Nikon Monarch 7

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Still as a Pine Cone

January, 1976 I don’t know if it was just a particularly good year for them, or if I was just on a roll, but I was having tremendously good luck finding owls in the park across the street from our apartment. One of the really great old things (of which there were many) in Chicago’s [read more…]

Quality Time with Hoary Redpolls

This past Sunday, I had a very pleasant experience … two experiences at once, actually. One was spending the morning in my local turf with a posse of great birders, including Birding magazine editor Ted Floyd.

Left-to-right: my big mug, Shawn Chandler, Danny Akers, Amar Ayyash, Andy Sigler, Ted Floyd, Joel Greenberg. At William [read more…]

My Kinda Town

Chicago at dusk, from the roof of the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower. Photo by Greg Neise.

1972 was the year that I came to life. I was born nine years earlier in California, but I don’t remember a minute of any of it. In May of 1972 I saw a notice posted on the [read more…]

The Chicago Connection

So, Ted Floyd sent me the cover of the current issue of Birding (about to hit your mailboxes, and available online right now for ABA members):

…and pointed out that on page 3 of the magazine, it says:

What do Chicago in winter, the ABA Checklist Committee, field ID of the Slaty-backed Gull, and [read more…]

Meet My Friend Tony

Tony Fitzpatrick and I have more than a couple things in common. We grew up in the same neighborhoods. We know a bunch of the same people. We both did less than savory things for some pretty shady characters in our youth. We’ve both graduated Magna Cum Laude from the School of Hard Knocks. When [read more…]

The Unlikeliest Twitch

This little tale is a perfect storm of a rare bird (or two), a joke, the craziness and power of social media, and a kind benefactor…

Saturday, August 16, 1:11 pm

John posts to Facebook:

At 4:04 pm, I reply: “Wait … I want in too. It will be so much better if we [read more…]

It’s Your Big Day

One of the things I love most about birding is how challenging it can be. Note that I didn’t say, how challenging birding is. Because the challenge is what you make it.

“Big” birding is taking the rather passive (and thoroughly enjoyable!) day of birding and expanding or contracting it to add a [read more…]

How to Identify Birds

My recent post here about my love/hate relationship with Slaty-backed Gull, got me thinking about being a birder. “Birder” is a pretty wide net, but I think the one thing—or a main thing—that defines a birder is the desire to identify the birds we see.

From there, many other forms of inquiry and enjoyment may [read more…]

It’s Complicated.

Whether we realize it or not, we birders develop relationships with the birds we seek. Sometimes it can be a species, or it can be a family or whole group of families.

Take for example the person who loves to spend frozen hours working through a massive collection of loafing gulls, but cannot abide “warbler [read more…]

Hayward vs Komito: A Look at the Playing Field

At the end of 1998, when Sandy Komito logged 745 species (+ 3 provisional) in one year, the common wisdom was that the record could never be broken.

Why? Because Attu Island, the furthest-west piece of land in the ABA area (so far west it’s within a few miles of being the furthest-east bit of [read more…]

American Birding Podcast
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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Recent Comments

  • Nate, in Rare Bird Alert: October 13, 2017... { That's fair about the weather timing. I recall the observers saying something about Hurricane Nate being involved, but how much is not clear. As to... }
  • Gary Bloomfield, in Birding with a Tricorder... { Great essay, Ted! Feel sorry for the guy in the photo who's wearing a red shirt, though. }
  • Steve Shultz, in Rare Bird Alert: October 13, 2017... { I believe the NC swift was seen on Saturday, October 7 (unless the date indicated by the observer on the photo was incorrect). Nate did... }
  • Rick Wright, in #ABArare - Yellow-breasted Bunting - Newfoundland & Labrador... { What a great bird! Sadly topical: http://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/news/yellow-breasted-bunting-next-passenger-pigeon?utm_source=BirdLife+International+News+Notifications&utm_campaign=3435eeef02-Top_news_notification&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_4122f13b8a-3435eeef02-133889729&goal=0_4122f13b8a-3435eeef02-133889729&mc_cid=3435eeef02&mc_eid=8db37ed8c1 }
  • Nate, in Rare Bird Alert: October 13, 2017... { Whoops. You're right. Those I names turned me around. I'll fix when I get a chance. Sent from my phone }
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ABA's FREE Birder's Guide

If you live nearby, or are travelling in the area, come visit the ABA Headquarters in Delaware City.

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  • Open Mic: Young Birder Camp at Hog Island: Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens September 11, 2017 3:07
    At the mic: Dessi Sieburth, an avid birder, photographer, and conservationist, is a 10th grader at Saint Francis High School in La Canada, California. He is a member of the Pasadena Audubon Young Birder’s Club and Western Field Ornithologists. Dessi enjoys birding in his home county of Los Angeles. Last summer, Dessi attended Camp Colorado, […]
  • Introducing the Whimbrel Birders Club! September 7, 2017 2:33
    Whimbrel Birders Club was established at the first annual Illinois Young Birders Symposium in August 2016. We are a birding club truly meant for everyone, no matter your age, disability, or ethnicity. […]
  • Open Mice: Kestrels–An Iowa Legacy May 16, 2017 6:29
    A few years ago, a short drive down my gravel road would yield at least one, if not two, American Kestrels perched on a power line or hovering mid-air above the grassy ditch. Today, I have begun to count myself lucky to drive past a mere one kestrel per week rather than the daily sightings. […]

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