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Blog Birding #148

Summer is often the peak of travel and birders are no differnt. We tend to have lots of gear to tote around with us and Charlotte of Prairie Birder offers some great tips:

One of the most important things to do when it comes to packing your optics is to keep them with you in your carry-on luggage. Don’t take the chance of your cameras, binoculars, and scope getting damaged, stolen, or lost in your checked luggage. Last year when I went to Long Point for the workshop and again this year, I packed my scope, cameras, binoculars, and new iPad in my backpack. There’s just not enough room in my backpack for my tripod, and it’s pretty sturdy and not as desirable to thieves, so I packed it in my suitcase with my clothes.

When Robert of Birding is Fun was delayed at the airport, he made up for it by making new friends and ended up with a handful of lifers:

So what is a birder to do while stranded in a city far from home? Go birding of course! But how to go about it is another challenge. While I waited for my new flight arrangements to be made, I desperately searched the web on my iPad for the closest eBird hotspots and figured I’d could take a cab and just see what happens. That didn’t seem too appealing. I needed local experience to point me in the right direction. I looked up Rhode Island ABA members on the online directory. None of them had shared their email or phone numbers. Foiled! Then I remembered BirdingPal.

Many people shudder at the thought of immature gulls, but I’d challenge you to look at the variation in young Ring-billed Gulls and notice their beauty as Amar of Anything Larus describes two different types in the spectrum of plumages:

The late Claudia Wilds felt that Ring-billeds show the least amount of geographical variation of all North American gull species. Although the various populations across North America bear close resemblance, Wilds’ statement should not be understood as a lack of intraspecific variation in juvenile plumages. Indeed, this is generally true with many monotypic gull species as they arguably appear to come together and show less variation as definitive adults.

Cory of Boom Chachalaca enjoys the birds of his new home state and wastes no time in trying to learn something new. Check out all the great photos on his latest post:

Perhaps the most numerous and cooperative bird at the lake is the Red Crossbill. My daily trips there are filled with birds feeding in the larches and gathering grit from the old campfire sites along the trail. I am working on gathering recording on what I suspect may be at least two types of RECR in the area.

It may still seem like it’s mid-summer but Cornell Lab of Ornithology has already started putting out their BirdCast migration forecasts. Check it out for the regional forecasts:

Scattered light and locally moderate movements will occur across the West, while two primarily northeastern pulses of light to moderate and locally heavy movements occur among storm systems in the East.


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Drew Weber
Drew Weber is an ornithologist originally from PA but now living in central New York. He is finishing up a master's degree at Penn State University on grassland bird conservation. Drew is active in the Pennsylvania birding community as chairman of the bird records committee, serves as a board member for the Pennsylvania Ornithological Society and is a reviewer for sightings submitted to eBird. His passions include figuring out how new technology can be used for birding, introducing people to birding and getting more people to use eBird.
Drew Weber

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