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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…]

Moving forward: increasing female leadership in birding

A recent study of 7,505 high school students found that simply discussing the issue of sexism had a measurable positive effect on the problem by making people aware that it existed. Fortuitously, Birder’s Guide had just asked a variety of birders to share their thoughts about women in birding! In this issue of Birder’s Guide [read more…]

A Feeling for the Organism

Back on Nov. 29, I found a Gray Catbird at my local patch, Greenlee Preserve, Boulder County, Colorado. Catbirds are locally common in Colorado in the warmer months, but they are rare in winter. eBird needs documentation of catbirds in late November, so I tried for a photo. The results weren’t pretty—but good enough for [read more…]

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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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  • 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. […]
  • It’s the Maine Young Birders Club! May 13, 2017 4:03
    York County Audubon is helping to launch the Maine Young Birders Club (MYBC)—the first of its kind in the state! […]
  • Announcing the 2017 ABA Young Birders of the Year! February 28, 2017 10:48
    The judges have reviewed all of the outstanding entries. ABA staff has compiled the scores. After much anticipation, we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest! Your 2017 ABA Young Birder of the Year in the 14-18 age group is 18-year-old Johanna Beam from Lyons, Colorado. […]

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