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Blog Birding #375

Birdchick, aka Sharon Stiteler, writes that the first step towards a life in birding is as simple as noticing birds.

Over the years as all sorts of passions have come about, it feels like we share our passions. Though I may not get why my adult friends are obsessed with going Disney World every chance they get, I appreciate that they like it. When I’m watching that friend’s third trip to Disney in a year on Facebook I realize, “Oh, I bet they watch my multiple trips to go birding in Texas with the same bewilderment.” How many times do I need to see a green jay? Apparently as many times as my friends need their picture taken with Donald Duck.

Nick Bonomo explores the lengths birders will go to find a first record, in this case a Little Egret in Connecticut, at Shorebirder. 
Meanwhile, a few of us had been talking strategy. We wanted to get out to that breakwater for dusk to see if the vagrant egret was using that roost. We thought it was likely that it would be out there, but getting to the breakwater and then finding the bird in falling light would not be easy. The fact that the bird was found feeding well into Rhode Island only increased our resolve to get out there, since we thought it would be our only hope while it kept to its current daytime pattern.

At, a breakdown of a study that shows that habitat fragmentation is every bit as bad as habitat destruction for a great many bird species.

Working in southwest Manitoba, they found that ever-decreasing prairie habitat was less to blame than how many edges cut through the existing habitat; this results in the breaking apart of habitat, an effect known as habitat fragmentation. These edges could stem from roads, industrial development, or a patch of cropland laid among the natural grasses.

At Cape Sable Birding, Mark Dennis tells the story of an exciting Pubnico pelagic.

The first part of the trip was sedate as we passed through rather barren inshore waters, paused at Round Island and Flat Island to add a few trip birds then we pushed out towards German Bank, roughly south-west of Pubnico a few hours past Round Island. The birding then picked up, especially when we caught up with a Scallop Dragger although the birds were barely feeding and were probably stuffed with bycatch. Further on we hit a couple of patches of birds, mostly Great Shearwaters, oddly the commonest Storm Petrel throughout was Leach’s. Phalaropes littered the ocean in various places, mostly Red, I saw only about 10 Red-necked. We also had the pleasure of a couple of Manx Shearwaters, a relaxed Sooty Shearwater on the way in and the odd Barn Swallow escort.

At the AOS History of Ornithology Blog, Bob Montgomerie looks at the what the Henry Hudson expedition discovered instead of the Northwest Passage.

Their next landfall was at Digges Island [7] on 3 August. A small crew went ashore, including Prickett who said “In this place a great store of fowle breed…” [8], almost certainly referring to the huge colony of Thick-billed Murres nesting on the cliffs there, today numbering some 300,000 breeding pairs.

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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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