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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Blog Birding #416

A Big Year, even a county Big Year, is a series of mini-adventures that play out over the course of 12 months. Jay Packer shares the story of an exceptional day in his Taylor County, Texas, Big Year.

We spent the next 5 and a half hours scouring the streets of Merkel. In fact, I [read more…]

Blog Birding #415

Quite a bit has been written about the decline in insect numbers and diversity, but less about what it might mean for birds. At the American Bird Conservancy, Howard Youth considers the fallout.

The clues in this mystery include large-scale disappearance of insects, dipping bird populations, and a line-up of potential culprits including pesticides, habitat [read more…]

Blog Birding #414

Crows that feed regularly on human food tend to have higher cholesterol than those that don’t. Kaeli Swift at Corvid Research explains what that might or might not mean for them.

I’d wager that most people don’t think about this behavior beyond simply finding it amusing or annoying, but I suspect that if you describe [read more…]

Blog Birding #413

Shorebird season is upon us once again and David Sibley, writing at Birdwatching Daily has some tips on using structure and behavior to identify birds on distant mudflats.

As with any other large group of similar species, the shorebirds can be subdivided into smaller groups of related species based on shared characteristics. Once you have [read more…]

Blog Birding #412

Birders know about the importance of National Wildlife Refuges to protect important habitat and provide important opportunities for birders to enjoy their hobby, but as Jason Crotty of 10,000 Birds points out, they’re also important drivers of local jobs.

Non-consumptive uses — such as birding — accounted for the overwhelming majority of economic benefits. About [read more…]

Blog Birding #411

Laura Erickson writes at her blog about aging and losing the sound of her beloved LeConte’s Sparrow.

Ryan Brady, a wildlife biologist and amazing birder in Wisconsin, has been working tirelessly on Wisconsin’s Breeding Bird Atlas, and some of the areas he’s been searching intensively have been in my old stomping grounds. The day I [read more…]

Blog Birding #410

At National Geographic, a comprehensive look at the trade of captured songbirds in south Florida by Dina Fine Maron.

Yet the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that 40 protected bird species in Florida are routinely trapped, mostly songbirds but also owls and hawks. According to Rene Taboas—an undercover officer who heads the Florida Fish [read more…]

Blog Birding #409

Duck genetics are a real mess, as any park pond will quickly make clear, and even birds we consider to be “good” species are closer than we imagine, as Jente Ottenburghs at Avian Hybrids explains.

Philip Lavrestsky and his colleagues sequenced the DNA of five members from the Mallard complex that occur in North America: [read more…]

Blog Birding #408

What’s the deal with feeding jelly to birds? Is it harmful? Laura Erickson has the answers.

In 2004, when I had exceptionally high numbers of orioles, Cape May Warblers, and catbirds coming to my grape jelly, people were finding dead orioles and warblers in the woods—there simply wasn’t enough natural food to support the large [read more…]

Blog Birding #407

At Shorebird Science, Metta McGarvey and Stephan Brown share what they hope to accomplish this season in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Our surveys in the Arctic Refuge are part of a project we helped initiate in 2000 called PRISM (the Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring). The goal of PRISM is to systematically [read more…]