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i hadn't laid eyes on a golden-winged warbler in years and at first i couldn't believe what i was seeing until someone else called it - 2016-11-14
the mexico birding adventure continues... - 2016-11-13
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By public demand, and after a delay of an embarrassing number of years, I've finally put my notorious essay, Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman, free on the fabulous internets.

A bibliography of my published books and stories.

Here's a simple card-counting FAQ to get you up to speed on the basics. Here's the true story of the notorious DD' blackjack team, told for the first time on the fabulous internets. No other team went from a starting investor's bankroll of zero to winning millions of dollars.


A Sadean take on Asimov's classic Three Laws of Robotics can be found in Roger Williams' NOW REVIEWED ON SLASHDOT!!! The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. Adult readers only please -- explicit sex and violence. For updates on the "Dead Tree Project" and other topics, you may visit the official fan site, Passages in the Void..


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My Bird Lists -- My Louisiana State Life List, My Yard List and, tah dah, My World Life List.


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new mexico bird list, nov. 14-21, 2004

2004-11-24 - 10:44 a.m.

sandhill cranes, bosque del apache, new mexico

2004 by Roger Williams

While we came for the spectacle of the huge numbers of cranes and geese, we did add an astonishing new life bird -- the Red Crossbill. I've also added the White-Crowned Sparrow to my life list, not because I haven't seen it before, but because for whatever reason it got left off my list and I didn't realize it until now. Perhaps the first time I noticed the White-Crowned Sparrow was years ago, hiking in the Grand Canyon, when I got separated from the other people and came across a singing bird. A nice memory from before the days of keeping an official list.

I've never seen a Crossbill before, and at first I kept getting these tantalizing glimpses that left me totally confused. There was a streaky bird who kept flitting behind a branch. There were the yellow bottoms of some other birds very high up. Then, close but still heavily shadowed in a pine, was a red-rumped bird with its face buried deep in its pine cone prize. The picture didn't snap into focus until a cooperative female came out and posed for us in the open. Even then, for a brief moment, I wondered if I was looking at a mutant with a freakishly deformed beak. Then I finally realized what we had -- young birds (the streaky guys), females (the yellow-rumped ones), and the gloriously colored red males who kept their beaks sneakily busy so I wouldn't see the odd crossbills right away.

The Greater Roadrunner was a surprisingly elusive bird. Indeed, it was the last species to be added to the list on the last tour of the last day.

western grebe at elephant butte, new mexico

2004 by Roger Williams

  1. Pied-billed Grebe
  2. Eared Grebe
  3. Western Grebe
  4. Clark's Grebe
  5. American White Pelican
  6. Double-crested Cormorant
  7. Neotropic Cormorant
  8. Great Blue Heron
  9. Great Egret
  10. Black-crowned Night-Heron
  11. Greater White-fronted Goose
  12. Snow Goose
  13. Ross's Goose
  14. Canada Goose
  15. American Wigeon
  16. Gadwall
  17. Mallard
  18. Northern Pintail
  19. Northern Shoveler
  20. Redhead
  21. Ring-necked Duck
  22. Common Merganser -- 1 female at Elephant Butte
  23. Osprey -- 1 at Elephant Butte
  24. Bald Eagle -- 2, one adult, at Bosque
  25. Northern Harrier -- many!
  26. Sharp-shinned Hawk
  27. Cooper's Hawk
  28. Red-tailed Hawk -- light, rufous, and Harlan's morph all seen well
  29. Ferruginous Hawk
  30. American Kestrel -- many!
  31. Gambel's Quail
  32. Ring-necked Pheasant
  33. Sandhill Crane -- count increased from 7,400 to 11,000-plus during our visit
  34. American Coot
  35. Killdeer -- heard only
  36. Greater Yellowlegs
  37. Ring-billed Gull
  38. American Herring Gull -- 1 at Elephant Butte
  39. Rock Dove
  40. Mourning Dove
  41. White-winged Dove
  42. Greater Roadrunner
  43. Belted Kingfisher
  44. Acorn Woodpecker -- 1 at Water Canyon
  45. Red-naped Sapsucker
  46. Ladder-backed Woodpecker -- pair at Elephant Butte
  47. Northern Flicker -- Red-shafted
  48. Black Phoebe
  49. Say's Phoebe
  50. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  51. Rock Wren
  52. Northern Mockingbird
  53. Curve-billed Thrasher -- Elephant Butte area
  54. Western Bluebird
  55. Townsend's Solitaire -- 1 at Water Canyon
  56. White-breasted Nuthatch -- Water Canyon
  57. Loggerhead Shrike -- Elephant Butte
  58. American Crow
  59. Chihuahuan Raven
  60. Common Raven -- 1 calling at Water Canyon
  61. European Starling
  62. Yellow-rumped Warbler -- Audubon's
  63. Spotted Towhee
  64. Canyon Towhee -- Sandia Mountains
  65. Chipping Sparrow
  66. Black-throated Sparrow -- 1 at Elephant Butte
  67. White-crowned Sparrow -- many
  68. White-throated Sparrow -- tan type at Bosque Visitor Center feeder
  69. Dark-eyed Junco -- both Gray-Headed and Oregon subspecies
  70. Pyrrhuloxia -- Elephant Butte
  71. Red-winged Blackbird
  72. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  73. Brewer's Blackbird
  74. Common Grackle -- 1 at Bosque
  75. House Finch -- 1 at Sandia
  76. Red Crossbill -- Gila National Forest, Emory Pass, family group
  77. Pine Siskin -- many, Water Canyon
  78. Lesser Goldfinch
  79. American Goldfinch
  80. House Sparrow

white pelican at elephant butte, new mexico

2004 by Roger Williams

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