American Birding Podcast



Bright Night Lights

The latest LED flashlights are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, but as bright as a spotlight.

The dark days of winter lie ahead, and, pretty soon, many of us will be owl-prowling on our favorite Christmas counts. But are you ready to light up the night? If you’re [read more…]

Breaking the Ice Across the Pond

What are they: Orcs, Auks, or Dovekies?

The first time I heard someone exclaim, “There’s an Orc behind the ship!” this summer, I twirled in surprise, nervously quick-drawing my binoculars. In moody light, the mountain peaks of Svalbard—an isolated archipelago about 1,000 miles north of Norway—can assume an insidious, Mordorish aspect, and, for [read more…]

Peru’s Insane Birding Rally Challenge

Peruvian Pygmy-Owl.

If you blinked last week, you may have missed an outrageous birding competition—certainly the strangest, most wonderful I have ever attended—called the Birding Rally Challenge: an eight-day-long, no-holds-barred torneo June 11-18 across the deserts and jungles of northern Peru. The rally’s organizers call it birding’s World Cup, and, while I might liken [read more…]

The 48-hour Birdathon


Noah and the Wild Turkeys search for Ash-throated Flycatchers in eastern Oregon. (All photos by Tim Kurtz.)

“Ten minutes to go!”

As I stood at Yaquina Head on the Oregon Coast last weekend, my head reeled. Thousands of Common Murres jostled for space on the guano-stained cliffs in front of me, braying into my [read more…]

A Different Kind of Wildlife Photography

A cougar cub (with its mother's tail) caught by remote camera. Noah's backyard fence is visible in the upper left. (Click to enlarge.)

I stumbled into my first camera trap a few years ago while birding on Panama’s famous Barro Colorado Island. As I walked quietly down a jungle trail, listening for bird sounds, [read more…]

Loneliness of the Antarctic Birder

If the tourists on an Antarctic cruise aren’t birders when they step on the boat, then by god Noah Strycker will make sure they’re birders when they leave it. [read more…]

Birding by Webcam

A screen capture of the Southeast Farallon Island webcam from September 25th, showing a Nashville Warbler clinging to the lighthouse antenna.

On the morning of September 14th, a birder named Matt Brady turned on his computer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, opened an internet browser, and clicked on the Farallon Islands webcam to do a [read more…]

Birding After LASIK

I was chilled out on Valium when it happened, but I remember distinctly that everything went very blurry, almost black, when a laser sliced a flap from the front of each one of my eyeballs near the crux of the LASIK corrective vision procedure earlier this month. It was unnerving to stare at the ceiling [read more…]

Back to Middle School

Over the past year, I have given a slide show about penguins at more than 40 different venues—from kindergarten camps to retirement homes, service clubs to bird festivals, and Audubon clubs and university groups. It was partly to promote my book, “Among Penguins,” and partly to spread the awesomeness of penguins in particular and birds [read more…]

Shoo Fly, Don’t Bot Me

“You’re famous,” a grinning primate researcher told me last week. “My whole family has heard about that gringo with the bot fly.”

Not that I came to Amazonian Ecuador this winter in search of gruesome tropical parasites, but might as well be known for something, eh? And, honestly, I sort of wanted a bot fly—for [read more…]