American Birding Podcast



A Bird in the Bush

I have been writing for a long time about big years, so it is likely that I have covered this topic before, possibly more than once. Because I am in the throes of planning another big year, however, this topic has again risen to the surface. How do I decide where to go look for [read more…]

The Big Year Bug Bites Again

Winter is truly here in Anchorage. We’ve now had three snowfalls at our house in Anchorage and there are forecasts for more to come soon. Some neat birds are starting to show up at feeders in the area to at least partly make up for the fact that most every bird that can migrate away [read more…]

Birding Barrow in October

There is one primary reason why birders go to Barrow in early October – to see Ross’s Gulls. Although they may have other birding goals (e.g., Ivory Gulls), these other goals are not so easily met so far north so late in the year, at least in my experience.

This year I spent [read more…]

St. Paul in Fall

Birders go to the remote Pribilof Islands, primarily St. Paul Island, in fall for the same reason that they go to Gambell – to look for wandering migrants. Depending on the winds and the date and on which birds find their way to these islands, the migrants can arrive from nearly anywhere. While birders who [read more…]

Birding Gambell in Fall – Not a Place for the Half-hearted Birder

I spent September 10-15 in Gambell on St. Lawrence Island off the west coast of Alaska, which is some 45 miles from Russia (mountains of which were sometimes visible across the water) and the home of about 700 hardy people, mostly Siberian Yupiks. Although over 270 bird species have been recorded there over the years, [read more…]

Potter Marsh – A Year of Birding an Anchorage Hotspot

Potter Marsh is one of the best known places to go birding in Anchorage. The mostly shallow wetland was created by damming an estuary in 1917 and has become a nesting place for many birds and a migration stopover for others. The marsh stretches for about 2 miles along the only highway that heads south [read more…]

Birding Southeast Alaska – Juneau to Whittier

Until Sunday, August 9th I had never birded in Juneau before, nor on the Gulf of Alaska. It’s a whole new Alaskan birding world down there, with many species that do not reach Anchorage or anywhere in Alaska that I have birded so far. From August 9-13 I was part of a very good Wilderness [read more…]

History Mystery and Special Birding Spot- Anchorage’s Audubon Bench

Since I moved to Anchorage just over 11 months ago I have learned that one of the key spots to check for birds is the “Audubon bench”, which has been the site of many noteworthy bird sightings over the years. It took me a while to get to the bench because I first learned about [read more…]

Considering Killdeers and Collared Doves

Recently I have spent time searching for a Killdeer and a Eurasian Collared-Dove. This may sound weird to most lower-48 birders.

A couple of days ago I finally saw my first Killdeer in Alaska. When I was a child in Wisconsin, Killdeers were common, as they are in many places, and I saw them often, [read more…]

At the Top of Alaska

From June 29th to July 3rd, I was birding way up north in Barrow, Alaska. It was my third trip to Barrow. The other two trips were during my 2008 ABA big year when I was on a mission each time to see migrants and rarities. This time I went to Barrow after spring migration [read more…]