Wednesday, May 25, 2011


With eggs in the nest, the redwings are on alert.

While kayaking Ottawa Marsh I came upon a nest and these two reacted in opposite fashion: the male flared and defended while the female retreated and hid.

Fight or flight.

Both made a lot of racket.

Monday, May 23, 2011


At last, Douglas Tallamy's wonderful presentation, Gardening for Life, will be broadcast next week on Public Media Network.

The award winning author of Bringing Nature Home was the keynote speaker for a conference on native gardening at the Kalamazoo Nature Center in the Fall of 2009. I was commissioned by the Kalamazoo Area Chapter of Wild Ones to document Tallamy's presentation and the panel discussion following his talk. You can read more about the presentation and the commissioned DVD by clicking here.

If you care about the decline of biodiversity in the world and want to know how you can do something about it right in your backyard, you need to watch this program!

Friday, May 27th @8pm, channel 20
Sunday, May 29th @7pm, channel 19
Tuesday, May 31st @10am, channel 20
Thursday, June 2nd @3pm, channel 19


Oh, how I love the little yellow warbler...let me count the ways.

And words will always fall short of my feelings and affection for Ottawa Marsh.
I made my first trip to Ottawa this year, still early enough in the season to savor
the more delicate shades of Spring's palette. 

Ask me anytime of year where I'd like to be, if I could be anywhere
in Southwest Michigan, and I will almost always say: Ottawa Marsh.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


The Osprey are back!

In town along the Kalamazoo River.

They nested at this same spot for the first time two years ago, but were severely pressured by the constant gaze of awe struck onlookers, as well as a meth bust that put every news station van in Southwest Michigan within 10 yards of their nesting pole.

Given all that, I'm surprised they returned.

I'll post more soon. In the meantime, you can read an earlier post about these birds by clicking here.

Friday, May 13, 2011


The unfortunate update on our peregrines is that Idelle abandoned her nesting spot on the 15th floor of the Fifth Thirds building.

She aborted the clutch about two weeks ago, leaving behind four eggs in a copper-lined rain trough. It's very possible the torrential rains we had a few weeks ago were simply too much for Idelle as the rising water surrounded her and the eggs. 

A failed, first clutch is not uncommon and certainly explains the copulating I witnessed recently as the pair makes a second attempt at nesting this year. The birds have also gravitated over to one of the Pfizer buildings, perhaps attracted to what some say is a gravel roof.

Another twist in this story are reports of a third bird. Karen Tindall, who works in the Haymarket building on Michigan Avenue, across the street from Fifth Thirds, reports she saw a third peregrine recently in the area, something Jonathan Morgan (a local birder) witnessed a few weeks back. 

I think it's safe to say the falcons are here to stay, and sooner or later they'll succeed with a brood and young will fledge. The question is exactly where and when that will happen. 


For some unknown reason, Blogspot was having internal difficulties and consequently my last post, "PEREGRINES ABORT CLUTCH", was unexpectedly deleted. I'll be re-writing and re-posting very soon. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I'm proud to announce that I, 
Matt Clysdale, am now officially 
a "dot com". is the home of my new website! 

There you'll find samples of both my photographs and videos. There's also a shopping cart if you're interested in purchasing a print.

I'm extremely excited since this is my first centralized website. It's a work in progress, but I've come to realize life itself is a work in progress.