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Now that she’s read the September/October 2013 Birding, Clara KirkPilger of Colorado Springs, Colorado, may quite possibly know more about Clapper Rail taxonomy than any other human being her age. (Clara’s aunt, LeAnn Pilger, is the ABA’s tireless and ever-helpful Membership Coordinator.)
This site is a launch pad to all the full-feature online content in the September/October 2013 Birding. Think of it as your online Table of Contents. Click on the links below, and off you go!
Sitting on the Split Rail Fence. The Clapper RailKing Rail complex, currently recognized as consisting of two species, may actually comprise five speciesthree of which would occur in the ABA Area (see cover, pp. 25–26, and pp. 28–39). Learn how to tell them apart in this online tutorial based on Michael Patten’s authoritative monograph.
Magnanimity. In his regular column in the print version of Birding (pp. 8–9), ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon exhorts ABA’ers and birders everywhere to be “magnanimous”more than simply generous, but also possessed of a can-do, proactive engagement of the cause of birding and of avian welfare. Learn more about birderly magnanimity, and discuss your own experiences with magnanimous birders.
Right: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) ogles the famous Rufous-necked Wood-Rail in New Mexico. Photo courtesy of the Office of U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich.
Your Letters. “The internet has changed everything”—including Birding magazine. On which side of the “digital divide” (print Birding vs. online content) do you fall? Or is that the wrong question? Could it be that print and online content are complementary? Join the conversation online.
ABA MEMBERS ONLY: Birding in Australia. In this informative and beautifully illustrated WebExtra for ABA members, Australia’s most famous birder outlines his dream itinerary for American birders Down Under. Travel with Sean Dooley to the land of Pink Robins and Powerful Owls, Brolgas and Rockwarblers, Regent Honeyeaters and Mallee Emu-wrens.
Right: Pink Robin. Photo by © Dean Ingwersen.
ABA MEMBERS ONLY: “Sightings” Online. If you’re an ABA member, you’ve already seen Amy Davis’s recent compilation in the print issue (pp. 22–25, 62) of North American Rarities in July 2013. Do you crave more recent “Sightings”?—August 2013 “Sightings” and even September 2013 “Sightings” [coming soon!] are available online as high-quality, full-color PDF downloads.
Left: South Polar Skua—in Oklahoma City! Photo by © Steve Metz.
Sympathy for the Twitcher. “Twitching” (or “chasing”) has been massively facilitated by the internet. Is twitching bad for birds and for birders? Or do the positives outweigh negatives? Read Jason R. Straka and Devin M. E. Turner’s feature article (pp. 40–46 in the print issue), then share your thoughts online.
Right: Twitchers at Point Pelee, Ontario. Photo by © Sandy McRuer.
Photo Quiz Answers. The ABA Area’s two “spine-tailed swifts” in the genus Chaetura are an underappreciated ID challenge. Quiz yourself! Before reading Tom Johnson’s definitive answers in the September/October issue (pp. 48–52), go online and see if you can figure out the birds on your own.
Left: Photo by © Tom Johnson.
Book Reviews. Have you ever been in a book group? Be part of the ABA’s online book group! Read the reviews, then discuss them online. In the September/October Birding, Alan McBride reviews field guides to the birds of Oceania, Edward J. Burtt, Jr., reviews a field guide to ABA Area warblers, and Alexandria Simpson reviews a biography of ornithologist Thomas Sadler Roberts.
New Photo Quiz. This warbler from Minnesota has generated a lot of discussion. Is it “just” a Mourning? See what everyone’s saying, and weigh in with your own thoughts.
Right: Photo by © Chris Wood.
Another Quiz! We’ve all been in the situation where a bird of interest isn’t actually seen until it’s flying away. The under-parts are all but invisible, and the head can’t be seen at all. So it is with this month’s ABA–Birder’s Diary photo quiz. At least, this bird won’t keep flying away; you can study it for as long as you want. And with this quiz, you can even win a prize!
Left: Photo by © Tony Leukering.
Order the entire September/October 2013 issue of Birding at The ABA Shop. Or better yet, join the ABA today, and get the September/October Birding, plus all the other benefits of ABA membership.
Check out the complete Table of Contents for the print issue of the September/October 2013 Birding.
Photo: Noah Swick of Greensboro, North Carolina, is fascinated by the feature article in the July/August 2013 issue on the rise of birding China. (Noah’s dad, Nate Swick, manages The ABA Blog and the ABA’s other social media initiatives.)
Remembering Betty Petersen. This issue of Birding celebrates the life and legacy of Betty Petersen (1943–2013), who for years served as Director of the ABA’s widely admired Birders’ Exchange program. Please read the tributes by ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon (pp. 8–9) and by former ABA Publications Committee Chairman John Kricher (pp. 44–51), and please take the time to reflect on ABA Graphic Designer Ed Rother’s compelling cover. Most of all, please share with the birding community your own memories of and experiences with Betty.
Your Letters. On the matter of molts and plumages in the Northern Harrier, we can safely say that Jerry Liguori and Brian Sullivan aren’t quite in agreement with Peter Pyle. For sure, they disagree on certain technical matters. At the same time, they’re united on a broader matter, one of philosophy and worldview. See what they’re all about, and please weigh in with your own thoughts.
“Sightings” Online. If you’re an ABA member, you’ve have already seen Amy Davis’s compilation in the print issue (pp. 22–25, 62) of North American rarities in May 2013. Do you crave more recent “Sightings”? ABA members only: June 2013 “Sightings” and even July 2013 “Sightings” are available right now as high-quality, full-color PDF downloads.
Right: Rufous-necked Wood-Rail. Photo by © Bryan J. Smith.
Photo Quiz Answers. Redpolls in August? Yes, of course, if you live and bird in Canada and Alaska. But even down in the sweltering Lower 48, the Great Redpoll Invasion of ’12 –’13 is still on many birders’ minds, as records committees are still sorting through the hundreds of records from this past winter. Brush up on redpoll ID with an online tutorial, brought to you by experts Tom Johnson and Luke Seitz.
Left: Hoary Redpoll. Photo by © Tom Johnson.
Birding in China. Fact: Interest in birding has surged in China in the early 21st century. Fact: There are more human beings in China than in the entire western hemisphere. Corollary: One of the major themes for modern birders—including ABA members—is the rise of birding in China. Please join us in an online forum that explores what Chinese birding means for the rest of us.
Mandarin Ducks. Photo by © Yu Shrike Zhang.
Tools of the Trade. Diana Doyle’s article (pp. 52–55) tells birders how to record and interpret the avian vocalizations we hear in the field. But what do those bird sounds, well, sound like? Listen online to the recordings Doyle made for her article. For the best learning experience, listen to the recordings and “see” the sounds (graphs of frequency plotted against time) at the same time.
Right: Bachman’s Sparrow. Photo by © David Cree.
Book Reviews. In this issue of Birding, we tackle some weighty subjects. Rick Wright reviews new works on the art of Audubon and Wilson, Fredrick Davis reviews a critical assessment of the life and legacy of Robert Ridgway, and Eric Salzman reviews a pair of books on the world’s rarest and most endangered birds.
Birding in the Age of Anxiety. The full title of John Rakestraw’s commentary is “Most Birds, Least Harm: Ethical and Effective Birding in a Time of Peak Oil, Economic Collapse, and Mass Extinctions.” Clearly, the guy harbors a few opinions! What are yours? Please read Rakestraw’s commentary, beginning on p. 56 of the print issue, and then chime in with your own thoughts about “ethical and effective” birding in the modern era.
New Photo Quiz. Let’s be honest. Most of us identify the ABA Area’s two Chaetura swifts (Chimney and Vaux’s) by range. But swifts have wings—very long and powerful ones, in fact—and can wind up in the “wrong” place. The quiz answers will appear in the September/October 2013 Birding, but let’s first discuss the quiz photos online
Right: Photo by © Tom Johnson.
Another Quiz! The redpoll and swift quizzes just weren’t enough for you? Then try your hand at the latest ABA–Birder’s Diary photo quiz. This one looks like one of those tricky seabirds you see from a pitching boat. At least, you get to view the bird from the comfort of your den or office. And with this quiz, you can even win a prize!
Left: Photo by © Tony Leukering.
Order the entire July/August 2013 issue of Birding at The ABA Shop. Or better yet, join the ABA today, and get the July/August 2013 Birding, plus all the other benefits of ABA membership.
Check out the complete Table of Contents for the print issue of the July/August Birding.
Photo: Corinna Wren La Puma of Madison, Wisconsin, was eager to crack open this May/June Birding! She’s especially keen on the prospect of picking up Purple Swamphen in Florida the next time she visits her cousins. Corinna Wren’s dad, ornithologist and Leica representative David La Puma, will be an instructor with the ABA’s Camp Colorado in July 2013.
About the Cover. This story of the Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is strange and perhaps disturbing. Bill Pranty, one of North America’s foremost authorities on exotic birds, delivers a thorough and fascinating overview on pp. 38–46 of the print issue. But what of the primary literature—including Pranty’s—that provided the basis for the Birding article? See for yourself in this compendium of original scientific articles, available only to ABA members.
Your Letters. Legendary birder Steve Howell puts it well in a letter in the May/June issue (p. 12): “We all make errors. Hopefully, we can learn from them. We should also feel free to speak up when decisions appear to have been made without due consideration or prudence, in the wider field of life as well as in birding.” Please, speak up! What are your thoughts on “official” bird taxonomy and nomenclature as it relates to birding and the ABA?
Birding Together. No question about it, the ABA’s publications are in a time of transition. ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon lays it all out for us in the May/June installment of “Birding Together," then says: “There’s much more to tell you, but not on the print pages of Birding. Let’s continue the conversation online.” Yes, let’s do exactly that, as we share together our ideas and insights about Birding and other ABA publications. Photo by © Liz Gordon.
News and Notes. Ranching and bird conservation are often portrayed as opposing forces. But as Paul Hess notes in the May/June 2013 installment of “News and Notes” (pp. 26–28), ranchers have a potentially important role to play in reversing population declines in the Mountain Plover. In an online story about the Karval Mountain Plover Festival, we discover that ranchers and bird conservationists share a good deal of common ground. Left: The tiny ranching outpost of Karval, on the high plains of eastern Colorado, contributes importantly to Mountain Plover conservation. Photo by © Seth Gallagher.
Sightings Online. If you’re an ABA member, you’ve already seen Amy Davis’s compilation in the print issue (pp. 22–25, 66) of North American rarities in March 2013. Do you crave more recent “Sightings”? ABA members only: April 2013 “Sightings” and even May 2013 “Sightings” are available right now as high-quality, full-color PDF downloads. Right: This Common Ringed Plover, Massachusetts’ third, was at legendary Plum Island May 21–24. Photo by © Dorian Anderson.
Purple Swamphens. See “About the Cover,” above, for members-only access to the original, peer-reviewed scientific literature on the fascinating Purple Swamphens of Florida. Read Bill Pranty's feature article, available as a free PDF download from the ABA.
Hic! Three Beers! “Ear-birding,” the acoustic enjoyment and identification of birds, has really taken off in the digital era. But as Diana Doyle notes (pp. 56–59), good ole-fashioned mnemonics are as helpful as ever. And good-ole fashioned, er, beer is as beloved as ever. Try your hand at this fun and educational online birdsong quiz with a beer-drinking theme.
Left: Click on the icon to listen to a mystery bird that seems to be saying something about beer. Sound recording by © Brian Sullivan.
“Photo” Quiz “Answer.” It’s not exactly a “photo,” and Ted Floyd’s analysis (p. 54) isn’t quite an “answer.” So check out this 26-second video to see what the bird is. First, quiz yourself; next, eavesdrop on or participate in the online conversation with other ABA members; finally, scroll down to the bottom of the comments field for the “official” photo quiz answer.
Right: Click on the image to watch the bird actually doing something.
Book Reviews. The birding literature is inexhaustibly varied, which point is well exemplified by the diverse titles reviewed in this issue of Birding. Julia Zarankin reviews a tribute to museum ornithology, Nic Fieldsend reviews a treatise on the birdlife of Nova Scotia, Rick Wright reviews a documentary film on shorebird migration, and Soheil Zendeh reviews the latest in a series of “Crossley Guides.”
New Photo Quiz. One of the biggest birding stories of the past year was the Great Redpoll Invasion of 2012–2013. Bird records committees are still sorting through all the redpoll records, and now you get to join in the fun! Share your thoughts about these redpolls, and, if you think they’re “easy,” let us know what subspecies, sex, and age each bird is. Answers and analysis, courtesy of bird ID experts Tom Johnson and Luke Seitz, will appear in the next Birding, but let’s try to work things out together online first.
Left: Photo by © Tom Johnson.
One More Quiz! If Ted Floyd’s LBJ (“little brown job”), Diana Doyle’s beer quiz, and Tom Johnson and Luke Seitz’s lookalike redpolls still aren’t enough for you, we have one more. Tony Leukering’s long-running online quiz is always edifying, and check this out: You can even win a prize. So check it out, and go for the gold!
Right: Photo by © Tony Leukering.
Click here to order the entire May/June 2013 issue. Or better yet, join the ABA today, and get the May/June 2013 issue, plus all the other benefits of ABA membership.
Check out the complete Table of Contents for the print issue of the May/June 2013 Birding.
Photo: Young birder Mia Hartley shows us Bill Schmoker's photo of a rosy-finch, appearing on p. 37 of the March/April Birding. The caption says it's a Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, but it looks like a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch. What's up with that? Join the discussion online.
About the Cover. No question about it: The Pribilof Islands, in the middle of the Bering Sea, are iconic in North American birding lore. Read the article, pp. 44–51, or, better yet, join us on “the Pribs.” That’s right—we’re offering ABA members a special opportunity to bird the Pribilofs. Note that this tour can be combined with an unforgettable arctic expedition to search for migrating Ross’s Gulls past Barrow. (Some years hundreds are observed). Photo of Chris Benesh (front) and participants in a Field Guides, Inc., tour by © George L. Armistead.
Birding Together. ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon, in his regular column in the print Birding (pp. 9–10), introduces and welcomes us to “The New ABA.” Gordon shares additional thoughts online, and solicits your input on recent and future developments with the ABA and the broader birding community. Photo by © Liz Gordon.
Your Letters. There’s no topic birders won’t touch! Letters to the editor in the March/April 2013 Birding delve into such matters as eBird, Evening Grosbeak speciation, the legacy of Chandler S. Robbins (b. 1918), and—wait for it—how to render the plural forms of Hawaiian bird names. Please join the discussion online. Photo by © Jacob Spendelow.
Sightings Online. Starting with the March/April 2013 issue, you’re getting a double dose of Amy Davis’s must-read “Sightings” column. That’s not quite right: You’re getting more than a double dose. Along with the print content (mid-January through mid-February 2013, pp. 22–25, 62), you’re getting expanded online coverage, with especially generous photo reproduction, of North American rarities from mid-February through mid-March 2013. Photo by © Dick Rowe.
Another Checklist Shuffle. Paul Hess reports in “News and Notes” (pp. 26–28) on the possibility of a major reshuffling of the sequence in which shorebirds appear on our checklists. Do you “like” it when the AOU makes changes to our checklists? Join the discussion at The ABA Blog. Figure by © Kei Sochi.
Surprising Harriers. Everybody knows that adult male Northern Harriers are “gray ghosts,” pale gray with inky black tips. Except it turns out now that that’s not right! Read Jerry Liguori and Brian Sullivan’s article in the print Birding (pp. 30–35), and go online for further insights, discussions, and photos. Photo by © Alan Murphy.
Jackpot Birding! Please refer to “About the Cover,” above, for links to your Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean adventures with the ABA. Photo by © Doug Gochfeld.
Photo Quiz Answers. Test yourself! Before you read quizmaster Tom Johnson’s answers and analyses (pp. 52–55), go online to see just the photos. If you want a bit more help, view the comments posted just below each photo. Click here for Quiz Photo A, click here for Quiz Photo B, and click here for Quiz Photo C. Photos by © Tom Johnson.
Book Reviews. In a brief but important essay in the print version of the March/April issue (p. 60), Rick Wright celebrates the varied voices that breathe life into Birding magazine’s venerable and much admired Book Review column. Click on the photos of the reviewers, and read their diverse and thoughtful book reviews.
New Photo Quiz. Stumped by the series of grainy photos on p. 64 of the print version of the March/April issue? Then be sure to view this 26-second video of the quiz bird. In the video, you can see behaviors that the still photos cannot show. Watch the video, and become a better birder!
Click here to order the entire March/April 2013 issue. Or better yet, join the ABA today, and get the March/April 2013 issue, plus all the other benefits of ABA membership.
View the Table of Contents of this issue here.
Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoy all the online content in the January/February 2013 issue of Birding magazine.
Photo: Young birder Andrew Floyd delights in our coverage in this issue of the status and distribution in the ABA Area of the Lesser Black-backed Gull.
Here’s the lineup for the January/February 2013 issue:
About the Cover. Artist Andrew Guttenberg reflects on his childhood experiences with the 2013 ABA Bird of the Year, the Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor). And we invite you to do the same. Check out Andrew’s essay, and then share with us your own experiences with and impressions of the 2013 Bird of the Year.
Birding Together (by Jeffrey A. Gordon, p. 9). In a spirited and informative interview, ABA President Jeff Gordon (pictured here at right) and artist Andrew Guttenberg (left) discuss the genesis of the 2013 Bird of the Year art. Watch the 11-minute video, and feel free to follow up with questions for either Jeff or Andrew. Photo by © Liz Gordon.
Your Letters (by ABA members, pp. 12–18). Birding is a members’ magazine. You, the vibrant membership of the ABA, play a key role in determining the magazine’s content. Take a look at this brief overview of how we decide what to publish in the magazine, and please consider sharing with us—either in print or online—your own thoughts about content in Birding.
News and Notes (by Paul Hess, pp. 32–33). In a short news item (“Soft Songs are Potent,” p. 33), we learn about the surprising “soft song” of the Song Sparrow. But what does this soft song sound like? Listen to a few audio recordings, and find out. For more detail, read the complete online article—accompanied by additional sound recordings and sound spectrograms. The full online article, plus the complete array of recordings and spectrograms, are for members only. Join the ABA today, and get access to all members-only online content.
Young Birders (by Chad Williams, pp. 48–53). This feature article, on the rise of “YBCs” (young birder clubs), has prompted extensive online commentary, much of it quite thoughtful. See what everybody is saying, and join in on the discussion, still ongoing. Other feature articles offer surprising insights about the status in the ABA Area of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (by Amar Ayyash, pp. 34–41) and Common Black-Hawks (by Charles J. Babbitt, pp. 42–47). Photo by © Chad Williams.
Photo Quiz Answers (by Tom Johnson, pp. 54–55). Challenge yourself! Before you read Tom Johnson’s analysis, see if you can figure out the birds on your own. Click here for a shorebird flock in flight (Quiz Photo A), and click here for a small flock of gulls loafing on a beach (Quiz Photo B). We’re delighted that so many folks have chimed in with their own analyses, and we hope you will, too. Photos by © Tom Johnson.
Book Reviews (commentary by Rick Wright, p. 60). You really owe it to yourself to read Rick Wright’s short yet revolutionary commentary in the print version of the magazine. Then see what Rick’s talking about. Our January/February 2013 book reviews start off with Steve Rooke’s detailed analysis of a major new field guide to the birds of Central Asia; next up is Eric Salzman’s charming review of two quirky books about extinct, er, “boids”; and we wrap up the January/February reviews with Rick’s own thoughts on an intriguing but problematic book on the role of birders in the amateur science ethic in the United States.
New Photo Quiz (p. 64). Quizmaster Tom Johnson’s answers will appear in the March/April 2013 Birding. But there’s no need to wait that long for all-out debate and discussion about these birds. Join the online conversation about each of the three quiz photos: Quiz Photo A (a flock of ducks); Quiz Photo B (a pointy-headed gray bird); and Quiz Photo C (a hawk in flight). Photos by © Tom Johnson.
Not an ABA member? But you’d like to get Birding magazine, plus access to members-only online content? Please join the ABA today—We’ll rush you a copy of the January/February 2013 issue, and we’ll set you up with a password for all your members-only online content. Click here to join, or call us at 800-850-2473.
In addition to all the print content in the November 2012 issue of Birding, we are pleased to bring you substantial additional online content. Here’s a guide—think of it as an electronic Table of Contents—to the extensive online material in the November 2012 issue.
About the Cover. Native to Africa, the Rosy-faced Lovebird has become solidly established in recent years in the Phoenix, Arizona, metro region. Photographer Cindy Marple introduces us to these bewitching birds, and shares with us some thoughts on how to study and appreciate them. Click here for Marple’s essay.
Hawaii. In “Birding Together” (p. 9), ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon presents the results of a nonbinding referendum on expansion of the ABA Area. And, man, are they ever talking about it on The ABA Blog! Click here to see the results of the referendum (including figures not included in the print version of Gordon’s article), and join in on the discussion.
Your Letters. ABA members are thoughtful, opinionated, and fun. In the November Birding, members share their opinions on the ABA Code of Birding Ethics, expansion of the ABA Area, and other matters (pp. 10–16). Click here to see what everybody is saying, and please consider joining the conversation. We’d love to hear from you!
Nocturnal Flight Calls. You’ve read the interview (pp. 18–21), and you know that Andrew Farnsworth is one of the world’s foremost experts on nocturnal flight calls. But what do those mysterious flight calls sound like? And how do you recognize them? Click here for Andrew Farnsworth’s Expert Advice for Learning to Appreciate Flight Calls, exclusively for ABA members.
New Birds on the Checklist! In their annual report (pp. 28–33), Jon Dunn and members of the ABA Checklist Committee reveal the latest additions to the ABA Checklist. The committees’ actions have generated tremendous discussion among ABA members and friends. Click here to join the conversation, which is still ongoing.
Camp Colorado. Teen birder Rosemary Kramer tells the story of Camp Colorado–2013. Blood pressure alert: Kramer’s approach to birding is about as high-octane and caffeinated as it gets. And it comes through in Kramer’s writing! (Is she channeling her inner Jen Brumfeld?) Click here for Kramer’s recap—and stunning bird photography.
Bird of the Year. In his feature article (pp. 34–40), Evening Grosbeak expert Aaron Haiman tells us about the five distinct call types of the ABA 2013 Bird of the year. As a supplement to the print version of Haiman’s article, we provide ABA members with soundfiles and sound spectrograms of the different call types. Click here for this members-only exclusive.
Interactive Book Review! With the November 2012 issue, we begin a new era for book reviews in Birding magazine. All book reviews now appear online, in an interactive format. You can comment on the book (or the review). And if you like what you’re reading, you can buy the book. We’ve made it as easy as possible to buy each book, and your purchase benefits the ABA.
Click here to read Rick Wright’s review of Julie Zickefoose’s The Bluebird Effect.
Click here to read Rick Wright’s review of Robert Burton and John Croxall’s Field Guide to the Wildlife of South Georgia.
Click here to read Brian L. Sullivan’s review of Pete Dunne and coauthors’ Hawks in Flight, second edition.
Click here for discussion and speculation about the main quiz photo (shorebirds, right) on p. 72.
Click here for discussion and speculation about the supplemental quiz photo (gulls, left) on p. 72.
Not an ABA member? But you’d like to get Birding magazine? Please join the ABA today, and we’ll rush you a copy of the November 2012 issue. Click here to join, or call 800-850-2473.