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Blog Birding #346

It is a burden we all bear, and one Mia McPherson of On the Wing Photography is tackling head-on.

One of the things that make my feathers ruffle though is when I see people post a bird photo and call it a “seagull” because there is no such thing as a seagull. If you plan on being a bird photographer you might want to make note of that for the love of all that is birdy.

When questions are asked about birds in the mainstream world, Purbita Saha of Audubon is prepared to address some misconceptions and set some mistakes right.

We at the National Audubon Society noticed you had some thought-provoking questions on why birds are so wonderful and weird and disturbing at the same time. While we aren’t really birds—our CEO is halfway there—we’re basically their human proxies. So, we feel it’s on us to respond on their behalf (except for the Black-capped Chickadee . . . what a lazy bum).

North America’s two species of eagle are not that closely related but can occasionally be tricky IDs. Ron Dudley at Feathered Photography shares images to help with the ID.

Raptors, including eagles, that have not reached the adult plumage stage are referred to as immature. Those in their first plumage stage are called juveniles and the term sub-adult is used to refer to any plumage stage between juvenile and adult. Depending on molt sequence, age and timing plumage stages are highly variable so other factors like iris and beak color are also taken into account when estimating age. Eyes gradually change from dark brown to yellow while the beak goes from blackish-gray to yellow as they mature.

At The Eyrie, Aidan Place reviews the The Warbler Guide’s new Android app.

The Warbler Guide, hailed as groundbreaking on its release as a book, is helping lead the way in meshing print media with digital media. The authors released their app for iPhone in 2014 and recently came out with a version for Android; The Warbler Guide app has outdone itself. Unlike most field guide apps, which mostly seek to electronically present the same information as the book, The Warbler Guide has added a number of new features, allowing its app to truly function as a companion to the book, complimenting the printed material and adding to it.

The Liberian Greenbul has long been one of Africa’s most mysterious birds, but as BirdGuides reports, it may not actually be a species.

Liberian Greenbul is one of the world’s most enigmatic species. Closely resembling the much more common Icterine Greenbul, it differs by having large white subterminal spots on all of its major flight feathers, along with smaller ones at the tips of its greater coverts and alula (forming a wing-bar), in addition to having a paler tail and a reddish-brown tinge to its wing. It is known only from Cavalla Forest in eastern Liberia in west Africa, where it was observed just nine times in the period from 1981-84. Sightings ceased in the latter year, when the only known specimen was collected and housed in the Museum Alexander Konig, Bonn, Germany, where it was described in 1985.

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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.
Nate Swick

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