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The 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: Page 5
Feb 18, 2021

One of the most underrated bird stories of the last few years, has been the rapid decline of the resident Florida subspecies of Grasshopper Sparrow. In 2017, that population reached a record low of 75 wild birds, and many thought it would fade into extinction much like Dusky Seaside Sparrow before it. But a working group of biologists and conservationists led by the Fish & wildlife Foundation of Florida have stopped that decline. The foundation's president Andrew Walker joins Nate Swick to talk about how they did it. 

Also, congrats to the hummingbird heroes of the polar vortex, and some thoughts on "seen anything good?".

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 Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Feb 11, 2021

The year 2020 was an especially difficult one for many of us, but for writer and birder Rebecca Heisman, perhaps more than most. In addition to the responsibilities of being the parent of a young child in a year of pandemic, she dealt with a cancer diagnosis that upturned what was already something of a turbulent year. Through it all, birds became, what she calls in an essay recently published at Audubon, a thread of sanity She joins Nate Swick to talk about her trying year and what comes next. 

Also, Pileated Woodpecker stories from Cecelia Dumois and Redmond Brubaker, and a congratulations to Wisdom the Laysan Albatross, a mother again at 69. 

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.

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

Feb 4, 2021

Pity the poor cowbird. Under-appreciated at best and outright hated at worst, the cowbird and its nest parasitic ways certain lend themselves to strong opinions. But it is a remarkable bird in its own right, capable of amazing developmental feats that allow it to fit into its very odd niche. Ornithologist Sarah Winnicki of the University of Illinois's "cowbird lab" makes the case for cowbirds, arguing that you don't have to love the, but you should respect them.

Also, a Snowy Owl in Central Park? Uh oh. And another Pileated Woodpecker story from listener Jordan Leahy. 

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.

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

Jan 28, 2021

It's This Month in Birding for January 2021, and we start the new year off with a panel as impressive as Lady Gaga's gigantic bird pin. Guests including #cemeterybirder Danielle Belleny, host of Always Be Birdin' Sam DeJarnett, and host of Fowl Mouths podcast Sean Milnes talk Audubon internal issues, condor recovery in the northwest, weird birdy presidential pardons and much more!

Articles to topics discussed: 

Audubon in hot water

Condors and the Yurok

An MBTA presidential pardon

Great Snobbery

Birding with Gucci and North Face

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.

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

Jan 21, 2021

Long-time bird blog fans might remember Clare Kines and his blog The House and other Arctic Musings. It was was a familiar voice on the birding internet, with stories about the nature of Arctic Bay, Nunavut, on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. Clare is still out there as a birder and photographer sharing stories and images of a part of the world we don’t get to see very often, and he joins Nate Swick to talk about his home north of the Arctic Circle. 

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.

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

Jan 14, 2021

The wide open spaces of the North American west are frequently spotted with signs of human industrial energy production. Oil and gas wells, massive wind turbines, and the like are impossible to miss and impact, occasionally significantly, the birds that live in these vast prairie ecosystems. Dr Janet Ng studies the effects of this industrial incursion into these wild places in the southern Canadian plains, and works with various partners to keep landscapes "hawky". 

Also the first batch of North American Classification Committee proposals are out with no mention of #birdnamesforbirds. 

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.

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

Jan 7, 2021

John Kricher is well known by anyone with an interest in tropical ecology. He's professer emeritus of biology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and the author of many books, notably Tropical Ecology and A Neotropical Companion, re-released as A New Neotropical Companion in 2017. His most recent book, however, is about birds and their behavior, appropriately titled the Peterson Reference Guide to Bird Behavior, and podcast regulars might remember that it was one of our favorite books of 2020. John joins Nate Swick to talk about his book and the nuances of science communication. 

Also, Nate fixes his finch anxiety and waxes poetic about the 2021 ABA Bird of the Year, Pileated Woodpecker

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.

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

Dec 31, 2020

We didn't intend to make an episode this week, but friend of the podcast Jordan Rutter came to me and suggested that instead of the regular podcast we should do a special one where she interviews *me* for a change. 

So that's what we did. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

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.

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

Dec 17, 2020

The winter of 2020-21 is one the likes of which we have not seen before. It's a finch superflight year, with boreal grosbeaks, finches, siskins, crossbills, and more pouring out of the north and into places where birders can more easily experience them. This means that it’s an incredible opportunity for us to learn more about why this phenomenon happens, and Matt Young has always been one to have that conversation. He is a leading authority on Red Crossbill call types and now the founder of the Finch Research Network. He joins host Nate Swick to talk about this incredibly finch phenomenon. 

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.

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

Dec 10, 2020

It’s finally December of 2020, the month of annual superlatives. It was a pretty interesting year for bird books and we convene the Birding Book Club crew to talk about them. 10,000 Birds book review columnist Donna Schulman and Birding media review editor Frank Izaguirre join host Nate Swick to run down our favorites for 2020, including new field guides, books on bird behavior, and lots of fantastic narrative prose in both memoire and essay form. 

Find all of their lists here!

Thanks to our friends at Buteo Books for sponsoring this episode!

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

Dec 3, 2020

Nate Swick is out of the studio this week so we're sending you a mini-cast to enjoy while he's gone. This one features a pair of ABA friends telling stories of great birding days, one high intensity and one low. 

First, ABA webmaster Greg Neise shares the tale of his epic Illinois Big Day run. Spills, thrills, and warbling trills take stage as Greg and his teammates race the clock and the previous record. 

And then, high schooler Hannah Floyd, daughter of ABP regular Ted Floyd, shares the joys of winter birding during a pandemic. You might expect either of those concerns to be hindrances, but that's not the case. 

While I've got you here, please check out the ABA's Year-End Appeal going on now. It's been a strange year but if the ABA or this podcast has provided you with any joy in 2020, please consider making a donation. 

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

Nov 26, 2020

The last Thursday of November means it’s time for This Month in Birding coming to you for the holiday. As Thanksgiving is the most bird-centric holiday on the US calendar, why not talk birds instead of eating them? Our panel includes Jody Allair of Birds Canada, Tom Johnson of Field Guides and Out Birding, and Jordan Rutter of the American Bird Conservancy. 

Topics discussed include:

The continuing winter finch explosion adds redpolls

Looking for Red Crossbills

Voter Fraud in New Zealand

Saw-whet Owl trapped in a tree in New York City. 

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

Nov 19, 2020

We now see ourselves on the cusp of a change in leadership in the United States. A brand new administration will replace the current one in January, and we’re already seeing people looking forward to what this means for birds, public lands, and conservation. Into that conversation comes Tykee James, who is, among other things, the host of the wildlife and politics podcast On Word for Wildlife of the Wildlife Observer Network. He joins host Nate Swick from Washington, DC, to talk about what we can expect in coming months. 

Also, a wild story about the on and off sale of Salineño Preserve in South Texas. 

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 Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Nov 12, 2020

Despite being one of the most ubiquitous birds in the Americas, the poor Turkey Vulture is saddled with a mixed reputation. Sure, they look weird and eat dead things, but vultures are more than just nature's garbagemen. Katie Fallon, author of the recently rereleased Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird makes the case that vultures are not only important, but worthy of adoration. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about her hands-ons experience with these amazing birds. 

Also, the distant Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival is this week! Join birding celebrities for a game of "Harlingen Squares"!

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 Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

 

Nov 5, 2020

Birders and non-birders alike love urban nesting birds. The drama of life and death in a place where you wouldn’t necessarily expect wildlife is certainly appealing, and when a pair of American Kestrels took up at Cleveland, Ohio's busy West Side Market filmmaker and media producer Najada Davis documented their story, a project that became the documentary Kestrels in the Hood. He joins Nate Swick to talk about that work. 

Also, the pandemic has been good for bird songs

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 Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Oct 29, 2020

It’s the last Thursday in October and that means This Month in Birding, wherein we convene a august panel of birders to discuss the news that we missed this month, or more likely saved till the end of the month because they’re more fun to talk about with other people.

The panel this week is, for the first time, all returnees, including #cemeterybirder Danielle Belleny, Birdmodo creator Ryan Mandelbaum, and Popular Science writer Purbita Saha

Topics discussed include:

New Duck Stamp Rules put in place

Cassia Crossbills at risk from wildfires

Massive finch movement this winter

Cemetery Birding is the new hot thing

Gynandromorph grosbeak found

Eastern Black Rails put on Endangered Species List

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 Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
Oct 22, 2020

We are now in the 7th month of this COVID pandemic purgatory, and way way back in April of this year Birding magazine editor Ted Floyd and host Nate Swick had a conversation about what birding will look like during the pandemic. Well, here we are in October, looking at a long winter wherein COVID is still a concern, but at least we have a slightly greater perspective on what we know and what we don’t about everything.

Also, join Nate for Auk the Vote this weekend!

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

Oct 15, 2020

The Greater Sage-Grouse is one of the more bizarre birds in North America and frequently a flashpoint for conservation and land management concerns in the American west.  Ashley Ahearn is a public radio and podcast journalist who put herself in the middle of that conflict to create Grouse, an audio series produced by BirdNote and available at all the usual podcast places. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about sage-grouse politics and what it says about the environmental issues we face in the 21st Century. 

Also, check out Jason Ward on Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!

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

 

Oct 8, 2020

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 host Nate Swick to talk rallidae and STEM outreach for women. This interview was originally released on August 24, 2017.

Here's the link to Paul Riss's documentary Rare Bird Alert.

Also, Nate has some thoughts about wildlife illiteracy and rare bird reporting. 

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

 
 
Oct 1, 2020

Recording and identifying nocturnal flight calls has been a popular way for birders in the ABA Area to document migration, and has inspired an entire community to keep track of those tseep and chips passing overhead this time of year. The COVID-19 pandemic and stay at home orders all over the world have motivated a similar passion in the famously intense UK birding community, and birders recording and documenting Noc-Mig, as it’s called, have made some fascinating discoveries about migration in Europe. Naturalist Mark James Pearson of Yorkshire, UK, is a relatively recent convert and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about it. 

Also, the Endangered Species Act is under threat in the Senate, and birders should keep their eyes open for proposed changes

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

Sep 24, 2020

It’s the last Thursday of the month and that means it; time for This Month in Birding, a discussion about all the extra birding news that has been happening for the month of September. This month we've have convened a panel of old and new friends to help me make sense of this crazy crazy world we’re living in, where at least we have birds. Environmental educator Nicole Jackson, The Birdist Nick Lund, and co-host of the Bird Sh't Podcast Mo Stych join host Nate Swick to talk mysterious bird deaths, waffle eating Wood Storks, a bird mascot for the University of Illinois and more. 

Links to topics discussed:

Mysterious bird deaths in New Mexico.

And the likely explanation.

Christian Cooper's new comic.

#BlackinNationalParks and Best National Parks for birding.

Wood Storks eating garbage.

University of Illinois has a new Belted Kingfisher mascot.

Sep 17, 2020

Most people perceive ornithology as a college course, one of those science electives that can get people into birding long-term. But what if we brought it down to high school and appealed to more students from more backgrounds? That’s the goal of high school teacher Steve Maguire, who has been teaching ornithology in a Massachusetts high school for several years. He joins host Nate Swick to talk about his experiences. 

Also, a Migratory Bird Treaty update and Nate teaches you how to be a wicked pisher. 

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

Sep 10, 2020

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 talk family specific guides. What are those, you might ask. We'll chat about identification guides or reference books that focus specifically on one group of birds, frequently, though not always strictly speaking, a family as defined taxonomically. Shorebirds, warblers, raptors, and birds-of-paradise are on the agenda. 

Thanks to Buteo Books for sponsoring this episode. You can find every one of these titles at their online store and ABA members receive at 10% discount on every purchase. 

For a list of all the books we discuss in this episode, please see the American Birding Podcast website

Sep 3, 2020

The path to becoming a birder is as much as about coming to grips with what is happening to you as it is about finding increasing joy in birding. We all may end up in a similar place but our paths to that place are as individual as we are. Toronto writer and lecturer Julia Zarankin didn't mean to become a birder, but 10 years on here she is. She recounts this odd journey in a new memoir, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, out in September in Canada and in October in the United States. She joins host Nate Swick to about how she came to call herself a birder. 

Also, Nate wants you to normalize misidentifying birds. 

Aug 27, 2020

It’s the last Thursday of the month and that means it’s time once again for This Month in Birding. This month's esteemed panel this month has more of a western bent, significantly pulling the mean location of panelists a little bit closer to the Mississippi River at least. We welcome Canada-based bird educator and researcher Jody Allair, ABA Young-birder liaison and Sonoran Joint Venture coordinator Jennie Duberstein, and host of the Fowl Mouths podcast, Sean Milnes. We talk Thick-billed Longspur, Audubon's reckoning with their namesake, the retirement of Ron Pittaway and his Winter Bird Forecast, and the word bird pronunciation mistakes. 

Links to topics discussed:

Welcome Thick-billed Longspur

A new beginning for the winter Finch report

NAOC's online conference

Audubon deals with John James's legacy

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