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Blog Birding #186

Birdlog is perhaps the most-used mobile app for those eBirders who prefer to enter their data from the field. Paul Hurtado at Mostly Birds lays out some useful tip for using Birdlog. I’m a pretty heavy user and there were even a couple of which I wasn’t aware.

If you have a smartphone, one answer is to start using the BirdLog app. Why? Because it makes “eBirding” a LOT more efficient! Many birders find submitting eBird checklists to be a bit cumbersome, or at the very least that it detracts from paying attention to birds in the field. Also, it takes time to transcribe field notes into a checklist at home after your trip.  BirdLog allows you to tally birds in the field on your smartphone and then quickly submit them as an eBird checklists (or at least drafts of checklists) from the field.

The Black-capped Petrel is perhaps the most iconic bird of the Gulf Stream, and their story is a fascinating and ongoing one with regard to their conservation. Currently many birds are being tracked with solar-powered transmitters. Cool stuff reported by John Platt at Extinction Countdown.

How do you gather information about a bird species that spends 99 percent or more of its time at sea? Until recently, there wasn’t an easy answer. But now scientists who are working to conserve the endangered black-capped petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) have come up with an innovative technique to improve our understanding of the rare birds. The researchers have attached small, solar-powered satellite transmitters to three of the petrels to track them as they forage for food over the Caribbean. The devices were attached in April and have already transmitted valuable information about the birds’ behavior and feeding patterns.

Our own Jeff Gordon is in southern Ontario this week at the Baillie Birdathon. He’s interviewed by Charlotte Wasylik at Prairie Birder.

I’ve been interested in nature, especially wildlife since I was a tiny kid. I didn’t catch the birding bug until I was 12, but I caught it hard. When I was a young birder myself there weren’t young birder clubs or social media, but I still managed to find a lot of support and mentoring through organizations like the Delmarva Ornithological Society and the Delaware Nature Society. One of the things I liked best about birding at that age was that in just a year or two, I could hold my own with the adult birders and really make a contribution to the group. Now, I’m not saying that I was as good or as seasoned as the long-time birders. But I was sharp enough to pick things out and add something. One of the things I like best about birding is that it’s truly an all-ages, lifelong activity in a way that few things are.

Interest in birds often spills into other, non-bird, interests. Kelly Riccetti at Red and the Peanut shares an easy plan for a sharp bird necklace.

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I wear bird-themed jewelry, but you might be surprised to learn I make all of my own jewelry. I am allergic to metal and can’t wear gold or silver necklaces, so years ago I started making my own out of ceramic beads, pearls, and natural stone. I make all sorts of ceramic beads, and thought you might like to learn how to make a few for yourself.  If you can roll out clay, stamp in a design, and string beads, you can make your own bird jewelry too…

As migration season winds down, baseball season heats up. Birds a popular and occasionally ill-used well for mascots and logos. Nick Lund, the Birdist, grades a bunch of Minor League Baseball teams who have taken on bird monikers.

You likely haven’t heard of most of these teams unless you live in one of America’s small municipalities or, like, did a project in school about minor league teams or something.  Well, friend, relax.  Let me save you the trouble of figuring out which teams have done a good job with their avian themes, and which ones are unworthy of their winged mascots.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
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