Wild Side: Blowflies

If you’ve ever found a large, bristly, blueish-black fly banging against a windowpane in late autumn or early spring, chances are you were looking...

Wild Side: Tiger beetles

Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday the 25th, will stick in my memory for a good long time. My fairly accurate pocket thermometer recorded 69°...

Wild Side: The yellow-breasted chat

The warbler family, a large one, is a favorite among birders. And even if you aren’t a birder, you may well have a sense...

Wild Side: Great horned owls

After 20 years of active birding on the Vineyard, I’ve encountered pretty much all of our regularly occurring bird species, most of our “rare...

Wild Side: Seaweed flies

The Christmas bird count (see bit.ly/mvbirdcount) held on Dec. 28 was a snoozer for me: Low numbers, no good birds, many expected species missed....

Wild Side: Winter hummingbirds

Martha’s Vineyard is famous among birders, with a well-earned reputation for both a skillful birding community and a tendency to attract rare birds. While...

Wild Side: Snow buntings

Some winters back, I was out birding Lobsterville with the late Vern Laux and a couple of beginning birders. When we found a flock...

Wild Side: Spring peepers

Late November may be a strange time of year to write about an animal with “spring” in its name, but among the absolute truths...

Wild Side: Ravens

  While the peak of fall migration, long since past, offers the most active birding of the Vineyard year, many of the more unusual avian...

Wild Side: Barrens buck moths

From the naturalist’s perspective, the Vineyard is an odd and endlessly surprising place. Between the young geological age of the Vineyard, the ocean barrier...