Natural majesty


What would get the Leica Birding Team up at the crack of dawn if not birds?!?… Read on to find out!

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Background Check

Sharp-shinned Hawk digiscoped by Bill Schmoker

A lot of digiscoping tips and discussions center around gear and technique. These are certainly important but once your rig is dialed in it is important to also remember to spare some thought for composition.

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Bird Thoughts on a Sunday Afternoon

Canyon Wren captured with a Leica V-LUX (type 114) camera

Yesterday Athena and I had the opportunity to observe and compare Canyon Wrens & Rock Wrens. They are so awesome!

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Canopy Tower – Pure Panama Magic

Panama's Canopy Tower

Day one of the amazingly well-received Leica / Eagle Optics tour to Panama’s Canopy Tower. Athena makes 12 new friends and enjoys many new wildlife species along the way.

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Leica Boosts the Highest Peregrine Count

Group BINs semicircle FKH n falcons

With yet another world record for the highest count of “Falco peregrinus” during a single count season, the Florida Keys Hawkwatch continues securing its place as the Peregrine Falcon Migration Capital of the World. Every fall season, hawkwatchers flock to the southernmost chain of islands along the Atlantic Flyway to participate in the Florida Keys Hawkwatch (FKH), a [...]

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Snowy Showoff: Bill-vibrating behavior


I recently had the pleasure of attending the 39th Western Field Ornithologists Conference in San Diego, California. Among the wonderful places I birded was the San Dieguito River Estuary in Del Mar. Its banks and mud bars hosted a pleasing variety of shorebirds (Pacific Golden-Plover, anyone?), and landscaped properties bordering the river teemed with bird life. But I think my personal highlight of the stop was a Snowy Egret engaged in a behavior I’d never seen before. It was out in shallow water, facing in the direction of a light current moving inland with the rising tide. The bird was crouched horizontally, holding its bill in the surface of the water burbling away like a kid about to be rebuked for blowing bubbles in their chocolate milk.

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Day 2 – in the Darién

"Sister" species

Review of our experience waking up in the Darién on day two of my Canopy Camp adventure!

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My Big Sit

Leica Birding Team member Jennie Duberstein tells us how she passed the time when her Big Sit turned into a Big Flop.

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more from day 1 – Canopy Camp, Darién province, Panama

Chestnut-backed Antbird

and now for the afternoon & evening’s adventures…

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Birding at 15,000 Feet: A Colorado Chronicle

Western Kingbird digiscoped through Leica APO Televid spotting scope

The adventure began at the Denver airport baggage claim area, where I first met my fellow campers for 2014 Camp Colorado. The American Birding Association runs the camp, which is sponsored by Leica Sport Optics. After loading up the van we immediately found the first bird of trip, a Western Kingbird, in the airport parking lot.

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Advice for Young Birders


What advice would you give to a young birder looking for a career in ornithology? Leica Birding Team member Jennie Duberstein shares her two cents.

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Day in the Darién

beautifully landscaped grounds

The wild and wonderful Darién Province in Panama is notoriously difficult to navigate, but it hosts many specialty bird species so is an area many birders want to get to. Happily, the Canopy Family has now answered the call with their newest property, Canopy Camp offering an easy solution to visiting here. Athena & I made a brief visit and loved it. We’re now pining to get back for more.

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Panama – Canopy Tower & the Canal Zone day 1

Streaked Flycatcher digiscoped through Leica APO Televid spotting scope

Athena’s first 1/2 day in the tropics yielded many new bird and wildlife species, to include some rare treats!

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Athena’s View of Panama

Athena makes her way to the Darien

As with any 7×42 Ultravid Athena’s wider view allows her to see more globally as she soaks up a fantastic adventure in Panama!

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Wordless Wednesday

Scaled Quail, Eddy County, NM, 23 July 2014.  Photo © Bill Schmoker, Leica Birding Team.

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