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On the Wing: The Woods Are Its ‘Web’

The screech owl is about the size of a brick, with big eyes, and ear tufts, but this adorable little owl is an efficient killer. Its howl represents pure death to a variety of critters. Nothing is safe, even other screech owls. It even takes bats on the wing.

Jan 20, 2022
On the Wing: Superhero Ducks ‘Fly’ Underwater

Why isn’t the long-tailed duck more celebrated? It’s crazy looking, gregarious, easily seen, cackles like a stuttering kazoo, hilariously belly-flops when it lands, and hangs out in bad little duck posses. It’s even controversial.

Jan 13, 2022
On the Wing: The Mystery of the Robins

I’ve lived here for 20 years under the Great American Robin Flyway and I had no idea, but recently started noticing them gathering en masse, as many as 5,400 of them, like black stars shooting against a white sky. Where were they headed?

Jan 6, 2022
On the Wing: Snowies for Christmas

If you are lucky enough to encounter one of these visitors from the north, the number-one rule is to simply keep your distance.

Dec 22, 2021
On the Wing: Special Gifts for the Birders on Your List

Love birds? Love someone who loves birds? These gift ideas from The Star's "On the Wing" columnist will help to nurture that passion, support bird habitat, and perhaps spark a deeper understanding of our avian neighbors.

Dec 16, 2021
On the Water: Out on a High Note

In baseball parlance, the fishing season is now formally in the bottom of the ninth inning. There are two outs and two strikes on the batter at the plate, or in this case a fisherman with a rod and reel in hand. For my part, I did not want to strike out by not fishing one last time before the end of the year.

Dec 9, 2021
On the Wing: The Little Bird With a Big Song

The Carolina wren, not six inches in length, is a skulky bird that wants to hide out in a log or a pile of sticks, but its song distinguishes it immediately, and can be heard all year long.

Dec 9, 2021
On the Water: Back to the Beginning

The other night, I came across my first fishing logbook, started back in 1978, in which I began to inscribe my saltwater exploits when I was 15 years old. Back then I considered it a chore to take time to make notations of success or failure in my fishing excursions and wondered how it would ultimately serve me. But now I finally know.

Dec 2, 2021
On the Water: Fishing on Other Boats

With my boat prematurely out of the water for the season with various and costly engine issues, I have to find other vessels to fish on. Many friends have already hauled out their crafts, so I’m resigned to fishing on open boats, and that’s just fine with me. Two weeks ago, I took passage on the Peconic Star 3 out of Greenport for blackfish. It is skippered by the ever-youthful Capt. Speedy Hubert, he of the age of 84. Spry and energetic as ever, he anchored us up on a wreck off Horton’s Point in Long Island Sound. I had not fished that area in probably over 35 years. It was nice to be back.

Nov 24, 2021
On the Water: Season Ends for Some

Rick Pickering, the owner of Ship Ashore Marina in Sag Harbor, broke the bad news: “The turbocharger on the engine of your boat needs to be rebuilt, or we can get you a new one.”

Nov 18, 2021
On the Water: Wishing for Scallops

I was determined to find out for myself if the dire prediction of another terrible scallop season was in fact true.

Nov 4, 2021
On the Water: Back in the Boat

Saturday’s marine forecast looked promising for a change. The bushel of green crabs that I bought two weeks ago would finally be put to good use for a few hours of blackfishing in and around the Plum Island area.

Oct 28, 2021