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Blog Birding #368

10,000 Birds is celebrating “Come @ me” week, a celebration of unpopular opinions. Clare Kines kicks it off with the argument that simpler cameras are better for bird photography.

The 110 film became harder to get and due to the fact that Grant had a 35mm camera that could take 36 photos at a time he became the photographer. When we were travelling he would write notes for each photo he took so that we would know the location and when we returned to Australia from travelling across the USA in early 1990 we had over 30 rolls of film to develop. We had chosen to wait until we returned to Australia to develop the photos due to the extra weight involved in carrying all of the photos. This all must seem rather bizarre to some of you!

At EnviroPolitics Blog, an investigation from Vanessa Romo into whether 13 Bald Eagles were killed by pesticide.

At the time the report was issued, authorities announced they were “intending to close the case in the near future due to a lack of evidence linking anyone to the crime.” No arrests have been made. Killing a bald eagle a felony crime punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

At Birdwatching Daily, David Sibley explains how waterfowl hide their flight feathers on the water, and how that affects how we identify them.

The avian wing is a marvel of engineering: lightweight but incredibly strong, stiff yet flexible, forming an airfoil that is instantly adjustable to any conditions, and when not in use folding into a thin panel and tucking neatly out of the way along the side of the bird’s body. Understanding how the wing works and where the different feather groups go as the wing spreads and folds is an important bit of fundamental bird-ID knowledge. In this column, I’ll explain how the wing fits into the body feathers at rest.

Rick Wright of Birding New Jersey and Beyond takes a look at the 2018 AOS Checklist Supplement, which contains few splits of note but a great many other taxonomic changes.

Those of us destined, alas, to spend most of our time birding north of Mexico will find this year’s Supplement adding four species to the list of birds found in the ABA Area. The common shelduck moves to the main list on strength of two Newfoundland records; the Committee notes with apparent (and appropriate) approval Ned Brinkley’s suggestion that many other records from the east coast of North America may also pertain to wild birds, but suggests (again, appropriately) that shelducks found on the Pacific Coast are “more problematical.”

At Ecology & Evolution, Jay McEntee writes about the ways in which community science has impacted out understanding of sister species in places where they overlap.

Every day, birders around the world record which species they see. Many of them contribute their sightings to the groundbreaking citizen science project called eBird, run out of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the US. One outcome from this collective activity is a worldwide record of which species have been reported in the same place at the same time – i.e. which species come into contact. Some pairs of species have extensive contact across their ranges. In others, just a few individuals from each species come into contact with each other, typically at the periphery of their ranges.

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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.