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    Featured Photo: May/June 2014 Birding

    Here are three images that appear in the “Featured Photo” column of the May/June 2014 issue of Birding. We won’t tell you quite yet which of these is actually the main featured photo! You’ll have to read the print version of Birding to find out.

    For now, let’s have some fun with these three photos. [read more...]

      Why We Travel

       

      What did you do this past weekend? If you’re in the USA, you probably observed Memorial Day. And it’s not unlikely that your Memorial Day weekend activities included travel.

      According to the American Automobile Association, 36.1 million people traveled at least 50 miles in the USA this past weekend. That’s more than 10% of [read more...]

        Birding Then and Now

         

        Here’s one of the most famous covers in the history of Birding magazine:

         

        Sorry about the poor quality of the reproduction. My scanner’s offline, so I took a picture with my phone. I’ll have more to say about taking photos with phones, but let’s first talk about this iconic image. From our vantage point [read more...]

          A Word Is Worth 10,000 Pixels

          One of the under-appreciated aspects of Roger Tory Peterson’s genius was the old master’s way with words. I’m not talking about Peterson’s storytelling, e.g., in Wild America and Birds Over America—for which he was justly famous. Rather, I’m talking about the words in Peterson’s field guides.

          Peterson’s Reddish Egret “lurches about, acts drunk.” The Purple [read more...]

            Learn Thrasher Songs

             

            All last week, I was honored to be at the ABA’s 2014 convention in Corpus Christi, Texas. My favorite bird down there, I have to say, was the Long-billed Thrasher. Long-billed Thrashers were everywhere!–in city parks in downtown Corpus, in upland thickets far from the coast, and in suburban yards right along the saltwater bays [read more...]

              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...]

                      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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                      • Book Review: The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition June 25, 2014 6:30
                        In 2000, the birding world greeted the arrival of the revolutionary new Sibley Guide to Birds. Now, 13 years later, we welcome the long awaited updated second edition of our favorite field guide. […]
                      • Meet Chloe Walker: 2014 ABA Young Birder of the Year June 17, 2014 8:51
                        Although I "officially" started birding when I was eleven, my interest in birds began when I was nine. I remember taking my mom's camera outside and just "playing around" with it. […]
                      • Open Mic: Fruits of the Future June 13, 2014 6:56
                        It was a winter morning, the cloudy skies blocked out the brilliance of the sun. A chilly wind ran through the treetops like a group of mad, fast-moving invisible Capuchin monkeys. The branches of a nearby tree were shaking uncontrollably and the delicate stems could not support the weight of its leaves and blooming flowers. […]

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