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    YOUR TURN: Getting the Most out of Your Camera

    Buying the particular gear that’s best for you is only the first step. You then need to know how to use it to get the most bang for your buck. That’s where Bill Schmoker comes in. His article in the December 2014 issue of Birder’s Guide to Gear is titled “Getting the Most out of Your [read more…]

      A Bit of a Mix-Up

      I get a kick out of hybrid birds- like Easter Eggs hidden in video games, they offer a treat that may be hiding in plain view but undetected without some scrutiny and/or detective work.  I’ve previously posted on a couple of hybrid gulls that were fun to suss out (Herring x Glaucous and Herring x Glaucous-winged) but [read more…]

        YOUR TURN: Photo Big Days

        “On April 21, 2014, at 9:28 a.m., in Angelina National Forest, Texas, a team of dedicated birder/photographers armed themselves with cameras and headed out to set a new North American record for the number of species of birds photographed in a 24-hour period.”

        That’s how Scott Whittle and Tom Stephenson begin the tale of their “Photo Big [read more…]

          Hands-Off PhoneSkoping

          The folks at PhoneSkope continue to innovate, adding a Bluetooth shutter release to their line-up.  Having a shutter release (mechanical or electronic) has always been a powerful tool in any digiscoper’s bag of tricks, and this is an elegant way to fire off pics without introducing vibrations by tapping your phone’s screen.  Adding to the device’s [read more…]

            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.

            [read more…]

              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…]

                To Birders, 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…]

                      Big 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…]

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