Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Athena Update – field report from AZ

Rufous-winged Sparrow

At the time of this writing, Athena had cracked 500 species seen in the US and counting. The total as of Friday night was 509 with 2 days to go! In all 32 species have been added thus far in the great state of Arizona as part of the Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival sponsored [...]

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2nd ABA Record of Collared Plover in Texas


Living in the Rio Grande Valley has its summertime perks, despite the 105 degree weather, as Tiffany Kersten explains. On August 2nd, Dan Jones found the second ABA record of Collared Plover. Read all about it!

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“Get to da choppa!” Helibirding for science and style

Ammodramus sparrows were remarkably easy to see from the helicopter. Often, it was fairly straightforward to separate small, pale Saltmarsh Sparrows...

It’s hot, humid, and buggy – time to enliven your birding with a bit of a change in perspective. Join Leica Birding Team member Tom Johnson on a helicopter bird survey in New Jersey.

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Making Conservation Connections-One Red Dot at a Time!

Deep conversation with Mr. Doug Gibson

As I sit here and a red-eyed vireo drones on in the boiling heat, it comes to me that even more than the couple of hundred birds Ursula has pegged down for me, she and I have been able to reach even more people with messages of bird conservation and ethic that go far beyond field of view and magnification. Here’s the rundown.

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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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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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ID-Tip Tuesday: Some quack and dirty scaup notes

In flight, the amount of white in the flight feathers of scaup can be helpful for identification - Greater Scaup tend to show obvious white across the secondaries and into the inner primaries, while on Lesser Scaup, this is restricted to the secondaries. Lighting and angles make this difficult to assess in some photos (check out the rightmost bird here), but in real life, the extent of the white wing flash on a flying scaup is very useful. Greater Scaup, Avalon, New Jersey. February 2014.

Ever get tripped up identifying the two species of scaup? Yeah, us too…but Leica Birding Team member Tom Johnson breaks it down for us so everyone can have a better shot at conclusive ID of these similar (but different!) species.

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Athena’s View

note the owl image and the actual bird in the background

Check out the view as seen through Athena our binocular on a big year – 2014!

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Major Peregrinations

Summary of Travis's recent travel

From the Florida Keys to Barrow, Alaska down to San Diego and then back to the NE Travis is scouring every corner of the US in search of fabulous birds and big wildlife adventures!

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Birding at Featherfest

White-tailed Kite in Galveston, TX

The Galveston Featherfest is a great early spring festival strategically held to correspond  right with the beginning of spring migration. Least Terns were freshly returned from their South American wintering grounds and busily getting on with courtship activities on the barrier beaches. Chimney Swifts and swallow species were pouring over throughout our trip and stunning [...]

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