Birding Online: September 2013

Welcome! You’ve just found your way to all the online content for the September/October 2013 issue of Birding. We hope you enjoy your visit, and Editor Ted Floyd would love to get your feedback.
Now that she’s read the September/October 2013 Birding, Clara Kirk Pilger of Colorado Springs, Colorado, may quite possibly know more about Clapper Rail taxonomy than any other human being her age. (Clara’s aunt, LeAnn Pilger, is the ABA’s tireless and ever-helpful Membership Coordinator.)

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

Sitting on the Split Rail Fence. The Clapper Rail–King Rail complex, currently recognized as consisting of two species, may actually comprise five species—three of which would occur in the ABA Area (see cover, pp. 25–26, and pp. 28–39). Learn how to tell them apart in this online tutorial based on Michael Patten’s authoritative monograph.

Magnanimity. In his regular column in the print version ofBirding (pp. 8–9), ABA President Jeffrey A. Gordon exhorts ABA’ers and birders everywhere to be “magnanimous”—more than simply generous, but also possessed of a can-do, proactive engagement of the cause of birding and of avian welfare. Learn more about birderly magnanimity, and discuss your own experiences with magnanimous birders.
Right: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) ogles the famous Rufous-necked Wood-Rail in New Mexico. Photo courtesy of the Office of U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich.

Your Letters. “The internet has changed everything”—including Birding magazine. On which side of the “digital divide” (print Birding vs. online content) do you fall? Or is that the wrong question? Could it be that print and online content are complementary? Join the conversation online.

ABA MEMBERS ONLY: Birding in Australia. In this informative and beautifully illustrated WebExtra for ABA members, Australia’s most famous birder outlines his dream itinerary for American birders Down Under. Travel with Sean Dooley to the land of Pink Robins and Powerful Owls, Brolgas and Rockwarblers, Regent Honeyeaters and Mallee Emu-wrens.
Right: Pink Robin. Photo by © Dean Ingwersen.

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. 22–25, 62) of North American Rarities in July 2013. Do you crave more recent “Sightings”?—August 2013 “Sightings” and even September 2013 “Sightings” are available online as high-quality, full-color PDF downloads.
Left: South Polar Skua—in Oklahoma City! Photo by © Steve Metz.

Sympathy for the Twitcher. “Twitching” (or “chasing”) has been massively facilitated by the internet. Is twitching bad for birds and for birders? Or do the positives outweigh negatives? Read Jason R. Straka and Devin M. E. Turner’s feature article (pp. 40–46 in the print issue), then share your thoughts online.
Right: Twitchers at Point Pelee, Ontario. Photo by © Sandy McRuer.

Photo Quiz Answers. The ABA Area’s two “spine-tailed swifts” in the genus Chaetura are an underappreciated ID challenge. Quiz yourself! Before reading Tom Johnson’s definitive answers in the September/October issue (pp. 48–52), go online and see if you can figure out the birds on your own.
Left: Photo by © Tom Johnson.

Book Reviews. Have you ever been in a book group? Be part of the ABA’s online book group! Read the reviews, then discuss them online. In the September/October Birding, Alan McBride reviews field guides to the birds of Oceania, Edward J. Burtt, Jr., reviews a field guide to ABA Area warblers, and Alexandria Simpson reviews a biography of ornithologist Thomas Sadler Roberts.


New Photo Quiz. This warbler from Minnesota has generated a lot of discussion. Is it “just” a Mourning? See what everyone’s saying, and weigh in with your own thoughts.
Right: Photo by © Chris Wood.

Another Quiz! We’ve all been in the situation where a bird of interest isn’t actually seen until it’s flying away. The under-parts are all but invisible, and the head can’t be seen at all. So it is with this month’s ABA–Birder’s Diary photo quiz. At least, this bird won’t keep flying away; you can study it for as long as you want. And with this quiz, you can even win a prize!
Left: Photo by © Tony Leukering.

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

Check out the complete Table of Contents for the print issue of the September/October 2013Birding.