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One Touch of Nature

 

Go to the gift shop at your local nature center and check out the section with journals, planners, and calendars. Pull one off the display, flip through the pages, and you’ll come upon the inevitable quotes by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and Aldo Leopold. And this one from William Shakespeare: “One touch of nature [read more…]

October Surprise

 

Surprise me. That’s my mantra, my supplication to the birding gods, every time I go afield. It’s both a prayer of supplication and a prayer for illumination. It is the will of the birding gods, I believe, that we experience novelty, that we attain new appreciation for the world around us, whenever we are [read more…]

Open Mic: Endangered Species Act – Listing Bird Species

At the Mic: Jason A. Crotty

The threshold for any species to be protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is “listing,” the process by which the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) determines whether a species qualifies as either “threatened” or “endangered.” If listed, protections of ESA apply, but if not, they do not.

[read more…]

Birding at Walmart, or: Why I eBird Every Day

As of August 28, 2016, I had entered at least one complete eBird checklist per day for 3,528 consecutive days. I think that might be a record. Call me the Cal Ripken of eBirders. (And if you’ve bettered me, please tell us about it.)

Why? Part of it, no doubt, is the listing–OCD streak that [read more…]

In Praise of New Technologies

A recent Facebook thread (doesn’t everything these days start with some kind of social media post) lamented the apparent reliance on instant gratification and use of technology in the pursuit of birds these days. It’s true that the use of cameras seems to be greater than the use of binoculars for today’s beginners, both young [read more…]

What We Know—And How We Know It

It’s an annual tradition. Each year on August 12, we wake up early, crazy early, and watch the Perseids. This year there are ten of us: my two kids and I; a preteen and her parents; a woman from Belgium, about my age; two “little old ladies,” as formidable as they come; and, in the [read more…]

The Kaufman Challenge, v. 0.5

What could be simpler? Learn the names of fifty plants and animals around your home. That’s all there is to it. That’s the essence of what I’ve come to think of as “The Kaufman Challenge.” Kenn Kaufman, in an interview in the February 2007 issue of Birding, put it this way:

“My wish [read more…]

It’s OK to Talk to Strangers – at Least if They Have Binoculars

Strangers who became friends, north of Belle Fourche, SD, July 2015

I was desperate to find another birder, but generally speaking there are few to be found in the Black Hills. Yes, I had eBird, BirdsEye, printed resources, maps, but there is no intelligence like recent, local intelligence. It was late July, and I [read more…]

Open Mic – The Endangered Species Act and Birds: A Wild Success?

At the Mic: Jason A. Crotty

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is difficult to evaluate, as its success is tough to define. Should the criteria be avoiding extinction, avoiding further decline, increasing population by some specific amount, achieving a complete recovery, or something else? Moreover, a species is only listed when it is already in [read more…]

The Big Night, Take 2

A little more than a year ago, some friends and I attempted a “Big Night” in Boulder County, Colorado: non-stop birding from sunset, 8:16 pm, on Saturday, May 23, 2015 till sunrise, 5:39 am, on Sunday, May 24, 2015. In those nine hours and 23 minutes of darkness and semi-darkness, we experienced lightning and thunder, [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.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
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  • Open Mic: Young Birder Camp at Hog Island: Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens September 11, 2017 3:07
    At the mic: Dessi Sieburth, an avid birder, photographer, and conservationist, is a 10th grader at Saint Francis High School in La Canada, California. He is a member of the Pasadena Audubon Young Birder’s Club and Western Field Ornithologists. Dessi enjoys birding in his home county of Los Angeles. Last summer, Dessi attended Camp Colorado, […]
  • Introducing the Whimbrel Birders Club! September 7, 2017 2:33
    Whimbrel Birders Club was established at the first annual Illinois Young Birders Symposium in August 2016. We are a birding club truly meant for everyone, no matter your age, disability, or ethnicity. […]
  • Open Mice: Kestrels–An Iowa Legacy May 16, 2017 6:29
    A few years ago, a short drive down my gravel road would yield at least one, if not two, American Kestrels perched on a power line or hovering mid-air above the grassy ditch. Today, I have begun to count myself lucky to drive past a mere one kestrel per week rather than the daily sightings. […]

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