What are some of the factors that determine content for Birding magazine? For starters, Birding aims to give voice to the great diversity of real-life birders in North America and beyond. We’re always on the lookout for new contributors, and we’re especially keen on getting input from young birders. We seek content that applies new approaches and methods toward understanding the birds we love to study.
Our focus is on the future, and we actively seek contributions with online content. We at Birding love dialogue and debate, and we seek the advice and input of all ABA members. The subject matter in Birding is extremely varied; see for yourself, in this enumeration, now slightly dated, of the twenty greatest articles published in the magazine. Yes, the content is varied, but there is, we hope, an overarching theme on the pages of Birding: a sense of wonder about the avian riches and blessings in the world around us.
There’s something else.
We are hopelessly addicted to content that surprises us. Which brings us to the matter of the feature articles in the current, January/February 2013 issue of Birding.
We thought we knew about the status of the Common Black-Hawk in the ABA Area. Basically: Go out in New Mexico or Arizona, and you might see one, or, if you’re really lucky, maybe two or three, right? Enter Charles Babbitt’s feature article, “Watching Common Black-Hawks Along Arizona’s Santa Cruz River,” pp. 42–47. Babbitt tells us in his article about a place where—surprise!—you can see 40 to as many 60 Common Black-Hawks in a single day. Betcha didn’t know that!
Left: Photo by Jim Burns.
And we thought we knew all about Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Then we read Amar Ayyash’s feature article, “Rethinking the Lesser Black-backed Gull in North America,” pp. 34–41. Yes, we knew about three-digit flocks wintering along the Atlantic coast, but we didn’t know about three-digit flocks spending the summer along the coasts of Virginia and Maryland. We were likewise unaware of the spectacular population increases in Greenland. Right: Map by Kei Sochi.
In the off chance that you’re one of the two or three birders who already knew where to find 60 Common Black-Hawks in Arizona and 200+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls in early August, were you similarly aware of the recent rise of young birder clubs all over the United States? Surprise yourself by checking out Chad Williams’ feature article, “Birding Beyond Your Binoculars: The Story of a Young Birders Club,” pp. 48–53.
Left: Photo by Chad Williams.
A final thought. Are you in possession of an insight or some knowledge you’d like to share with the ABA membership? Surprise us! Get in touch with us at Birding, and we’ll help you spread the word to ABA members everywhere.