The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas is one of the most special places in the ABA Area for birders and naturalists, hosting some exceptional species and some iconic birding locations. It’s why so many birders have watched the politics around the proposed construction of a border wall in the Valley so closely and why we, along with many other stakeholders, have mobilized to protect those places. One of those on the forefront has been Tiffany Kersten, a biologist, educator, and board member of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor. Her article "Walling Off Wildlife" was published last year in the Birder’s Guide to Conservation and Community. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about birding around a border wall, and the current state of affairs in South Texas.
Also, a eulogy for a Great Black Hawk. The song by Troy R. Bennett that plays at the end can be found here.
Multimedia bird artist Megan Massa is the latest artist to create the Bird of the Year cover art, an auspicious list that includes David Sibley, Julie Zickefoose, and Louise Zemaitis, among others. Her experiences have run the gamut from the hobby side of birding to birds research to art and her creation, a Red-billed Tropicbird soaring over a boat full of birders will be featured on the cover of the February 2019 issue of Birding magazine. It's the first Bird of the Year work to exist completely in a digital realm, a fascinating process that allowed Megan to add some cool artistic easter eggs. She joins host Nate Swick to talk bird art, research, and the needs of college-aged birders.
Plus, a good-bye to the Iiwi, a bird that asked all of us to learn a little more about Hawaiian native birds.
Thanks to the Space Coast Birding Festival for sponsoring this episode. We'll be there! Will you?