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Birding Photo Quiz: December 2018

“BVD,” we birders like to say, when confronted with views such as these. No, we’re not talking about the brand of men’s underwear. “BVD,” to the birder, stands for “better view desired.”

Is that an aesthetic judgment? We’d rather see a bird’s face than butt? Let’s not go there. Or is it a pragmatic assessment?—an [read more…]

Birding Photo Quiz: August 2018

Wait. What? The August Photo Quiz? But haven’t we already done October? Correct, we’ve already done October. Long story short: We simply forgot to post the August Photo Quiz. Sorry about that! And without further ado . . .

This bird is rather obviously an adult male Northern Harrier. That white rump, a field mark [read more…]

Birding Photo Quiz: October 2018

Call it the “Fundamental Question of Birding”: What’s This Bird? Go on any bird walk or birding tour, and the question inevitably arises. Open up to any issue of Birding magazine, and you’ll see some variant on the question—typically more than once. Go online and you’re sure to discover the ABA’s popular “What’s This Bird?” [read more…]

Happening NOW: Snowy Golden Plovers

It’s one of the immutable truths of birding: Bad weather brings good birds. So, when I woke up on a snowy Sunday morning, Oct. 14, 2018, it was patently obvious to me that I would visit my local patch, Greenlee Wildlife Preserve, at the end of my street in the Denver suburbs. Almost immediately I [read more…]

The Tie That Binds

I love the experiencing of arriving by plane in a foreign country—especially one I’ve never been to. I love the novelty, and, strange though it may sound, I love the feeling of vulnerability. Something as seemingly simple as navigating the airport men’s room is an uncertain and sometimes adventurous undertaking. And the birds! I love [read more…]

Happening NOW: The midsummer nocturnal molt migration of eastbound Chipping Sparrows

Note: “Happening NOW” is a series of occasional posts about avian “S&D” (status and distribution) on the continent. “Happening NOW” posts are brought to you by the editors of North American Birds (NAB), the quarterly journal of ornithological record published by the ABA. To learn more about NAB or to subscribe, please visit aba.org/north-american-birds.

 

[read more…]

HAPPENING NOW: Upslope Sparrows

 

The other day, I saw 9 Clay-colored Sparrows at Greenlee Wildlife Preserve, my local patch. That Monday morning, May 14, 2018, was raw and cool, with a low cloud deck, steady drizzle, and a bit of fog. It’d been a while, it occurred to me, since my last Clay-color sighting at this postage-stamp preserve [read more…]

Birding magazine’s “Year of Hawaii”

ABA members knows that the Iiwi is the 2018 Bird of the Year. Consult the Feb. 2018 issue of Birding, starting with H. Douglas Pratt’s dramatic gatefold cover painting of Iiwis, if you need to jog your memory. But there’s also a sense in which the entire year is a sort of “Year of Hawaii” [read more…]

The Ultimate eBird Stationary Count

What species? And how many? For some of these, it’s fine–indeed it’s a good idea–to enter “spuhs” and “slashes,” e.g., Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher and peep sp. The location is Snake Bight Trail, Everglades National Park, Monroe County, Florida, and date is New Years Day. This is an eBird stationary count, and you have as much time [read more…]

Birding Photo Quiz: April 2018

If you look at wood-warblers long enough, you’ll find an oddball: a hybrid, a mutant, or some other sort of individual that doesn’t fit in the box. And with the proliferation of digital photos, we birders are documenting such oddballs as never before. Like this fascinating and beautiful individual:

This is evidently a wood-warbler [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.
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