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Blog Birding #53

Alex Lamoreaux of The Nemesis Bird offers a nice primer for eastern birders looking for Orange-crowned Warblers in their Tennessees:

During the first few weeks of October, here in Pennsylvania, the diversity of warbler species is declining rapidly. By the third and fourth week of this month pretty much only Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers will be around in decent numbers, while most other species have made their way to the southern states, and some already are down to Central and South America. However, this time of the year there are still a few Tennessee Warblers around, as they make their long trek south from Canada’s boreal forests. In addition, there is also the chance to see the Orange-crowned Warbler, a species that is much harder to come by in Pennsylvania.

A nice post from Rob Ripma, writing at Birding is Fun, on his own personal birding journey:

I started seriously birding ten years ago when I was 16, but I had been unwillingly birding for years before that. For as long as I can remember, my mom had feeders up at our house. She would always point out the usual backyard birds, so I knew most of those from an early age. Sometime in 1993, my mom went out birding for the first time. I didn’t really think much of it back then, but it has come to have an enormous effect on my life. Shortly after, my younger brother, Eric, decided that he wanted to go birding with her. He took an immediate liking to it and began studying birds pretty much nonstop.

Jim McCormac reports on the first Saw-whet Owl banding session of the season at Ohio Birds and Biodiversity:

What is especially eye-opening to me about this particular banding site is the seemingly commonplace habitat. Two lengthy net runs are strung through young deciduous woods and brushy successional habitat, no different than can be found in scores of other sites in this region. Yet Kelly and crew have caught something on the order of 300 owls here. Northern Saw-whet Owls are, perhaps, the most common avian predator in the boreal forest, but until this work began no one had any idea that so many migrant owls passed through Ohio.

John Vanderpoel continues to document his ABA Area Big Year 2011, and shares the tale of the Oriental Turtle-Dove:

The Oriental Turtle Dove did not come easy.  This is a big dove, even larger than Eurasian Collard Doves, and yo’d think it would be pretty easy to find.  More than once, a queasy feeling came over. What if the bird was gone, or one of the Yupiks shot it?  After a couple of hours of searching, Hanson’s brother, Clarence, sauntered up and said he had found fresh tracks of the bird in the snow which he showed to me. The snow had fallen early Saturday morning so the dove was still here and alive.

I’m really looking forward to joining the ABA at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival in a few weeks, and posts like this one, from Kay at Arroyo Colorado Riverblog, on a recent Valley Big Sit, are really getting me antsy:

I like to start a Big Sit at midnight, not just because I’m competitive (really, I’m not) but also because it’s one of the loveliest times for birding along the Arroyo. As soon as I step onto the porch, I hear Great Horned Owls hoo hoo-ing from one side of the yard to the other.  I hear Screech Owls trill and Pauraques pu-wheeer!— a circle of sound that seems visible.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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