Birding Online: August 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 August 2022 issue of Birding magazine. The complete issue, containing both print and online content, can be found here.

On the cover: Black Rail photographed in Marin County, California. Photo by (c) Will Sweet.

On the cover, a Black Rail strolls in clear view. In the field, a view like this might take a lot of research, planning, and patience to successfully observe – but Heather Hill has some very helpful tips on how you can increase your chances of seeing a Black Rail. Click here to flip open to Heather’s Codebreakers piece.

Depending on where you are in the ABA Area, finding an Osprey is likely a bit easier than finding a rail. However, do you know how to tell one Osprey subspecies from another, or where they migrate to? Sharon Denise Scott has the scoop, which you can dive in to feet-first by clicking here.

At Birding, we’re typically in the business of guiding you to, teaching you about, and sharing the joy of birds that share this planet with us. In Rick Wright’s piece, you’ll find something a bit different: the story of a pigeon that never was. Click here to learn where the entirely fictional Carunculated Pigeon came from.

In 2022, the ABA’s Young Birder of the Year Mentoring Program enters its 25th year. As someone who participated in the program and had an amazing time, I can tell you the program is fantastic – but you don’t need me to tell you! Click here to hear Laura Gerard, the Young Birder Programs Coordinator, share what makes this program special, and how interested young birders can register for this year’s program.

We continue our celebration of the Bird of the Year by hearing from Julia Tchira, a sound ecologist composer who has composed numerous musical pieces inspired by birds, including Burrowing Owls. Click here to read Julia’s interview, where she explains how Burrowing Owls and other birds move her to create music, how she makes music, and what else she has in the works.

In addition, we have the regular Birding interview for you to enjoy; this time, with guide, educator, and conservationist Carlos Bethancourt. Any of you who have visited Panama’s Canopy Tower may already know Carlos, and those of us who haven’t visited get to learn of his work through this interview. Click here to flip open to the interview.

Kevin Loughlin brings us his Tools of the Trade by showing us what makes a particular lens so special: the Olympus M.Zuiko 150-400mm F4.5 TC 1.25x IS PRO. As Kevin says, “Holy freakin’ cow!” Click here to read what he has learned through using this lens, and to enjoy some of the fantastic images he has created with it.

We welcome Rebecca Minardi as the new Editor for the Book & Media Reviews. She is replacing Frank Izaguirre as the editor for this column, and Frank will remain one of the Birding Editors. Click here to flip to Rebecca’s biography, as well as to the extended reviews. This month, we have:

  • Lan-Nhi Phung reviewing “How Birds Evolve: What Science Reveals about Their Origin, Lives, and Diversity” by Douglas J. Futuyma
  • Alex Troutman reviewing “Bird Brother: A Falconer’s Journey and the Healing Power of Wildlife” by Rodney Stotts
  • Brandon Best reviewing “Magical Merlins” by Bruce A. Haak

We’ve just skimmed the surface here! Click through and find your own favorite pieces. We hope you enjoy the August issue! Until the next time, happy birding.