Associate Editor, Birding magazine

Welcome to Birding Online! Here, all ABA members can access the extended online content from the August 2019 issue of Birding magazine. The complete issue, containing both print and online content, can be found at:

This issue contains the working draft of the ABA Code of Birding Ethics, 2.0. You’ll find the Code of Ethics on page 13. This new version of the code is familiar in many ways, but updated to reflect our constantly evolving world of birding. We want to hear your thoughts on this draft. You can submit comments at All comments must be received by Sept. 30, 2019.

On the topic of caring for birds, August’s cover features a species that humans have been able to help through intensive conservation efforts: American Oystercatchers. JoAnne Castagna’s feature article on page 56 details the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ project that has returned viable oystercatcher habitat to the New Jersey coast. This piece is an inspiring example of how we can help birds – and also a great excuse to look at photos of adorable oystercatcher chicks.

American Oystercatchers along the Atlantic Coast. Photo by © Sandra Paci.

Conservation plays a big part in the August issue. After you visit the coast of New Jersey with American Oystercatchers, take a trip to Brazil and read Andrew Jenner’s research on the impact of a new glass wall at the University of São Paulo. Jenner says, “It’s a simple fact: Wherever birds and glass mix, birds die.” So what can birders do to help? Read his piece, starting on page 42, to see how birders are making a difference. Then, take a trip to Hawaii to learn how native Hawaiian birds can benefit from renewed efforts to eliminate invasive mosquitoes. Chris Farmer and Brad Keitt delve into the world of mosquito elimination and bird protection, starting on page 50.

While you’re thinking about Hawaii, have you heard that the ABA is going to Hawaii this October? If you’re interested in joining the ABA crew on the islands for great birds, views, and sunshine, you can read more about the Hawaii Rally at

We return to the coast of the United States – but this time, the West coast – for Peter Pyle’s original research on the presupplemental molt of Sanderlings. Molt can be a challenging topic to master, but always a wonderful chance to learn something new. I find it helpful to compare Peter Pyle’s text with his numerous photographs of birds in the field, as well as museum specimens. Flip open to page 30 to enjoy these brand new observations about a bird that you may already know and love.

Of course, we can’t forget about the extended Book & Media Reviews. The abridged versions in your print issue are a sweet taste of the longer pieces written by our reviewers: Frank Izaguirre and Caitlin Kight. For August, Frank Izaguirre brings us his take on “Mrs. Moreau’s Warbler: How Birds Got Their Names,” by Stephen Moss. You can enjoy the extended version here in the online issue, and here on the ABA Blog. In her piece, Caitlin Kight highlights “A Sweet, Wild Note: What We Hear When the Birds Sing” by Richard Smyth. Please enjoy it here in the online issue, and here on the Blog.

Last but not least, this month’s Featured Photo is far from a little brown job. This is a vibrantly colored bird – but that doesn’t always mean it’s a snap judgement. Mary Gustafson invites us to test our oriole muscles. Offer your own ideas at the ABA Blog, and then read her analysis on page 64.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Hidalgo County, Texas; Mar. 9, 2011. Photo by © John Rosford.

We hope you enjoy this issue. I certainly did! Don’t forget to share your thoughts on the ABA Code of Ethics at Until we meet again, happy birding.