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The History of Bird Names, Across the Pond and Beyond

A review by Frank Izaguirre

Mrs. Moreau’s Warbler: How Birds Got Their Names, by Stephen Moss

Faber & Faber, 2018

368 pages—softcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14980

Birders love talking about bird names. Who among us hasn’t scrolled through the new AOS proposals just to see what the most absurd name change proposal was, [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 14, Q. T. with a Great Blue

I went out the other evening seeking novelty and adventure. I didn’t know what I would find, but I knew it was to be had out there. That’s because novelty and adventure, when you pause to think about it, are a way of thinking, a state of mind. If you search with a spirit of [read more…]

Would You Count It If . . . ?

A week ago, Jason Ward and I were on a boat trip out of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Birds were our objective, needless to say, but we were well pleased with our haul of cetaceans—including a particularly photogenic humpback whale. In reviewing his images of the whale, Jason came across this photo:

[read more…]

“Ask Rick Wright”—Thoughts on Being Birderly

A quasi-review by Ted Floyd

Peterson Reference Guide to Sparrows of North America, by Rick Wright

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019

434 pages, hardcover

ABA Sales–Buteo Books 14934

As I was sitting down to write this not-exactly-a-book-review, one of my kids asked me a question about the mathematical details of the orbit of the moon. I [read more…]

Amazing Milestone for Guy McCaskie

How many bird species are on the official list of your state or province? If you’re an ABA member, there’s a decent chance that total is somewhat less than 500. Okay, now how many species have been reported from your county? There are a tiny handful of outliers, but the vast majority of U.S. and [read more…]

If You Look, Your World Will Change

A review by Julia Zarankin

The Meaning of Birds, by Simon Barnes

Pegasus Books 2018

208 pages—softcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14938

The first time I went birding, I ended up in a park on the western edge of Toronto face to face with a flotilla of ducks. According to my fellow birdwatchers, we [read more…]

A Dozen Things You Can Do to Celebrate Bill Thompson III

 

These are my friend Bill Thompson III’s shoes. Actually, this is just the tip of his footwear iceberg—he owned and wore a lot of shoes. I photographed these as they sat by his front door the day after I, along with members of his family, watched him fly free of his cancer-ravaged body. [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 1, On Hearing the First Cardinal in Spring

 

Several days ago I went birding with the express purpose of procuring audio of a northern cardinal. My objective was to obtain an ordinary recording of a normal cardinal. Exhibit A, this guy, an adult male of the species:

In the cut above, our cardinal sings two cheer! notes, then nine birdy! notes, [read more…]

Birder’s Guide to Travel, 2019

The 2019 issue of Birder’s Guide to Travel is just now beginning to arrive in members’ mailboxes. But you don’t have to wait until then to see what’s inside. And you don’t have to be an ABA member. You can see the entirety of this issue of Birder’s Guide right now. Simply click here. (Birder’s [read more…]

Wild Anecdotes and Curious Asides

A review by Lori Potter

Birdmania: A Remarkable Passion for Birds, by Bernd Brunner, translated by Jane Billinghurst

Greystone Books, 2017

292 pages, hardcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14791

The book jacket of Birdmania advises that its contents are “quirky.” Soon enough, we learn that this disclosure is not misleading. The book’s quirkiness [read more…]