We're Back!

Welcome back to the official return of Aerial View, the birding column I wrote weekly for The Plain Dealer for more than 11 years.
Unfortunately, changes in the newspaper world took precedent, and the new editor decided Aerial View wasn’t attracting a sufficient number of “clicks” online, so he killed it about three years ago.
Green jay

That opinion conflicted with my previous editors, Doug Clifton and Tom O'Hara – two of the best in the country – who weren’t birders but appreciated the vital nature of the niche readership that Aerial View attracted.
Jump ahead to March 1, when I retired from The PD after 27-plus years of service. Suddenly, a door was opened to continue my career with the exciting opportunity to write a new birding blog for the growing numbers of enlightened birders and lovers of the outdoors.
I look forward to sharing that love with you on a regular basis for many years to come.
To kick off the introduction of Aerial View Redux, here is a preview of an upcoming trip to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, one of the most bountiful birding locations in North America.
Altamira oriole
On Thursday, March 21, I’ll be accompanied by a great group of birders, featuring my son, Bret, a first-year medical student at the New Jersey School of Medicine at Rutgers U. in Newark, N.J.; Jeff Wert, my friend and birding partner since our High School days; and Karen Lakus, the talented historical interpreter for the Cleveland Metroparks.
Father and son, Bret

Our destination has been in the news a lot recently as the nation debates the potentially devastating impact of a proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico. Looking beyond the humanitarian damage the wall would inflict on our brothers and sisters to the south of the border, the damage to the environment would be incalculable.
Passage between the U.S. and Mexico would be blocked for migrating birds found nowhere else in North America. Jaguars, ocelots and javelinas would lose the ability to cross back and forth over the Rio Grande. And the wall would destroy private property and iconic parks in the Valley, such as Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park and the National Butterfly Center.
Our group plans to visit all of these habitats during our trip, and to report on life in the Valley as we approach a decision on the life or death of the Wall.
So welcome back to our reunion with Aerial View. I look forward to sharing our adventures and photographs for years to come. Enjoy!


  1. Glad as hell you'll keep writing, Jim. I'll be reading.

    1. Thanks Tom! That's the plan for Phase 2. (Got out just in time!)

  2. So glad you are back! Write on!

  3. I learned so much just reading this one post. You go, Jim McCarty! You will find plenty of followers!


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