American Birding Podcast
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Happening NOW: Summer of Southern Flycatchers

Late last week a comment of a Facebook post in a Rare Bird Alert group caught my eye; the post itself highlighted a Fork-tailed Flycatcher that had been found in Atlantic County, New Jersey and the comment was quite simple: “what the heck is going on with tyrannids this year?” I thought about it for [read more…]

2019 AOS Supplement is Out!

Every summer, birders anxiously await publication of the “Check-list Supplement” by the American Ornithological Society’s Committee on Classification and Nomenclature of North and Middle American Birds (a.k.a. the NACC). The supplement, available here, details revisions to the NACC’s Check-list. Below is a brief rundown of those changes.You can read all the proposals on which the [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: June 21, 2019

There are a number of familiar continuing birds in the ABA Area as we head into the longest days of the years. The Slate-throated Redstart (ABA Code 4) in Texas is still hanging around, as is a Red-footed Booby (4) in California, Falcated Duck (4) in Alaska, and Common Crane (4) in Arizona In the [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…]

New Field Guides for Birding Central America

A review by Knut Eisermann

Birds of Central America: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, by Andrew C. Vallely and Dale Dyer

Princeton University Press, 2018

584 pages, softcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14874P

Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Northern Central America, by Jesse Fagan and Oliver Komar

[read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 10, Dvořák’s Vireo

You might have heard of Mozart’s starling. Lyanda Lynn Haupt recently wrote a book, Mozart’s Starling, that’s received a fair bit of acclaim. The short version of the story goes like this: Back in 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart acquired a captive European starling, Sturnus vulgaris, and somehow taught the bird to sing the opening bars [read more…]

Starlings and Humans on the Continuum of Life

A review by Capper Nichols

Mozart’s Starling, by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

Little, Brown, and Company, 2017

288 pages, softcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 14944

Out in the California desert, a dozen starlings perched in the branches of a spindly honey mesquite. The tree grew out of a concrete island at a roadside oasis, [read more…]

Rare Bird Alert: June 14, 2019

COntinuing rare birds in the ABA Area include that long-staying Slate-throated Redstart (ABA Code 4) in Texas, as well as a more or less regular Red-footed Booby (4) in California. The Falcated Duck (4) near Anchorage, Alaska, is still being seen this week, as is the Common Crane (4) in Arizona. Both Little Egret (4) [read more…]

American Birding Podcast: 2019 Splits and Lumps with Nick Block

It’s taxonomy time again, bird nerds! The 2019 proposals to the American Ornithological Society’s Classification Committee are chock full of splits, name changes, and a couple proposals that may or may not set some interesting precedents in the way we interact with bird common names. As we have before, we lean again on Dr. [read more…]

Birding Photo Quiz: June 2019

Don’t blurt out the answer! Pretend you’ve never seen the species of bird in this photo. Or pretend you’re on a bird walk, and you’re showing these birds to someone less expert than you. Less expert, yes, but eager to learn. You’re with someone who wants more than a name—Lesser Zanther or Hoyteenish Shindilly—someone who [read more…]