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SNEAK PEEK! Birder’s Guide to Gear, 2017

The 2017 issue of Birder’s Guide to Gear has been printed and is beginning to arrive in members’ mailboxes. But you don’t have to wait until your hard copy to see what’s inside. And neither do non-members. You can see the entirety of this issue of Birder’s Guide online right now. Just click here.

Whether your gear is shiny and new or old and battle-scarred, the mission of Birder’s Guide to Gear is to help you get the most out of it. What exactly constitutes birding gear? Well, these days a camera is pretty common. And field guides…definitely field guides. Now expand your thinking a bit. What about smartphone apps? Luggage? How about shoes, even? This issue features information on all of these topics. We want you to spend more time enjoying the birds–not worrying about aching feet or slow cameras. 

Birder’s Guide only exists because our talented pool of ABA members is willing to share its knowledge. You can join in by writing an article. By the same token, we depend on our members to give us feedback about what they want–and don’t want–to see in Birder’s Guide. Take just a moment to share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!


You can easily download the entire issue, or just certain pages, allowing you to read Birder’s Guide on your Nook, Kindle, or other tablet, when offline. Or your laptop, if you’re old-fashioned. Just click on the fourth button from the right in the toolbar above the e-magazine. (See image below.)


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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.
  • Hi Michael Retter,
    Really thanks for this post.

  • Richard

    I believe that the Birders’ Guide to Gear would have been a lot more useful if it had included a discussion of Micro 4/3 cameras. There are many reasons why professional and amateur photographers are moving from DSLRs to Micro 4/3 systems. Micro 4/3 cameras and lenses have evolved to the point where they match and exceed the specifications of many DSLRs. The author emphasizes the importance of speed of burst mode and continuous shooting. The Olympus E-M1 II has a electronic burst speed of 60 fps (AF-S) and 18 fps (AF-C). The Nikon D500 is not capable of electronic burst mode, but it only equals the Olympus on mechanical burst mode.

    A major factor in going to Micro 4/3 is the size and weight advantage over DSLRs. The Olympus E-M1 II with a Leica 100-400 lens weighs just 3 lbs. An equivalent setup in a DSLR would weigh more than eight lbs. This important to bird photographers who travel to and hike at remote locations.

    I know that many photographers are stuck in the old ways, but one cannot ignore the progress of technology. A cursory review of bird photography literature proves that the time has come to consider Micro 4/3 cameras and lenses for bird and wildlife photography. A discussion of this would be most useful to your readers.

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