American Birding Podcast



Did You Remember to Turn Off the Oven?

Every time I leave the house, even just to go to the grocery store, the old habit of asking myself this type of question comes to mind. (I was actually going to entitle this “did you remember to unplug the iron” but how many of us actually do any ironing nowadays?)

This blog post is [read more…]

Stranger in the Strange Land

I know it’s a trite saying, but most of my big years have been done as a stranger in a strange land. The only exceptions were my second Texas big year and my South Dakota Pennington County big years.

My first Texas big year, which was my first big year ever, did not start out [read more…]

Taking a Sort of Break from Bird-Centeredness

What is missing from the above picture? If you are a birder, you might say “birds”. This picture shows the next-to-last version of a painting that I did this year and this is how it looked before I finally added the birds that I had planned all along to put in the picture, but [read more…]

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…]