Welcome to Birding Online! Here, all ABA members can access the extended online content from the May 2021 issue of Birding magazine. The complete issue, containing both print and online content, can be found here:


Northern Mockingbird with winterberry holly and Atlas cedar. Photo by © Ashrith Kandula.

This issue’s cover is brought to us by Ashrith Kandula, a skilled photographer whose work has already been published in other Birding issues. Ashrith participated in last year’s Young Birder of the Year Mentoring Program, along with dozens of other talented young birders. A few of these birders are featured throughout the magazine. You can click to page 24 to read about the mentoring program and the mentors who make it all possible, and to soak in the work of John McPhie, Charlotte Clements, and Ashrith. Adrianna Nelson gets bit by the birding bug on page 38. And Ronan Nicholson brings us an online exclusive about the Sandhill Cranes of California’s Central Valley.

I was lucky enough to write this month’s “Birding Together,” about my own experiences as a young birder with the ABA. Speaking for myself, I can confidently say that participating in the ABA’s young birder mentoring program, conferences, and camps expanded my world. We hope that you will join us in encouraging & enriching more generations of young birders by supporting this year’s Nesting Appeal.

Once you have enjoyed these contributions from John, Charlotte, Ashrith, Adrianna, and Ronan, there is more content to explore! Our 2021 Bird of the Year, the Pileated Woodpecker, takes on a new form in the art of Lisa Hess. Lisa is a fiber artist who sculpts beloved bird species out of fabric, hand-twisted wire, and tenacity. Click here to read about her process in her own words.

The Phoebes, a women-led birding community, take us birding and share their stories in this month’s Birding interview. Click here to meet some of the founders and members of this energetic and passionate group.

COVID is still a fact of life that impacts all of us, and a few birders bring us their perspectives on pandemic birding in the last year. Adrianna Nelson, already mentioned above, opens up the “pandemic birding” series. Don Jewell regales us with tales of the birds that flock to the stand of Aralia spinosa in his yard. Rebecca Laroche describes falling in love with a box canyon in Colorado Springs that she could easily visit during shutdown. Beau Schafer finishes the quartet by sharing his experience doing a biking Big Year in 2020.

In this month’s issue of Book & Media Reviews:

  • Alex Troutman reviews “How Birds Work: An Illustrated Guide to the Wonders of Form and Function–from Bones To Beak” by Marianne Taylor
  • Donna L. Schulman reviews “Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder: A Memoir” by Julia Zarankin
  • Scott V. Edwards reviews the “Peterson Reference Guide to Bird Behavior” by John Kricher
  • Frank Izaguirre reviews “Flight Calls: Exploring Massachusetts through Birds” by John R. Nelson, and “Birder on Berry Lane: Three Acres, Twelve Months, Thousands of Birds” by Robert Tougias

As always, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We hope you enjoy this issue. Thank you again & again for your continued support of the ABA during this tumultuous year and a half that we have all been experiencing. Until we meet again, happy birding.