Associate Editor, Birding magazine

Welcome to Birding Online! From this page, all ABA members can access the extended online content from the April 2018 issue of Birding magazine. The complete issue, containing both print and online content, can be found at:

The April cover is a real stunner (I mean, it always is, but this one is truly special). Rafael Gálvez graces the cover with his painting “Tidal Flats at Snake Bight, Everglades,” a landscape packed with Black Skimmers, Great Egrets, American White Pelicans, and plenty more. You could probably turn even the cover into a fun identification challenge! To learn more about Rafael Gálvez, his advice for young birders of color, and why birders should keep field notebooks, you can read his Birding interview on page 20.

This issue, we have a very special call to action from high school ornithology teacher Jeff R. Manker. Have you heard of a high school ornithology class before? No? Well, if you want to learn more about how such a class would work, and why Jeff R. Manker says “I believe high school ornithology can save the world,” you can click here to read his commentary. To talk about myself for a second, I was lucky enough to take a Zoology & Botany course in my sophomore year of high school, and I still think about how fun and inspiring that class was, seven years later. I completely agree that taking high school students outside and helping them get up close and personal with nature can be absolutely transformative. I have nothing but respect for any teacher who takes the time to help inspire their students about nature. Here’s a quick little shout-out to every teacher that takes their kids outside: thank you. And if you aren’t a teacher, take a few minutes to read Jeff Manker’s commentary and learn about why these efforts are so important!

As always, “News & Notes” and the “Book Reviews” offer more to explore online. After you’ve enjoyed reading Paul Hess’ updates on shearwater olfaction and flicker coloration, you can click here to read “The Iiwi: Fit for a great chief, and fit for a great captain.” Then, you can flip to the Book Reviews!

Click here to flip straight to the Book Reviews in the online issue. In this issue, Elizabeth J. Rosenthal reviews Gregory Nobles’ biography, John James Audubon: The Nature of the American Woodsman. You can also  click here to read it on the ABA Blog. Sanford Sorkin reviews Jennifer Ackerman’s exploration of how birds interact with and learn from the world, The Genius of Birds. You can click here for the ABA Blog. Finally, Lori Potter reviews Birds of Prey: Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, and Vultures of North America from Pete Dunne and Kevin T. Karlson. Lori Potter describes this book as landing “somewhere between the coffee table and the classroom.” To read more, you can also click here for the ABA Blog.

Okay, we’ve been reading a lot: who is ready for a trickier challenge to get our minds working? This month’s Photo Quiz is a “confusing fall warbler” that takes confusing fall warblers to the next level. The photo from Haynes Miller is below. Once you’ve given it a try yourself, you can read Haynes Miller’s analysis in the issue by clicking here. Or, you can join the conversation on the ABA Blog! Whether you know the answer at first glance or not (I sure don’t!), you are always welcome to chat with us and learn with us.

October 4, 2017. Nahanton Park, Newton, Massachusetts. Photo by © Haynes Miller.

I always learn something new from every issue. I know some birders are quite skilled in reading weather patterns and predicting their effects on birds – but if you’re like me and don’t know too much on the topic, we’re in luck! Jason A. Crotty brings us a fascinating analysis of what happens to the birds after huge weather events like the recent slew of hurricanes that hit the Caribbean. You can read it in the issue by clicking here. And then, when you’re ready to learn more, you can read an interview on the ABA Blog by Jason Crotty with Dr. Joseph Wunderle about the impacts of Hurricane Maria. This is an important chance for all of us to learn more about the wellbeing of both the people and the wildlife of Puerto Rico.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick little rundown of the goodies in our April issue. There’s plenty more where that came from! Click here to read the Table of Contents and explore the issue for yourself. What’s your favorite part? Happy reading, and happy birding!