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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…]

Birding Photo Quiz: February 2017

With the February 2017 Birding magazine arriving in ABA members’ mailboxes right now, it’s time for some ponderings about the “Featured Photo” in the current issue. Here’s the deal. Instead of guessing what this bird is, tell us what field marks you’re looking at. Here’s a tease: A quite obvious field mark in this photo [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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