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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…]

Townsend’s Lark-Bunting

In the early part of the 19th Century, the great wide west of North America was still a book whose pages were still unwritten to the builders of the young nation pressed up against the eastern seaboard. Dozens of expeditions were launched to fill in those empty spaces with information – reports of economic potential, [read more…]

Ship Happens

Like any birder, I delight in seeing a vagrant—a bird far out of range. Transoceanic vagrants are particularly exciting; there’s something bewitching and inspiring about a bird flying all the way across the ocean. And among the transoceanic vagrants, the passerines are the cream of the crop. It’s one thing for a Whiskered Tern or [read more…]

Birding is Easy and Hard

About a year ago, my ABA colleague Greg Neise wrote in this space that birding is hard. I get it. Flight calls and preformative molts, empids and Thayer’s Gulls—those things are hard. Just a few weeks ago, though, Greg seemingly had a change of heart: He wrote here that birding is easy. Yes, I can [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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  • 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. […]
  • Open Mic: Birding opens up a new appreciation for the Sonoran Desert December 1, 2016 5:02
    In 2014 I was given the opportunity to go birding for the first time as part of a new All About Birds Program. Without previous experience, I decided to take the offer the staff at Ironwood Tree Experience gave me. […]
  • Birding Alaska and an Interview with Dr. Nils Warnock October 25, 2016 6:57
    Did you know the Bar-tailed Godwit has the longest non-stop, flapping flight migration of any bird in the world? Learn more from young birder Dessi Sieburth and Audubon Alaska's Dr. Nils Warnock. […]

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