Today I’m thankful for buffleheads, goldeneyes, tundra swans, mallards, Canada geese and ring-billed gulls—and for figuring out what’s wrong with my camera

clear photo of crescent moon

I saw so many birds today, but almost all of my photos of them ended up blurry. This has been a recurring issue. But I finally figured out the problem! Read on for the solution, plus not-atrocious photos of buffleheads.

Bird of the Day: White-naped crane (Antigone vipio)

white-naped crane (Antigone vipio)

This beautiful bird is the white-naped crane (Antigone vipio), an Asian crane that breeds in northern Mongolia, northeastern China, and neighboring parts of Russia. The eastern members of the species winter in Japan and Korea, including the Korean demilitarized zone. Japan and Korea play important roles in my family history, so maybe that’s why this particular pair of cranes were so cooperative in letting me take their pictures.