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2017 Birder’s Guide to Gear

American Birding Association News Feed: - December 6, 2017 - 5:58pm



From the President
Jeffrey A. Gordon

From the Editor
Michael L. P. Retter



Choosing the Best DSLR Camera for Action Bird Photography
Sherrie Duris

Better Birding With Merlin Bird ID
Drew Weber and Jessie Barry

The Sole of Birding: Footwear
Marcel Such

Finding the Perfect Travel Bags
Laura Kammermeier

Tracks, Skulls, and Other Signs:
A Guide to the Wild & Dirty Side of Birding
Kristi Dranginis

Birding Online: December 2017

American Birding Association News Feed: - November 30, 2017 - 11:42am

Welcome to Birding Online! This month’s Birding Online is a little different, because we have a very exciting cover to share with you before the issue itself arrives.

December’s cover is a reconstruction of the image on a pottery bowl, specifically UCM 03238, in the collection of the (c) University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. (Thank you, University of Colorado!) This image features one of the Hero Twins celebrated in the creation saga of the Mimbres people, from present-day New Mexico. Flocking to this Hero Twin are two Scarlet Macaws. In December’s “News and Notes,” Paul Hess teaches us about the history of Scarlet Macaws in the ABA Area, the culture of the Mimbres people, and how the two intertwine.

Image courtesy of (c) University of Colorado Museum of Natural History–object no. UCM 03238.

Personally, I love this cover, and I hope you do as well. It’s a gorgeous reminder of the connections that people have felt with birds for centuries, and in fact, millennia. We bird-lovers and nature-lovers continue a tradition that was born many generations before us. Plus, who doesn’t love a good creation story?

Paul Hess’ story of the Mimbres people and their Scarlet Macaws is only one of the pieces within the December issue. This issue is chock-full of things to look forward to: the Birding Interview, photo quizzes, and of course, the ABA Checklist updates. Check back soon to learn more about the extended online content that ABA members will be able to access.

Birding Online: October 2017

American Birding Association News Feed: - October 16, 2017 - 9:09pm

Welcome to Birding Online! From this page, all ABA members can access the extended online content from the October 2017 issue of Birding magazine. The complete issue, containing both print and online content, can be found at:


October’s cover hints at the content within. This gorgeous watercolor of European Starlings by Kylee Wiseman is a nod to all of the amazing contributions from young birders in this issue. Halfway through the magazine, you’ll find yourself in the midst of a Forum that celebrates the talents of many teen birders, from articles written by Luke Maillefer, Diego Blanco, Madelyne Ray, and Trysten Loefke; to artwork from Diego Blanco and Kylee Wiseman; and to photography from these and other skilled birders. On top of the Forum, one of this month’s Book Reviews is written by Johanna Beam, the ABA–Leica 2017 Young Birder of the Year. Check out these awesome contributions yourself, starting on page 30.

European Starlings. Watercolor and ink on cold-pressed watercolor paper by Kylee Wiseman.

Speaking of the Forum, you will soon be able to read Birding magazine Editor Ted Floyd’s own musings (check back soon) on Luke Maillefer’s journey down South (aptly named “Almost Antarctica”) at The ABA Blog. And that’s not the only online content from these articles. October brings us two photo quizzes.

The first quiz is brought to us by Mia McPherson and Peter Pyle, featuring this tricky and just-a-bit Halloween-ish little bird below. If you’d like to give it a go yourself, you can join the conversation on the ABA Blog. Then, you can read the authors’ own perspectives in the magazine, starting on page 58.

Antelope Island State Park, Great Salt Lake, Utah; July 21, 2017. Photograph by © Mia McPherson – but what is the subject?

The second quiz comes from Madelyne Ray’s article about her experiences at Camp Avocet and Camp Colorado, the ABA’s young birder camps. Teen birder Kristen Johnson’s photo of birds in flight during Camp Avocet gives us a sneak peek at the kind of identification challenges that campers face. You can face it yourself and offer your thoughts on the ABA Blog, then read Madelyne’s story starting on page 42.

Photo from a Camp Avocet trip to the Delaware Bayshore, Delaware side; August 2016. Photo by © Kristen Johnson.

Outside of the young birder contributions, we do get to enjoy the regular extended content for News and Notes, and Book Reviews. In print, we got to read Paul Hess’ fantastic explanations of Pin-tailed Whydah breeding behavior in the ABA Area, and how exactly flamingos stand on one leg. Online, he walks us through a recent study about the genetic differences between Golden-winged Warblers and Blue-winged Warblers–and the much more massive differences between their wintering grounds.

And of course, there’s more where that came from for October’s Book Reviews. You can find Johanna Beam’s extended review of three painting and drawing guides created by Andrew Forkner, John Muir Laws, and Alan Woollett on the ABA Blog, and also on page 66 in the issue. Charles Hagner’s review of Dan Egan’s The Death and Life of the Great Lakes will be on the ABA Blog tomorrow, Tuesday the 17th, but until then you can also find it on page 68 in the issue. And finally, Rick Wright’s review of the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World will be on the ABA Blog this Wednesday, the 18th, and you can already find it on page 70 in the issue.

As always, there is a lot more to see and read in this issue! Click here to flip through the Table of Contents and find your own favorite articles, photos, and pieces of art. I hope you enjoy! Until next time, happy birding!

2017 Birder’s Guide to Listing & Taxonomy

American Birding Association News Feed: - October 2, 2017 - 3:27pm



From the President
Jeffrey A. Gordon

From the Editor
Michael L. P. Retter


Introducing the American Ornithological Society
Paul Hess

The Story and Strategy of a Record-Breaking Big Day in Amazonia
Sean M. Williams

My Biggest Year
Arjan Dwarshuis

A Little Big Day in Mexico
Steve N. G. Howell & Jonathan Vargas 

ABA Checklist Committee Update:
Adding”Hawaii-only” Species
Peter Pyle
Check back for discussion on this topic

Check-list Supplement Redux, v. 2017
Michael L. P. Retter
Click here for expanded online-only content

2016 Listing Snapshot

Listing Central Update
Greg Neise

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