Birding Online: November 2013

Welcome! You’ve just found your way to all the online content for the November/December 2013 issue of Birding. We hope you enjoy your visit, and Editor Ted Floyd would love to get your feedback.

Young birder Ibrahim Ayyash of Frankfort, Illinois, chuckles at the American White Pelicans decked out across pp. 52–53 in the November/December Birding. Ibrahim’s father, Amar Ayyash, is a gull nut who blogs at, administers the Facebook Group North American Gulls, and writes about gulls for Birding (his next article appears in the January/February 2014 issue).

This page is a launch pad to all the full-feature content in the November/December 2013 Birding. Think of it as your online Table of Contents. Click on the links below, and off you go!

Conservation, Going Forward. The gatefold cover photo for the November/DecemberBirding depicts one of the greatest avian spectacles in North America: migration at the Great Salt Lake. What are the prospects for conserving this amazing natural resource? More broadly, where are we going with bird conservation as we head into the heart of the 21st century? Share your thoughts in this interactive forum.
Cover photo by © Mia McPherson.

Your Letters. Birders are, by and large, a pretty well-rounded lot—interested in and knowledgeable about everything from philosophy to physics to poetry. It oughtn’t come as a surprise, then, that the letters to the editor in this issue (pp. 10–12) deal with botany and mammalogy. Which of your interests intersect with birding? Join the discussion online.

ABA MEMBERS ONLY: “Sightings Online.” If you’re an ABA member, you’ve already seen Amy Davis’s recent compilation in the print issue (pp. 20–24, 62) of North American Rarities in September 2013. Do you crave more recent “Sightings”?—October 2013 “Sightings” (pp. 68–74) and even November 2013 “Sightings” are available online as high-quality, full-color PDF downloads.
Right: Virginia’s Warblers occur in arid habitats in western North America. But his one was at St. John’s, eastern Newfoundland, almost 1,000 miles northeast of Boston! Photo by © Bruce Mactavish.

ABA Checklist Changes. It’s one of the annual highlights for ABA members: the publication in Birding of the ABA Checklist Committee’s annual report. The main body of the report(appearing on pp. 30–37 of the November/December issue) provides extensive details on the committee’s recent votes regarding the Hawaiian Petrel, Purple Swamphen, Common Moorhen, Common Chiffchaff, and Nutmeg Mannikin. A supplemental document (pp. 75–79) discusses the Sage Sparrow split, the Little Shearwater split, and more.
Left: Our knowledge of the identification and occurrence in ABA Area waters of the Hawaiian Petrel has increased greatly in recent years. Photo by © David Pavlik.

Nighthawks—The Last Hurrah. The bird art of Ray Nelson (featured in the November/December issue on pp. 38–39) is often beautiful, sometimes strange, and almost always provocative. Enjoy this online gallery of Nelson’s art.
Right: “Nighthawks”—acrylic on wood by © Ray Nelson. This painting was commissioned in connection with the ABA’s recognition of the Common Nighthawk as the 2013 Bird of the Year.

Discuss Bird Conservation. All of us want healthy bird populations. But how do we translate that desire into action? That question motivated the proceedings of the Fifth International Partners in Flight Conference and Conservation Workshop, reported on pp. 48–53 of the November/December issue. And it’s a question on the minds of many birders, so share your ideas and insights at The ABA Blog. [Note: This link takes you to the same discussion mentioned above for the gatefold cover.]
Right: Partners in Flight (Compañeros en Vuelo) is an organization that promotes a multi-agency and cross-disciplinary approach to bird conservation across the Americas.

Photo Quiz Answers. Ah. The warbler. This one occasioned a lot of discussion over at The ABA Blog. Now, Tom Johnson’s “official” analysis appears on pp. 54–55 of the print version of the November/December issue. But if you want one last go at this mystery warbler, check out the online discussion, still in progress.
Left: Photo by © Christopher L. Wood.

Book Reviews. How do we enjoy birds? Answer: There are probably as many ways to enjoy birds as there are people who enjoy studying and learning about birds. In the book reviews in this issue, Bertie Gregory looks at the photographic appreciation of birds and Joy M. Kiser explores our fascination with breeding biology.

Joy Kiser review of Birds' Nests of the World Bertie Gregory review of Birds of British Columbia.

New Photo Quiz. Birds in flight can be tough to identify. They’re in motion. They’re fast. And their shape changes with every wing-beat. What are some things to look for on birds in flight? Take a crack at the New Photo Quiz in the November/December Birding. (Answers appear in the January/February 2014 issue.)
Right: Photo by © Tom Johnson.

Another quiz! Our online quizmaster, Tony Leukering, is up to his usual mischief. Have fun with this one! And if you get it right, you are eligible to win a prize.
Left: Photo by © Tony Leukering.

Order the entire November/December 2013 issue of Birding at The ABA Shop. Or better, yet, join the ABA today, and get the November/December 2013 Birding, plus all the other benefits of ABA membership.

Check out the complete Table of Contents for the print issue of the November/December 2013 Birding.