Birding Online: January 2013

Thanks for stopping by! We hope you enjoy all the online content in the January/February 2013 issue of Birding magazine.

Photo: Young birder Andrew Floyd delights in our coverage in this issue of the status and distribution in the ABA Area of the Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Here’s the lineup for the January/February 2013 issue:

About the Cover. Artist Andrew Guttenberg reflects on his childhood experiences with the 2013 ABA Bird of the Year, the Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor). And we invite you to do the same. Check out Andrew’s essay, and then share with us your own experiences with and impressions of the 2013 Bird of the Year.





Birding Together (by Jeffrey A. Gordon, p. 9). In a spirited and informative interview, ABA President Jeff Gordon (pictured here at right) and artist Andrew Guttenberg (left) discuss the genesis of the 2013 Bird of the Year art. Watch the 11-minute video, and feel free to follow up with questions for either Jeff or Andrew. Photo by © Liz Gordon.



Your Letters (by ABA members, pp. 12–18). Birding is a members’ magazine. You, the vibrant membership of the ABA, play a key role in determining the magazine’s content. Take a look at this brief overview of how we decide what to publish in the magazine, and please consider sharing with us—either in print or online—your own thoughts about content in Birding.

News and Notes (by Paul Hess, pp. 32–33). In a short news item (“Soft Songs are Potent,” p. 33), we learn about the surprising “soft song” of the Song Sparrow. But what does this soft song sound like? Listen to a few audio recordings, and find out. For more detail, read the complete online article—accompanied by additional sound recordings and sound spectrograms. The full online article, plus the complete array of recordings and spectrograms, are for members only.Join the ABA today, and get access to all members-only online content.

Click on the image to hear the “soft song” of the Song Sparrow.

Young Birders (by Chad Williams, pp. 48–53). This feature article, on the rise of “YBCs” (young birder clubs), has prompted extensive online commentary, much of it quite thoughtful. See what everybody is saying, and join in on the discussion, still ongoing. Other feature articles offer surprising insights about the status in the ABA Area of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (by Amar Ayyash, pp. 34–41) and Common Black-Hawks (by Charles J. Babbitt, pp. 42–47). Photo by © Chad Williams.



Photo Quiz Answers (by Tom Johnson, pp. 54–55). Challenge yourself! Before you read Tom Johnson’s analysis, see if you can figure out the birds on your own. Click here for a shorebird flock in flight (Quiz Photo A), and click here for a small flock of gulls loafing on a beach (Quiz Photo B). We’re delighted that so many folks have chimed in with their own analyses, and we hope you will, too. Photos by © Tom Johnson.

Book Reviews (commentary by Rick Wright, p. 60). You really owe it to yourself to read Rick Wright’s short yet revolutionary commentary in the print version of the magazine. Then see what Rick’s talking about. Our January/February 2013 book reviews start off with Steve Rooke’s detailed analysis of a major new field guide to the birds of Central Asia; next up is Eric Salzman’s charming review of two quirky books about extinct, er, “boids”; and we wrap up the January/February reviews with Rick’s own thoughts on an intriguing but problematic book on the role of birders in the amateur science ethic in the United States.

New Photo Quiz (p. 64). Quizmaster Tom Johnson’s answers will appear in the March/April 2013 Birding. But there’s no need to wait that long for all-out debate and discussion about these birds. Join the online conversation about each of the three quiz photos: Quiz Photo A (a flock of ducks); Quiz Photo B (a pointy-headed gray bird); and Quiz Photo C (a hawk in flight). Photos by © Tom Johnson.

Not an ABA member? But you’d like to get Birding magazine, plus access to members-only online content? Please join the ABA today—We’ll rush you a copy of the January/February 2013 issue, and we’ll set you up with a password for all your members-only online content. Click here to join, or call us at 800-850-2473.