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    Blog Birding #68

    Fabulous photos and stories from digiscoper Mike McDowell as he documents an encounter between a Red-tailed Hawk and a Great Horned Owl:

    Interesting things that happen between creatures of the woods are usually witnessed by pure chance; just a minute early or late is all it takes to miss it. With a nod to The Lord of the Rings, a birder is never late, nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to, and today it meant watching a rather aggressive skirmish between a Red-tailed Hawk and Great Horned Owl.

    A greta story from Laura Erickson on rehabbing Nighthawks:

    During the 1980s and 90s and a bit into the oughts, I was a licensed wildlife rehabber. I mostly took care of non-raptors, keeping hawks and owls here only until they could be transported to the Raptor Center. I became fascinated with nighthawks (belonging to Caprimulgiformes, and so only distantly related to owls and not at all to hawks) the moment I held my first. I got a call one spring morning from a construction worker north of Duluth. I went to the site, and three young, rugged men were standing together, one holding the nighthawk close to his breast. He looked at me and asked, “Can you make it better?”

    Juat in time for the holiday, Audubon's blog, The Perch, offers an assortment of birds that mate for life:

    Love is in the air. This Valentine’s Day, take inspiration from some of the great bird species that mate for life. Here are just a few examples of the many winged wonders that fall into this category.

    The Birdist shares a spot on assessment of his 10 least favorite birding listserv posts:

    5. The Two-Cents

    To: State-birds@mail.com
    From: Birdsler Birdslerton
    Subject: Re: RE: Re: Re: RE: Parking situation at Portfield Marina

    I agree with what everyone has said.
    -B. Birdslerton

    A cool look at a field guide in progress as David Sibley paints a Queen Charlotte Island Saw-whet Owl:

    Yesterday I painted a Northern Saw-whet Owl of the very distinctive Queen Charlotte Islands subspecies A. a. brooksi, which was inexplicably left out of the first edition of the Sibley Guide. I’ll post more details about the status and identification of this subspecies here soon. Today I’m just posting photos that I took showing the progression of the painting from the first wash of color to the finish.

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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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