About John Schwarz

John SchwarzA retired Boston area ophthalmologist, Dr. Schwarz now divides the year between the Connecticut shore and the east coast of Florida. A life-long nature enthusiast and avid boater and fisherman, he has also pursued white-water river rafting, and is a certified scuba diver. He travels extensively to fulfill what began in 2005 as a personal goal of photographing 700 North American bird species, a goal that was reached in February, 2015 with the Whooping Cranes in Rockport, Texas. Many of his images appear on the popular app iBird Pro.

Hood Mockingbird in the GalapagosDr. Schwarz is available for birding outings seasonally both in Florida and Connecticut, or to assist visitors who are simply interested in nature learning.  Please feel free to contact him anytime.

28 Responses to About John Schwarz

  1. John Connors says:

    Hi John.

    We are in the final stages of completing a new exhibit for the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ new wing, the Nature Research Center. In our Exhibit, the Naturalist Table, museum visitors will pick up a preserved specimen and bring it to the table. An RFID tag attached to the specimen will activate a projector which will display information about that species on to the table and prompt the visitor to find additional information or photos or video. One of the stories we are telling is that of the Chimney Swift, and it’s unique physical adaptations, as well as it’s relationship with people and their chimneys. We have video of chimney swifts coming to a roost, but we are lacking a good photograph of chimney swifts perched inside a brick chimney. We saw your photos and recognized that they would be perfect, particularly the following image:
    Was wondering about the process of acquiring rights to use this image for this permanent museum exhibit?
    Please advise. Thanks, John Connors

  2. Paul Preo says:

    This is a remarkable resource! And very professionally presented. You must have had a lot of enjoyment putting this together. Thanks for sharing with us. What is the name of that unique bird you saw in Rocky Mountain National Park? I am looking for the photo, but can’t remember the name.

  3. Sara Feldt says:

    Hi John,

    I am an employee at Badlands National Park working to put together an educational GPS adventure booklet directing visitors to specific locations throughout the park. One of the locations is to view cliff swallow nests and perhaps cliff swallows themselves. We are interested in using some of your images of cliff swallows for this booklet and were hoping to obtain copyright information from you regarding image use.

    I hope to hear from you soon.


    • john says:

      That would be a juvenile European Starling. Tip: When asking for an ID, it is always helpful to include the date and location where the photo was taken.

  4. Kathy McMillan says:

    Hi John –
    Your website is brilliant – so happy to have found it.
    This morning, I saw two delightful birds in my backyard. After searching thru my Audubon book, your pictures and Cornell Lab’s site, I still am baffled as to what kind they are.
    Would you please help me to identify them?
    The date is Oct 7, 2012, and I’m in Oakland Park, FL. Beak to tail tip, they are about 3-4 inches long, delicate looking, not frightened of me, and flit from branch to branch with lightning speed. One has noticeably more yellow than the other. They seem quiet (but with as many birds as I have here, maybe they are just drowned out) and I could not identify their call.
    I’ve included photos. My apologies, but this is the best I could manage. Each photo has a cropped version for better viewing.
    Thanks so much!

    • john says:

      Hi Kathy:

      Glad you are enjoying the web site.

      You have an American Redstart (either an adult female or a first year bird), best seen in your photo #3 cropped, which also shows the typical tail-fanning behavior of this species. If one bird had more yellow than the other, the one with more yellow was likely an adult. They’re actually a bit larger than 3 to 4 inches, closer to 5.25 inches, and you’re quite right that, typical of most wood-warblers not singing on territory, they don’t sit still for even half a second and are difficult to photograph. The adult female also has a yellow chevron on the wing, which first year birds lack. It can be hard to tell hatch year males from females, especially at a distance with only a fleeting view.

  5. Siri Stanley says:

    Happy holidays to you, John! It’s Christmas day, and I’ve been watching a large group of small grey white-bellied birds bobbing in my backyard for the past hour or so … who I’ve never seen before. I’ve combed the web, and it was your photos that confirmed that my holiday visitors are Dark-Eyed Juncos! Since your photos were taken at Hammonasset Beach, and my yard is in Clinton (very nearby) — I feel safe in making the call. Thank you for your website and for your dedication to birds. Best wishes to you.

  6. Kim says:

    Hi, wondering if you can help me identify a bird at the feeder today. Location is the Piedmont area of NC, in rural/suburban area. Small bird, has a brown head with a white stripe; very definite change of coloration on body below neck, to a solid grey on back and wings, and a white chest with a small circular spot on the lower abdomen. I could not see the eye color, and don’t know the beak shape. It was about the size of a large finch, but fuller in the chest. Thank you!

    • john says:

      In your area, a small bird with a brown head with a white stripe brings to mind a Carolina Wren, but it is not gray on the back and wings. A Brown-headed Nuthatch has a brown head, a gray back and wings, and white underparts, although no white stripe on its head. Also check out American Tree Sparrow, which has that dark spot on the lower breast, and also White-crowned Sparrow, but I think the Brown-headed Nuthatch comes closest to your overall description. Always try to get a picture if you can, even if it’s just with a cell phone. If the bird came to your feeder once, it most likely will show up again. Do let me know if any of these suggestions match the bird.

  7. Patrick says:

    Loking for help to identify a bird I took a photo of in Vermont. Very small beak, blueish head and back, black tail and white under belly. Size about of a sparrow?

  8. Patrick says:

    I do not think that is it. The beak is smaller and the color is closer to a turquoise. Is there a way to attach a photo I have of this bird?

  9. Patrick says:

    The under belly is all white. The back of the head and neck is a blue/ turquoise like color. The wings and tail feathers are black. From the beak to and around the eye is a small patch of black. I am guessing it’s in the perching family.

  10. Patrick says:

    Yes that is it. It’s a tree swallow. Thank you.

  11. Lynn Frenette says:

    I was looking at you photos of Prairie Chickens and was wondering if it would be alright to use some of them as reference for my own artwork. I do artwork in coloured pencil and after discovering this bird is no longer on the Canadian Prairies I thought I would like to do a drawing of it.

  12. Carolyn Carlson says:

    Hi John
    Would love to have a framed photo of your cinnamon teal pair 3747. Is that possible?


    Hi, I have recently started linocutting and would like to use a picture of the snow geese to draw and create a linocut. I would like your permission to use one of your pictures.

  14. Renee Levesque says:

    Hello John,

    I am editor of our club’s newsletter, The Woodland Observer, sent free of charge by email to all members of Nipissing Naturalists Club in North Bay, Ontario. I would like to use your photo of the two Chimney Swifts roosting inside the brick chimney or structure to go with an article asking for volunteers to count Chimney Swifts entering their main roost site here – data we send on to Bird Studies Canada.

    Thank you.

    Renee Levesque,

  15. Amar Ayyash says:

    Hi, John. Any interest in allowing usage of a photo for a gull guide that I’m working on? Full credit would be provided to you. Thanks for your time!
    This is the one I had in mind:https://15txcyrpr2832h2mi1fcvzjc-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/OV9A0147c.jpg

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