Nikon Monarch 7

aba events

Blog Birding #318

The ABA’ 2017 Bird of the Year, Ruddy Turnstone, is a remarkable species, as Mia McPherson of On the Wing Photography explores.

Some Ruddy Turnstones migrate through Utah in the spring starting the last week of April until around the end of May and can be seen when they feed to refuel for the rest of their journey to the high Arctic to breed.  They are beautiful, colorful shorebirds with calico patterns in breeding plumage. When I lived in Florida I photographed them during the fall, winter and early spring along the Gulf coast.

The Barn Swallow is a true cosmopolitan, breeding on six of the seven continent. Some more recently than others, as Kenn Kaufman explains at Audubon.

In my travels, I always look for their nests, and I’ve found them on a wide variety of manmade structures: in barns, sheds, and abandoned houses, on porches, under bridges, and in culverts. The northernmost breeders I’ve seen were north of Juneau, Alaska, where they built nests under docks along the coast. In a magazine article a few years ago, I announced that I’d never seen a Barn Swallow nest in a natural site. Ironically, about the time the article was published, I saw a few pairs nesting under overhanging cliff ledges on an island in Lake Erie. Never say never!

At All About Birds, Scott Weidensaul shares an amazing and comprehensive look at the science of migration.

Every age thinks it’s a gilded one. A hundred years ago, no doubt, ornithologists congratulated themselves on living in a Golden Age of smokeless gunpowder and fine-grade birdshot that made collecting specimens easier. But today really is a truly exceptional time for migration science, with so many new avenues for documenting the journeys of birds.

At Ontario Birds and Herps, Josh Vandermuelen offers a glimpse into the current birding at Point Pelee, easily one of the most storied spring migration hotspots in North America.

I touched on the birding during Sunday morning briefly in my last blog post. Obviously the Lark Sparrow was the main highlight but I did see a few other birds.

This Point Pelee Mississippi Kite, errr I mean Northern Harrier,  flew over me as I was walking down the main park road. Always a species I enjoy seeing as they have to be one of our more unique hawk species in Ontario.

The ever-shifting taxonomic order poses a problem for field guide authors looking to keep up to date, and Jochen Roeder at 10,000 Birds has a solution. Just scrap it.

Way back in the days when blog posts still got a lot of comments, I wrote a piece on why field guides that arrange species in a more or less strict taxonomic order regularly frustrate me. I gave a number of reasons in a great number of paragraphs and got an enormous amount of comments, many of which were highly critical of what I had said. The original post is here, and if you have some left-over time, spending it on going through the comments is time well spent.  My reasons for not liking a strict taxonomic order were essentially twofold:

The following two tabs change content below.
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.
Nate Swick

Latest posts by Nate Swick (see all)

American Birding Podcast
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




ABA's FREE Birder's Guide

If you live nearby, or are travelling in the area, come visit the ABA Headquarters in Delaware City.

Beginning this spring we will be having bird walks, heron watches and evening cruises, right from our front porch! Click here to view the full calender, and register for events >>

via email

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

  • Open Mic: Young Birder Camp at Hog Island: Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens September 11, 2017 3:07
    At the mic: Dessi Sieburth, an avid birder, photographer, and conservationist, is a 10th grader at Saint Francis High School in La Canada, California. He is a member of the Pasadena Audubon Young Birder’s Club and Western Field Ornithologists. Dessi enjoys birding in his home county of Los Angeles. Last summer, Dessi attended Camp Colorado, […]
  • Introducing the Whimbrel Birders Club! September 7, 2017 2:33
    Whimbrel Birders Club was established at the first annual Illinois Young Birders Symposium in August 2016. We are a birding club truly meant for everyone, no matter your age, disability, or ethnicity. […]
  • Open Mice: Kestrels–An Iowa Legacy May 16, 2017 6:29
    A few years ago, a short drive down my gravel road would yield at least one, if not two, American Kestrels perched on a power line or hovering mid-air above the grassy ditch. Today, I have begun to count myself lucky to drive past a mere one kestrel per week rather than the daily sightings. […]

Follow ABA on Twitter