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Your turn: Field Sketching

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Much of the current issue of Birder’s Guide to Gear is about new technologies and how they can make your birding better. But sometimes, there really is no reinventing the wheel. In “Field Sketching”, bird artist, author, and field biologist Sophie Webb explains why—even in 2013—you should probably be taking a pencil and paper with you when you go birding. She also offers a bunch of suggestions on which supplies you should consider (see below).

To read Sophie’s article, and the entire issue of Birder’s Guide to Gear online (and for free!), just click here. Please share any questions you have for Sophie, and tips you may have on camera settings, in the comment section below.Screen Shot 2013-12-27 at 4.34.39 PM

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Michael Retter
Michael L. P. Retter is the editor of the ABA's newest magazine, Birder's Guide. He also wears his ABA cap while working as a Technical Reviewer for Birding magazine. When not at home, Michael is often leading tours in Middle America (Mexico through Panama). He currently lives with his fiancé, Matt, in Fort Worth, Texas. In his fleeting free time there, he pursues interests in horticulture (especially orchids), music, cooking, and numismatics. Michael also runs GBNA, the continent's informal club and email list for LGBT birders.
  • Neta Harris

    Field Sketching is becoming popular with birders and wildlife watchers. The concept has expanded the opportunities for watchers to have an evolutional process to express their observations vs the usual photo.
    Rafael Galvez (Leica Sport Optics and Florida Keys Hawkwatch) will be leading Beginner and Advanced Sketching Field Workshops during the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, Jan 22 – 27, 2014. Rafael’s work has contributed to conservation and educational initiatives in Florida, Latin America and Eurasia. Rafeal’s basic and advanced techniques help naturalists and birders hone their observation skills and personal experiences in the field. http://www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org

  • Brian

    I’d sketch in the field but stick birds are of no help in identifying birds.

  • Chris Rurik

    One of my favorite experiences is finding a 1980s record in eBird illustrated not with a photo, but with a scan from someone’s field journal. Fun to see peoples’ sketches and notes.

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  • What exactly is a field notebook? Part 5 of 5. July 30, 2015 5:14
    Recognizing that there are no such things as right and wrong, here are some thoughts for what you might include in your field journal (and field notebook!). But remember, it’s your field journal so you can do what you want. […]
  • What exactly is a field notebook? Part 4 of 5. July 29, 2015 3:51
    Fact: Careful observations and sketches help you really learn birds. […]
  • What exactly is a field notebook? Part 3 of 5. July 28, 2015 3:44
    It’s all very well showing some of my notes from recent years (Part 2), when I’m an experienced birder, but what did my notes look like when I was a teenager? It’s pretty clear, however, that I wouldn’t have come close to winning any Young Birder of the Year field notebook competition! […]

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