Archive for June, 2014

Tracking Vultures

Turkey Vulture close-up.

Join Birding Team member Jennie Duberstein as she heads into the field with researchers from Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and Boise State University to tag Turkey and Black vultures in Arizona.

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Wordless Wednesday

Black-and-white Warbler at Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson, Arizona. Photo by Jennie Duberstein.

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Year at the Lake

American Avocet, September 7

From patch birding to big years, join Mike Lanzone on his big year in Somerset County Pennsylvania!

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How to Use a Field Guide Part 2b: Size Matters – But Use With Caution

Fig 2. Sooty Shearwater has the heavy body and narrow wings (high wing-loading) to arc high in strong winds.

Master of birding fieldcraft, Steve N.G. Howell, continues his “How to Use a Field Guide” series with this final installment on how to use weight (or mass) measurements effectively when thinking about the relative size of birds in the field.

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Wordless Wednesday


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Hawkwatching with seven powers?

Braddock Bay Hawkwatch - Catherine Hamilton

In the world of hawk watching, the ability to pull distant shapes out of the sky and rapidly arrive at a correct identification for those shapes, is king. In fact, some people get pretty competitive about it; so when David La Puma from Leica Sport Optics suggested I try a pair of seven power Ultravid HDs (7×42 to be exact) I have to admit I was initially a little nervous. The more I thought about it the more that scene from The Untouchables came to mind, complete with flashes of Sean Connery muttering something about bringing a knife to a gunfight.

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Athena on the Central Gulf Coast of Texas

Least Grebe - Corpus Christi, TX

Athena has been a busy binocular, bouncing all over the country through spring migration. From San Diego, CA to the Rio Grande Valley, TX to Florida to Colorado (for spring chickens) to Arcata, CA to Corpus Christi, TX to the Shores of Lake Erie in Ohio and Wisconsin and Georgia… One of these trips was to [...]

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How to Use a Field Guide Part 2a: Size matters, but use with caution

This Least Sandpiper looks pretty bloody small compared to the Dunlins it is with, so how would you compare the “sizes” of these two species?

Master of birding fieldcraft, Steve N.G. Howell, continues his “How to Use a Field Guide” series with this installment on how to use size effectively when identifying birds in the field.

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Slowing Down. Gerri and I joining the hundreds of other migrants – avian and human – at Magee Marsh.

What is Neil Hayward up to since his Accidental Big Year? Well, we caught up with him at The Biggest Week in American Birding in Ohio last month and he’s still out there beating the bushes and finding great birds, albeit without the rabid intensity of a year-long birding competition. Neil took Athena for a spin around Magee Marsh to help capture a few more birds for her life list. Read on for his full account!

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Bird Eye-dentification

# 13

Ultraviolet light reception, a third “eyelid”– the nictitating membrane– irises that span nearly all the colors of the rainbow, immobile eyeballs and more! Bird’s eyes are pretty rad. Watching close-range birds through her 65 mm Leica Televid has given ProStaffer Tiffany Kersten a new appreciation for bird eyes. How will you fare on this pixel-riffic bird quiz?

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Latest from the Field with Athena

Athena dropped down to Florida where she added the reclusive Mangrove Cuckoo to her big year list, plus saw other Florida specialties including Purple Gallinule, Gray Kingbird, & Magnificent Frigatebirds to name a few! This brings the annual list of 442 species for the year. In 2013 “Travis” has tallied 354 at this same time [...]

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Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch Season-in-Review

An Osprey glances down at the hawkwatchers as it passes over the Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch.

The record-shattering 8th season at the Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch came to a close on May 15th. And we sure did go out with a bang! Continue reading Derek Lovitch’s report from this great season…

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