aba events

    Blog Birding #107

    At 10,000 Birds, New Yorker Corey Finger finds time after the storm to help those in need:

    It suddenly dawned on me how absurd it was that I was burning precious gasoline looking for birds when people were suffering. Yeah, I’m a bit slow sometimes. I decided that barrier beach birding was done for the day and that I would instead spend my time trying to help out with what was clearly a disaster beyond what could be handled by the people and resources that were already on the Rockaways.

    As soon as I made that decision, and, no, I am not making this up, a small flock of Evening Grosbeaks flew over.

    Amar Ayash, of the fascinating Anything Larus blog, offers some insight on molt in the ubiquitous Ring-billed Gull:

    One thing worth noting here is that the mirrors on P10, and particularly P9, are relatively small. This may be an indication as to what an adult this young (6th cycle) should look like, but it’s not uncommon for some adults to be without a mirror on P9 entirely. Are these young adult females? Also, might the choppy black markings up the inner web of P8 become “cleaner” as this bird  ages? The black marks on the outermost greater primary coverts above P10 are not a sign of “subadultness” – this is an expected feature on adult Ring-billeds.

    Bird of the Year coordinator Robert Mortenson, who writes over at Birding is Fun, is talking about doing a local Big Year next year.  Have any tips to share?

    The idea of a birding “Big Year” – striving to see as many birds as possible in one calendar year – has always intrigued me. I don’t see myself in much of a position to attempt a Big Year on a grand scale like the ABA area or even my own state of Idaho. Just the thought of a Big Year in Ada County in which I live, seems daunting enough. It’s a large county as far as square miles to cover and hosts a nice diversity of habitat and birds. According to eBird, there are right around 300 bird species documented here. I think it would be a fun and exciting challenge, but I’m trying to give myself a reality check about how much time and effort might be involved before approaching my family for support. When I do things like this, I go all the way, fully committed. My personality type would not allow me to do this casually.

    At Vermont Birder, Dick looks at some research recently published on the subject of chickadee caching strategies:

    Take the chickadee, for instance. Chickadees put tens of thousands of food items a year into short-term storage. They usually  retrieve and eat the food in the space of several days. Each food item is cached in a different place to make it difficult for thieves to steal all the food at once. When hiding a new item, they remember their previous storage sites and avoid placing caches too close together.

    At Utah Birders, Ryan O’Donnell shares some photos and stories of a summer spent among cliff-nesting birds on St. Paul Island, Alaska:

    Most of the birds that breed on the island use cliffs, like the ones shown above, for breeding sites.  Some of these are widespread species,   ike Common Murres and Thick-billed Murres.  Many of the smaller alcids here are unique to the Bering Sea region, like Parakeet Auklets, Least Auklets, and Crested Auklets.  Another big draw, especially for photographers, is the puffins: both Horned Puffins and Tufted Puffins nest on the island.


    The following two tabs change content below.
    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

    Latest posts by Nate Swick (see all)

    Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
    If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
    Read More »

    Recent Comments




    via email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    • Open Mic: Searching for Snowy Owls in Ohio March 25, 2015 5:22
      At the beginning of this year, I remembered missing the chance to spot a Snowy Owl when the bird stormed across the United States the previous winter, so I was determined to see one of these birds this winter. […]
    • Mothing: The Nighttime Addiction March 18, 2015 5:49
      Note: Although this may not seem to be a relevant post on The Eyrie, I thought it would be a good idea to share the obsession that sparked my passion for the natural world as a whole. I hope this post will inform and excite you about moths; perhaps even making them an obsession of […]
    • Book Review: Ten Thousand Birds March 10, 2015 5:36
      Ten Thousand Birds: Ornithology Since Darwin, by Tim Birkhead, Jo Wimpenny, and Bob Montgomerie Princeton University Press, 2014 544 pages, $45.00 hardcover ABA Sales / Buteo Books How did today’s birds come to be? How has the history of ornithology evolved since Darwin’s time. These questions, and many more, are answered comprehensively in the […]

    Follow ABA on Twitter