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Nikon Monarch 7

    The Festival Phenomenon

    Kilted birders take the stage at last week’s Rio Grande festival (note ABA prez Jeff Gordon, far right).

    My flight home from Harlingen, Texas, last Monday—after a wonderful week at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival—marked the end of an exhilarating and maybe unprecedented streak: This year, I participated in 15 separate birding [read more…]

      Time to send in your Conservation Milestones!

      First, if you didn’t see the inaugural Conservation Milestones in the May 2014 Birder’s Guide to Conservation & Community, take a moment to read them here. Dare you not to be inspired!

      And now, we’re doing it again! If you know someone who has gone out of their way to help bird conservation, please tell [read more…]

        Cell Phone Bird Photography

        Is all this camera gear really necessary anymore?

        Digital camera sales have been in the news lately – or, rather, the lack thereof. Canon recently reported that its compact camera sales have fallen 36% compared to one year ago, and sales of its digital SLRs have dropped by 19%. Nikon, meanwhile, has seen a [read more…]

          A Visit to the Book Shop

          The other day, I went to look at bird books in Portland, Oregon, at Powell’s City of Books, which is said to be the world’s largest independent bookstore. Powell’s is a High Island-style fallout of printed pages. The store covers a downtown city block with several floors and 1.6 acres of retail space, holds a [read more…]

            Antarctica, New Media, and Old-Fashioned Birding

            So meta: Are birders becoming trapped by technology?

            I’m not old enough to reminisce about phone trees and rare bird hotlines, though I’ve heard plenty of stories about birding’s raw old days. By the time I picked up my first pair of binoculars, dial-up was being phased out. I am proud to be of [read more…]

              Bright Night Lights

              The latest LED flashlights are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but as bright as a spotlight.

              The dark days of winter lie ahead, and, pretty soon, many of us will be owl-prowling on our favorite Christmas counts. But are you ready to light up the night? If you’re still [read more…]

                Breaking the Ice Across the Pond

                What are they: Orcs, Auks, or Dovekies?

                The first time I heard someone exclaim, “There’s an Orc behind the ship!” this summer, I twirled in surprise, nervously quick-drawing my binoculars. In moody light, the mountain peaks of Svalbard—an isolated archipelago about 1,000 miles north of Norway—can assume an insidious, Mordorish aspect, and, for a fleeting [read more…]

                  Peru’s Insane Birding Rally Challenge

                  Peruvian Pygmy-Owl.

                  If you blinked last week, you may have missed an outrageous birding competition—certainly the strangest, most wonderful I have ever attended—called the Birding Rally Challenge: an eight-day-long, no-holds-barred torneo June 11-18 across the deserts and jungles of northern Peru. The rally’s organizers call it birding’s World Cup, and, while I might liken [read more…]

                    The 48-hour Birdathon

                     

                    Noah and the Wild Turkeys search for Ash-throated Flycatchers in eastern Oregon. (All photos by Tim Kurtz.)

                    “Ten minutes to go!”

                    As I stood at Yaquina Head on the Oregon Coast last weekend, my head reeled. Thousands of Common Murres jostled for space on the guano-stained cliffs in front of me, braying into my [read more…]

                      A Different Kind of Wildlife Photography

                      A cougar cub (with its mother's tail) caught by remote camera. Noah's backyard fence is visible in the upper left. (Click to enlarge.)

                      I stumbled into my first camera trap a few years ago while birding on Panama’s famous Barro Colorado Island. As I walked quietly down a jungle trail, listening for bird sounds, [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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                      • 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. […]
                      • Young Birder Blog Birding #34 November 3, 2014 4:34
                        October is one of my favorite months for birding. While, at least where I am, most Neotropical migrants have already passed through by the end of September, October brings some really great birds into the area. […]
                      • Young Birder Blog Birding #33 October 31, 2014 8:00
                        Wow. September brings migrating birds, exciting cold front fallouts, and exceedingly productive birding blogs. The results from the summer are in, flooding the pages with posts about fun summer camps, projects, and birding excursions, followed closely by fall, with new birds and weekend trips. […]

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