Birding Online: July 2014

01-CoverWhat is the “agenda” for Birding magazine? Well, the magazine’s very name provides a strong clue. The magazine isn’t Birds or Bird Biology. Rather, it’s Birding, an affirmation of a human undertaking, a human perspective, a human agenda. Read more about “The Birding Agenda,” and join the conversation at The ABA Blog.
Left: Art by © Jen Brumfield.

In “Birding Together,” ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon invites birders to explore questions of identity and agenda as they relate to the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, better known as the “Duck Stamp.” Read Gordon’s article [0.8-megabyte PDF download], and join the conversation online.
Right: Buy your Duck Stamp through the ABA.

Recent technological advances have had inarguable consequences for birder identity and for the birding agenda. In an essay in the July/August issue [1.4-megabyte download],Birding Editor Ted Floyd ponders twelve years of change in birding (the hobby) and atBirding (the magazine). Is all this change good or bad? Folks are discussing it at The ABA Blog, and we welcome your input.
Left: Two different ways of representing the Olive-sided Flycatcher’s “Hic! Free Beer!” song.

More than anything else, ABA members are at the heart of the agenda for Birding magazine. ABA member “milestones”—personal listing achievements—fill the pages of Birding. If you are an ABA member and would like to have your milestone written up, please contact Editor Ted Floyd. In your submission, be sure to include all the relevant details of your milestone: the exact date and location of your special sighting, your full name, your city and state or province, and any additional details you wish to share.

On October 16th of this year, a birding team from the Louisiana State University (LSU) Museum of Natural Science will set out to break the world Big Day record: 331 species, set more than 30 years ago. In a feature article in the July/August Birding [4.3-megabyte download], Gregg Gorton introduces us to the LSU team and interprets the conservation and scientific backdrop for their run at the Big Day record.

Follow the team as it prepares for the Big Day. Click here to learn about their route and strategies, click here to learn about research supported in part by funds raised through the Big Day effort, and click here to sponsor the team.

Update! They did it! Click here to read about the LSU team’s new World Big Day record.

Bird ID.
If there’s one constant on the pages of Birding magazine, it’s bird identification—not just how to put a name on a bird, but analysis, interpretation, and even a bit of philosophy. It’s a central part of “The Birding Agenda” mentioned above. And so it is in the current issue of Birding.

Bird ID content in the July/August issue is highlighted by articles on godwits, nightjars, and even a “Townsend’s Bunting.” For the challenge of identifying nightjars by sight, click here. To learn about a new field mark for separating Black-tailed and Hudsonian Godwits, click here. And if you’re dying to learn what the heck a Townsend’s Bunting is (one was seen in Ontario earlier in the year), click here.

Photo by © Kyle Blaney.

Book Reviews. We birders love diversity, and that diversity is reflected in this issue of Birding both in the books reviewed and in the reviewers themselves. Professional bird guide Gavin Bieber reviews Russell Cannings and Richard Canning’s Birdfinding in British Columbia, biologist Graham Etherington reviews Steve N. G. Howell and coauthors’Rare Birds of North America, and writer Chelsea Biondolillo reviews Joy M. Kiser’s America’s Other Audubon.


Order the entire July/August 2014 issue of Birding at The ABA Shop. Or better, yet, join the ABA today, and get the July/August 2014 Birding, plus all the other benefits of ABA membership.

Check out the complete Table of Contents for the print issue of the July/August 2014 Birding.