‘The bird who knew too little’

The smallest member of the falcon family, this handsome little American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) can be found throughout North America and much of South America (Arkive.org).Only about 9-12″ in length, the elegant but fierce little bird of prey feeds mostly on insects, small rodents and amphibians, and small birds. Yet, due to its petite size, the American Kestrel itself sometimes […]

Tiny wonders

During my walks I am awestruck by the tiny wonders of Nature all around me – the insects, the flowers.. . . These little gems remind me of the poetic words of King David, as he described Creation and the natural world:  “[G-d] wrapped Himself in light like a garment and spread out the heavens […]

The cycle begins again

The mornings and evenings are a bit cooler and less humid these days, and some migrating birds have arrived in our area. But the wetland birds’ courting and breeding season that brings so many visitors has really not yet begun. Lots of marsh plants are still in bloom, including these delicate Fireflags dangling over the ponds, and […]

A Day of Joy and Transformation~

Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, takes place this Tuesday evening through Wednesday.  On this day, also known as the Day of Atonement, one refrains from eating and drinking, and spends most of the day in the synagogue engaged in prayer. Much of the liturgy focuses on repentance, confession, and seeking forgiveness. Yet Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz reminds […]

Let me be as a bird . . .

This past week, our Shabbat Torah reading, which was the second portion of the Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy), opened with one of the most poignant and moving statements ever made by the great leader Moshe Rabbenu (Moses). G-d has previously told Moshe that, despite Moshe’s great love for Eretz Israel, he will never enter the […]

The Three Weeks

As the nesting season draws to a close, and the migratory birds have returned to their summer homes, we see fewer and fewer of our ‘regulars’ like the Great Blue Herons and Wood Storks here in the preserves. Some of the juveniles and a few baby birds, like the Night Herons, Cattle Egrets, and Common Moorhens (Gallinules) still remain, […]

Hai Bar . . . Arava Ostriches

Did you ever play Animal Lotto as a kid, the Memory game of matching picture pairs?  That’s where I first learned about the Ostrich, the Platypus, and many other unique curiosities of the animal world.  Many years later, I saw Ostriches for the first time in the wild at the Hai Bar, a large preserve established in the 1970’s […]