American Birding Podcast



How to Know the Birds: No. 24, The Owl of the Decade

What: Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus When: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 Where: Fountain Creek Regional Park, El Paso County, Colorado

Well, another decade is in the record books. Or it will be in a few hours. I hope yours was good. Some personal highlights for me:

• My kids are teenagers now, how’d that [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 23, Parakeet Possessions

What: Monk Parakeet, Myiopsitta monachus When: Tuesday, November 26, 2019 Where: Green-Wood Cemetery, Kings County, New York

Aldo Leopold, the influential 20th-century ecologist, intended that his magnum opus be titled Great Possessions. Then marketing got involved. A Sand County Almanac has endured, and I can see why. Simple and descriptive vs. fraught and philosophical. [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 22, The Common Kiskadee

What: Great Kiskadee, Pitangus sulphuratus When: Monday, November 11, 2019 Where: Harlingen, Cameron County, Texas

Without giving it too much thought, What are some of the great places in the ABA Area? Alaska and Hawaii, for starters. The Chiricahuas, the Salton Sea, and the Everglades, needless to say. Cape May and Central Park and [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 21, Hawaii’s Most Perfect Bird

What: Wandering Tattler, Tringa incana When: Friday, October 25, 2019 Where: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii County, Hawaii

Last year in Birding magazine, we ran a multi-issue series on the birds of Hawaii. Jeffrey A. Gordon started us out in the Feb. 2018 issue with a tribute to the iconic ‘i‘iwi; Lisa Crampton and Helen Raine followed [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 20, Alien Fairies in the Big City

What: White Tern, Gygis alba When: Tuesday, October 15, 2019 Where: ‘Iolani Palace, Honolulu County, Hawaii

Do you know the five most densely populated urban areas in the United States? According to the U. S. Census Bureau: Los Angeles (1), San Francisco (2), San Jose (3), Honolulu (4), Las Vegas (5).

I’d spent a [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 19, A Big (Little) White (Blue) Egret (Heron)

What: Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea When: Saturday, October 5, 2019 Where: Cadillac Lake, Sedgwick County, Kansas

The bird stood on the railing just beyond the high-rise hotel where I was staying. Moments earlier, a speedwalker had stopped for a moment to marvel with me at the beautiful beast. “We get a lot of [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 18, Flickers in the Flick of a Tongue

What: Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus When: Monday, September 23, 2019 Where: Big Dry Creek Open Space, Adams County, Colorado

At my daughter’s soccer practice the other day, I saw an adult male Red-shafted Flicker:

Photo by © Ted Floyd.


Pretty typical for this kind of woodpecker—feeding on the ground. Hm. There [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 17, Grackles in the Blink of an Eye

What: Great-tailed Grackle, Quiscalus mexicanus When: Friday, September 13, 2019 Where: Limon, Lincoln County, Colorado

On a sunny afternoon a couple of weeks ago, we were at a truck stop on I-70 in eastern Colorado. It was a solid two hours from home, what with the Friday evening rush in the Denver metro region [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 16, Calliope Futures

What: Calliope Hummingbird, Selasphorus calliope When: Friday, August 30, 2019 Where: Steamboat Springs, Routt County, Colorado

On a not-exactly-a-bird-walk a week or so ago, one of the participants, Roberta, was intent on documenting whatever it is that was happening in the general vicinity of a pot full of patriotic petunias:

Not all [read more…]

How to Know the Birds: No. 15, The Incomparable Coolness and Supreme Glory of Roadrunners

What: Greater Roadrunner, Geococcyx californianus When: Friday, August 23, 2019 Where: Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico

You could make the case that I shouldn’t have gone birding that Friday morning. I had a meeting to attend and a presentation to prep for; I had a crushing load of deadlines in the week ahead; and [read more…]