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Nocturnal Flight Calls Online

“Just google it.”

Or: “Just download the app.”

Or, in extreme cases: “Just go to the library.”

Those options work 99% of the time in this birding life, but not—until very recently—in the case of Bill Evans and Michael O’Brien’s indispensable Flight Calls of Migratory Birds. You actually had to buy, borrow, or bootleg the [read more…]

“Almost _______________”

In an article in the October 2017 Birding, Luke Maillefer tells the story of a trip that didn’t quite get to its intended destination. Luke and several high school classmates had been selected for the trip of a lifetime: Antarctica! But a medical emergency arose en route, and the students and mentors couldn’t make it [read more…]

Birding with a Tricorder

 

Here’s a photo from a bird walk this past Sunday afternoon:

It’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. Four birders are pointing their smartphone cameras at a flowering rabbitbrush, a plant favored by painted lady butterflies. Painted ladies, you may have heard, are staging a remarkable population outbreak all across North America. If [read more…]

Another Birding Photo Quiz: October 2017

One wasn’t enough! If the ghoulish grebe in our Featured Photo, October 2017 Birding, has you wanting more, then we offer you all these shorebirds and such:

How many species can you ID in this photo? Click on the photo to enlarge. Please use the “comments” section below to share your thoughts. Photo by [read more…]

Birding Photo Quiz: October 2017

The “Featured Photo” in the October 2017 Birding, arriving soon in ABA members’ mailboxes, prompts three questions:

1. What the heck is this?

2. If you have a general idea, why is it this one and not that one?

3. Even if you know exactly which one it is (it’s this one, not that one), [read more…]

Painted Ladies! (Or, The Phenomenon of Phenomena)

 

The butterfly lay on the parking lot pavement, its red–orange hues aglow in the rising sun. It was beautiful but not worth salvaging, I judged, and I hastened to my appointment. An hour later, the creature was still there, still lovely, still glistening like a jewel. Ordinarily, it would have been stepped on and [read more…]

Happening NOW: Mountain Birds on the Move, But How Extensively?

This past Friday at a local hotspot in Boulder, Colorado, I was mildly surprised by a Williamson’s Sapsucker. The species is routine in the warmer months in the mountains in the western part of my county, but I’d never seen one east of the foothills. A quick check of eBird confirms it:

Williamson’s Sapsuckers [read more…]

On Being a Birder

It was a totally workaday morning for me. Breakfast had been a microwaved burrito. I’d gotten the kids off to school, and I was at my desk now, gazing at the laptop. Out the window, I could hear the sounds of suburbia: a delivery truck rumbling by, snippets of human conversation, and power tools going [read more…]

Share Your Birds-and-Eclipse Stories

“Oh. Oh! Wow! Part of the sun is missing! It’s not there! This is for real. Stop the car!”

Left to right: Andrew Floyd, Hannah Floyd, and Jack Solomon ponder an eclipse of the sun. Platte County, Wyoming, USA, Aug. 21, 2017.

We’re in Platte County, Wyoming, population 9,000. This is the sort of [read more…]

Birding Photo Quiz: August 2017

The “Featured Photo” in the August 2017 Birding is timely! How so? Well, we’ll give you a huge hint: Earlier this summer, the bird formerly known as the Northern Harrier, Circus cyaneus, was split by the American Ornithological Society into two species. One retains the vernacular name Northern Harrier but now goes by the scientific [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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  • 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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