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    Gluttons for Knowledge

     

    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…]

      Great Expectations

       

      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…]

        Photo Quiz, November/December 2014 Birding

         

        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:

        http://www2.aba.org/file/featuredphoto1214.pdf

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        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…]

          25th Report of the ABA Checklist Committee, 2013–2014

          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…]

            Introducing the ABA State Guides

             

            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…]

              ABA Members: Submit Your Photos to Birding Magazine

               

              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…]

                Featured Photo: September/October 2014 Birding

                 

                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.

                 

                [read more…]

                  Birding magazine welcomes Ioana Seritan

                   

                  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…]

                    Response to Al Schirmacher

                     

                    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…]

                      Crickets. Seriously.

                       

                      “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…]

                      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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                      • Young Birder Blog Birding #36 December 30, 2014 6:50
                        As the year winds down, many of us are enjoying or preparing for Christmas Bird Counts! […]
                      • Open Mic: Birds of the Black Forest Fire December 23, 2014 7:01
                        When I took on the challenge of the 2014 Young Birder of the Year Contest, I was fully aware that it would be the hardest thing I had ever done. I planned to devote myself to the study of birds for nearly six months spending hours each day compiling a field notebook, studying nest boxes, […]
                      • 2014 Iowa/Illinois Young Birder Weekend December 15, 2014 9:37
                        By Carl Bendorf On June 14-15, 2014, Iowa Young Birders and Illinois Young Birders hosted a joint field trip weekend along the Mississippi River.  Twenty four young birders from Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin had a great time exploring a variety of habitats. One of the highlights was spending time with special guest, Rachael Butek, 2010 ABA Young […]

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