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To String or Not to String: That Is a Very Easy Question to Answer

[Members and mentors of the New Jersey Young Birders club. Left to right, mentor Glen Davis, Justin Lin, Etan Zeller, Andrew Marden, Sarah Rachkowski, Emma Price, Joe Hernandez, Danny Ceravolo, mentor Sam Wilson, Silas Hernandez, & mentor Don Freiday. Clubs like this are springing up all over the country, a very good thing. And [read more…]

Photo Quiz: February 2016 Birding

First things first. Where are we? It makes a difference if we’re off North Carolina, say, vs. central California. Answer: Neither—this bird was photographed off Kona, Hawai‘i Island, this past November.

No fair! These images are supposed to be from within ABA Area waters! Well, storm-petrels and other “tubenoses” get around, and we maximize our [read more…]

Speaking a Common Language

[“Golden evil circled Highover fishing Creek Marsh. . .” That’s probably what the ducks and muskrats were thinking. Photo by Don Freiday.]

Birders have a language that is all our own, and when non-birders listen, they are understandably both confused and bemused.

I recently gave a presentation to a group of keen volunteer naturalists [read more…]

The Illiterate Birder

Yikes, that ain’t English! And what on earth is that strange reptilian creature on the cover?

It’s easy sometimes for us Americans to forget that there is a whole vast birding literature out there that is not published in the US or the UK. On those rare occasions when we are reminded, it’s often by [read more…]

Reading Birdsounds, Listening to Print

A review by Don Torino

Bird Song: Defined, Decoded, Described, by Ernie Jardine

Bird Song Press, 2011

448 pages, $21.95—softcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books 13629

Our lives are bombarded by new technologies every day, from phones to drones. The changes they have wrought on our world are astonishing. It’s no different in the [read more…]

Listening and Hearing

A review by Peter Kennerley

The Sound Approach to Birding: A Guide to Understanding Bird Sound, by Mark Constantine and The Sound Approach

Sound Approach, 2014

192 pages and ca. 200 audio tracks, $23.99—eBook

We birders rely primarily on vision, and most of our encounters with birds are by sight. But bird sounds are all [read more…]

Birds We Ought to Know Better

A review by Keith Betton

The Helm Guide to Bird Identification: Comparing Confusion Species, by Keith Vinicombe, Alan Harris, and Laurel Tucker

A & C Black, 2014

396 pages, $42.95—softcover

ABA Sales–Buteo Books 14335

The internet tells us that the term “game-changer” was not used outside of sports until 1993. But one of the best [read more…]

YOUR TURN: What Makes a Good Field Guide?

That, or some variation thereof, is one of the questions I most often hear from beginning birdwatchers. This article in the December 2014 issue of Birder’s Guide to Gear attempts to answer that question by offering the advice of a diverse set of birders from various corners of Canada and the U.S. These are not [read more…]

Blog Birding #216

Ship-assistance. It’s the great conversation killer when it comes to vagrants on the coasts. But how often does it happen, and does it really matter? Steve Tucker of Bourbon, Bastards, and Birds, explores this controversial topic.

There are a lot of ships in the ocean. They travel places. Migrating birds traveling overseas will occasionally land [read more…]

The New Sibley

A review by Jen Brumfield

The Sibley Guide to Birds of North America, Second Edition, by David Allen Sibley

Knopf, 2014

599 pages, $39.95—softcover

ABA Sales / Buteo Books SIBL2

I have 1,500 words to review the new, second edition of The Sibley Guide to Birds.

1,500 words. I’ve already used 20.

I don’t have [read more…]