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A Bit of a Mix-Up

I get a kick out of hybrid birds- like Easter Eggs hidden in video games, they offer a treat that may be hiding in plain view but undetected without some scrutiny and/or detective work. I’ve previously posted on a couple of hybrid gulls that were fun to suss out (Herring x Glaucous and Herring x [read more…]

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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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…]

Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
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