Suppose you were tasked with characterizing the ABA membership. And suppose you had to do so in a single short sentence. We ABA’ers are all over the place demographically, geographically, ideologically, and other-ically. So we need a characterization that transcends our many differences. I know!—
ABA members like birds and birding.
Well, [read more…]
An East End neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of WQED.
Christmas day, my family and I flew to my natal town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We deplaned and were greeted at the gate by a Santa Claus impersonator. Then we got on the bus to my boyhood home, where my parents still live. [read more…]
Update (Jan. 21, 2015): Tom Johnson’s full analysis of this photo is available to ABA members. Click here for the full-color PDF download:
This has to be a trick. You’re right–it is. This bird was photographed off Cape May County, New Jersey, February 2014. Tom Johnson’s analysis appears in the print version [read more…]
It’s a holiday tradition at Birding magazine: The last issue of the year features, among many other things, the annual report of the ABA Checklist Committee. Each year, the committee’s report is timely, thorough, and well-researched. So it is with the 2013–2014 report, and we’ll get around to that in a moment. But first things [read more…]
In one of the ABA’s most ambitious undertakings ever, the association has partnered with New York–based publisher Scott & Nix, Inc., to produce a series of field identification guides to the birds of the U.S. states.
The initiative is briskly under way, with three titles already released in 2014: The ABA Field Guide to [read more…]
Let’s have some fun. Without any preamble, let’s take a look at five great bird photos. Here goes:
1. This is sick, as the kids say. A Red-footed Booby in hot pursuit of a fenestrated naffwing. Look at how the booby’s right wingtip is cutting the surface of the water. This is more [read more…]
No preamble, no hints. What do you think this bird is? And, as always, why? Tom Johnson’s analysis and answer appear in the print version of the September/October 2014 Birding, arriving soon in ABA members’ mailboxes. For now, though, let’s try to work this bird out together, in the “Leave a Reply” section, below.
Noah Strycker, the globetrotting Associate Editor of Birding magazine, recently announced that he’s taking it to a new level. Starting at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, Noah will embark on the mother of all Big Years: His goal is 5,000 species worldwide. He’ll start in Antarctica, work his way north through [read more…]
A week ago today I was, for whatever reason, pondering the question of why we bird. Almost simultaneously, it turns out, Al Schirmacher was musing the same matter:
Call it a harmonic convergence. Schirmacher, a church pastor, might call it providence. Anyhow, the responses streamed in: the challenge of bird ID, and the [read more…]
“There is a peculiar virtue in the music of elusive birds.”
So writes Aldo Leopold in “The Choral Copse,” one of the most powerful and affecting entries in A Sand County Almanac. Merely 415 words long, “The Choral Copse” can scarcely be called an essay. It’s a miniature, a vignette. Yet it conveys a [read more…]