Archive for the ‘Guest Blog Posts’ Category

Aleutian Adventure


John Puschock, owner of Zugunruhe Birding Tours, regular contributor to the American Birding Association’s Listers’ Corner, and expert field naturalist of all things Arctic, takes Travis the Traveling Trinovid on another Alaskan adventure, this time out to the Aleutian Islands. Read on to hear about his grand time near the western limits of the ABA Area!

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My New Friend – Travis


by J. Drew Lanham
J. Drew Lanham is a native of Edgefield, South Carolina and a Distinguished Alumni Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University. He is an essayist and sometimes poet who has contributed to several anthologies including essays on home and land ethic; travelogues on trips abroad and back in time; introspectives on deer hunting and dog-human partnership; and on the struggles between passion, race and self identity as an African-American nature lover. Drew’s first solo work , The Home Place, Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature (Milkweed Editions), is due to be published sometime in 2014. Drew views his professional passion and personal missions converging to define sustainability and conservation in new and colorful ways. A major focus of this effort is to tell the stories of African- American connections to nature in the Southeast and beyond. Drew is an avid hunter, lifelong birder and nature enthusiast living in the Upstate of South Carolina with his wife Janice. They have two adult children; Kimberly Alexis and Donovan Colby. They are also the caretakers of an indoor cat, Zeke and two dogs Kate and Avery.

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Travis Reverses Course

Travis at Santa Ana NWR, TX

Just hours after most Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival leaders and participants boarded planes and loaded into cars headed out of town, a Rose-throated Becard was found at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge. What else for a Binocular on a serious Big Year to do, but to reverse course? Nearly the instant he touched down in [...]

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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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Travis hits the open ocean, again!

Miles G. with Travis and his mom, Susan, on the Cape Cod pelagic trip

As with any big-year pursuit, a serious bid will require birders to hit the open ocean several times in search of pelagic specialties. As part of the Cape Cod Birding Festival, Travis the Traveling Trinovid joined local Cape Cod wunderkind, Miles Goldenberg, for some birding in the productive waters off of Massachusetts. Read on for Miles’s account, and keep an eye out for this kid who was just dubbed one of the “Young Turks of modern birding” by the great Pete Dunne.

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Travis hits the open ocean

the Nemesis Birders! founder Drew Weber (far right) and members of the crew, brought Travis on a little Atlantic excursion two weeks ago in an attempt to bolster the intrepid Trinovid’s life list of pelagic species. Read all about his adventure in Drew’s own words right here.

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Travis goes to Camp Chiricahua: Marie McGee

The author, Marie McGee, with her friend Travis the Traveling Trinovid (photo © Jennie Duberstein)

Marie McGee is an 18-year-old young birder from southeast Michigan. She was the 2012 ABA/Leica Young Birder of the Year (14-18 year-old category) and is currently starting her freshman year of college. Aside from being an excellent young birder, Mary is a wonderful wordsmith t’boot. Come read about her experience birding Southeast Arizona with her new buddy Travis the Traveling Trinovid, in her own words.

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Travis goes to Camp Colorado Part 2: Rachel Rothberg

Rachel Rothberg sketching a Golden Eagle seen earlier that day (© Jeff Bouton)

Our second guest post from the ABA/Leica Camp Colorado features Rachel Rothberg from Palo Alto, California. Rachel is not only an excellent young birder, but also a wonderful artist and musician. When she wasn’t carrying Travis, she was often behind the lens of her camera capturing every moment of Camp Colorado. Her photos range from documentation and study material for sketching and painting, to beautiful artwork in its own right (check out the full post to see her fabulous Rufous Hummingbird photo!). In this report, Rachel explains why she has dubbed July 26th the “best day of her life”.

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Travis goes to Camp Colorado Part 1: Ben Thesing

Ben Thesing

Leica is the Legacy Sponsor for the American Birding Association’s Young Birder program, including the two ABA camps, Camp Colorado and Camp Avocet. This post features Georgia birder Ben Thesing who attended Camp Colorado last week and carried Travis on his first day in the field. Ben is not only an exceptional birder, but also a well rounded naturalist with interests across the zoological spectrum. When not out in the field identifying reptiles, birds or butterflies, Ben can often be found working in the reptile department at Zoo Atlanta. So what did Ben and Travis see together? Read on and find out!

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Talk to Me of Mendocino

Laysan Albatross

Back in California in mid May for a county birding trip to Lake County with John Sterling and Todd Easterla, then a pelagic trip off the Mendocino coast the following day.  Sterling needed three county birds in Lake County to get to 233 which is 75% of the total county list and Todd needed nine [...]

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The Biggest Week at the Warbler Capital

Blackburnian comp GALVEZ sm

The Leica Trinovids are no strangers to me – I’ve had the pleasure of using them under extreme field conditions for entire migration seasons at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch. I was very happy to learn I’d be carrying “Travis” the Traveling Trinovid for several days during The Biggest Week in American Birding in northwestern Ohio. I knew this would be a welcome contrast after spending the month of April in the Keys studying the ecological relationships of migratory birds in tropical rockland habitats. I’d experienced several migratory waves, particularly those of warblers arriving to Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West, and had spent plenty of time doing field sketches and paintings of warblers in South Florida habitats. It was therefore a great pleasure to fly up to Ohio following the flight of migrants as they arrived at the Warbler Capital of the World.

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David La Puma: Traveling with T-Bone on the Texas Coast


I’ve been a card-carrying Leica user since 2001 when our research lab purchased a 77mm APO-77 Televid spotting scope for our Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow research in the Florida Everglades. In 2004 I purchased my first Leica binocular, the Trinovid BN 8×42, which remains the finest piece of birding equipment that I own. So when Jeff asked me to carry T-Bone, the Traveling Trinovid, I was both honored and excited at the opportunity to get this brand new binocular (and possibly myself) some lifers.

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