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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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Now displaying: 2020
Jun 25, 2020

It's This Month in Birding, a panel discussion covering the best bird news we might have missed here at the ABP for the last month.

This episode features a panel of science writers and birders, Ryan Mandelbaum of IBM and Gizmodo, Purbita Saha of Popular Science and The Birdist Nick Lund! We cover Black Birders Week, Female Bird Day, murder loons, politics that birders needs to watch out for, and everybody's hottest bird takes.

Links to topics discussed:

Black Birders Week

Female Bird Day

Hooded Warbler Females take on nesting themselves

A loon murders an eagle?

Trump to override NEPA

Reinterpretation of Waters of the US 

Great American Outdoors Act passes the Senate

Donate the ABA's Nesting Season Appeal!

Jun 18, 2020

Following birder Christian Cooper’s encounter with a racist white woman in Central Park on Memorial Day, a group of Black birders and naturalists created #BlackBirdersWeek, an online event to celebrate Black naturalists and scientists and to draw attention to the unique issues birding can pose to Black people. Co-organizers Corina Newsome and Tykee James join host Nate Swick to talk about what the week meant to them, and where we need to go from here.

Corina Newsome is an ornithology graduate student at Georgia Southern University and Tykee James is the government affairs coordinator for National Audubon, and the host of the podcast On Word for Wildlife.

Also, Nate looks at problematic honorific bird names and offers a way forward.

ABA members are eligible for a 15% discount to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds of the World subscription. Log into your ABA account to get the code.

Sorry for the technical difficulties earlier today. This one should work. 

Jun 11, 2020

It’s split and lump season again. And that means Dr. Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts and Secretary of the ABA’s Recording Standards and Ethics Committee, is back on the podcast. He joins host Nate Swick  to talk Northwestern Crow, Great White Heron, messy duck genetics, and scrub-less jays. 

#BlackBirdersWeek was last week! Don't miss the Birding while Black panels. Session 1 and Session 2 can be found on Facebook. 

ABA members are eligible for a 15% discount to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds of the World subscription. Log into your ABA account to get the code.

Jun 4, 2020

David Sibley hardly needs an introduction to the ABA’s audience. He is the author and illustrator of what is the most popular field guide in North America, and the one simply known by his name - The Sibley Guide, now in its second edition. David has a new book out earlier this year, What It’s Like to Be a Bird: What Birds are doing and Why – from Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing. It is a look at the fascinating behaviors and lives of our familiar birds, and, of course, a vehicle for David’s amazing artwork. He joins host Nate Swick to talk about his book, his art, and the benefits of birding alone. 

Also, Nate talks about the racist attack on Christian Cooper, the incredible response that is Black Birders Week, and why the mostly White birding community needs to be paying attention. 

ABA members are eligible for a 15% discount to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds of the World subscription. Log into your ABA account to get the code.

May 28, 2020

The American Birding Podcast brings you This Month in Birding, a panel discussion covering the best bird news we might have missed here at the ABP for the last month.

This episode features a panel of birding podcasts, Sean Milnes of Fowl Mouths Podcast and Sarah Bloemers and Mo Stych of Bird Sh't. It's a conversation that covers the gamut from Piping Plover love and the best birding clothes to Fast and the Furious and Samuel L. Jackson. 

Links to topics discussed:

AOS changes the name of The Auk

Piping Plovers in Chicago

What to Wear While Birding When You Want to Look Good

Scientists Discover Why Some Birds Live Fast and Die Young

Bird Diapers

Gateway Arch Turns off its Lights for Birds

ABA members are eligible for a 15% discount to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds of the World subscription. Log into your ABA account to get the code.

May 21, 2020

More than ever, birders are turning their attention to the birds immediately outside their front door, and for millions of North Americans there is scarcely a more ubiquitous bird than the feral Rock Pigeon. But that humble Rock Pigeon can provide some interesting insights into how natural selection is impacted by the urban environment. In fact, that is the work of Elizabeth Carlen, a PhD candidate at Fordham University in New York City and the lead author of a recent article in Evolutionary Applications that looks at genetic connectivity of Rock Pigeons populations in various cities in the Northeast United States. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about the unique issues with studying urban Rock Pigeons.  

Also, Nate sings the praises of his Fantasy Birding yard squad, and talks about the birding that has kept him sane in a COVID-19 world. 

ABA members are eligible for a 15% discount to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds of the World subscription. Log into your ABA account to get the code.

May 14, 2020

In recent years it has seemed as though doing an ABA Area Big Year means that you have to write a book about it, but the form's roots can be traced to Roger Tory Peterson himself. What makes them so popular? Are they travelogue, sporting conquest, adventure, or some combination? Or is the appeal as simple as wish fulfillment? 10,000 Birds media reviewer Donna Schulman and Birding magazine media review editor Frank Izaguirre join host Nate Swick to talk about Big Year narratives and what makes them great in the first edition of the ABP Birding Book Club. 

Also, the USFWS disappoints with new rules for the Duck Stamp. 

ABA members are eligible for a 15% discount to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds of the World subscription. Log into your ABA account to get the code.

May 7, 2020

Welcome to the new weekly American Birding Podcast!

Jennifer Ackerman is the New York Times best-selling author and essayist who wrote The Genius of Birds and a great many other science books. Her newest, out this week, is The Bird Way: A New Look at how Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent, and Think. It's a companion to that much loved earlier book, exploring the many creative, novel, and bizarre ways in which birds approach problems that they face and what they says about bird cognition and intelligence.

Also, a Cedar Waxwing story from Karina Li of Big Sky, Montana.

ABA members are eligible for a 15% discount to Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Birds of the World subscription. Log into your ABA account to get the code.

Apr 16, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has forced us all to take stock of how we do everything, and birding and birding community events are hardly unique. It's impossible to think about anything else so we just decided to devote an entire episode to it. Host Nate Swick is joined by Brodie Cass Talbott, an educator from Portland Audubon, in Portland, Oregon, who have been adapting to this situation in novel ways, and frequent guest Birding editor Ted Floyd. They talk about how bird clubs are adapting and what we should expect from our fellow birders as the pandemic continues. 

Apr 2, 2020

It’s hard to step out your backdoor these days without being overwhelmed by birdsong. Spring is easing northward across the continent and with it, an increase in the activities of birds. Few people know this like ornithologist and author Donald Kroodsma, professor emeritus or ornithology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the author of a great many books on bird vocalizations. He joins host Nate Swick today to talk about his most recent book, Birdsong for the Curious Naturalist just in time for the annual explosion of birdsong in the northern hemisphere. 

Also, is birding seeing a renaissance in the COVID era? And more Cedar Waxwing stories from our listeners. 

Mar 19, 2020

The world of bird rehabilitation is a unique aspect of the way that people interact with birds, and those that do the dirty work of helping wild birds get back to normal following scrapes with human things get an up close and personal look at birds that many of us just look at through binoculars or scopes. Birding Magazine Associate Editor Ioana Seritan does just that in her day job. She's a Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician at the International Bird Rescue in California’s Bay Area and she joins host Nate Swick to talk about bird rehab from the inside. 

Also, the first of our Cedar Waxing stories and birding in the age of COVID-19

Mar 5, 2020

Of the 1116 species on the ABA checklist, around 50 are what we classify as “non-native”. These are species from other parts of the world introduced either to the North American mainland or, frequently, to Hawaii. The ABA has always tried to keep track of those non-native species through our checklist committee, and whether or not these populations can be counted on an ABA list is always a hot topic. ABA Checklist Committee chair Peter Pyle of the Institute for Bird Populations at Point Reyes, California, joins host Nate Swick to update birders on the status of many of these populations, and the weird circumstances that bring them to North America. 

Feb 20, 2020

Many states and provinces are increasingly interested in tackling a comprehensive survey of the birds in their regions. With the help help of technology, this ambitious undertaking is more achievable than ever. Maybe you’ve heard of Breeding Bird Atlases. Maybe you’ve participated in them in the past. But it’s easy to get involved with this important conservation and natural history initiative. Gabriel Foley is the atlas coordinator for the Maryland-DC Breeding Bird Atlas and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about what these atlases are trying to accomplish and how birders can get involved. 

Also, Birding editor Ted Floyd recently returned from Mexico and thinks ABA birders should add it to their travel plans. 

Feb 6, 2020

When we seek out to bird with others, it is to share in the joy of birds. Whether intended or not, along the way we build a sense of community. In order to appreciate that joy to its fullest, we shouldn’t have to worry about who we are or be second guessing our most basic actions around others in that community. And it's that concept, that birding is an extension of our true selves, that prompted the creation of Queer Birders of North America. A fellowship group for LGBT+ birders and allies, QBNA now host all sorts of events for all sorts of birders based on a shared interest in birds and a dedication to inclusivity.  QBNA leaders Jennifer Rycenga and Michael Retter join host Nate Swick to talk about why QBNA came about and why it's still essential. 

Also, Nate rants a bit about the USFWS's proposed changes to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and encourages you to leave a response to the rule change here

Jan 23, 2020

We're back to the Bird of the Year basics for 2020--Cedar Waxwing! While the past two ABA Birds of the Year have been extremely range restricted (Iiwi 2018) or a vagrant to the ABA Area (Red-billed Tropicbird 2019), the 2020 Bird of the Year is truly a bird of the people. The Cedar Waxwing is an exquisite example of North American birddom and a favorite of so many birders in the US, Canada, and beyond. We chose it, in part, because they are known for flocking and sharing, two wonderful characteristics of the North American birding community. And to illustrate these perennial crowd-pleasers, we are fortunate to have multimedia artist Tony Fitzpatrick. Tony's work has been featured in major American museums and on the covers of roots albums. He is every bit as gregarious as a Cedar Waxwing, as you'll see in this interview with host Nate Swick from this year's Bird of the Year reveal party in Tony's hometown of Chicago, Illinois. 

Also, Nate tells a story of nostalgia for people who inspire our birding and places that it takes us. 

Thanks to Vortex Optics for sponsoring this episode and the Bird of the Year reveal party. 

Jan 9, 2020

When birders think of southeastern Arizona, they think of hummingbirds. And when they think of hummingbirds, they think of Sheri Williamson. The author of the Peterson Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America and director of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory, she played a crucial role in protecting one of the region's most beloved birding hotspots, the Ash Canyon Bird Sanctuary. She talks with Nate Swick about her path to hummingbirds and her work with SABO. 

If you're going to be in Chicago, come join us as we reveal the 2020 ABA Bird of the Year

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