It's time for This Month in Birding with Jody Allair, Jennie Duberstein, and Sean Milnes. The panel joins host Nate Swick to talk about the biggest bird news of the month with a wide-ranging discussion that covers a last gasp for the 'Akikiki, how vultures reduce carbon emissions, the state of the exotic bird trade and the answer to the question birders know all too well, "What's your favorite bird?"
Links to topics discussed in this episode:
Thanks to Visit Tallahassee for sponsoring this episode!
There is nothing like birding the American tropics, among iconic families like toucans, motmots, antbirds, tanagers, and more! Both Birding editor Ted Floyd and podcast host Nate Swick were fortunate enough to take part in this birding splendor in recent weeks, Ted in Colombia and Nate in Panama, and they share their experiences through their eBird checklists in another edition of the “eBird Annotated” series.
Links to the checklists discussed:
Several years ago, birding dads Ted Floyd and Nate Swick recorded their first Birding Without Tears episode, but they told only half the story. What about birding moms?? To help tell the rest of the story, I’m joined by Seattle-based writer Bryony Angell, who draws on her experience as a birding mom and her past as a birding kid to offer insight into a topic that many birders deal with at some point–“how do I get my kids to go birding and all of us have a good experience?”
Also, Nate talks Panama. Wanna travel with the ABA? Check out our 2023 lineup.
ABA Birders overlook Mexican birding at their own peril. The nation just to the south of the ABA Area hosts amazing culture, friendly people, and fantastic birds. Guest host Frank Izaguirre welcomes Mexican birder, artist, and photographer Jesús Antonio "Chucho" Moo Yam, who brings tales of birding adventure and community involvement, and reports on the the growth of ecotourism in Mexico.
Also, check out the new Codebreakers feature in Birding magazine!
The first week of September is the official start of fall, meteorologically at least, though ornithologically it’s been on for weeks. It’s a wonderful season for birding and general naturing, but it does require a certain mindset and certain strategies. Who better, then, to talk about it than two legends of the fall, Greg Neise and Amy Davis. They join host Nate Swick to talk about what to expect as birds start moving south.
Also, we're hosting our 2023 Bird of the Year party in Nashville, Tennessee! More information to come.
At the end of every month, we host a roundup of recent bird news on the American Birding Podcast. For August we’re thrilled to welcome Stephanie Beilke, Jordan Rutter, and Brodie Cass Talbott to the panel to talk about homogenization of bird species, bird habitats in urban landscapes, wild Rock Pigeons, and how birding has changed in our lifetimes.
Link to articles discussed in this episode:
One of the most iconic and beloved birds of the North American west is the Clark’s Nutcracker, the highlight of anyone’s trip to the high country. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the bird’s relationship to the ecosystem goes beyond begging for trail mix from hikers, a fascinating symbiosis that was recently the topic of Glacier National Park’s Headwaters podcast, whose host, Peri Sasnett, joins us to talk nutcrackers and conservation.
Also, changes to the ABA Checklist are here, with more potentially on the way.
Earlier this year the ABA was delighted to award our Lifetime Achievement Award to a pair of birders who have made a very big impact not only on the places where they live, but on the birding community across the continent. J. Drew Lanham is a birder, poet, academic, award-winning memoirist, and JB Brunfield is an environmental educator, artist, and the undefeated Big Year champion of Cuyahoga County, Ohio. We welcome them both to talk about the state of birding, mentorship, and whether Ohio or South Carolina are better for birds.
Close observers of the ABA might remember when we launched a new publication completely produced by a team of teen birders from all over the ABA Area. It's called The Fledgling, and after two issues it is well on its way to being something special. Hannes Leonard and Adrianna Nelson and members of The Fledgling team and they join Nate Swick to talk about this publication and the needs of young birder more generally.
Also, why do field guides to the US and Canada call themselves field guides to "North America"?
July is awfully hot across most of the ABA Area, and we’ve got a panel with no shortage of hot takes for the July 2022 This Month in Birding. Martha Harbison, Nicole Jackson, and Nick Lund join host Nate Swick to talk about national birds, woodpecker myths, ravens, macaws, and how your brain works when you bird.
Links to topics discussed:
Back in May of this year, the American Birding Association announced the hiring of Nikki Belmonte as the organization’s newest Executive Director. She comes to us with a background in non-profit management, environmental education, and as a hobby birder. We’re excited to welcome her to the podcast to talk about birding community, CBCs, and the best flannel to cover up your nerdy bird shirt.
Birding magazine editor and all-around bird-knower Ted Floyd is back for another bout of Random Birds. He joins host Nate Swick, a big bird list, and a random number generator to create podcast magic. They talk Eared Grebes, Black Vultures, and whatever other birds the magic number tells us to talk about.
Birders love bird books, and we at the American Birding Podcast love to get together to discuss bird books in the Birding Book Club segment. Donna Schulman from the website 10,000 Birds and Birding magazine’s Frank Izaguirre join Nate Swick to talk about our favorite Bird and Birding Reference guides. It’s a broad topic, but if you’re looking for books to fill out your bird library, we’re here to help.
For links to the books discussed on this episode, head to the ABA website.
It's the last episode of the month and that means it's time for This Month in Birding, featuring a fun panel of ABA friends discussing the biggest birding news of the month and more. On our panel this month, Sarah Bloemers from the hilarious Bird Sh*t podcast, Frank Izaguirre of the ABA's Birding magazine, and aeroecologist and birder Mikko Jimenez. They join host Nate Swick to talk Grasshopper Sparrow success, a new invasive bird in the UK, and the features you'd want in your ultimate birding vehicle.
Links to articles discussed:
And also a link to the Twitchers documentary Frank mentions
Mention Panama to a bunch of birders and typically only one place comes to mind - beautiful Canopy Tower. A former radar station and military installation west of Panama Cit, Canopy Tower has, over the last couple decades, transformed into one of the most well-regarded ecolodges in the Americas. And when you talk about Canopy Tower you cannot help but talk about Carlos Betancourt, whose work as a guide and mentor has helped to put Canopy Tower on the map and help establish a community of guides throughout Latin America. He joins us to talk about his own journey into birding, and his favorite things about showing Panama to eager birders.
Want to see it for yourself? Join Nate and the ABA in Panama this fall!
Also, bird flu hit Northern Gannet colonies on both sides of the Atlantic.
In early summer eager birders turn to bird taxonomy, and we at the podcast turn once again to our friend Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts to read the tea leaves for American Ornithological Society’s North America Classification Committee and explain the latest in bird taxonomy. He joins Nate Swick to talk about new meadowlarks, Mew Gulls, and the House Wren MEGASPLIT.
Also, some thoughts from Nate about using Merlin on Breeding Bird Surveys.
As part of its celebration of the third Black Birders Week, please enjoy highlights from the ABA’s two-part panel “Black Birders: Embracing the Beauty Within.” The panel session co-hosts are Sheridan Alford and Chelsea Connor. They are joined in the first session by Alex Troutman, Sharon Scott, and Scott Edwards, and in the second session by Alex Troutman and Danielle Belleny. Panelists explores such topics as childhood experiences with birds, how to pass on generational knowledge of birds, and whether things have changed since the first Black Birders Week.
For the panels in their entirety as well as links and bios for all of the participants, please visit the ABA website. Thanks to the panelists and to Black AF in STEM for putting on yet another great edition of Black Birders Week.
Finding birds in places where you shouldn’t expect to find them if certainly one of the more exciting aspects of birding. In fact, it might well be the reason for the American Birding Association’s very existence. The unpredictability, the excitement, the community that builds around these sorts of birds are certainly appealing even the mechanisms that bring them to these places are not always known. Alex Lees is a senior researcher at Manchester Metropolitan University and, along with James Gilroy, the author of Vagrancy in Birds, which attempts to answer some of those questions of how and why vagrancy is so prevalent in birds. He joins me to talk about this ever-fascinating topic
Also, a sad end to Monty and Rose, and a happy beginning for their offspring.
It is the end of the month, and with it, comes the This Month in Birding panel. Because May is arguably the best month of the year for birding in the US and Canada we have a panel this month that attempts to meet those expectations. Mollee Brown of the Life List Podcast, Gabriel Foley of the Maryland/DC Bird Atlas, and Purbita Saha of Popular Science.
Also, wanna travel to Panama with Nate?
Topics discussed in this episode include:
Julie Zickefoose scarcely needs an introduction. A prolific artist and an award-winning writer, much of her work is inspired by her home in southeast Ohio. It's the topic of a piece she has written for the May special issue of Birding magazine, Wildlife Gardening in Appalachian Ohio. She joins us talk about the satisfactions and frustrations that come from building a wildlife sanctuary and a little bit about the return of BWD.
Also, we've got a new Executive Director! And some thoughts on the Biggest Week American Birding has seen in 3 years.
Maybe more than anyone in North America in the last 20 years, Brian Sullivan has been deeply involved in things that birders do. He was one of the original developers of eBird, which hardly needs an introduction to listeners, and is now project lead of Cornell’s Birds of the World. In the last couple years Birds of the World has absolutely become an essential collection of bird knowledge which is all the more amazing considering the scope of the project.
Also, Merlin's Sound ID is better than you think.
Friend of the ABA Nick Lund has had a busy spring! He not only published his first book, but his first two books. The ABA Guide to Birds of Maine is the newest installment in the well-regarded ABA guide series from Scott & Nix, and The Ultimate Biography of Earth seeks to reach science fans of all ages with its fun text and colorful illustrations. Nick joins Nate Swick to talk about them both and whatever else they get to.
Also, turns out Nate had Covid, and he does not recommend getting it during spring migration.
It’s the last Thursday of the month and that means it is time for the American Birding Podcast This Month in Birding panel where we talk some bird news, share some sightings, and generally have a good time. We welcome to the panel this month Portland Audubon's Brodie Cass Talbott, the American Bird Conservancy's Jordan Rutter, and Birds Canada, Jody Allair.
Topic's discussed on this month's episode:
The incredible variety of bird song in a morning chorus on a spring or summer day is a phenomenon that a lot of birders are familiar with. But even after centuries of study there is still a lot we don’t know about bird vocalizations, especially the world of female birdsong. The vocalizations of female birds are frequently as complex and important to the lives of birds as the songs we associate with male birds, and it’s only relatively recently that we’ve begin to really look into that. Dr. Lauryn Benedict, from the University of Northern Colorado, has been on the cutting edge of this science and she joins host Nate Swick to talk about bird vocalizations and other aspects of female bird biology.
Also, American Ornithological Society taxonomy proposals are out, and Nate hits some of the highlights.
As interest in birding has grown in the last couple years, birders have turned up in some really interesting places, including the streaming platform Twitch. Dr WD40, Liz Clayton Fuller, and Ian Davies are birders who have figured out this live streaming thing and are using it to build a community of bird and nature fans in a seemingly unconventional place, and they join host Nate Swick to talk all about it.
Plus, if you want prairie-chickens, you've got to get to Kansas.