Waking prior to sunrise on a cold winter’s day, I go outside to Emmy’s mew (enclosure) where she has spent the night dreaming about today’s squirrel hunt. Lifting her from her perch, I place her in a large plastic transport box, known as a giant hood, and load her into the back seat of my truck. I then toss my hawking satchel and walking stick into the truck and we drive off to one of our hunting locations. (more…)
For those of you that follow my various social media accounts (@fishguyphotos), you will notice that during the winter months I frequently post pictures of a red-tailed hawk.
Typically, the hawk in the picture is located on the ground and holding a freshly caught squirrel or rabbit in her sharp talons. At first glance, it appears that I always seem to be at the right place at the right time, capturing a moment in nature that so few of us get to see in person. That feeling of awe quickly turns to disbelief when the next post is a “hawk selfie” or a video of a hawk landing on my hand. Why would such a majestic bird allow me into its world time and time again?
In addition to being the “Fish Guy,” I am a general class falconer and the hawk featured in those posts is my red-tailed hawk Emmy. (more…)
A juvenile great black-backed gull. (Credit: Chris Paparo)
With temperatures dipping into the teens, it seems as if Old Man Winter has finally arrived on the North Fork.
For the “fair-weather” birder, these bitter cold temperatures can hamper their favorite activity. Hopefully these same birders read my article from September, when I described how to create an oasis in your backyard for our feathered friends. With any luck, their backyards are currently bustling with wildlife that they are enjoying from the comfort and warmth of their home.
For those that did not prepare ahead of time, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy birding on the North Fork. You will just need to bundle up. (more…)
The first Monday in November is a date that gets every seafood lover’s mouth salivating.
It is opening day of bay scallop season.
These delicious morsels are only available during the winter months and the demand is always high for them. In the days leading up to the opener, scallopers ready their dredges, dig out their viewing boxes, and service their dive gear. (more…)
The author holds up a black sea bass. (Credit: Chris Paparo)
It is time to celebrate the fall harvest on the North Fork. Trekking from great distances, people flood onto the North Fork in search of the freshest vegetables, the juiciest apples, the savoriest of wines, and of course, the “Great Pumpkin.” Although the fall harvest typically focuses on agricultural products, there is another North Fork commodity that is just as equally sought after; seafood. Fishing has been and continues to play an important role in the heritage of the North Fork.
And as temperatures begin to drop, the fishing really heats up. (more…)
A ruby-throated hummingbird. (Credit: Chris Paparo)
With an estimate of over 47 million people observing feathered wildlife, birding is quickly becoming one of the most popular hobbies in the country. Whether you are young or old, live an active lifestyle or one of a couch potato, you can be a birder.
For most people it is hard to see the appeal in bird watching. To the non-birder, there are only a couple different “types” of birds (sparrows, pigeons, sea gulls, storks, and hawks/eagles) and with the exception of hawks/eagles, those creatures are commonplace and not worth a second look. Surprisingly though, there are actually 914 different species of birds naturally occurring in North America, each with a unique set of characteristics. (more…)
A female blue crab and her ‘painted nails.’ (Credit: Fish Guy Photos, Chris Paparo)
With bright blue claws, sweet white meat, and powerful swimming legs, the blue crab is completely deserving of its scientific name Callinectes sapidus, which translates to “beautiful savory swimmer.” Enthusiastically pursued by both young and old anglers alike, the blue crab is a favorite dish at the local summertime clambake.
Having an extensive range, the blue crab can be found living in shallow coastal bays of the Western Atlantic Ocean from Cape Cod to Uruguay. Here on the North Fork, they are common in many of the small back bays, creeks, and harbors throughout the Peconic. In recent years, I have even been finding them in greater numbers in the harbors along the Sound as well. (more…)