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Blog Birding #345

At 10,000 Birds, Jason Crotty returns making the case to include US territories in the ABA Area.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory in the West Indies where it is the easternmost and smallest of the Greater Antilles.  Puerto Rico became a territory in 1898 and a commonwealth in 1952. It is now an unincorporated organized territory of the United States. The capital is San Juan, an important center of Caribbean culture and transportation. According to the 2010 Census, the population was about 3.7 million, though many have moved to the mainland due to its economic crisis and the impact of Hurricane Maria.

Avian Ecologist Jessica Gorzo offers her opinions on sound recording apps that might be useful for birders.

Let me start with some disclaimers: I’m just starting to learn about sound analysis. From what I can gather, it seems that the best thing to do is get the highest quality recording possible (preferably with advanced equipment) and run it through a sophisticated program. Also, I’ve been testing these apps with a chickadee call from my computer speaker, which has its pros and cons…

At On the Wing Photography, Mia McPherson compare some shots of North America’s two similar species of large falcon.

I participate in several bird identification groups on Facebook where people share photos and/or descriptions of the birds they see and photograph where they aren’t sure of the identity and ask for help with ID’s. Quite often I see people struggle with Prairie and Peregrine Falcon identification where they might believe they saw or photographed a Prairie Falcon and they really saw a Peregrine Falcon or vice versa so I thought I’d do a side by side comparison of these two species of falcons.

Projest SNOWstorm is back for another year, and Jean-François Therrien shares an update on what could be an exceptional winter for Snowy Owls across the continent.

The greatest thing about being part of such an extended team is exactly as the saying goes: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Because we have colleagues studying in great detail the fluctuations in lemming numbers, we can concentrate in studying the raptors that depend on lemmings — like snowy owls — in detail. And the reverse is also true. By knowing precisely how many raptors nest and how many prey they eat, our colleagues can infer the predation rate that lemmings face. With many emerging pressures facing our environment, such scientific collaborations are crucial in order to understand changes threatening species and ecosystems.

At her blog, Julie Zickefoose shares updates on the Blue Jay Jemima and her efforts to get her back in flying shape.

As a result, this bird is flying on a lot fewer feathers than she should have. As fate and biology would have it, blue jays retain their juvenile flight feathers until late summer of their second year. She won’t molt the broken stubs of her juvenile flight feathers until August 2018. Until then, I pray the ones that remain hold. But there are no guarantees with wild things. More could break off at any time. The fault bars run across all of them.
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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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