aba events

Announcing the American Birding Association 2015 Awards

The ABA Board of Directors recently voted to make five presentations of ABA Awards in 2015. The awardees… [read more]

Announcing the American Birding Association 2015 Awards Announcing the American Birding Association 2015 Awards

Announcing the 2015 ABA Bird of the Year! / ¡Presentando al ABA Ave del Año del 2015!

We bid a fond farewell to our friend the Rufous Hummingbird, and turn our eyes towards 2015's standard… [read more]

Announcing the 2015 ABA Bird of the Year! / ¡Presentando al ABA Ave del Año del 2015! Announcing the 2015 ABA Bird of the Year! / ¡Presentando al ABA Ave del Año del 2015!

Photo Quiz, November/December 2014 Birding

  Update (Jan. 21, 2015): Tom Johnson's full analysis of this photo is available to ABA members.… [read more]

Photo Quiz, November/December 2014 Birding Photo Quiz, November/December 2014 Birding

Introducing the ABA State Guides

  In one of the ABA’s most ambitious undertakings ever, the association has partnered with… [read more]

Introducing the ABA State Guides Introducing the ABA State Guides

ABA Checklist Committee Adds Egyptian Goose to ABA Checklist

Yesterday, the ABA Checklist Committee (CLC) unanimously (8–0) accepted the Egyptian Goose (Alopochen… [read more]

ABA Checklist Committee Adds Egyptian Goose to ABA Checklist ABA Checklist Committee Adds Egyptian Goose to ABA Checklist

2014 AOU Check-list Supplement is Out!

Every summer, birders anxiously await publication of the “Check-list Supplement” by the American… [read more]

2014 AOU Check-list Supplement is Out! 2014 AOU Check-list Supplement is Out!

    The Peregrine Fund’s Raptors at Risk Exhibition and Contest

    The Peregrine Fund, a non-profit organization with a mission to protect birds of prey and their habitats, is offering an opportunity for amateur and professional bird photographers to show their stuff.

    Their “Raptors at Risk” juried photo contest and exhibition seeks to draw attention to these often misunderstood birds, their stories, and the their conservation needs.

    PEFA Raptors at Risk

    From the Peregrine Fund:

    The exhibition is sanctioned by The Photographic Society of America, the only organization in the United States and one of only four in the world authorized to oversee the work of accomplished photographers. It will operate under the new 2015 international Nature Division rules that reward the story-telling content of a photograph as well as the pictorial quality. Organizers expect these rules to attract birders, naturalists, and nature and wildlife photographers.

    “The Nature rules encourage amateur photographers with access to true wildlife situations faced by birds of prey to compete with the more polished entries of advanced photographers,” said Amy Siedenstrang, art director for The Peregrine Fund.

    Entries will be judged by a panel of expert outdoor and wildlife photographers. The winners will receive PSA gold, silver, and bronze medals, Honorable Mention ribbons, and The Peregrine Fund’s own Raptors at Risk Award along with prizes from sponsors, including Vortex Optics and B&H Photo.

    There is a fee for submitting entries of $11.99 for 1-2 and $19.99 for 3-4. Contestants are limited to 4 entries.

    F0r more information on this photo competition, including the prizes and the judges,  please see the Peregrine Fund’s contest website. If you decide to enter, good luck!

      Rare Bird Alert: March 27, 2015

      The early part of migration continues, and the listservs are packed with various FOYs and FOSs and other expected species making their long-anticipated return to the US and Canada. The view from the perspective of the vagrant hunter is looking up as well, with birds on the move it stands to reason we should expect some moving in the wrong direction to surprising places. This week sees some more action following a few weeks of relatively slow action.

      A number of rarities continue across the ABA Area. Eurasian Siskin in Alaska and Gray-crowned Yellowthroat in Texas among them. In Florida, both the Key-West Quail-Doves and the La Sagra’s Flycatcher continue into the week. California’s Brown Shrike and Rustic Bunting, both in the north, are hanging on, and the near permanent Sinaloa Wren in Arizona also persists. Nova Scotia’s Fieldfare is still hanging on in the same tree, but the province’s long-staying Eurasian Kestrel met its unfortunate demise at the business end of a Rough-legged Hawk this week.

      We’ll start in Arizona, where a pair of Mexican vagrants highlight the week. A Slate-throated Redstart (ABA Code 4) turned up on Mount Lemmon, in Pima. This is the farthest north record for the state and bested only by last year’s individual in west Texas for the ABA Area. A Rufous-backed Robin (3) was also found in Santa Cruz.

      This Slate-throated Redstart is the northernmost ever recorded in Arizona, photo by Andrew Core, used with permission

      This Slate-throated Redstart is the northernmost ever recorded in Arizona, photo by Andrew Core, used with permission

      One first record for the week, and a surprising one at that. In Maine, a Surfbird looked right at home despite being on the wrong side of the continent, on the rocky coast near Biddeford. This would be the 2nd record of the species on the Atlantic coast after one on Florida’s east coast (there are a handful more on the Gulf Coast).

      Also in the northeast, a cryptic Common Snipe (3) near Ferryland, Newfoundland, is the island’s 3rd record.

      Good for Manitoba, a Red-bellied Woodpecker was visiting a feeder in Gimli.

      A Neotropic Cormorant has returned to Hunterdon, New Jersey. COuld it be the same bird that was that state’s first record in 2014?

      Michigan had a Slaty-backed Gull (3) in Marquette and a California Gull in Macomb.

      A Band-tailed Pigeon was photographed at a feeder in Grant, Wisconsin.

      In Illinois, a Barrow’s Goldeneye was seen in Clinton, more notable for being in the southern part of the state.

      A Ruff (3) was photographed in Dunklin, Missouri, one of fewer than 20 records for the state.

      Minnesota is the latest state to see a Brambling this year, this one present for only a couple days in Brainerd.

      Good for Nebraska, a Great Black-backed Gull was found in Harlan.

      In Colorado, a Brant was in Rio Grande.

      Good birds in Utah include a Harris’s Sparrow in Benson and a Thayer’s Gull in Logan.

      In Oregon, an Eastern Phoebe was found in Coos.

      Notable for California, a Crested Caracara was photographed in San Diego and a Black Vulture found in Marin. A repositioning cruise offshore had a Hawaiian Petrel (4) in Mendocino waters.

      In New Mexico, both a Glaucous Gull and a Mew Gull were found in San Juan.

      Notable for Texas, particularly in the west, is a Red-necked Grebe in Reeves.

      In Georgia, a Little Gull in Hall is a great find.


      Omissions and errors are not intended, but if you find any please message blog AT aba.org and I will try to fix them as soon as possible. This post is meant to be an account of the most recently reported birds. Continuing birds not mentioned are likely included in previous editions listed here. Place names written in italics refer to counties/parishes.

      Readers should note that none of these reports has yet been vetted by a records committee. All birders are urged to submit documentation of rare sightings to the appropriate state or provincial committees. For full analysis of these and other bird observations, subscribe to North American Birds <aba.org/nab>, the richly illustrated journal of ornithological record published by the ABA.

        YOUR TURN: Making the Most of Your Next Birding Tour

        The March 2015 issue of Birder’s Guide to Travel contains an article by experienced traveler, Dana Duxbury-Fox. She offers tips on how to prepare for a major international trip and–just as importantly–how to behave while you’re there. You can read Dana’s article by clicking here. The entire March 2015 issue of Birder’s Guide is available [read more…]

          2015–2016 Pelagic Directory online now!

          The March 2015 issue of Birder’s Guide to Travel contains the ABA’s highly-praised Pelagic Directory. Here (on page 56) you’ll find a comprehensive list of the ABA Area’s pelagic trips, arranged by geography and date. You might also want to check out articles by Diana Doyle and Debi Shearwater from prior issues; they both [read more…]

            Anchorage Big Day: A Big Day in a Big Place

            None of us had ever done an Anchorage big day before, certainly never in mid-March when lots of wintery weather was still likely for the next couple of months. We were participating in Anchorage Audubon’s first ever big day wintertime competition (even though it was officially the first full day of spring). There were only [read more…]

              Blog Birding #227

              The jaunty bobbing tail of a phoebe, any phoebe, is a familiar sight to nearly every birder in North America. But why do they pump their tails? David Sibley has an answer.

              Lots of birds have a habit of pumping (or wagging) their tails. It’s mostly open-country birds like phoebes, wagtails and pipits, Palm Warbler, [read more…]

                2015 Champions of the Flyway: American Dippers and Songbird Trapping

                Each year, birders flock to Eilat, Israel to enjoy a migratory spectacle unlike any in the world. Millions of raptors stream over in mixed kettles funneling through as the migrate between Africa & Europe / Asia each spring and fall in flights that boggle the imagination. Keen-eyed observers have to separate 10 different species of [read more…]

                  Rare Bird Alert: March 20, 2015

                  There’s no surer sign of spring in the ABA Area than the return of Birdcast, the fantastic site run by Cornell and eBird that synthesizes eBird data and weather forecasts to predict who is migrating and when they’re likely to move. Here on the front end of spring it’s mostly waterfowl, swallows, and a few [read more…]

                    Open Mic: Rich Stallcup’s Legacy Lives on at Point Reyes

                    At the Mic: Carolyn Longstreth

                    As many ABA members know, Rich Stallcup, of Marin County, California, was an outstanding naturalist, teacher and “extraordinary human,” who touched the lives of countless people. He played a pivotal role in the rise of birding as a national pastime—and especially the love of birds as a motive for conservation. [read more…]

                      SNEAK PEEK! Birder’s Guide to Travel, 2015

                      I’ve just received word that the 2015 issue of Birder’s Guide to Travel is at the printers. American Birding Association members should find it in their mailboxes in the next couple weeks. But you don’t have to wait until then to see what’s inside. You can see the entirety of this issue of Birder’s Guide [read more…]

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                      • Open Mic: Searching for Snowy Owls in Ohio March 25, 2015 5:22
                        At the beginning of this year, I remembered missing the chance to spot a Snowy Owl when the bird stormed across the United States the previous winter, so I was determined to see one of these birds this winter. […]
                      • Mothing: The Nighttime Addiction March 18, 2015 5:49
                        Note: Although this may not seem to be a relevant post on The Eyrie, I thought it would be a good idea to share the obsession that sparked my passion for the natural world as a whole. I hope this post will inform and excite you about moths; perhaps even making them an obsession of […]
                      • Book Review: Ten Thousand Birds March 10, 2015 5:36
                        Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology Since Darwin, by Tim Birkhead, Jo Wimpenny, and Bob Montgomerie Princeton University Press, 2014 544 pages, $45.00 hardcover ABA Sales / Buteo Books How did today’s birds come to be? How has the history of ornithology evolved since Darwin’s time. These questions, and many more, are answered comprehensively in the […]

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