Birding Online: April 2022

Associate Editor, Birding magazine

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Welcome to Birding Online! Here, all ABA members can access the extended online content from the April 2022 issue of Birding magazine. The complete issue, containing both print and online content, can be found here.

The ABA is honored to announce the recipients of the 2021 ABA Lifetime Achievement Awards: J. Drew Lanham and Jen Brumfield. Click here to read about the awards, and the two remarkable recipients.

Distinguishing Scopoli’s Shearwaters from Cory’s Shearwaters is a challenge – and the topic of April’s Featured Photo discussion. Photo by (c) Kate Sutherland.

April’s cover features a gorgeous image of a shearwater in flight, and we’ll tell you it’s either Scopoli’s or Cory’s Shearwater. But how can you separate the two? This month’s Featured Photo covers exactly this topic. Click here to flip straight to Kate Sutherland’s explanations of how to discern these two very similar species.

Shearwaters are not the only pelagic species that you’ll enjoy in this issue. Jean Iron’s article on Thick-billed Murres spotlights the incredible migration that murre chicks undertake with their fathers in Arctic waters. Follow this link to read all about this amazing annual expedition – and to soak in the photographs of absolutely adorable murre chicks.

April’s Featured Articles span North and Mesoamerica, from the already-mentioned Thick-billed Murres of Nunavut, to Jesús Antonio Moo Yam’s stunning Avian Icons of Mesoamerica, Ann Nightingale’s explorations of Southern Vancouver & Northern Vancouver Island, and Andrea Florea & Vincent Giroux’s Burrowing Owls in Quebec.

As always, Nick Minor’s “Frontiers in Ornithology” introduces us to new research in the world of ornithology. The first study in the spotlight delves into the impacts of climate change on aerial insectivores. The second study explores how flight styles impact brain size relative to total body mass. Do birds that soar have larger brains than birds that require more effort to fly? Read on to see the details of these studies for yourself.

Don’t forget to read the extended Book & Media Reviews, featuring:

  • Caitlin Kight reviewing “Living as a Bird,” by Vinciane Despret and translated by Helen Morrison,
  • LeJay Graffious, reviewing “The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in West Virginia,” edited by Richard S. Bailey and Casey B. Rucker,
  • and Emily Simon, reviewing “The Nighthawk’s Evening: Notes of a Field Biologist,” by Gretchen N. Newberry.

If you have any milestones, favorite memories, or memorable encounters with Burrowing Owls, I would love to hear from you! I am always accepting stories for “Celebrations,” whether you saw a special lifer, finally encountered a nemesis bird, or just had a beautiful moment that you would like to share with other ABA members. Think outside of the box for what you would like to celebrate! You can submit any stories to me at The submissions should be between 50-150 words, and include: your name, your hometown, the date and location of your story, and any details that made the experience stand out. Photographs always welcome, never required.

Until next time, happy birding!