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Reading Birdsounds, Listening to Print

A review by Don Torino

Bird Song: Defined, Decoded, Described, by Ernie Jardine

Bird Song Press, 2011

448 pages, $21.95—softcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 13629

Our lives are bombarded by new technologies every day, from phones to drones. The changes they have wrought on our world are astonishing. It’s no different in the [read more…]

Birding is Hard

I started birding in 1972, and took to it like an ibis takes to drainage ditches. I pretty quickly learned all of the birds that could be reasonably expected in the city parks of Chicago, where I grew up. By 1975, I was a fully fledged, vagrant-hunting birder. By the time I was 13 years [read more…]

Birds We Ought to Know Better

A review by Keith Betton

The Helm Guide to Bird Identification: Comparing Confusion Species, by Keith Vinicombe, Alan Harris, and Laurel Tucker

A & C Black, 2014

396 pages, $42.95—softcover

ABA Sales–Buteo Books 14335

The internet tells us that the term “game-changer” was not used outside of sports until 1993. But one of the best [read more…]

YOUR TURN: What Makes a Good Field Guide?

That, or some variation thereof, is one of the questions I most often hear from beginning birdwatchers. This article in the December 2014 issue of Birder’s Guide to Gear attempts to answer that question by offering the advice of a diverse set of birders from various corners of Canada and the U.S. These are not [read more…]

Not Your Grandparents’ Waterfowl

A review by Paul A. Johnsgard

Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America, Fourth Edition, by Guy Baldassarre

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014

1,027 pages in two volumes, $69.95—hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14400

In 1942, the American Wildlife Institute published The Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America, a modest-sized book of 474 [read more…]

2014 AOU Check-list Supplement is Out!

Every summer, birders anxiously await publication of the “Check-list Supplement” by the American Ornithologists’ Union’s North American Classification Committee (NACC). The Supplement details revisions to its Check-list (e.g., lumps, splits, new species, new classifications, etc.). Below is a brief rundown of those changes. (You can see the Supplement here.) Be sure to check out the [read more…]

Understanding Rarity

A review by Graham Etherington

Rare Birds of North America, by Steve N.G. Howell, Ian Lewington, and Will Russell

Princeton University Press, 2014

428 pages, $35.00—hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14102

Rare birds: everybody loves ’em. Whether it’s the wonder that you feel on seeing a bird that’s managed to survive a cross-ocean [read more…]

The New Sibley

A review by Jen Brumfield

The Sibley Guide to Birds of North America, Second Edition, by David Allen Sibley

Knopf, 2014

599 pages, $39.95—softcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books SIBL2

I have 1,500 words to review the new, second edition of The Sibley Guide to Birds.

1,500 words. I’ve already used 20.

I don’t have [read more…]

The Allure of the Sea, From Shore

A review by Amar Ayyash

Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching: Eastern Waterbirds in Flight, by Ken Behrens and Cameron Cox

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013

xi + 602 pages, $35—hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 13931

Perhaps the most challenging form of birding, the identification of birds in flight from a distance is a [read more…]

Juncos and Science

A review by Rick Wright

Ordinary Extraordinary Junco, by Jonathan Atwell, Steve Burns, and Ellen Ketterson

Junco Project, 2013

$5.00–DVD, 1:30

Available for purchase or free download

Look outside.

It is winter as I write, and over much of the ABA Area—and well south into Middle America, too—there’s a good chance that your eye [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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