How Hawai‘i Forces Us to Redefine the Meaning of ‘Native’

An Environmental Historian Argues That Being Indigenous Is More Alchemy Than Fact

I was born in the Territory of Hawai‘i, three weeks before statehood. As a kid I played in its dirt, ran around in the rain (my hometown of Hilo is one of the two or three rainiest cities in the United States), clambered up trees and vines, and swam in the spectacular ocean waters.

I was of the islands; yet I was not. My dad was from Chicago and my mom from Salt Lake City. Certainly, if anyone had asked me, I would have replied that I was a native—after all, …

When Birders With Binoculars Trump Supercomputers

If You Want to Know Which Species Are Going Extinct, Don’t Use an Algorithm. Count Ducks at Christmas.

It was just after dawn on January 3 and a freezing wind blew around my binoculars and into my face as I stood scanning a steely Atlantic bay. Suddenly, where …

Why Do Birds Fall in Love?

Bickering Hummingbirds and Devoted Albatrosses Can Teach Us a Thing or Two About Courtship and Commitment

On Valentine’s Day, our thoughts inevitably turn to the birds and the bees. And as someone who studies birds, I can tell you our feathered friends have much to teach …

The Bowerbird

He builds a sitting room:
a roof of twigs, a carpet
of purple flowers.
On the floor, fruit shines
and stones make it proper.

Women come by when they feel …

Good Migrations

When the Geese Fly South, the Sacramento National Wildlife Sanctuary Is the Place to Be

“I’ll probably be gone all night,” announced Wally, opening the closet door and reaching for his uniform coat. “Hiller’s been getting reports of late-night duck shooting east of the refuge.”

It …

Now You See What I See (And I’m A Bird)

The Stunning Photographs of EarthFlight


For humans, one of the most dependable sights of early spring is a flock of birds migrating north for the summer. But what do the birds see? In the BBC …