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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 Thursday for news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.
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Oct 21, 2021

The second half of 2021 has been an exciting half-year for the ABA, not least of which because we got to welcome two new colleagues. Katinka Domen and Laura Guerard are the Coordinators of our Travel and Events program and our Young Birder programs respectively. Both come to their positions having worked extensively in their field and with big ideas about how to make these two pillars of American Birding Association bigger, better, and more fun for birders of every age and station. We're excited to introduce them to you. 

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

Oct 14, 2021

There's no place on Earth like Colombia. One of the world's only "megadiverse" nations, Colombia boasts friendly people, stunning landscapes, and absolutely mind-blowing birds. Join host Nate Swick and Colombian birders Diego Calderón (The Birders Show) and Eliana Ardila (Birding by Bus) as we travel through the Colombian Central Andes and explore what makes this place so amazing for birders, and how nature tourism is making a positive impact on the lives of so many people there. 

Check out some of the birds we talk about here!

Thanks to Diego, Eliana, Roger Rodriguez, Nature Colombia, ProColombia, Dale Forbes, and Swarovski Optik with their new NL Pure binoculars

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Oct 7, 2021

When Jonathan Slaght’s Owls of the Eastern Ice came out last year, it was met with high praise. Slaght’s search for the enigmatic Blakiston’s Fish-Owl is a part of natural history, part adventure, and part character study set in a part of the world that very few of us know at all, except, perhaps, as the place many of our rare birds come from. It is out now in paperback, and Slaght joins host Nate Swick to talk about owls, writing, and conservation work in the Russian Far East.

Also, Nate considers the official extinction of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

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

Sep 30, 2021

It's the last episode of September 2021, and to add to this fall birding bounty comes a super panel featuring Birds Canada's Jody Allair, the Finch Research Network's Ryan Mandelbaum, and Jordan Rutter of the American Birding Conservancy. We're excited to chat about this winter's finch forecast, cutthroat birding, and some analysis of the Covid pandemic pause on birds in urban areas.

Links to topics discussed this month:

Last Week Tonight satirizes the Duck Stamp Contest (language warning)

Birding is a Cutthroat Test of Skill, Strategy, and Endurance

The 2021-22 Winter Finch Forecast is out!

Birders on their (Expensive) Habit

Lockdowns are for the birds

Peru adds Marvelous Spatuletail to 100 soles denomination

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Sep 23, 2021

Birding editor Ted Floyd returns to join host Nate Swick in another round of "Random Birds", the most fun you can have with a bird list and a random number generator. Ted and Nate talk mergansers, bluebirds, nighthawks, and more as they continue their journey through the combined list of the birds of North Carolina and Colorado. 

Plus, Short-tailed Albatross stunts provide an opportunity to talk about birding ethics

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Sep 16, 2021

Few birders in North American have taken on the mantle of urban birding like Ohio native J.B Brumfield. Their Cuyahoga County big years are the stuff of legend, not only for their high totals but for the passion they throw into birding their hometown of Cleveland and getting others excited about the birdlife and birding opportunities there. Chicago native Greg Neise has his own long history birding in urban areas, and steps in to talk to J.B. about Big Years, favorite local patches, and what to love about birding in the city.

Birding editor Ted Floyd shares a commentary about his favorite urban bird.

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Sep 9, 2021

What can we learn from one of the most familiar birds in North America? A bird so well-known that it’s migration is remarked upon by friends and colleagues who might otherwise have no knowledge about birds at all. The American Robin, of course, is ubiquitous but there is a lot left to learn. That is, in part, the work of Emily Williams, an avian ecologist at Georgetown University, currently studying the migration ecology of American Robins. She joins us to talk about what we don't know about a bird everyone knows.

Plus, a Pileated Woodpecker story from Nancy Archer of Richmond, Virginia, and the great conservation question comes to National Geographic.

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Sep 2, 2021

The time of year for messy birds is here. It’s molt season, and nearly every bird you encounter in the late summer and fall is replacing something. Even though we are familiar with molt in theory, it’s still a confusing and intimidating process for many birders in practice. Dani Kaschube is the MAPS coordinator and bird banding guru for the Institute for Bird Populations. She has taught banders the ins and outs of molt for decades and she joins us to demystify molt, or at least make our best effort to do so. 

Also, Greg Neise talks to Jason Martinucci of Mendelein, Illinois about his visiting Violetear and what it's like when the rare bird circus comes to town. 

Plus, female hummingbirds in the tropics that look like males to avoid being harassed

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

Aug 26, 2021

It’s the last week of August and that means it’s time for This Month in Birding featuring a panel containing some folks familiar to those who are keeping up with the growing birding podcast scene. It's a fun group with some birdosphere podcast crossover energy.  Mollee Brown from The Birding Co-op and the Life List podcast, Andrés Jiménez of Birds Canada's new podcast The Warblers, and our old friend Nick Lund, The Birdist, join host Nate Swick to talk about birding ethics, trash parrots, fur thieves, and whether we have saved a bird. 

Links to topics discussed this month:

Is birding a lifestyle or a hobby?

Trash Parrots open garbage cans in Australia

Birds stealing hair from unwitting mammals

Farewell to Barry the Barred Owl

Kendall Jenner and Khloe Kardashian save a bird

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Aug 19, 2021

How would you describe summer birding? Hot? Humid? Buggy? Unbearable? For many birders it has always been the least exciting and most taxing season for getting in the field, but there's a lot to be excited about for those who make the effort.  ABA colleagues Jennie Duberstein and Greg Neise join host Nate Swick to talk about what excites them about the season, from molt to shorebirds to birding camp, and how to be prepared to handle the difficulties. Special granola bars for everyone!

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

Aug 12, 2021

Parrots and parakeets are among the most spectacular and diverse birds on the planet, but also among the most adaptable. Urban parrots have made their way into dozens of places around the world and in many cities are a regular feature of city and suburban landscapes. The many ways that dynamic manifests is the subject of a new book, Naturalized Parrots of the World: Distribution, Ecology, and Impacts of the World’s Most Colorful Colonizers, edited by Dr Stephen Pruett-Jones who joins Nate Swick to talk parrots of all kinds. 

Also, Ed Yong has some fascinating things to say about how birds taste the world

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

Aug 5, 2021

The Hawaiian Island of Kaua'i is known as the Garden Isle for its lush scenery and dramatic landscapes, but that beauty hides worrying biodiversity loss and an uncertain future for the island’s native birds. Decline driven primarily by mosquito borne avian malaria have decimated populations of Hawaii's honeycreepers, but there is some hope in the form of an effort to control mosquito populations that was recently approved for use in Hawaii. Dr. Lisa Crampton is the Project Leader of the Kaua'i Forest Bird Recovery Project and  she has been in the middle of a lot of conservation and research efforts around these birds. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about the ups and downs of working with species on the brink. 

Also, a fantastic story of a long thought dead Kiwikiu (Maui Parrotbill) that shows the resilience of Hawaiian birds

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

Jul 29, 2021

The last episode of the month means This Month in Birding, with a panel of Orietta Estrada, Gabriel Foley, and Mikko Jimenez. We have some interesting topics to chat about this week including that mystery bird illness and a possible connection to cicadas, a historical perspective on bird names in a major ornithological journal, how bird science is furthered by indigenous languages, Piping Plover movies and birds in the Olympics.

Also, want to win some stuff from the ABA? Get information here!

Links to topics discussed include:

Thoughts on the mystery bird illness in the east.

The Ibis paper on redressing common bird names

Local Legends About Birds Help to Preserve Language and Culture

Monty and Rose Documentary to Debut on Labor Day in Chicago

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

Photo Credit for Jimenez: Claudine Williams
Jul 22, 2021

Birding editor Ted Floyd joins host Nate Swick to once again chat about recent birding experiences in eBird Annotated. This time Ted and Nate have been on the road, birding in places that meant something to them in the past. For Ted, this is Pittsburgh's Frick Park, and for Nate, Sannibel Island in south Florida. 

As promised, enjoy their eBird checklists yourself!

From Pennsylvania

https://ebird.org/checklist/S91550753

https://ebird.org/checklist/S91550757

https://ebird.org/checklist/S91496800

https://ebird.org/checklist/S91565994

From Florida:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S91433356

https://ebird.org/checklist/S91461785

https://ebird.org/checklist/S91229868

Plus, Nate is happy to report that the Duck Stamp will no longer require a hunting element

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

Jul 15, 2021

We at the ABA are big fans of the growing birding podcast scene and one of the more interesting ones out now is Your Bird Story, which focuses on everyday people’s experiences with birds in cities. The host of Your Bird Story, Dr. Georgia Silvera Seamans, is, among other things, the director of Washington Square Park Eco Projects, an urban and community forester, and of one the co-organizers of Black Botanists Week. She joins us to talk about collecting bird stories from everyone and the importance of wild places in urban spaces. 

Also, Nate is back from Florida wowed by Swallow-tailed Kites and Pileated Woodpeckers. 

Help support the ABA and the American Birding Podcast by contributing to our Nesting Season Appeal.

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

Jul 8, 2021

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 host Nate Swick to share some stories from his new book and thoughts on what it could mean for birding to have such a high-profile advocate. This interview originally ran on June 29, 2017. 

Also, Birding editor Ted Floyd shares a commentary about the magic of birding in the mundaneness of regular life. This commentary originally ran on September 7, 2017. 

Help support the ABA and the American Birding Podcast by contributing to our Nesting Season Appeal.

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

Jul 1, 2021

It's Canada Day and this week sees an all Canada special episode of the American Birding Podcast, a tip of the cap to our friends in the northern part of the ABA Area. The Canada panel consists of some birders from across the country and features voices that podcast regulars probably recognize. 

From St, John’s, Newfoundland, we welcome Bird the Rock’s Jared Clarke. From Drumheller, Alberta (by way of Ontario) is 
Birds Canada's Jody Allair. And from Richmond, British Columbia, it's wildlife biologist and keeper of the BC Rare Bird Alert, Melissa Hafting. We talk about the amazing birding opportunities found across the country and the special conservation issues unique to Canada. 

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

Jun 24, 2021

For June, the The Month in Birding Panel consists of Mo Stych of Bird Sh*t Podcast, Brodie Cass Talbott of Portland Audubon, and newcomer Joanna Wu of Audubon. The panel chats about Black Birders Week, bird habitat as climate sinks, and the many amazing uses of googly eyes. 

Links to items discussed:

The second year of Black Birders Week (05:03)

Floating Googly Eyes Scare Birds Away from Nets (10:35)

Bird Habitats are Climate Sinks (16:35)

Birds Respond More Aggressively in Multi-species Groups (28:25)

Herpers Move Away from Cute Names, Birders Lean in (39:46)

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

Jun 17, 2021

It’s time for the American Birding Podcast Birding Book Club and host Nate Swick welcomes bird media reviewers Frank Izaguirre from the ABA’s Birding magazine and Donna Schulman from the website 10,000 Birds to finally tackle birding's great contribution to world literature, the field guide. We start with guides to Mexico and Central America, popular destinations for US and Canada birders and a great place to begin the discussion about what makes a good field guide and who and what field guides are for.

Help support the ABA and the American Birding Podcast by contributing to our Nesting Season Appeal.

For the list of books we discuss, check out the ABA Podcast home page!

Jun 10, 2021

Early summer means that it’s time to talk taxonomy, and that means Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. For the last several years, Nick is person we like to talk to when it comes to reading the tea-leaves of the American Ornithological Society’s North America Classification Committee. We chat storm-petrels, bunting lumps, and the curious case of the Swainson's Thrushes.

Also, there's no better time to sign up to run your own Breeding Bird Survey route!

Help support the ABA and the American Birding Podcast by contributing to our Nesting Season Appeal.

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

Jun 3, 2021

One of the dreams of the "internet of nature" was a device that birders could put in their yard that picks up GPS fitted and tracked wildlife, and maybe even identifies them when they pass over your home. That device is here and it is called Terra. Mike Lanzone of Cellular Tracking Technologies and birder and writer Scott Whittle, are the creators of this magic device. They both join me to talk about what it can do, and how it will change migration monitoring forever. 

If you want to contribute to their kickstarter, here's the link

Also, do you have birding enemies? Billy Baker of the Boston Globe thinks he does and Nate has thoughts. 

Help support the ABA and the American Birding Podcast by contributing to our Nesting Season Appeal

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

May 27, 2021

Sean Milnes, Jordan Rutter, and Purbita Saha join the May 2021 This Month in Birding panel to talk about some of the most important bird and birding related news items of the month.

Links to items discussed:

Female Bird Day (6:56)

Colombia boycotts the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Global Big Day (8:52)

AOS moves forward on changing English bird names (17:25)

The period cicada's Brood X is here and impacting birds (24:15)

Chicago releases feral cats into the city (33:40)

Estimates of bird populations mean there are 6 wild birds per human (42:35)

And don't forget that Black Birders Week is next week!

Thanks to Field Guides for sponsoring this episode. Check out their new video series, Out Birding with Field Guides.

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

May 20, 2021

In the United States, we’re over 100 days into a new administration and five months into a new Congress, and our elected officials have been busy with some interesting environmental policies and legislation in that time. Interestingly, many of them impact birds. To chat about it, we bring back to the podcast, Tykee James, host of the On Word for Wildlife podcast from the Wildlife Observer Network. Tykee lays out what birders should be paying attention to, and talks about his new project, Freedom Birders

Plus, another Pileated Woodpecker story from Christy Esmahan in Austin, Texas, and a wild Wall Street Journal article about threatening Bald Eagles

Thanks to Field Guides for sponsoring this episode. Check out their new video series, Out Birding with Field Guides.

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

May 13, 2021

Birding editor Ted Floyd is back to play a new birder game we're calling "Random Birds". Host Nate Swick has a list of birds and a random number generator and is ready to chat about whatever bird pops up. Nate and Ted chat about Snow Geese, Red Knots, Bobolinks, Blue Grosbeaks and more. 

Also, some birds in the news! California Condors and Vaux's Swifts invading homes in California. 

Thanks to Field Guides for sponsoring this episode. Check out their new video series, Out Birding with Field Guides.

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

May 6, 2021

Hummingbirds, perhaps more than any other bird family in the world, seem to elicit a strange sort of mania, and this seems to have been true for as long as human beings have been aware of them. Writer Jon Dunn is one of the obsessed, and his new book The Glitter in the Green - In Search of Hummingbirds is part history, part travelogue, and part quest to see as many of the world’s hummingbirds as possible, including some of the most iconic species on Earth.

Also, another Pileated Woodpecker story from Lerena in Toronto, Ontario and Nate sings the praise of fantasy birding in spring. 

Thanks to Field Guides for sponsoring this episode. Check out their new video series, Out Birding with Field Guides.

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

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