tfloyd

About Ted Floyd

Ted Floyd is the longtime Editor of Birding magazine, and he is broadly involved in other programs and initiatives with the ABA. Ted has written 200+ magazine articles and 5 books, including How to Know the Birds (National Geographic, 2019). He is a frequent speaker at birding festivals and has served on several nonprofit boards. Join Ted at The ABA Blog for his semimonthly spot, “How to Know the Birds,” celebrating common birds and the uncommonly interesting things they do.

How to Know the Birds: No. 44, How eBird Killed Birding

eBird used to have a tagline, “It will change the way you bird,” that I wish they hadn’t discarded. Because eBird has drastically changed the way I bird. So much so, that I might venture: “It will kill the way you bird.”

How to Know the Birds: No. 44, How eBird Killed Birding2020-10-06T12:43:56-04:00

How to Know the Birds: No. 43, An Imperfect Waxwing

When Bombycilla cedrorum was named the 2020 ABA Bird of the Year, there was delight and enchantment all across the ABA Area. Fists were pumped, shouts were proclaimed.

How to Know the Birds: No. 43, An Imperfect Waxwing2020-09-29T13:25:40-04:00

How to Know the Birds: No. 40, An Avocet in the Lovely Country

I saw an American avocet, a presumed male by bill structure, thus less spectacular than the female. The bird was bleached and worn, but still: An avocet, any avocet, even a sun-blasted, straight-billed male, is the sort of bird that bids you stop.

How to Know the Birds: No. 40, An Avocet in the Lovely Country2020-10-07T13:35:41-04:00

How to Know the Birds: No. 39, What If They Cancelled Bird ID?

I presented iNaturalist with my Hardscrabble Mountain gray flycatchers, and the app performed flawlessly. Not just the adults teed up in textbook fashion atop junipers; but also the fledglings, nearly featureless blobs of downy softness.

How to Know the Birds: No. 39, What If They Cancelled Bird ID?2020-07-30T22:41:05-04:00

How to Know the Birds: No. 38, The Exemplary Cormorant

The second half of 2020 is going to be difficult, and I have no intention of downplaying or dismissing that reality. But I wonder if something quietly wondrous is beginning to happen: an awakening of community, of shared responsibility, of devotion to a cause greater than ourselves.

How to Know the Birds: No. 38, The Exemplary Cormorant2020-07-15T12:55:23-04:00

How to Know the Birds: No. 37, Two Truths About Birding

Seeing the bird was bittersweet for me. Sweet: What’s not to like about seeing a rock wren, indeed seeing and hearing and experiencing an entire landscape come alive with these blithe, brown birds? Bitter: I wish I’d been there with my friends from Camp Colorado, understandably canceled out of concern for the health of would-be campers and the broader community.

How to Know the Birds: No. 37, Two Truths About Birding2020-06-25T20:19:18-04:00

How to Know the Birds: No. 36, The Last Grasshopper Sparrow

The bird was a grasshopper sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum, singing, as grasshopper sparrows are wont to do, in the middle of the night. The time was 12:26 am. The full moon peeked through the haze and persistent cloud cover, but it was to be of no use in actually seeing the sparrow. Which was the whole point of this exercise. My companion and I had come to this place specifically to hear the unseen bird.

How to Know the Birds: No. 36, The Last Grasshopper Sparrow2020-06-17T08:14:09-04:00
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