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American Birding Podcast

The American Birding Podcast brings together staff and friends of the American Birding Association as we talk about birds, birding, travel and conservation in North America and beyond. Join host Nate Swick every other Thursday for news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.
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Nov 16, 2017

Before 2015, a 365 day round the world Big Year had never been attempted. The playing field was intimidating, the perceived cost was daunting, and the logistics were demanding. But in 2015 Noah Strycker tossed all that aside, tackling an ambitious year of birding that took him to all 7 continents and saw him finish with a list of over 6,000 species - well more than half of the world’s species - and an amazing collection of experiences and stories. His recently published memoir detailing his exceptional year is called Birding without Borders: An Obsession, A Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World. In this episode, Noah joins host Nate Swick to talk about his big year, his book, and what he learned at the end of it all.

Also, Birding editor Ted Floyd and webmaster Greg Neise are back to talk about winter finches, specifically crossbills. This winter looks like it is going to be a good one for the fascinating little finches.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Nov 2, 2017

The 2017 Hurricane season was notable for the scale of the tropical storms involved and the destruction they caused not only where they made landfall in the United States, but also the islands in the Caribbean that they passed over. Alvaro Jaramillo of Alvaro’s Adventures joins host Nate Swick to talk about it. He's spent time on all these islands and has a lot of insight on the birds there and the unique conservation challenges they face in the wake of these storms.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Oct 19, 2017

When birders think about the Farm Bill they might be forgiven for thinking immediately about corn and soybeans. But the Farm Bill is more than an agricultural omnibus, it also funds projects that provide important habitat for more than 100 species of birds and is the largest source of funding for habitat conservation on private lands. Amanda Rodewald of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology joins host Nate Swick to talk about this most recent State of the Birds report, which features the Farm Bill, and all that it does for birds.

Also, ABA President Jeff Gordon responds to conversation about Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and what the "ABA Area" really means. You can find that conversation here, and the Birds Caribbean GoFundMe started by our friends at Wildside Nature Tour here. 

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Oct 5, 2017

There is arguably no technological shift that has changed birding more in the last decade or so than the proliferation of cameras. Taking photos and sharing photos has become synonymous with birding for many and it’s hard to remember time now when that wasn’t the case. In this episode, host Nate Swick talks broadly about photography in the birding world with a couple American Birding Podcast regulars, webmaster Greg Neise and Birding magazine editor Ted Floyd. We discuss records committees, social media, and whether this change is good for birding on the whole.

Also, birds and bird conservationists in the Caribbean are hurting following the passage of two major hurricanes. Our friends at Wildside Nature Tours give you an opportunity to help.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Sep 21, 2017

There's more to a successful bird tour than just pointing out the birds, from logistics to managing personalities, a bird tour guide has to be part ornithologist and part psychologist. Rockjumper Birding's George Armistead has led bird tours on all seven continents and has a lot to say on the subject, and he joins host Nate Swick to talk tour tips, places he loves to take birders, and much more.

Also, the new Duck Stamp art for 2018 is out, but Nate argues that the subject leaves a little to be desired. Plus a whole host of rare birds on opposite ends of the continent.

Resources referenced in this episode include The ABA Blog Hurricane Irma round-up.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Sep 7, 2017

Later this month, birders and tour operators from across the globe will converge on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the 3rd American Birding Expo. This "World of Birding in One Place" is the brainchild of Bill Thompson III, editor of Birdwatcher's Digest, author, podcaster, and pied piper of the North American birding community. Bill joins host Nate Swick to talk about the upcoming expo, the bird festival landscape in North America, and what birders attending the event can expect, up to and including zombies (not kidding).

Plus, Nate talks birding big storms and the hurricane paradox, and Birding editor Ted Floyd shares a commentary about the magic of birding in the mundaneness of normal life.

Resources referenced in this episode include Houston Audubon and Ted Floyd's essay on The ABA Blog.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Aug 24, 2017

Rails are a mysterious and enigmatic family, often requiring and rewarding effort. Researcher Auriel Fournier knows that more than most, and her work with rails in Missouri has shed some light on how these birds migrate and how they use the landscape when they do. Auriel joins me to talk Rallidae and STEM outreach for women.

Also, Greg Neise and Birding editor Ted Floyd are back to discuss the much-maligned House Sparrow. Or, at least, to discuss their remarkable molt.

Some other things mentioned in this episode include ABA President Jeff Gordon's Facebook Live posts from the Protect Santa Ana Protest March, and the Dead Birds Facebook group.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Aug 10, 2017

The 2017 American Ornithological Society Check-list Supplement was notable for the taxonomic decisions that were not made as much as those that were. Yellow-rumped Warbler and Willet were not split, but Cassia Crossbill was. We also saw the unprecedented lump of Thayer's Gull into the holarctic Iceland Gull. Biologist Nick Block returns along with Birder's Guide editor Michael Retter to discuss the changes made and the AOS's process.

Also, we hear from Laura Erickson, author of the new ABA Field Guide to Birds of Minnesota, about writing the book and some of her favorite experiences birding in that part of the world. And Nate has a little something to say about the rise of millennial birders via this Maclean's article

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jul 27, 2017

A changing climate means a different world for many bird species, particularly seabirds which may find themselves exploring new paths over the top of a melting Arctic. Ocean Researcher Seabird McKeon joins host Nate Swick to talk about one part of the massive global experiment we inadvertently find ourselves in, and what it could mean for birders in either ocean.

Also, Nate discusses the troubling news about a the plans for a border wall on Santa Ana NWR in south Texas. Birders have an opportunity to make their voices heard on this issue, and the ABA provides some guidance. We've also love to hear your #MySantaAna stories, tell us about your experiences in this special place

Thanks to Global Rescue for supporting this episode of American Birding Podcast. Global Rescue is the ABA's official emergency medial and evacuation provider. When ABA members purchase a Global Rescue membership, a portion of the proceeds go to support ABA conservation and community programs.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jul 13, 2017

Birders have always been great at taking advantage of technological tools to pass on birding information. The birding community has made especially good use of Facebook, and the internet giant has taken note. The ABA was received as a guest at the 1st Facebook Communities Summit to talk about two of our more vibrant groups, ABA Rare Bird Alert and What's This Bird. Jeff Gordon, Greg Neise, and Liz Gordon join host Nate Swick to talk about their experiences, and why it is that birders are so adept at social media.

And be sure to read Jeff's post on The ABA Blog about his experience, it was really cool that birders and the birding community played such a large role in the event.

Nate talks briefly about the recent split and lump news, you can read Birder's Guide editor Michael Retter's comprehensive run down of all the taxonomic changes.

Thanks again to Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Tours for sponsoring this episode and ABA Events, and to Samson Technologies for providing equipment used on the podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

 

Jun 29, 2017

In demand actor, 7 time winner of the Teen Choice Award, and avid birder?

Ian Harding is best known for his work on the Freeform network's teen-drama Pretty Little Liars, but in his new memoir Odd Birds he talks about how birds and birding have provided him with opportunities to find peace and focus in a life in the public eye. Ian joins me to share some stories from his new book and thoughts on what it could mean for birding to have such a high-profile advocate. I think listeners are really going to enjoy this one.

Don’t forget to help support young birders through the ABA’s Nesting Season Appeal!

Thanks to Samson Technologies for providing support for this podcast!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jun 15, 2017

The ABA has a long history of supporting young birders through our Young Birder of the Year competitions and the young birder camps in Colorado and Delaware, programs that have had real positive impacts on the young people who participate in them. Host Nate Swick talks with four young birders--Cayenne Sweeney, Bailey Eichhorn, Diego Blanco and Johanna Beam--about their experiences. They share what it means to participate in these programs, and what the birding community can do to support them.

Also, Nate wraps up his, er, interesting spring.

Thanks to Rockjumper Birding Tours for supporting the podcast!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jun 1, 2017

Mike Parr is the new president of the American Bird Conservancy, one of the premier bird conservation organizations in the Americas. ABC has done a great deal of work supporting bird conservation initiatives in Hawaii, the archipelago often referred to as the "Bird Extinction Capital of the World". Mike joins host Nate Swick to talk about ABC's projects, what birders and the ABA can do to help support these efforts, and why he believes that there is absolutely reason to hope that Hawaiian birds can recover.

Also, Hawaii birder Lance Tanino joins Nate to talk about just how you are supposed to pronounce the names of those native Hawaiian birds.

Thanks to Rockjumper Birding Tours for supporting the podcast!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

May 18, 2017

The ABA was once again excited to have a presence at The Biggest Week in American Birding in northwest Ohio in 2017. At this year's festival, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt editor Lisa White and ABA President Jeffrey Gordon hosted a keynote panel featuring contributors to the new book Good Birders Still Don't Wear White. Hear highlights from that engaging discussion featuring host Nate Swick, artist Catherine Hamilton, author and recordist Tom Stephenson, editor Chuck Hagner, Big Year birder Greg Miller, and Panamanian bird guide Carlos Bethancourt as they discuss what it is about birding that they find most fascinating.  

Thanks to Samson Technologies for providing support for this podcast!

May 4, 2017

Bird Studies Canada is the premier bird conservation organization in Canada, and their annual Great Canadian Birdathon is a the world's oldest sponsored bird race. It's a great way for Canadian birders to support conservation work across the country. Researcher and educator Jody Allair of Bird Studies Canada joins Nate Swick to talk about BSC and the Great Canadian Birdathon, and the conservation priorities in the northern part of the ABA Area.

Also, Nate heads out to search for a Yellow Rail in the marshes of North Carolina, and the ABA is heading to The Biggest Week in American Birding. We hope to see you there!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Apr 20, 2017

Every year, birders look forward to the check-list supplement from the American Ornithological Society (formerly the American Ornithologist's Union), and this year is no exception. In fact, 2017 offers a bounty of potential splits for your armchair ticks, as well as some very compelling lumps. In this episode, Nate Swick breaks down some of those taxonomic decision with Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College and member of the ABA's Recording Standards and Ethics Committee, talking Yellow-rumped Warblers, redpolls, willets and more!

And Greg Neise and Ted Floyd return with guest and gull expert Amar Ayyash to talk about one of the most fascinating proposals in this year's batch, the lump of Thayer's and Iceland Gulls. Clines and hybrid swarms are on the agenda!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a review if you are so inclined! It definitely helps people find us.

Apr 6, 2017

The Biggest Week in American Birding is one of the biggest birding events on the calendar, and a wonderful opportunity for birders to make a difference while enjoying the best spring birding on the continent. Biggest Week creator Kim Kaufman joins Nate to talk about this year's event and the conservation ethos that inspired it.

Also, the ABA remembers Chandler Robbins, author of the Golden Guide, creator of the Breeding Bird Survey, and one of the most influential and beloved birders and ornithologists in North American birding history. Be sure to read Birding editor Ted Floyd's remembrance, and the interview with Chan published in 2014.

Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for supporting this episode. Their Spring Promotion ends on April 10, 2017!

Mar 23, 2017

Nathan Pieplow's new Field Guide is a departure from the traditional book of bird images. It depicts images of bird sounds as spectrograms, showcasing the diversity of vocalizations in North America. Nathan joins Nate Swick to talk about his new book, the Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America, and the need for birders to establish a common vocabulary for bird sounds.

Also Greg Neise and Ted Floyd check back in during the waning days of winter to talk snowbird diversity. Juncos are one of the most fascinating groups of birds on the continent and now is a great time to appreciate them.

Plus, the ABA is excited about the new book Good Birders Still Don't Wear WhiteJoin now and you could win a copy!

If you are interested in sponsoring an episode of this podcast, and reaching the thousands of birders who listen to is, please be in touch with John Lowry at jlowry@aba.org

Mar 9, 2017

Bird-trapping and shooting are huge problems around the Mediterranean, which prompted Israeli birder Jonathan Meyrav to create the Champions of the Flyway, a 24 hour bird race in Eilat, Israel, that raises money and awareness to combat the threats to migratory birds in Europe and Africa. He joins host Nate Swick to talk about Champions, and the great work they they are helping to fund. 

Also, we talk about birding awards, from Piper's win at the Oscars, to ABA Awards and Young Birders of the Year, and John Lowry and ABA President Jeff Gordon discuss an innovative new product from Swarovski.

Thanks to Global Rescue, the ABA's official emergency evacuation provider, for sponsoring this episode

Feb 23, 2017

Master bird recordist Lang Elliott joins Nate Swick to talk about his new project, a sound-recording expedition to the western US.  Lang hopes to record in a wide variety of locations and habitats, and he's documenting his journey on his website, Music of Nature, and sharing his recordings in a new podcast he has launched.

Also, ABA president Jeff Gordon checks in, reporting from eastern Pennsylvania where a Black-backed Oriole has been attracting birders from all over to a nondescript neighborhood outside of Philadelphia full of people who had a front row seat to a real birding phenomenon.

Plus, owl baiting and recent Rare Bird news!

Thanks to Naturalist Journeys for sponsoring this episode!

Feb 9, 2017

With the ambitious and impressive Merlin app, Cornell Lab of Ornithology will identify your mystery bird photos! Project Manager Drew Weber joins Nate Swick to talk about how it works and what kind of applications this program has for every birder and birdwatcher.

Plus we discuss potential ornithological taxonomic changes coming down the pike, and Nate shares your Ruddy Turnstone stories as we continue to celebrate the 2017 Bird of the Year.

Thanks to Song Bird Coffee for sponsoring this episode! Song Bird Coffee is the gold-standard for shade-grown, environmentally friendly coffee.

Jan 26, 2017

2016 was an exceptional year for ABA Area Big Year birders, with four individuals all breaking the record in one year! Nate Swick talks with all four - Christian Hagenlocher, Laura Keene, Olaf Danielson, and John Weigel - about their experiences and insights in a jam-packed episode.  Nate also has a conversation with previous record-holder Neil Hayward, whose book, Lost Among the Birds, was published in 2016.

Thanks to Naturalist Journeys for sponsoring this episode!

Jan 12, 2017

Welcome Ruddy Turnstone, 2017 ABA Bird of the Year! Nate Swick has a conversation with scientist, author, and 2017 BOY artist Sophie Webb (www.sophiewebb.com) whose image of Ruddy Turnstones will be featured on the cover of the February 2017 issue of Birding magazine. We discuss turnstones, art, and what she looks for in her role as a Young Birder of the Year judge.

We also want to hear your Ruddy Turnstone stories! One of the wonderful things about this bird is that you can find them when you're birding just about anywhere in the world, as Nate Swick recently discovered. He shares the story.

Share your Ruddy Turnstone stories with us! We'd love to hear them!

Dec 29, 2016

Merry Christmas Bird Count Season, and congratulations to Canada for their new national bird, Gray Jay, and the birdy headlines it spawned.

Then it's good-bye to 2016 with Scott Somershoe, a bird researcher with USFWS, who joins Nate Swick to talk about the work he does with the ABA's 2016 Bird of the Year Chestnut-collared Longspur and other prairie species.

Last, Greg Neise and Ted Floyd discuss identification of white-cheeked geese, and share tips that might help you on your next Christmas Bird Count.

Dec 14, 2016

Laura Kammermeier of Nature Travel Network joins us to talk about birding travel, what birders want when they head abroad, and how traveling for birds helps establish ecotourism and conservation initiatives around the world.

Nate Swick offers a commentary on a cool birding tourism initiative in Colombia.

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