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Nikon Monarch 7

The Ultimate Big Year

Noah and everything he will carry this year.

Today, I begin 365 days of intense birding: In 2015, I hope to see 5,000 species of birds around the world. After celebrating this New Year in Antarctica, I will make my way up through South America, then across North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and [read more…]

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 [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…]

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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  • What exactly is a field notebook? Part 2 of 5. July 27, 2015 3:31
    A field notebook is, well, what it says: a notebook you carry in the field (in my case, 24/7 in my pocket, with 2 pens), where you can write down birds as you see them. It’s the raw data of your field journal. […]
  • What exactly is a field notebook? (Part 1 of 5) July 26, 2015 2:35
    Young birders are sponges that absorb all sorts of information, ask questions, and never seem to tire out – although they can certainly exhaust the adults who work with them! I’ve been involved with YB events for 15 years now, and in 2013 I was a judge for the field notebook module of the ABA […]
  • The Warbler Guide App Review June 11, 2015 3:46
    The Warbler Guide, published last year, was an incredible work of writing on the identification of North American wood-warblers. One of its stand-out features was how well integrated it was with online and digital content. Consequently, I was not terribly surprised when it was announced that they were going to be developing an app. […]

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