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    Blog Birding #26

    Another fascinating piece from Nathan Pieplow of Earbirding, this time on A Robin’s Many Songs:

    The average American probably hears more song from robins than from any other bird, and yet we still cannot answer any of Kroodsma’s questions.  Perhaps it is because we do not listen as carefully as we could; and perhaps it is also because what we call “song” in robins is even more complex than Kroodsma’s work has already shown.  Today’s post will push the exploration of robin song a little further, in hopes of facilitating the kind of listening (and recording) that could begin to solve the many mysteries surrounding America’s favorite bird.

    Looking to go carless but still need your scope?  Birdchick offers in photos how to go about Attaching a Spotting Scope to a Bike:

    I have a Swarovski backpack (that is at least 5 years old) but any good outdoor backpack should work.  This one has fasteners that hold my scope firmly in place and is fairly weather resistant.  I’ve had it since 2006 and use it on a daily basis.  It has become my mobile office.  Anyway, if you have a good weather-proof backpack, that should work.  I also store my Niko D40 in here.

    Clare from The House and other Arctic Musings, based in Nunuvut, has some remarkable photos of Gyrfalcons… er… making more Gryfalcons in Copulating Kiggivik: A Love Story:

    When I arrived, there was no bird obviously around the aerie, same as my last trip out. I stopped the machine and as the silence settled in, I wondered if it was worth hanging around for awhile, to see if one would turn up. The wind was cool, and I thought I’d only tough it out for a short while, when high above I heard the Gyrfalcon’s cry. It was a long way up.  It sailed along near the top of the cliffs, some five or six hundred feet above, and back the way I came. It disappeared behind a cleft, but still called out, and then flew even farther way and settled down on a rock a long way away.

    Julie Zickefoose offers a case for shade-grown coffee starring some familiar faces in Honduras with More Shade Coffee Birds:

    I can hang upside down. And I will, until you tell all your coffee-drinking friends (that’s, like everybody I know) to spring for shade-grown, bird-friendly coffee. You can buy Birds and Beans coffee here. It’s certified as Bird Friendly by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and it’s 100% organic. And I don’t get a cut…I’m a believer, and I hope these photos will make you one, too.

    There are some fine photos of Lekking Lesser Prarie Chickens in Kansas at Mike Frieburg’s Birding to the EDG:

    Lesser Prairie-Chickens are one of the more sought-after species in the United States for good reason. The smaller cousin of the Greater Prairie-Chicken resides is a minute range in the southern Great Plains. Small parts of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas are the only areas that harbor breeding populations of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. They are resident in shrubby short-grass prairies and are heavily managed by the National Forest Service (NFS). The above photo shows a short clip of what their lekking stage looks like when they start lekking in early April.

    Seabrooke Leckie of The Marvelous in Nature considers the House Sparrow, a bird with a bad reputation:

    I love House Sparrows. If I had to draw up a list of my top five favourite species, House Sparrows would be in there somewhere. There’s just something about their ever-cheerful chirps that can warm my heart even on the coldest or wettest days. If I hadn’t had House Sparrows or starlings about during the years that I lived in town I think I would have had a much harder time dealing with living in an urban environment.



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    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick

    Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
    Nate Swick

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