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Nikon Monarch 7

    Common Names in Different Families, Full List

    In the March/April 2014 issue of Birding is an article I wrote discussing the many common bird names like “flycatcher” and “shrike” that are used in multiple taxonomically distinct families. As I compiled the list, it became clear the entire list was way too long to publish in the magazine. At least 53 different common [read more…]

      The Mystery of Communication: If You Could Talk to One Bird, Which Would It Be?

      The immensity of the psychic and linguistic distances between us and birds is something we rarely think about. It doesn’t make us sad that we cannot talk to or become friends with the birds we encounter in the field, at least not typically. Which is exactly why I found the chapter “The Friendly Bicolored Antbird” [read more…]

        Remembering Matthiessen

        Peter Matthiessen, the esteemed writer and naturalist, has passed away. I imagine many ABA members are familiar with his work and mourn his passing. For me, his writing is an inspiration, from At Play in the Fields of the Lord, an excellent novel about missionaries in the Amazon, to The Snow Leopard, a travelogue about [read more…]

          Introducing: The Lifelook

          One of the most interesting facets of birding culture is its unique vocabulary. From lifers to dips to cripplers, there’s an inherent joy in communicating with others about the highs and lows of birding using our own terminology. Maybe the best part of birding vocabulary is that it shows how alive and dynamic the culture [read more…]

            What Bird has the Longest Lifelist?

            When learning about the immense migrations of many North American birds, the more zoomorphic among us may find themselves imagining what wondrous things these birds must encounter throughout their travels. From high Andean cloud forests to tropical Central American beaches to stark Alaskan tundras, these birds see a lot. Which may in turn lead us [read more…]

              Birds and Poetry

              When I read the following words in Leonard Nathan’s illuminating Diary of a Left-handed Birdwatcher, I was delighted:

              Valmiki is the first, the father, of all poets. He is also the first known birdwatcher, and it is his birdwatching that has occasioned his invention: from shoka (grief) comes shloka (poetry).

              So there you have it. [read more…]

                On Birds and Books

                After a love of birds, the most commonly shared interest in the birding world is probably a love of books. Even with the rise of apps and massive internet databases, birders reliably look forward to the latest book about species identification, life histories, birding memoirs, and any number of other ornithological topics.

                I think [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.
                If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
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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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