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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…]

Birding Photo Quiz: June 2017

Well, it’s an “LBJ,” or “little brown job.”

In an article in the June 2017 Birding, winging its way to ABA members right now, Priscilla Lai and colleagues analyze this mystery bird—and others like it. Lai and coauthors provide facts and data in their article, but they also acknowledge that there’s still a fair [read more…]

The Best of Times

I’ve always enjoyed listening to birds. In my earliest days as a birder, I was intrigued by the assertion in Roger Tory Peterson’s Field Guide that “some birders do 90 percent of their field work by ear.” And it was this passage from Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac that really captivated me:

“There [read more…]

ICYMI: Sympathy for the Twitcher

The ABA Blog has been in existence for almost 8 years, and there’s a lot of good content back in the archives that deserves an audience now that it might not have received way back when. So, semi-regularly we will bring some of that stuff back. Here’s one by Ted Floyd on a topic that [read more…]

Only Change Is Changeless, or: NAB v. 2017

 

The other day, on my way between errands, I stopped along a busy road where a midsize creek crosses beneath. There I saw an Eastern Phoebe alongside a Black Phoebe. Apparent hybrids have been documented in the area. A few days earlier, along another creek in my county, birders had reported a similar occurrence: [read more…]

Birding Photo Quiz: April 2017

Think of a flock of birds in flight: ducks over a marsh, vultures at a kill, gulls coming off a landfill. For sure, we often see ducks, vultures, and gulls in flight, and, sooner or later, we become adept at ID’ing those birds on the wing.

Here’s another common sight: blackbirds flying around feedlots, pastures, [read more…]

Chandler Seymour Robbins, 1918–2017

Chandler Seymour Robbins, one of the greatest birders and field ornithologists of all time, died yesterday in Columbia, Maryland. He was 98.

Robbins created the Golden Guide, among the most influential bird books ever published, and he conceived the Breeding Bird Survey, a landmark achievement in biological conservation. His contributions to ornithology and bird conservation [read more…]

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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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  • 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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