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Blog Birding #351

From Rick Wright at Birding New Jersey and Beyond, an interesting Iiwi sidenote featuring an epic museum burn.

On February 24, 1911, Outram Bangs at the MCZ named a new subspecies of the iiwi, differing from the “true” iiwi of the island of Hawaii in its stronger bill and orange rather than scarlet tones to [read more…]

Blog Birding #350

National Geographic launches the Year of the Bird with an essay by author Jonathan Franzen, published online but to be included in the next print issue as well.

For most of my life, I didn’t pay attention to birds. Only in my 40s did I become a person whose heart lifts whenever he hears a [read more…]

Blog Birding #349

The ABA’s 2018 Bird of the Year, Iiwi, is not only distinctive visually, but it evidently has a unique odor as well. Rick Wright at Birding New Jersey and Beyond has more.

The stunningly scarlet and black iiwi was the first endemic Hawaiian landbird known to European science: it was the first to be drawn [read more…]

Blog Birding #348

Santa Ana NWR remains one the finest sites for birding in the ABA Area, but birding there in the metaphorical shadow of proposed border wall is a bit bittersweet, writes Jason Crotty at 10,000 Birds.

When the news broke about a possible border wall through Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, I decided [read more…]

Blog Birding #347

At The Eyrie, young birder Patrick Newcombe recounts his experience doing research in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula.

When I first arrived on the Osa, the tremendous diversity of birds astounded me. I seemed to find a species I haven’t seen before each time I walked into the forest around the Piro Research Station, and even [read more…]

Blog Birding #346

It is a burden we all bear, and one Mia McPherson of On the Wing Photography is tackling head-on.

One of the things that make my feathers ruffle though is when I see people post a bird photo and call it a “seagull” because there is no such thing as a seagull. If you plan [read more…]

Blog Birding #345

At 10,000 Birds, Jason Crotty returns making the case to include US territories in the ABA Area.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory in the West Indies where it is the easternmost and smallest of the Greater Antilles. Puerto Rico became a territory in 1898 and a commonwealth in 1952. It is now an unincorporated [read more…]

Blog Birding #344

One of the best known hybrids in North America, Brewster’s Warbler has a long history seen even in some individual birds, as Jente Ottenburghs of Avian Hybrids points out.

The remainder of the paper is a year by year description (running from 1922 to 1927) of the adventures of their Brewster’s Warbler in New Jersey. [read more…]

Blog Birding #343

Though controversial, playback has no shortage of advantages. One should be careful of using it, however, according to Rick Wright at Birding Bew Jersey and Beyond.

“Playback” — the use of recordings and imitations to elicit responses from otherwise secretive birds — will always be a matter of controversy. Most of the debate has [read more…]

Blog Birding #342

Need more evidence that a native plant garden is a good investment for birds? Yushi Oguchi, writing at The AOU-COS Pubs Blog, summarizes his recent paper that explains exactly how.

We investigated whether the health status of fall frugivorous Swainson’s Thrushes and the Gray Catbirds differed depending on their use of shrublands dominated by exotic [read more…]

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