The Birding Book Club is back again to do our annual Best Bird Books of the Year episode for 2023. With the holiday gift-giving season is right around the corner there’s no better time to give the gift of bird books to the birder in your life. And why not something for yourself while you're at it? We are joined by 10,000 Birds book reviewer Donna Schulman and Birding magazine media and book review editor Rebecca Minardi to talk about what we loved this year in bird books.
If there’s one thing that 2020 taught birders, its how to appreciate your immediate surroundings. The cancellation of festivals, international trips, and even many local bird walks and meetings encouraged us to be more present and local. It’s something that Vermont naturalist Bridget Butler has been pushing for a long time as part of her “Slow Birding” initiative. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about how birding can create a connection to yourself and the place where you live.
This Month in Birding is The American Birding Podcast’s monthly round table discussion on all things birds and birding. This month features Jennie Duberstein, Tim Healy, and Ryan Mandelbaum covering bird name changes, universal alarm calls, what makes a bird attractive to humans, and more.
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Host Nate Swick is on the road, but that doesn't mean you won't get new content! Birding editor Ted Floyd is back again for another edition of Random Birds, the most fun you can have with a bird list and a random numbr generator. This time around Nate and Ted take discuss ducks, tanagers, sparrows and much more!
One of the biggest taxonomic changes of this year was the long-anticipated lump of the species formerly known as Pacific-slope and Cordilleran Flycatcher back into Western Flycatcher. It’s a story with all the taxonomic highs and lows packed into a slightly confusing and cryptic package. Alec Hopping is a birder and researcher whose article in North American Birds called Unraveling Western Flycatchers; A Case Against the Split played a large role in making the case to the relavant authorities. He joins us to talk about how to get a species lumped.
Also, the AOS makes a huge announcement regarding birds named specifically for people.
This past summer, the ABA brought on our new Executive Director. Wayne Klockner comes to us after a long career with The Nature Conservancy in Maryland and beyond, with efforts that have led to the conservation of thousands of acres of natural areas, the restoration of commercial and shell fisheries and the establishment of TNC’s climate strategy. He lives and birds in Ocean City, Maryland, and it is our pleasure to welcome him to the podcast.
Also, amazing new science suggests that albatrosses use infrasonic ocean noise to orient themselves.
This Month in Birding is The American Birding Podcast's monthly round table discussion on all things birds and birding. This month features Martha Harbison, Mikko Jimenez, and Dexter Patterson covering the USFWS's recent extinction news, Takahe reintroductions, birding at night, and the panel's spookiest birds.
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Manakins are among the most unique and fascinating neotropical bird families with displays that run the gamut from group line-dancing to bizarre percussive feather snaps. One species, in particularly, has long fascinated UCLA researcher Barney Schlinger, the Golden-collared Manakin of Panama and western Colombia. It is the subject of his book The Wingsnappers: Lessons from an Exuberant Tropical Bird and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about it.
Also, the eBird taxonomy update is coming! What does it mean for our ABA lists?
In 2014, Dorian Anderson pushed pause on his life, which at the time included a career in neuroscience research, a burgeoning relationship, and the ongoing struggles with drug and alcohol addiction, for an ABA Area Big Year. But not just any Big Year, one that was entirely self-propelled. His Big Year plus cross-country trek by bike is recounted in a new memoire out this fall Birding Under the Influence: Cycling across America in search of Birds and Recovery.
Birds are one of the most commonly encountered elements of human culture across time and across peoples in all parts of the world. Perhaps nowhere is that quite as evident as Las Vegas, Nevada, where humanity of every possible description comes together in a city that exists on the edge of habitability. Those fascinating and often odd relationships between birds and humans are the subject of the documentary The Public Lives of Birds, whose director and producer David Welch is the process of completing with the help of a kickstarter campaign. He joins us this week to talk about it.
Also, the 2023 Winter Finch Report is out! What does it mean for your feeders this winter?
It’s the end of the month which means its time for This Month in Birding, and we’ve got a panel of ABA friends and staff here to talk about the beautiful fall season, every birder’s favorite time of year. In this episode Jennie Duberstein, Nick Lund, and Greg Neise join host Nate Swick to talk lost flamingos, eagles, both welcome and not, the incredible movement of rare North American vagrants to the British Isles, and more!
Also, the ABA is going to be at the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival this fall. Come join us!
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The Feminist Bird Club has been one of the more interesting and inspiring movements in the birding world over the last few years. They champion inclusivity, social justice, and an approach that is comfortable for novices and other folks who had perhaps not felt seen in birding before. Some of the leaders of that organization have collaborated on a new book, Birding for a Better World: A Guide to Finding Joy and Community in Nature. One of its authors, Sydney Golden Anderson, along with FBC co-chair Meghadeepa Maity, joins us to talk about the book and the what the club means to its members.
Also, an act of bravery in Hawaii might have saved the futures of two critically endangered birds.
It's a random time for Random Birds, the American Birding Podcast segment with Birding editor Ted Floyd that involves host Nate Swick, a big bird list, and a random number generator. We never know exactly what we're going to get, but you'll always get a lot of great bird facts, stories, and appreciation. This session includes a smorgasbord of birds, with ducks, terns, thrushes, and more all making an appearance.
Also, we're excited to announce another ABA webinar featuring author and former podcast guest Rebecca Heisman! ABA members can join us on ABA Community.
Moving to Nepal to North Dakota offers quite the ornithological whiplash, but birder and graduate student Anuj Ghimire takes it all in good stride. He joins guest host and Birding magazine editor Frank Izaguirre to talk Himalayan pheasants, North Dakota nemeses, and where to find Nepali food in Fargo.
It's This Month in Birding for August 2023, our monthly round table discussion featuring voices from around the birding world. This month, we welcome back our friends Jody Allair of Birds Canada, Jordan Rutter of the American Bird Conservancy, and Brodie Cass Talbott of Portland Audubon to talk about American Kestrels, Canada Jay siblings, 50 years of Project Puffin and more.
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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!
Also, Hurricane Hilary brought a storm surge of storm-petrels across southern California and the interior west.
Birders love books, and with so many options out there it’s nice to have some friends around to make suggestions, talk about what we like a lot, maybe what we don’t like quite as much, and celebrate the literary side of the birding lifestyle. That's right, it's time for another meeting of the Birding Book Club. This time, we're setting birds aside and talking about our favorite books about nature other than birds. They're the perfect supplements to your birding library. We're joined once again by regular Birding Book Club member Donna Schulman, reviewer for the website 10,000 Birds, and joining us for the 1st time, out ABA Birding magazine Book and Media Review editor, Rebecca Minardi.
Links to books discussed in this episode can be found at the American Birding Association website.
Nestled in the Central Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills, is one of the most biodiverse nations on the continent, all the more impressive given its small size. With nearly 700 species of birds and an impressive diversity of large mammals, including Mountain Gorillas, Rwanda is increasingly a popular destination for nature tourists, including the ABA, which is heading there this winter. Winnie Kyamujara is a nature guide with the Ususambi Crane Preserve and she introduces us to this amazing county.
Also, Ontario birder and creator of the Winter Finch Report, Ron Pittaway, has passed away. We also celebrate incredible bird brains.
The birding community is collectively mourning the recent loss of Cape May birder Tom Johnson. Tom was a world-renowned birder and a prodigious contributor to the ABA's media, with insightful articles, phenomenal photography, and occasional appearances on the American Birding Podcast. We've collected a few of his appearances here on the podcast and offer them in remembrance of his incredible influence on all of us with his amazing skill, his generous spirit, and his good humor. We at the ABA, along with his many friends in the birding world and beyond, will miss him very much.
Welcome to the end of the July, the turn of the year as we heard into the second half of 2023. It’s also time, once again, for This Month in Birding, our monthly panel discussion about bird news and birds in the news. We're excited to welcome a panel of Stephanie Bielke, Tim Healy and Purbita Saha to talk rare birds at private residences, hummingbirds and alcohol, the most metal bird nests, and more!
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Humans have loved birds for as long as there have been humans. And while many of us in the birding world stay a birder for similar reasons, every birder, bird-watcher or bird enthusiasts has their own path to this world, to this interest, and it is one that frequently leads to a greater appreciation of love of the natural world more generally. Alyssa Bardy has a unique take on that journey. Her’s is a story of indigenous reconnection and revitalization though birds, nature-study, and photography.
Also, what do Canadian wildfires mean for the birds that breed there?
The connections between weather and birds seem both obvious and arcane to many birders. This is especially true in this time of global warming, when weather seems particularly wonky. This summer the globe is experiencing El Niño, a warm phase in the Pacific that causes all sorts of strange things. But what does that mean for birds? To help answer that complicated question, we welcome our friend Alvaro Jaramillo, one of the hosts of the Life List podcast, a pelagic operator with Alvaro’s Adventures, and the author of many bird books.
Plus, the AOS changes are out and we welcome back Western Flycatcher.
It is an inevitability that as a birder ages, they lose the ability to hear some birds, particularly those with high pitched songs and calls. It is a struggle that nature recordist Lang Elliot has dealt with for decades, but he offers, with the help of modern technology, a solution of sorts called Hear Birds Again. Lang has also written an article introducing this new product in the July 2023 issue of Birding magazine.
Also, does Merlin really help in a Breeding Bird Survey? FInally we have data! Sort of.
It’s the end of June and that means it’s time for This Month in Birding, where we round up a panel of interesting and thoughtful birding friends to round up the latest birding news from around the ABA Area and beyond. Here in the northern hemisphere, June has the longest days of the year, and we might just have the longest episode of the podcast with the sort of items we have to discuss today. We welcome Gabriel Foley, Sean Milnes, and Mo Stych of the newly resurrected Bird Sh*t podcast to talk about bird names, bird songs, and bird theft.
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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. This session includes a smorgasbord of birds, with gulls, warblers, and finches all making an appearance.
Also, Nate reports on the latest ABA Community Weekend in California’s Bay Area.