Category Archives: Photography

Fine examples of capturing nature and science, and how to do it.

This Week at Hilton Pond (1-14 January 2014)—#588—“Wood Duck Nest Boxes: Attracting Our Most Colorful Piedmont Waterfowl”

Figure 1. A hen Wood Duck, Aix sponsa (see photo), kept one eye on the photographer
and the other on her 13 just-fledged ducklings paddling about on Hilton Pond. (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

The ball falling in Times Square last New Year’s Eve also signaled the beginning of our 33rd year at Hilton Pond Center, and this week’s 588th installment of “This Week at Hilton Pond” marks the 15th year for my Web-based photo essays Continue reading…

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This Week at Hilton Pond (22-31 December 2013)—#587—“2013 Bird Banding Results: Better Than Last Year, But Still Below Average”

Figure 1. A male Prothonotary Warbler—only our 17th banded at Hilton Pond since 1982—was the most uncommon species banded locally in 2013. (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

I was away from Hilton Pond Center on many occasions during 2013 and that—coupled with bander illness and a general dearth of birds—led to a year of below average banding success. Continue reading…

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This Week at Hilton Pond (8-21 December 2013)—#586—“23rd Annual York/Rock Hill (SC) Christmas Bird Count

Figure 1. Two Great Egrets (see photo) with black legs and yellow bills were probably the best sightings for this year’s York/Rock Hill (SC) Christmas Bird Count. They’re far more common on the Carolinas coast. (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

In conjunction with National Audubon Society, “This Week at Hilton Pond” we organized and compiled the 23rd annual York/Rock hill (South Carolina) Christmas Bird Count. Continue reading…

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“Earthrise” from the Moon, Animated

Another iconic (literally) moment was the capture of this photo, which came to define an entire new–there’s just no other way to say it–worldview. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, DIY, General Interest, History of Science, Observation, Optics, Photography, Space | 1 Comment

This Week at Hilton Pond (1-7 December 2013)—#585—“Wandering White-throat: A Long-lived Sparrow Meets Its Demise”

Figure 1. White-throated Sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis (see photo), breed primarily in Canada, but many individuals migrate to the southern U.S. to spend the winter. (Photo copyright Bill Hilton Jr.)

Ever wonder why I devote so much time, energy, and thought to bird banding? In part it’s for the rush (and scientific validation) I get when notified one of “my” banded birds has been encountered at a faraway locale. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Biology, General Interest, Nature Study, Observation, Ornithology, Photography, Wildlife | 1 Comment

Sic Transit ISON

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Some comets like it hot, but Comet ISON was not one of them. Continue reading…

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This Week at Hilton Pond (1-30 November 2013)—#584—“Ujarráscals In Costa Rica: Hummingbirds Among The Chayote”

The first half of November I was in Costa Rica’s Orosi Valley for our 22nd Operation RubyThroat citizen science expedition to the Neotropics. Mist netting and live-trapping operations were centered at Ujarrás, a riverside agricultural community whose cash crop is Chayote–a squash that flowers prolifically and whose nectar is sought by hummers and other avifauna. Continue reading…

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ISON Fizzle? Maybe Not

Comet ISON appears as a white smear heading up and away from the sun on Thursday, November 28. Scientists initially thought the comet had been disintegrated by the sun, but images suggest a small nucleus may still be intact. Image: CNN

It now looks like some chunk of ISON’s nucleus has indeed made it through the solar corona, and re-emerged. It’s throwing off dust and (probably) gas, but we don’t know how long it can sustain that. Continue reading…

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Citizen Science Musings: Don’t Wait!

I had picked somewhere a pair of special filters mounted in cardboard eyewear frames that would let me safely observe the transit without frying my retinas over easy. As the day drew closer, the weather looked iffy, but the chances of seeing something were still there. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Best Practices, Citizen Science Musings, Education, Observation, Photography, Science Education, Space, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Watch Polar Bears, Live

About 900 polar bears gather at Cape Churchill in Manitoba every fall waiting for Hudson Bay to freeze over so they can begin their seal hunting season on the ice. (explore.org)

“Not very many people will have opportunity to ever go see a polar bear in wild,” Wright said, so the polar bear cam is a way to connect the world to these charismatic animals “and hopefully intrigue people to want to learn more.” Continue reading…

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