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Nikon Monarch 7

    Shooting Blind

    Golden-winged Warbler, Burnett County, Wisconsin, 12 June 2014.  Photo © Bill Schmoker

    I spent about three weeks this June at our family’s lake place in northwest Wisconsin.  I credit much of my interest in birds and nature with long summer stints there growing up, and it is wonderful to continue spending meaningful time in the woods and on the water every year with my family & the critters there.

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      2014 Corpus Christi Convention Digiscoped Highlights

      I had the awesome pleasure of guiding trips at the recently completed ABA Convention in Corpus Christi, Texas.  As with all of the other ABA conventions, conferences, and rallies I’ve been a part of, the event had a superb mix of great birds and great birders.  I enjoyed the camaraderie of amazing co-leaders and fantastic van-fulls of enthusiastic [read more...]

        Wind is a Four Letter Word... Usually

        I’m sure I speak for birders everywhere when I say that for the most part strong wind blows.  (See what I did there?)  Nothing puts wee birds into heavy cover, shakes your scope, and wicks the heat out of your extremities like a strong wind.  Long-anticipated pelagic plans can be dashed when the wind gets the sea [read more...]

          Your turn: Birding Nunavut's Cambridge Bay

          You can’t drive to Nunavut. There are no roads connecting it with the rest of North America, and much of Canada’s newest territory consists of islands in the Arctic Ocean. Nunavut comprises over 20% of Canada’s land mass yet is home to only 0.09% of Canada’s population. That’s not nine percent, but nine hundredths of a [read more...]

            Cagey Birds

            A nice trend developed in my yard this winter when a flock of Bushtits began regularly blitzing my suet.  They especially seemed to like snowy mornings which gave me a great excuse to linger over coffee on weekends at the breakfast table awaiting their arrival.  Until this season, I had only seen Bushtits in my [read more...]

              Long Lens for Small(ish) Change

              Tamron, makers of aftermarket lenses, has announced a new lens that may be of interest to bird photographers on a budget.  The  SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD packs a lot of power for the price (around US $1000) , approaching a buck per mm equivalent if you shoot on a crop-frame body.  I know [read more...]

                Birds and People

                A review by Robert O. Paxton

                Birds and People, by Mark Cocker, with photographs by David Tipling

                Random House, 2013

                592 pages, $65.00—hardcover

                ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14189

                This sumptuous volume is a bit like a double chocolate sundae. It’s too rich for one sitting, but you can’t stop eating. It explores a sweeping [read more...]

                  Taking Pictures in Cold Weather

                  With much of the country again in the grips of cold, snowy weather, I thought I’d mention an applicable article I recently read by noted wildlife photographer Weldon Lee.  In it he gives some great tips for Taking Pictures in Cold Weather.  I picked up some good ideas there and think it’s worth perusing if [read more...]

                    Your turn: Intro to Camera Settings

                    I don’t know about you, but this screen (at right) can look a little daunting to me, even though I think I have a rudimentary knowledge of ISO, F-stop, and shutter speed. Explaining what those three things are–and how they work together (and against one another)–is what Sherrie Duris has written about in “An [read more...]

                      Oh Junco, What Art Thou?

                      In the latter parts of December I began noticing a Dark-eyed Junco working my back yard feeders that had tidy  white wing bars and all gray upperparts.  Combined with my location in Colorado the signs seemed to point to a White-winged Junco, well within expected winter range for that subspecies and indeed far from the [read more...]

                      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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                      • Book Review: The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Edition June 25, 2014 6:30
                        In 2000, the birding world greeted the arrival of the revolutionary new Sibley Guide to Birds. Now, 13 years later, we welcome the long awaited updated second edition of our favorite field guide. […]
                      • Meet Chloe Walker: 2014 ABA Young Birder of the Year June 17, 2014 8:51
                        Although I "officially" started birding when I was eleven, my interest in birds began when I was nine. I remember taking my mom's camera outside and just "playing around" with it. […]
                      • Open Mic: Fruits of the Future June 13, 2014 6:56
                        It was a winter morning, the cloudy skies blocked out the brilliance of the sun. A chilly wind ran through the treetops like a group of mad, fast-moving invisible Capuchin monkeys. The branches of a nearby tree were shaking uncontrollably and the delicate stems could not support the weight of its leaves and blooming flowers. […]

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