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Nikon Monarch 7

    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...]

                      Oh Junco, What Art Thou?

                      In the latter parts of December I began noticing a Dark-eyed Junco working my back yard feeders that had tidy  white wing bars and all gray upperparts.  Combined with my location in Colorado the signs seemed to point to a White-winged Junco, well within expected winter range for that subspecies and indeed far from the [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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                      • Open Mic: My First Breeding Bird Survey August 12, 2014 8:22
                        When I got asked to go on my first Breeding Bird Survey with one of our areas top birders, I jumped at the opportunity! I met Katie Koch, a US Fish and Wildlife Service bird biologist at 4:45am. That was the earliest time I've been birding by 15 minutes. […]
                      • What to Do When You Feel Under the Weather at Bird Camp August 6, 2014 6:47
                        Imagine you are at a bird camp. Camp Chiricahua, for instance. Maybe this year. Maybe even this week. You are having lots of fun making new friends, seeing lots of cool birds, and traveling to all sorts of awesome places. But with all this activity and excitement, you start wearing yourself down. […]
                      • Young Birder Blog Birding #31 August 1, 2014 5:45
                        July is often a difficult month for birders, but the month has come to an end. For many birds, breeding season is long gone and preparation for fall migration have begun. […]

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