Archive for the ‘Blog Contributors’ Category

Wordless Wednesday


How many Buff-breasted Flycatchers can you spot in this picture? It was taken during VENT’s Camp Chiricahua, which Leica co-sponsors, in August 2013 in Portal, Arizona.

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Weekend Rendezvous: Southeast Arizona

Flock of Sandhill Cranes, Whitewater Draw WMA

Tiffany Kersten takes us on a bird-filled adventure in this great travelogue from Southeast Arizona. Warning: reading this might cause you to spontaneously book a birding excursion (and we wouldn’t blame you)

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Athena in The Bog Part 2: Hanging with Erik Bruhnke

Athena meets the bog

The Duluth, MN birding community is a tight nit one to be certain. There are a number of excellent birders who guide visitors into the Sax-Zim bog, and our guest blogger here is one of them. Erik Bruhnke, owner and operator of Naturally Avian tours, took Athena for a few-day spin into Sax-Zim bog right after the Sax-Zim birding festival. Initially I (David La Puma) was going to write about my experience with Athena in the bog, but once Erik got ahold of her I knew only he could do her justice… especially given Erik’s keen eye for a fabulous photo! Come read on about Erik’s time with Athena in one of my favorite birding destinations.

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Suet Piranhas

Bushtits raiding the suet, Longmont, CO  February 2014.  Photo by Bill Schmoker, Leica Birding Team

For most of the winter I’ve been enjoying the hit-and-run tactics of a Bushtit flock in my Longmont, Colorado back yard. Up to about 15 of the wee long-tailed fuzz balls will make a raid on my home-made suet in the morning, attacking it with fierce gusto like a school of suet piranhas.

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Wordless Wednesday


This very accommodating Blue-throated Hummingbird was photographed at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona.

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Wordless Wednesday


This Common Nighthawk was hiding in plain sight at Pawnee National Grasslands, Colorado in July 2013.

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Wordless Wednesday: Amazon!


A row of Leica spotting scopes helped participants at the 2013 Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival get amazing looks at the Amazon Kingfisher.

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Wordless Wednesday


Taken with iPhone 5, Phone Skope adaptor, and Leica Televid APO 65mm spotting scope.

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Leica Stories: Ioana Seritan

Ioana (in the yellow sweatshirt) at Pawnee National Grasslands during 2013 Camp Colorado (Photo by Jennie Duberstein)

Leica Birding Team member Jennie Duberstein brings us another dispatch from the field, this time about the 2013 ABA Birder of the Year, Ioana Seritan. Jennie wears many hats in the birding and ornithological community, and one of those is Czar of Youth Birding. Okay, maybe that’s not an actual title, but if it were, Jennie would definitely have it (and she clearly fills the roll of this unspecified position in her daily life!). It’s also great to catch up with Ioana after her first year of undergraduate work at UC Berkley; We hope you enjoy this piece as much as we did!

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Leica Stories – Barbara Bickel


Last weekend I, Jennie Duberstein, got to lead field trips at the Wings Over Willcox Birding and Nature Festival in Willcox, Arizona. It’s a fantastic festival in a tiny town in southeastern Arizona, full of cranes, wintering raptors and sparrows, and great people (if you haven’t been, I highly recommend it). Barbara Bickel, a long-time [...]

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What’s in a (Bird) Name? Part 1: The Common American Problem

Steve Howell ends day 1 of the Peru Bird Rally

What’s so common about a Common Moorhen? Surely the American Coots are much more common in my neck of the woods! Leica Birding Team’s Steve N.G. Howell breaks down the problems with English bird names with his trademark Welsh humor in this first of three installments. Enjoy!

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Back to Alaska

Figure 3: The Rustic Bunting, showing off for all of us.  Photo by Scott Schuette

Scott Schuette, Director of St. Paul Island Tours, volunteers a bit of his “off island” time to help Travis tick a few more fantastic birds!

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Leica Birding Team member Steve N.G. Howell takes on the Peru Birding Challenge

Jesse Fagan, Fernando, Cecilia, Jose Luis

Leica Birding Team member Steve Howell just returned from the 3rd World Birding Rally in Peru, where five teams from around the world competed to record as many species as possible in five-and-a-half days of pre-dawn to post-dusk birding, starting with 3 days near the Bolivian Border in Amazonia (the world center of biodiversity) and ending with a day around the incredible ruins of Machu Picchu (“all those big stones crawling with people, that we didn’t have time to visit”). Read on to see how they did!

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Running with the big dogs!

Accidental Big Year

A handful of Travis’s most recent additions to his big year attempt include: Rustic Bunting, Little Bunting, Whooper Swan, Whiskered Auklet, Brambling, an as of yet unaccepted Eurasian Sparrowhawk, and Dusky Thrush.Does this list sound a little familiar to you?!?…

If so it may be because Neil Hayward of The Accidental Big Year has many of those same birds as his most recent additions! …

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North of the Arctic Circle

Travis scans the Arctic Ocean.

By John Puschock, owner of Zugunruhe Birding Tours “Ross’s is not a gull, it is the gull…” — Ken Behrens and Cameron Cox in the Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching: Eastern Waterbirds in Flight, 2013 Last month, I had the honor of accompanying Travis on his first trip north of the Arctic Circle on my [...]

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