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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...]

                      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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                      Recent Comments

                      • Rare Bird Alert: September 26, 2014 « ABA Blog { […] vagrants to the Pribilofs highlighted by the ABA’s 5th and, incredibly, the 6th records of  Wood Warbler (ABA Code 5). Other nice finds on... }
                      • JB, in Hands-Off PhoneSkoping... { Galaxy Note 4 case is going to be out at the end of October. I'm very excited. }
                      • AJ-birdwatcher, in ABA Checklist Committee Adds Egyptian Goose to ABA Checklist... { I finally identified large flocks of Egyptian Geese on both the campus of FAU in Boca Raton and Boca Regional Hospital lakes. Is there a... }
                      • Frank Izaguirre, in Crickets. Seriously.... { Ted, something about this essay made me realize that my desire to see lifebirds and to read every book that ever won a John Burroughs... }
                      • Ted Floyd, in New Field Marks... { The recent issue of Birding has an article on a new field mark for separating Black-tailed and Hudsonian godwits: http://aba.org/birding/2014-JUL-AUG/Birding_14-4_TOC.pdf }
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                      • Velociraptors and Moving Rocks: Notes from Camp Colorado September 21, 2014 2:01
                        My week at Camp Colorado started off a few hours behind schedule. After my brother and I boarded our plane, we learned that the plane had a broken seal, and would not be flying us to Denver. We switched planes and got about an hour and a half out, when an elderly woman’s medical emergency […]
                      • Young Birder Blog Birding #32 September 9, 2014 9:09
                        Though breeding songbirds have essentially fallen silent, August can be a very enjoyable month for birding—and it can be enjoyed in very different ways. […]
                      • 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. […]

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