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Birding Photo Quiz: August 2017

The "Featured Photo" in the August 2017 Birding is timely! How so? Well, we'll give you a huge hint:… [read more]

Birding Photo Quiz: August 2017 Birding Photo Quiz: August 2017

2017 AOS Supplement is Out!

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

2017 AOS Supplement is Out! 2017 AOS Supplement is Out!

Changing the World: the ABA at the First Facebook Communities Summit

The experience, or at least the run up to it, was not unlike fishing. First, you feel a tap. Then maybe… [read more]

Changing the World: the ABA at the First Facebook Communities Summit Changing the World: the ABA at the First Facebook Communities Summit

Happening NOW: Dickcissels on the Move

Dickcissel is a summertime staple of America’s Heartland. However, it has also garnered a reputation… [read more]

Happening NOW: Dickcissels on the Move Happening NOW: Dickcissels on the Move

Hawk “Kettle” Finally makes the Dictionary

Birders have a unique vocabulary, cribbed together from science, literature, and a thesaurus thrown at… [read more]

Hawk “Kettle” Finally makes the Dictionary Hawk "Kettle" Finally makes the Dictionary

Introducing the 2017 Bird of the Year!

It's the moment that surely dozens of you have been looking forward to for hours now, the announcement… [read more]

Introducing the 2017 Bird of the Year! Introducing the 2017 Bird of the Year!
Nikon Monarch 7

A Bird List with Pictures: Why?

A review by Rick Wright

HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, by Josep del Hoyo and Nigel J. Collar

Lynx Edicions, 2014-2016

2 volumes, 1916 pages—hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books HBWCSET

In their preliminary remarks to this tally of all the world’s birds, the authors take the compilers of earlier lists to strident task for what we might call a lack of transparency:

Checklists of birds of the world are not particularly strong on introductions…. The modesty with which they have announced themselves to the world is notable. There are usually some extremely simple statements of intent, usually some explanation of the taxonomy followed and associated issues, and various items of house-keeping related to such matters as ranges and sources; and then the list begins.

True or not, fair or not, no one would level the same accusation at Josep del Hoyo and Nigel J. Collar, who preface the two volumes of their own checklist with a total of almost 75 quarto pages of prose explaining—justifying—the taxonomic principles behind the thousands of decisions they were obliged to make in producing the list. Just a scant half dozen lines, however, are devoted to the question that arises before the reader has even opened the book: Why should a work like this be illustrated in the first place?

It wasn’t that long ago that nearly all bird books were global, their subject not the birds of a country or a continent but the planet’s entire known avifauna. In a time before photography and largely before public museums, the engravings in early systematic works were the only source of visual information available to the “birding” public. For example, John Ray’s 1676 edition of Francis Willughby’s Three Books of Ornithology—the first truly modern systematic list of birds of the world—was illustrated by 77 plates, each depicting as many as nine species; seventy years later, George Edwards would prepare 189 watercolors to accompany his Natural History of Birds. In France, Mathurin Brisson’s 1760 Ornithology, treating nearly 1500 taxa worldwide, was accompanied by 261 plates depicting some 500 individual birds. His rival the count de Buffon illustrated his monumental Natural History of the Birds with nearly a thousand engravings, prepared by a team of more than 80 artists and technicians.

Reading those illustrated lists and handbooks was an experience entirely unlike that of consulting what would ultimately become the authority for all bird lists, the Systema naturae of Carl von Linné, the zoological portions of which went through thirteen editions between 1735 and the end of the eighteenth century. Starting in 1748, those editions proudly proclaimed themselves “illustrated with copperplate engravings,” but the ornithological images in the Systema never comprised more than a single plate showing a representative head, foot, or wing for each of the Linnaean orders. I have never seen a copy of any edition in which these engravings were colored. In function and in execution, the single bird plate is completely ancillary to the text, from which it is separated in the seventh edition, for example, by more than 200 unillustrated pages. The simple pictures make no claim to illustrate species, but merely provide a reference and a reminder for the terms used in the ordinal summaries; the real work—naming, counting, and diagnosing species—takes place in the text, which is concise almost to the point of bleakness. Illustrations would only distract the reader from Linnaeus’s point, the relentless demonstration of nature’s system.

Such extensively, even lavishly illustrated works as Brisson’s or Edwards’s not only tolerate but invite a more discursive, less direct kind of use. Flipping from text to image, birders and ornithologists find their attention seduced by the picture of an odd or attractive bird on the plate, and soon slip into not simply consulting the work but reading it, letting the pictures guide them to species they had perhaps not even known existed.

But it was the less colorful Linnaean tradition that proved the way of the future. Not all of the world checklists of the nineteenth century were exclusively textual; for example, some of the finest ornithological illustrators in history contributed plates to the Catalogue of Birds in the British Museum, published in 27 volumes over the entire last quarter of the century. Those plates, however, appealing as many of them are, were never intended to illustrate every species—they are devoted instead to the depiction of a few newly described taxa, often with the type specimen itself sitting as model. Most such works of the past two hundred fifty years, including the great Birds of the World by James Peters and his colleagues and successors, have been published without illustrations; some have tick boxes and blank spaces for the use of birding listers, but most are serious reference works designed for taxonomists and historians. With no pictures to draw us deeper into the text, the user’s “reading”—if it can be called that—of Peters, Clements, the excellent Howard and Moore, is centrifugal; these checklists are essentially taxonomically ordered indexes leading outward to the descriptions and authoritative accounts they cite, and are meant themselves to be laid aside as soon as they have served that important but limited purpose.

The very title of the new Illustrated Checklist announces a return to the older, more colorful model. Incredibly, these two large volumes contain pictures of the adults of virtually every extant and recently extinct avian species and a vast selection of well-marked subspecies. Most of these images are taken over from the species accounts in the sixteen volumes of the Handbook of the Birds of the World, but hundreds—representing newly recognized species and species not adequately illustrated in the Handbook—have been painted anew for the Checklist.

At an average of approximately ten species per plate, the figures are not especially large. The most lavishly dimensioned, at a good 9.5 inches, is the male lyre-tailed nightjar, while the ostriches stand 3.5 inches tall and the bee hummingbird an inch and a quarter. The birds on most plates are drawn to a single scale, but it is impossible to avoid a visual jolt when a single opening depicts, for example, a dozen gigantic turacos and five diminutive loons, or when a page turn leads from tiny skuas and jaegers to great hulking auklets.

The reproduction of the paintings on the printed page is breathtakingly good, such that even the smallest figures preserve important feather-level detail. There is little to quibble with here as to the accuracy of the paintings, and many are nothing short of beautiful on the page. The small maps beneath each species image mar the plates only slightly—and are often helpful in quickly distinguishing among a page full of near lookalikes.

It is captivating to have so many attractive pictures of so many birds in one place. Captivating—literally so, as the images draw the user in ever deeper. The facing-page text to each plate reinforces the centripetal, universalizing intention of the Illustrated Checklist. The only citations on these pages leading to an outside source are to the Handbook of the Birds of the World; no bibliographic information is offered for the published authorities for species and subspecies names, which are identified only by author and date. Where the text relies for one detail or another on a specific source, the entry in the volumes’ bibliography is indicated by a superscript number so tiny and pale as to require a magnifying glass.

To observe that the text is self-contained is not to suggest that it is not useful. Given the constraints of space, the couple of column-inches devoted to each species offers a fair amount of information. Each mini-account is headed by the bird’s scientific and English names, with a note where the nomenclature used here differs from that in the full species entry in the Handbook; French, German, and Spanish vernacular names are also listed. The species’ conservation status according to the IUCN Red List is indicated by the usual abbreviations, from LC (“of least concern”) to EX (“extinct”).

For polytypic species, the authors list each supsecies along with the author and year of description (but again, there is no bibliographic pointer to the original publication). Colored bullet points link the subspecies into groups, where appropriate; each such group is assigned an English name, some traditional and others newly coined for the purpose. Geographic ranges are described at the subspecies level, often in notable but admirably concise detail and sometimes including a brief indication of preferred habitats.

The most extensive, and for most readers the most interesting, section in each text entry is the taxonomic notes, in which the authors mention such matters as recent name changes, the extent of geographic variation, and relationships to other species. This is also where the authors present their arguments for a number of taxonomic splits they make—many of which represent departures from other taxonomic authorities.

Splits and lumps, no matter which authors or scientific bodies are carrying them out, are an expression of a species concept, a standard for what makes one group of organisms sufficiently different from all others to be labeled a distinct “kind.” Most birders have heard of the biological species concept and the phylogenetic species concept, but there are, or have been, many others put forth over the centuries. Del Hoyo and Collar invoke a concept that I—and, I am willing to bet, most of us amateur birders—had not encountered before, by which species are identified by “quantitative criteria” including mensural characters, plumage, and voice. These differentiating features were set forth in a paper published in 2010 by Joseph A. Tobias and colleagues (among them Nigel Collar), and are referred to in the Illustrated Checklist as the Tobias criteria.

Those criteria and their application have been the subject of devastating criticism in the scientific literature. For the purposes of this review, I would point out only that the Tobias concept as invoked here appears to rely on the dubious assumption that all species differ to essentially the same degree from their closest respective relatives, and that that degree can be “objectively” measured.

The implementation of the Tobias criteria in the Illustrated Checklist involves numerically scoring the differences shown by similar taxa in biometrics, vocalizations, plumage and bare parts, and ecology and behavior; sympatry and hybridization are also scored. Some groups, such as the swifts and some shearwaters and albatrosses, are not susceptible to such scoring, and here the Checklist simply adopts the classifications used in other works.

Where the Tobias criteria are applied here, the process seems oddly retrograde, with its focus on phenotypic characters and its preoccupation with how visually distinct two taxa must be to “count” as separate species; objectivity, it seems, is obtainable using a scheme that recalls the mechanical, calculatory methods of classification that were abandoned three quarters of a century ago when the typological species concept yielded to more modern, more subtle approaches to the history and evolution of bird populations. There is a certain sterile elegance to these methods, but I was reminded again and again as I read of such venerable, thoroughly artificial attempts at classification as Jonathan Dwight’s careful laying out of the juncos a full century ago.

The results here include the surprising resurrection of several “species” an entire generation of birders has never known. Among the North American woodpeckers of the genus Colaptes, for example, the Red-shafted and the Yellow-shafted Flickers are back as distinct species; the justification offered in the taxonomic notes is purely visual, adducing the well-known plumage differences between “pure” individuals of both kinds. A consistent application of the same criteria would separate even more erstwhile species, but such highly distinctive forms as the Blue Goose remain (quite properly) “lumped.” A casual leafing through will reveal many other cases of surprising splits and unexplained lumps, and not a few instances—the Arctic Herring (Smithsonian) Gull, for example—where recourse is suddenly had to the modern molecular studies the authors treat so dismissively in the introduction to their first volume. (The tone is sharper in the second volume, where the widespread criticism of the first is responded to in terms downright aggressive; it does little to captivate the innocent reader’s benevolence to find the authors rebuking one of their earlier collaborators for his “benighted” taxonomic views.)

Some of these splits require the coining of new English names. Del Hoyo and Collar set forth a series of onomastic principles covering capitalization, hyphenation, and the use of eponyms. Their resolve to replace “wholly inappropriate” vernacular names with more delicate labels is admirable, but appears to have faltered when confronted with such traditional names as the Hottentot Teal.

These taxonomic peculiarities make it unlikely that the new Illustrated Checklist should serve anyone, birder or professional ornithologist, as a nomenclatural authority. For that, we have the publications of the American Ornithological Society; the Clements/eBird taxonomy; the indispensable Howard and Moore, now by Edward Dickinson and Van Remsen; and of course the continually updated IOC World Bird List, which includes a marvelous online concordance to other world lists including the Illustrated Checklist.

But none of those so invaluable works has pictures. Any and all of them will be taken more seriously, by birders and scientists alike, but none of them exercises the visual enchantment of the Illustrated Checklist. While other world lists are much more likely to find their way to the wood or the pixels of your desktop, the two massive volumes of the Illustrated Checklist, like its great forebears from the days before the Linnaean triumph, are guaranteed to awaken memories and inspire dreams—just as important for most of us as the latest and most authoritative taxonomy could ever be.

Recommended citation:

Wright, R. 2017. A Bird List with Pictures: Why? [a review of HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, by Josep del Hoyo and Nigel J. Collar]. Birding 49.5: 70-72.

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A Stillness Beneath the Waves

A review by Charles Hagner

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan

W.W. Norton, 2017

364 pages, hardcover

I love Lake Michigan.

I have driven around its southern end more times than I can recall. I’ve traced its contours from the windows of jet planes. And I’ve crossed it by ferry. Still, I can’t help but marvel.

I just love all that water, and how often its appearance changes. Caribbean blue and glassy one day, its surface can be Baltic gray and roiled with whitecaps the next.

Most of all, I love the lake’s birds: the Snowy Owls and vagrant gulls that appear each winter, the scaup, mergansers, and goldeneyes that linger each spring, and the long lines of nighthawks that move south along the bluffs in August.

I also love knowing that Lake Michigan supports many more birds than the few I manage to see. Every spring and fall since 2012, the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory has hired an observer to count the birds that pass a watch site on the shoreline. From the beginning of March to May 20, 2016, he recorded no fewer than 187,000 individuals. From September to November that year, his tally was almost 180,000 birds, 125,000 of them Red-breasted Mergansers. And this spring, he identified over 176,000.

Numbers as big as these make you wonder how large the grand total would be if additional observers joined in, counting at the same time at additional locations around the lake or, even better, at locations around all five of the Great Lakes.

The observatory’s totals might also lead you to assume that Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario are as healthy beneath the waves as they seem to be above. But, as Dan Egan explains in this excellent, eye-opening book, you would be wrong.

Egan is a feature writer for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, my hometown newspaper. In The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, he tells the complete story of the lakes, not only describing their immense size, their natural history, and their fish, but also reminding the reader of the tens of millions of people who rely on them for drinking water, employment, and recreation; the engineers and regulators and politicians who oversee them; the biologists who study them; and the host of non-native species, at least 186 strong, that now lurk in them.

In 10 readable chapters, the author chronicles invasion after invasion, recording great ecological loss without resorting to sentimentality, communicating science without relying on jargon, and raising questions of interest to birders and non-birders alike. The result will change the way you look at the Great Lakes. In doing so, this book merits comparison to Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking 1962 exposé, which changed the world’s perception of pesticides.

Egan describes several watershed moments in our history—the completion of the Erie and Welland Canals, in the 1820s the draining of Ohio’s Great Black Swamp in the late 1800s, the completion of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in 1900, the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959—and explains how each event unleashed a torrent of unforeseeable ecological consequences that proved stubbornly resistant to remedy and transformed the lakes in ways that now threaten bodies of water across the country.

The Erie and Welland Canals opened the way for barges and ships to sail all the way from New York Harbor and Canada’s interior to Milwaukee, Chicago, and other cities, but those new commercial opportunities came at a high cost. In bypassing Niagara Falls, the canals sidestepped a natural barrier that for thousands of years had prevented not only boats but also fish and other aquatic life from moving upstream from Lake Ontario into the other lakes.

Among the species that took advantage of the newfound access was the eel-like sea lamprey, a sharp-toothed predator that feeds by attaching itself to other fish and sucking their blood. “If Bart Simpson had a pet water snake,” Egan writes, “it would look something like this.” Originally restricted to the Atlantic Ocean, the sea lamprey encountered no natural competitors in the Great Lakes and quickly devastated populations of lake trout and other native species, causing the collapse of the commercial fishing industry.

The Great Black Swamp, eponym of the bird observatory behind the Biggest Week in American Birding, was once twice the size of the Everglades. Functioning as Lake Erie’s kidney, it filtered rainwater before it could enter the Maumee River, the lake’s biggest tributary. Draining the swamp created millions of acres of productive farmland but deprived the lake of its purification system, leaving it vulnerable to phosphorus-induced blooms of toxic blue-green algae. Egan devotes a chapter to the problem, highlighting a slick that in August 2014 overwhelmed Toledo’s water-intake facility, forcing city authorities to instruct some 500,000 residents not to drink the water.

The Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal linked Lake Michigan with rivers flowing west across Illinois, connecting the lake with the mighty Mississippi. By pulling lake water westward, the canal improved public health by flushing away the raw sewage that plagued Chicago, but it soon became clear that it would be a conduit for more than barges and human waste: The canal would also act as a “superhighway” for invasive species, both from the Great Lakes into the rest of North America and from the Mississippi into the Great Lakes.

Perhaps the most feared of those invasives is the bighead carp, a hulking Asian filter feeder that was first released in Arkansas in the 1970s and has been making its way north ever since, conquering ecosystem after ecosystem. These carp can grow to more than 100 pounds and consume up to 20 pounds of plankton a day, letting them starve out native fish. “The word ‘trouble’ doesn’t really capture what is at stake, both environmentally and economically, if the oversized fish succeed in what has so far seemed like their inevitable push to colonize the Great Lakes,” Egan writes.

Finally, the series of 30-foot-deep locks between Lake Ontario and Montreal known as the St. Lawrence Seaway has enabled giant freighters to steam from the East Coast to Lake Ontario and then through the Welland Canal to Midwestern cities. Boosters called it “the greatest engineering feat of our time” and promised that it would transform the Great Lakes into the nation’s fourth seacoast. The Seaway never came close to fulfilling this grand vision.

Closed during the winter, when its locks and channels freeze shut, the Seaway lost out to ports that operated 365 days a year and, more important, were able to handle the enormous container ships that soon came to rule the seas. As a result, Egan writes, the Seaway “stands alone among modern engineering marvels in that it is less famous today than it was in the years before it was built.” Yet plenty of oceangoing ships have come through the Seaway, and thanks to a loophole in the Clean Water Act that exempts discharges from ships in U.S. waters, hundreds of stowaway species, “living pollution” from around the world, have ridden along with them. Egan’s chapters on the fastest-reproducing and most destructive of these invasives—the zebra mussel, discovered in 1988 in Lake St. Clair, between Lake Huron and Lake Erie, and the quagga mussel, which turned up in Lake Erie the following year—are compelling and infuriating.

In no time, those mollusks spread across all the lakes, down the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and throughout the Mississippi River and its tributaries. By 1994, they were found as far south as Louisiana, as far west as Oklahoma, and as far north as Minneapolis; by 2007, they had reached Lake Mead, in Nevada, on the other side of the continental divide, no doubt hitching a ride on a pleasure boat towed from the Midwest. Since then, the invaders have gone on to colonize water bodies in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Utah, and authorities in the Pacific Northwest are keeping watch in the Columbia River basin. Though invisible to me as I watch for birds, plankton-feasting mollusks now blanket the bottom of Lake Michigan almost from shore to shore. Under some conditions, Egan reports, they can filter all of the lake’s water in less than two weeks, sucking up the life at the base of the food web.

The results, as revealed by surveys conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, have been crashing populations of sculpins, chubs, alewives, and other prey fish that sustain the lakes’ predator fish, and botulism outbreaks on Lakes Michigan, Erie, and Ontario. More than 100,000 birds—Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons, ducks, loons, terns, plovers— have died since the outbreaks of 1999, Egan writes.

The demise of so many birds should be reason enough for birders to put Death and Life on their reading lists, but I can think of others.

For example, what’s more important: protecting a public resource or maximizing opportunities for recreation?

A man I met in South Dakota once told me, in all seriousness, that there were only two types of birds—those you can shoot and those you can’t. I thought of him while reading Egan’s account of the fishing craze that swept the Great Lakes after the state of Michigan released exotic coho and chinook salmon, species native to the Pacific Northwest, in Lake Michigan in the 1960s.

Before the salmon arrived, the lakes’ fish were treasured as a public resource. After the salmon arrived, the lakes were managed as a playground, an angler’s paradise. The craze didn’t last (there were “too many chinook mouths and not enough alewife tails,” Egan writes), but it did bring about an environmental awakening. “Back in the 1960s, nobody really cared about the Great Lakes,” explains a state biologist. “They started to care when the salmon came in…. That was the first time I saw social optimism and excitement, and it was because of a fish.”

Another question. Who should take the lead in protecting the environment: international organizations, the federal government, states, someone else?

Leadership is sorely needed. Egan reports that scientists know how to throttle Lake Erie’s annual algae blooms, but that their prescription hasn’t been followed. He writes that an electric barrier was constructed in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to prevent the passage of invasive fish, but that it has never been operated at full voltage. And he argues that the simplest way to prevent future invasions of invasive species is to stop “salties,” oceangoing ships, at their point of entry into the lakes, yet ships continue to move through the Seaway.

Finally, just what is the best way to raise the general public’s awareness of the harm done by invasive species?

Most birders know the stories of the House Sparrow, European Starling, and other invasive species. Nonetheless, in my days as a magazine editor, I received more than one letter from readers to whom a bird is a bird is a bird. Who are we, they asked, to pick favorites? Perhaps Egan’s detailed reporting about the sea lamprey, zebra and quagga mussels, alewives, and Asian carp will bring the issue into sharper focus than anything written about a sparrow or a starling.

The health of the Great Lakes may depend on it.

– Charles Hagner is a former editor of BirdWatching magazine, a contributor to the book Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White, and a writer and editor specializing in climate change, the environment, and wildlife conservation. He is a board member of the Wisconsin-based Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory. 

Recommended citation:

Hagner, C. 2017. A Stillness Beneath the Waves [a review of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, by Dan Egan]. Birding 49.5: 68-70.

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#ABArare – Yellow-breasted Bunting – Newfoundland & Labrador

On October 16, Vernon Buckle photographed an ABA Code 5 Yellow-breasted Bunting at his feeder in Forteau Bay, on the mainland (Labrador) part of Newfoundland & Labrador. This is a 1st record for the province and for Canada. All previous records of this species come from western Alaska.

Photo: Vernon Buckle

Forteau Bay is [read more…]

Birding and the Art of Careful Observation

A review by Johanna Beam

A–Z of Bird Portraits: An Illustrated Guide to Painting Beautiful Birds in Acrylics, by Andrew Forkner

Search Press, 2015

144 pages, hardcover

The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, by John Muir Laws

Heyday, 2016

303 pages, softcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14644

Bird Art: Drawing Birds Using [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: October 13, 2017

The California Blue-footed Booby (ABA Code 4) continues in the Farallons, and as the only long-staying ABA Area vagrant seeming to stick tight in this season of bird movement. One exciting re-discovery came from South Carolina, where the American Flamingo (3), originally found in the immediate wake of Hurricane Irene, was refound in the extensive [read more…]

Birding with a Tricorder

 

Here’s a photo from a bird walk this past Sunday afternoon:

It’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. Four birders are pointing their smartphone cameras at a flowering rabbitbrush, a plant favored by painted lady butterflies. Painted ladies, you may have heard, are staging a remarkable population outbreak all across North America. If [read more…]

Happening NOW: Red Crossbills on the Move

On a warm summer evening, sometime in mid-June, I found myself sitting on a dock in central Wisconsin, unwinding after a long day spent working on that state’s breeding bird atlas. Mid-sip on a Summer Shandy, that familiar sound met my ears: jip-jip-jip. Distant at first, they soon approached the lake, appeared as a duo [read more…]

Blog Birding #340

Jessica Gorzo, at her eponymous blog, collects a comprehensive list of onomatopoetic bird names, including a few you might not have suspected.

Birds names given by the earliest cultures that encountered them were often imitations of their songs/calls. What may be surprising is how many of those names have stood the test of time! For [read more…]

Another Birding Photo Quiz: October 2017

One wasn’t enough! If the ghoulish grebe in our Featured Photo, October 2017 Birding, has you wanting more, then we offer you all these shorebirds and such:

How many species can you ID in this photo? Click on the photo to enlarge. Please use the “comments” section below to share your thoughts. Photo by [read more…]

#ABArare – River Warbler – Alaska

For the second time in as many months, Gambell, Alaska, on St. Lawrence Island has produced a potential ABA 1st in the form of a nondescript central Asian warbler. This time it’s River Warbler, discovered in the near boneyard by Paul Lehman and crew.

Photo: Clarence Irrigoo

River Warbler is in the genus Locustella, [read more…]

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