Blog Birding #102
by Nate Swick
Rob Fergus, writing at Birding is Fun, offers a primer on reading weather radar for birds. No time like the present to learn!:
I remember when I first tried to understand radar ornithology. I heard radar ornithology guru Sid Gauthreaux give a presentation at the 2001 ABA conference in Beaumont, Texas. It was exciting. Then I went home and tried to read the online radar on my own.
I was completely lost! It was hard to wrap my head around it all. Fortunately, now it is even easier and more fun to enjoy observing bird migration by radar, and this post can help you get started. Just wait until after dark (when the birds are moving), and follow these steps.
Great tips from phenomenal bird photography Glenn Bartley, from Birdingblogs, on photographing birds in flight:
When it comes to bird photography there is nothing that I love more than capturing an intimate portrait of a bird in its natural environment. Creating an artistic photograph of a challenging bird on an appropriate perch is what I live for! With this said, there is also something thrilling and deeply satisfying about capturing an image of a bird in flight. For many bird photographers this is the ultimate goal. After all, when you think of the defining characteristic of a bird, flight generally does come to mind. In this installment of The Joy of Bird Photography I will share my top 10 strategies for successfully photographing birds in flight.
Birds Canada shares a recently released report on the status of boreal breeding birds in Alberta, important for those of us watching those birds stream through our patches right now:
As of 2010, 21% of Alberta’s BPE has been directly altered by human activities including cultivation, forest harvesting, residential, commercial, energy, and transport infrastructure. Standing at 12%, agricultural cultivation represents the largest human footprint in Alberta’s BPE. Protected areas in Alberta (provincial and national parks and National Wildlife Areas) account for 11.3% of the BPE.
At Chris Petrak's great Tails of Birding, the author sings the praises of our little brown birds, particulary in relation to those on the other side of the Atlantic:
The Brits take their birds seriously. Even so (their testiness not withstanding) common European birds are a rather dull lot. I had a pair of Brits (not British birders) stay with me. They were charmed by the chickadees at the bird table, stunned by the sartorial splendor of the Blue Jays, and departed speechless when a male Northern Cardinal visited on their last morning, all experiences nearly unknown on the other side of the pond.
Be sure to check out the fascinating interview with young birder and former Eyrie manager Saraiya Ruano at The Eyrie, the ABA's young birder blog:
There were opportunities to mentor the girls in different subjects. Some girls would ask me to teach them a little about the flute and how to play, or how to draw. One girl asked if she could go with me on my walks to look for birds. She started her own notebook with sketches and we were learning the local birds together. I often didn't know what I was seeing so we went through the process of identification together. She was amazed by the variety of species and said she didn't realize that there were so many different kinds of birds.