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    Lehman: Learn S&D

    Do you own a field guide to the birds of the ABA Area? If you do, odds are the range maps were created, or at least significantly contributed to, by Paul Lehman–possibly the world’s foremost expert on the status and distribution of the birds of the ABA Area.

    Avian “S&D”–shorthand for “status and distribution”–isn’t mere [read more...]

      March/April 2014 Featured Photo

      The March/April 2014 Birding has gone to press, and ABA members will soon be receiving–along with a lot of other content–Tom Johnson’s analysis of a most interesting hummingbird found a while back in Delaware. Here’s the hummingbird:

      Photo by (c) Tom Johnson.


      And now the obvious question: What is it?

      You can find [read more...]

        A Friendly Debate

        You may have heard this saying–it’s sort of funny–about dialogue in university humanities departments: “The disagreements are so bitter because the stakes are so low.” It’s funny, as I said, but I also think it’s unfair. What’s at stake is human thought, and isn’t the grandest and most precious thing about our species?

        Apparent [read more...]

          New Field Marks

          When I was fifteen, I received as a Christmas present the three-volume Audubon Society Master Guide to Birding. Accompanying promotional material promised the reader something on the order of sixty never-before disclosed secrets to field ID. One that I recall was a new way to tell the waterthrushes apart–by the shape of the supercilium.

          Thirty [read more...]

            Birding Ethics, Going Forward

            A little while ago in this forum, we talked about “the next big idea”–make that big ideas, plural–for bird conservation. Let’s shift gears a bit now, to the somewhat more elusive matter of birding ethics.

            Ethical behavior is a frequent concern for the birding community, and that’s a good thing. It means we’re aware. We [read more...]

              Mistakes Were Made


              Western Sandpiper by (c) Bill Schmoker.

              When I started birding, the fourth edition (1980) of Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds was hot off the presses. One thing that instantly piqued my curiosity was this statement on p. 29 of the introductory matter: “Allan Phillips argued convincingly in American Birds that practically all [read more...]

                Featured Photo, a.k.a. New Photo Quiz, January-February 2014 Birding

                First things first. The quiz. Here goes:

                If you just want to play the quiz, that’s great. Skip the part below, and scroll straight down to the comments.



                And now the rest of the story…

                …as explained on p. 66 of the January/February 2014 issue of Birding:


                The king [read more...]

                  Bird Conservation: The Next Big Idea

                  In the November/December 2013 Birding, Andrew W. Rothman provides a recap of the Fifth International Partners in Flight Conference and Conservation Workshop (“PIF-V”), held in Park City, Utah, August 25–28, 2013. The PIF-V proceedings were commendably forward-looking. Rothman reports in his Birding article that the paper sessions, working groups, and such focused chiefly on tomorrow’s [read more...]

                    Nighthawks—The Last Hurrah

                    Let’s have some fun! No preamble from me, no more buildup, let’s just look at a beautiful, strange, and thought-provoking painting. Here goes:

                    (Click on image to enlarge.)

                    If you’re an ABA member, then you already know that Ray Nelson’s “Nighthawks” (acrylic on wood, 2013) appears on pp. 52–53 of the November/December 2013 issue of [read more...]

                      Beyond Birding...Sorta

                      The letters to the editor in the current issue of Birding are about—wait for it—plants and mammals. They’re also about birds, and about the ways in which our other interests intersect with our passion for birds and birding.

                      I remember a conversation around the campfire, more than two decades ago, about birders’ other interests. We [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.
                      Read More »

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