migrants down and kept birds […]
The quiz below shows four photographs of the leafy crowns of trees, as you might see them while looking for birds through binoculars or telescopes. Differences in leaf “posture”, arrangement, and color are just as obvious as differences in leaf shape, and all of these species are readily distinguishable at a glance, even in silhouette. […]
It turns out that trees not only communicate through fungal networks in their roots, they also pass nutrients around from tree to tree, even between species! The fungi (many species) grow in contact with the roots of the tree, enjoying the steady source of carbohydrates that the tree has produced, and in exchange giving the […]
I’ve been neglecting trees in my posts recently, but here in Massachusetts spring is the best time of year for tree-watching, and today the sun was out offering some good photo opportunities.
One of my main goals in creating the Sibley Guide to Trees was to apply modern methods of bird study to tree identification. This meant looking at trees at a distance and trying to figure out what, if any, differences would allow me to distinguish species quickly and reliably in just a glance. I continue […]
Spring is always an exciting time for birdwatchers, as migrants pass through and summer residents return, all in their flashy breeding plumage. This time of year is equally interesting for tree-watching, and it is the best time of year for identifying trees from a distance by their color.
In The Sibley Guide to Trees I refer to some species of trees as having leaves (or needles) two-ranked, and several readers have asked me to clarify the meaning of the term. In the introduction of the guide on p. xxix the term is mentioned and illustrated with one example: American Elm has leaves two-ranked, […]
Here’s an opportunity to own a piece of my original art. I have donated an original acrylic painting of the leaf and fruit of Sugar Maple to Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sactuary in Topsfield, MA. The piece will be part of the silent auction at their Spring Syrup Pancake Fling on the morning of […]
I’ve just posted a new page that lists some of my most-frequently-used online references about trees. You can find it here, and it is also linked on the Tree Info page.
Thanks to an email from Ray Telfair I’ve taken a closer look at the illustrations and descriptions of hickory nuts on pages 143 to 149 in the Guide to Trees. I used the terms “angled” and “ribbed” interchangeably, and illustrations such as Pignut Hickory p 145 appear “angled”, which is confusing and incorrect, so I’ll try to […]