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SNEAK PEEK! Birder’s Guide to Listing & Taxonomy, 2018

The 2018 issue of Birder’s Guide to Listing & Taxonomy is currently being mailed. American Birding Association members should be finding it in their mailboxes–within the pages of the December Birding–any day now. But you don’t have to wait until then to see what’s inside. You can see the entirety of this issue of Birder’s Guide right now. Simply click here. (Birder’s Guide is just one of the free resources that the ABA provides to the birding public.)

Listing and taxonomy may not immediately seem related, but dive a bit deeper, and it soon becomes apparent.

In this issue, John McCormack of the Moore Lab of Zoology explains how the efforts of ornithologists directly affects birders. Sometimes, discoveries by “civilian” birders can have effects, too, as Sophie Osborn tells us. Such information is considered by the American Ornithological Society when it updates its North American checklist. We birders, in turn, use the updated taxonomy as the scorecard for our listing endeavors. Or we used to, anyway. Be sure to read this year’s “Check-list Redux” for a tantalizing hint at possible changes to come of this front. The Redux also explains in simple terms all that’s changed on the AOS Check-list in 2018. You can use this information to update your list totals in ABA’s Listing Central. Greg Neise tells us what’s new there in the “Listing Central Update”, and last year’s top totals are found in the “Listing Snapshot”. Speaking of listing, Derek Lovitch shares the story of a different kind of Big Year in this home state of Maine. And, finally, Rick Wright dives into the scientific literature and explains why he thinks North America’s “newest” bird species may need to be renamed. 

Whether your passion is attending bird walks in a local park, competing in Big Year, or keeping your ABA Area life list up to date, I hope you will find something of interest in this issue. Please take a moment to let us know what you did and didn’t like, and what was missing. Even better, write something for us. 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, and the author of The ABA Field Guide to Birds of Illinois. When not at home gardening, Michael is often leading tours for BRANT Nature Tours in Middle America (Mexico through Panama). He currently lives with his husband, Matt, in Fort Worth, Texas. Michael also runs QBNA, the continent's informal club for LGBTQ+ birders. A former chair of the Indiana records committee, he is an eBird reviewer for Mexico, Illinois, and Indiana.
Michael Retter

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