Purbita Saha

Purbita Saha

Purbita Saha is a reporter for Audubon Magazine whose conservation interests lie in bird and insect behavior. Her Twitter handle is @hahabita

Articles by this Author

Published: 03/20/2014

From March to September each year, Michael Milicia scours the beaches of Massachusetts' North Shore. He's not casting fishing reels or hunting for gold; his goal is to document the threatened species that nest there--the most imperiled being the piping plover.

Published: 03/20/2014

One late afternoon at Nickerson Beach in Nassau County, New York, Johann Schumacher dug his knees into the sand and pointed his camera toward the light as the sun settled into the mantle of the horizon. He wanted to capture a monochromatic image of a sundrenched skimmer. A string of fire appeared just as he took the shot—an illusion created by the bird's mandible slicing through the water.

Published: 03/20/2014

Last month, while much of the country was caught in the throes of a polar vortex, Americans braved frigid conditions to spend Valentine's weekend outside, counting birds. Thanks to the tenacity of bird enthusiasts around the world, it was a record-breaking year for the Great Backyard Bird Count, an annual avian survey run by the National Audubon Society and Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Over 140,000 individuals tallied 17.7 million birds from 4,296 species--that's more than one-third of all the known avian species in the world.

Irruption Highlights

Published: 03/25/2014

On the weekend after Thanksgiving, Bill Dix was in birding heaven. He was at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Sanibel, Florida, and the water was teeming with birds: white ibises, black-bellied plovers, reddish egrets, willets, pelicans, and of course, herons.

Published: 03/25/2014

Of all the winter birds she meets, the short-eared owl is Diana Whiting's favorite. Every time she goes out to photograph one of the raptors in western New York, she learns something new. She's learned that it's hard to spot an owl on a windy day. And she's discovered that in flight, the bird looks like a colossal, feathery moth.

Published: 03/25/2014

After being absent for nearly 300 years, Hawaii's state bird the nene goose has finally come home to roost in Oahu.

Published: 03/25/2014

"Elvis Costello meets a busload of birders." – Matt Clark, director of the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, singer/songwriter

"All my friends are raven about it." – Joe Liebezeit, conservation program manager at Audubon Portland, mandolin player

 

Published: 03/27/2014

In the Aesop's fable "The Crow and the Pitcher," a parched crow discovers a pitcher holding water. The water is pooled at the bottom of the vessel where the crow can't reach it. So in typical Aesopian fashion, the crow comes up with the idea to drop pebbles into the water one by one, making the liquid rise to the top and allowing the bird to quench its thirst. The moral of the story: "little by little does the trick."

Published: 04/08/2014

In Antarctica anything can happen. But for Max Seigal, one of the most shocking encounters he had while exploring the continent involved a fearless group of penguin chicks.

Published: 04/08/2014

Debra Herst was in Brunswick Point, British Columbia, hunting for a short-eared owl to photograph. Then she came upon the perfect subject. It was resting on a log on the grassy shores of the river delta. As Hurst ran through a handful of exposures the bird took of to hunt for rodents. All of a sudden, it veered toward her. The look of recognition that she caught in its eyes adds an element of intimacy to her photograph--a rare sensation between wild creatures and humans.