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Nikon Monarch 7

    Hands-Off PhoneSkoping

    The folks at PhoneSkope continue to innovate, adding a Bluetooth shutter release to their line-up.  Having a shutter release (mechanical or electronic) has always been a powerful tool in any digiscoper’s bag of tricks, and this is an elegant way to fire off pics without introducing vibrations by tapping your phone’s screen.  Adding to the device’s [read more…]

      Proudly Display your Duck Stamp

      A plastic keychain photo frame is ideal for showing off your duck stamp in the field!

      When I spent some time with Jeff & Liz Gordon at the recently concluded Camp Colorado I asked how the new ABA Duck Stamp sales program was going.  They said they were selling droves of ‘em (maybe we’ll get an update on how many once the dust settles from the big move to Delaware) which [read more…]

        Shooting Blind

        Golden-winged Warbler, Burnett County, Wisconsin, 12 June 2014.  Photo © Bill Schmoker

        I spent about three weeks this June at our family’s lake place in northwest Wisconsin.  I credit much of my interest in birds and nature with long summer stints there growing up, and it is wonderful to continue spending meaningful time in the woods and on the water every year with my family & the critters there.

        [read more…]

          Beetle Mania

          A couple of years ago I wrote a column in Winging It about some of my favorite non-birding books for birders.  Commentators in a followup blog post generated many more great book titles that appeal to travel and unfeathered natural science topics of interest to those who pursue wild birds.

          Just in time for [read more…]

            2014 Corpus Christi Convention Digiscoped Highlights

            I had the awesome pleasure of guiding trips at the recently completed ABA Convention in Corpus Christi, Texas.  As with all of the other ABA conventions, conferences, and rallies I’ve been a part of, the event had a superb mix of great birds and great birders.  I enjoyed the camaraderie of amazing co-leaders and fantastic van-fulls of enthusiastic [read more…]

              To Birders, Wind is a Four Letter Word… Usually

              I’m sure I speak for birders everywhere when I say that for the most part strong wind blows.  (See what I did there?)  Nothing puts wee birds into heavy cover, shakes your scope, and wicks the heat out of your extremities like a strong wind.  Long-anticipated pelagic plans can be dashed when the wind gets the sea [read more…]

                Dark Sky

                I recently ponied up $3.99 for the Dark Sky weather app on my iPhone after hearing rave reviews from birding buddies David La Puma and Jessie Barry.   It looks brilliant, boasting a super clean and elegant interface with the most important weather data easily accessed and beautifully summarized.  The animated precipitation maps are pure eye candy, [read more…]

                  Cagey Birds

                  A nice trend developed in my yard this winter when a flock of Bushtits began regularly blitzing my suet.  They especially seemed to like snowy mornings which gave me a great excuse to linger over coffee on weekends at the breakfast table awaiting their arrival.  Until this season, I had only seen Bushtits in my [read more…]

                    Big Lens for Small(ish) Change

                    Tamron, makers of aftermarket lenses, has announced a new lens that may be of interest to bird photographers on a budget.  The  SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD packs a lot of power for the price (around US $1000) , approaching a buck per mm equivalent if you shoot on a crop-frame body.  I know [read more…]

                      Taking Pictures in Cold Weather

                      With much of the country again in the grips of cold, snowy weather, I thought I’d mention an applicable article I recently read by noted wildlife photographer Weldon Lee.  In it he gives some great tips for Taking Pictures in Cold Weather.  I picked up some good ideas there and think it’s worth perusing if [read more…]

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                      • 2014 Iowa/Illinois Young Birder Weekend December 15, 2014 9:37
                        By Carl Bendorf On June 14-15, 2014, Iowa Young Birders and Illinois Young Birders hosted a joint field trip weekend along the Mississippi River.  Twenty four young birders from Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin had a great time exploring a variety of habitats. One of the highlights was spending time with special guest, Rachael Butek, 2010 ABA Young […]
                      • Young Birder Blog Birding #35 December 5, 2014 7:22
                        November has truly been “Novembird” for much of the ABA area, with a smattering of great birds spread across the region. The grip of winter is finally beginning to take its hold. Lucky for us, there were several nice posts written by young birders over the past month. Many of us are gearing up for […]
                      • Nine Tips for Leading Bird Walks November 18, 2014 9:39
                        Recently, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. More and more young birders have been leading bird walks. This is awesome and really helps enrich the young birder community, as well as the birding community as a whole. […]

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