Archive for April, 2014

Godwit Days pelagic with Athena the Wandering Ultravid

Black-footed Albatross. One of the 15 we say today = Athena lifer!

The North Coast of California is a special place full of special people with local birding that ranges from good to epic. The Godwit Days bird festival in Arcata California exemplifies the North Coast vibe, and of the birding tribe, Rob Fowler (owner and operator of Fowlerope Birding Tours – is the finest of specimens. Join Rob has he takes Athena on her first pelagic birding adventure offshore of Humboldt Bay, California in this dispatch from the field.

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“Feathers Over Freeport” at the Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch

Hawkwatchers search the skies over "The Brad" during one of our hawkwatch workshops.

Over a thousands birds in a day. What could be better? How about 2,000 future hawkwatchers? Introducing “Feathers Over Freeport: A Birdwatching Weekend.”

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ABA Convention – Corpus Christi

Scarlet Tanager - Leica V-lux 4 camera, Corpus Christi, TX, April 25, 2014

Catch up on the progress of Athena the Wandering Ultravid’s historic big year run and see some of the amazing highlights enjoyed at last week’s ABA Convention in Corpus Christi, TX!

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Wordless Wednesday


Twelve-year old Natalia Sterling interviewed by PBS crew for America’s Heartland feature on bird conservation in California’s rice fields.

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Birding Where There Are No Birds

Ahu tongariki, Easter Island [Alvaro Jaramillo]

Well, that is the common understanding of the “navel of the earth” as the locals used to refer to one of the most isolated islands on earth, Easter Island or Rapa Nui. The perception is that human induced ecological collapse left a wasteland, a place empty of wildlife but full of archaeological riches. There are nuances, and new information about the ecological collapse idea, particularly that the co-culprit in the extinction of the local trees was the introduced Polynesian Rat, but that is another story. So how is it that a place that is empty of wildlife can become one of my favorite to use my Leicas in the world? Because it is magic!

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Athena’s update from the field – Godwit Days

Surfbird digiscoped at Godwit Days

Check up with Athena our Wandering Ultravid partway through the Godwit Days Festival in Arcata, CA!

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Thrasher Quest


Leica Birding Team member Bill Schmoker finds that the fabled Trasher Spot in Maricopa County Arizona doesn’t disappoint!

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The Secret Vagrants of South America: Brazil-Part 2


Doug Gochfeld takes you once again to the Mangrove-laden north coast of South America, where new avian discoveries lurk around every corner.
The Northern coast of South America is the winter home to millions of waterbirds, and it’s this aggregation that brings researchers down to this area of the world. However, the results of the research itself aren’t the only productive things that come from these projects; a side benefit of these trips is that it puts a attentive eyes in one of the most under-birded, and difficult to bird, regions of South America, which leads to discoveries of things previously thought to be continental rarities.

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Wordless Wednesday


Mountain Chickadee, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado 26 January 2014. Photo by Bill Schmoker, Leica Birding Team

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Athena Visits the Rio Grande Valley

A cooperative Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet has been present at Anzalduas County Park all winter.

Athena paid a visit to Leica ProStaffer Tiffany Kersten in mid-March, and together they explored the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, picking up some Valley specialties as wonderful Big Year birds!

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The Chicken Run!


A big thanks to Jeffrey Gordon, President of the American Birding Association who carried Athena our Wandering Ultravid this past week throughout Colorado in search of the fabled Gallinaceous birds that breed in the state. While still snowy at times, at this time of year these birds are doing their amazing displays on their leks, large [...]

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Leica Birding Team: Tiffany Kersten

Osprey banding at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR

If you’ve been following along with the Leica Birding Team, no doubt you’ve heard of Tiffany Kersten by now. In any case, Tiffany has been up to a lot recently, and we’re glad teammate Rafael Galvez was able to catch up with her and get the skinny on her latest adventures, as well as some interesting stories about her influences along her journey to being a top birder and environmental educator. Read on for the good stuff!

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Greetings from Galveston, Texas


Here’s a little video post from Leica Product Specialist David La Puma, currently working the 2014 Galveston Featherfest birding event.

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Dead Leafers

Blue-winged Warbler reaching for a dead leaf in late fall.

So what good are dead leaves for birds? Read what John Sterling has to say about dead-leafers—birds that specialize in foraging for insects in dead leaves.

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Wordless Wednesday


Common Raven showing off its gleaming black plumage in fresh snow, Lafayette, Colorado, 8 February 2014. Photo by Bill Schmoker.

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