10,000 Birds

Beaten by an Angry Bird

10,000 Birds

Noisy wing beats, heavy landing behind the stern, water splashing everywhere and then, a hit of a heavy wing on my upper arm…. A few years back, I birded northern Greece with a couple from Namibia. It had been a while since I saw Greater Flamingoes and was thrilled to see them again.

2017 86

Counting birds that count on us.

10,000 Birds

The World’s biggest citizen science wildlife count takes place this weekend. It is a very simple and accessible event which requires each observer to sit for one hour in their garden or a local park. Their observations are then entered to the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch site.

2017 99

Trending Sources

I Remember Elephants

10,000 Birds

Late last month, while searching for bears , woodpeckers and spirits of Greece, I deliberately avoided checking any news, especially from my home country. Every now and then, I need to cut the world off and clear my mind.

2016 99

The New Swarovski BTX, an Amazing Advancement in Spotting Scopes

10,000 Birds

A little over a month ago I was hiking up a mountain path outside of Innsbruck, Austria, with birders from around the world. When we reached our destination we were greeted with glasses of champagne. And while the bubbly really hit the spot it seemed like it was a bit of overkill.

Morning Coffee with Eastern Imperial Eagle

10,000 Birds

May 2009. After a wakeup call at highly uncivilized 3.45 am, at the crack of dawn I am sitting in a car by the Suslik (European ground squirrel) pasture. It is still cold. No Susliks are to be seen – they are waiting for the sun.

2017 70

City Guide: Finding Birds in Belgrade

10,000 Birds

Is Belgrade the New Berlin is a question recently raised in Vogue by Marry Holland. Her article starts with a bold claim that “no city makes you feel more like a New Yorker than Belgrade.”

2017 52

The Smell of Napalm in the Morning

10,000 Birds

Photo: This area holds 3 to 4 breeding pairs of White-tailed Eagles , which represents the biggest density per square mile anywhere in the country. Photographed by Szekeres Levente. Several European Honey-buzzards and several hundred European Bee-eaters are filling the sunny sky above the wetland.

2016 82

Mallard Complexity

10,000 Birds

Everyone knows what a male Mallard looks like. The drake of this extremely common, sexually dimorphic species ( Anas platyrhynchos ) cuts a fine form with his iridescent emerald dome and chestnut breast.

2017 60

What to look for in a new home

10,000 Birds

What does the average person go looking for, in a new place to live? Close to schools, grocery store, a nice neighborhood, all things well worth considering. None of those thing in fact, even came into consideration during our search, when my wife and I started looking for our next residence.

2017 39

Do you count gulls? But how?!?

10,000 Birds

Cover photo: Yellow-legged (left), Caspian Gull (right) – Courtesy of cro-ringing.blogspot.com. How to count tens of thousands of birds that are all white below and grey above? I mean, it is easy to count them all, but what I want are numbers of individual species within such flocks and not just numbers of them all together. I am an experienced bird counter, but until a few years ago, I was mostly counting waterfowl, where you can easily tell the species apart, even in large mixed flocks.

2015 94

Recent Events Involving Our Public Lands Are Alarming

10,000 Birds

Do you consider yourself a wildlife conservationist? Do you contribute to wildlife conservation organizations? Maybe a worldwide organization like the Wildlife Conservation Network , BirdLife International or the Peregrine Fund ?

2016 67

We are Just Money Grubbers

10,000 Birds

Out of just under 200 bird species I observed this year in SE Europe, there are 6 threatened species.

2016 61

Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White: A Book Review

10,000 Birds

Here are some facts to keep in mind about Good Birders Still Don’t Wear White: Passionate Birders Share the Joys of Watching Birds: (1) This is not a dress code. (2) 2) This is a NEW book edited by Lisa A. White and Jeffrey A. Gordon, illustrated by Robert A.

2017 50

The Kerkini Lake, Greece: Dipped One, Got One

10,000 Birds

I dipped a bird recently – possibly a lifer. While crossing Gramos Mountain in northern Greece, a Dendrocopos woodpecker flew over the road and landed in a pine tree.

My Top 12 Wildlife Watching Moments

10,000 Birds

Today is the United Nations World Wildlife Day, a time to celebrate and raise awareness of the living world around us. I remember, several times while motionlessly surveying birds, I found myself being investigated by Striped Field Mice , who would dare to come to sniff me. They were probably just checking if I am already dead and possibly edible and not admiring me, but I admired them for their guts and curiosity to approach a creature so much bigger.

Tips for Birding Costa Rica in 2017

10,000 Birds

Are you on your way to Costa Rica? Planning a trip for later this year? Good choice, the birding is fantastic! If not, I hope the following tips will convince you to come on down to this easy birding paradise: 100s of bird species are closer than you think. Yes, hundreds.


10,000 Birds

Worried by the lack of appropriate action by the authorities (as described in the previous post ), this year I invited two more wildlife protection organisations to take part in the annual census of Pygmy Cormorants in Belgrade. Here is a joint media release: WWF, Decembar 11, 2015 – This December, 3,800 Pygmy Cormorants are wintering by the river Sava in Belgrade, Serbia, representing 2 percent of the global population and 5.4 percent of their European population.

2015 79

How Many Birders Are There, Really?

10,000 Birds

Jason A. Crotty is a birder and lawyer living in Portland, Oregon. Jason’s first contribution to 10,000 Birds tackled the importance of the National Wildlife Refuge System. How many birders are there in America? As it turns out, there are very few estimates. Indeed, there appears to be just one. In 2013, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service released “ Birding in the United States: A Demographic and Economic Analysis.”

2016 73

A Marvelous Marsh Hawk

10,000 Birds

Most birders in the northern hemisphere are familiar with the Marsh Hawk , an expected denizen of marshes, tundra, and grasslands across a huge swathe of the globe. Otherwise known as the Northern Harrier (in the Americas) or the Hen Harrier (in the English-speaking Old World), Circus cyaneus brings terror to voles and other small mammals as it courses low over open country, ready to plunge, talons-first, at the first sign of movement.

2015 80

The slaughter tourism trade in Serbia

10,000 Birds

Twenty years ago, flocks consisting of a thousand European Turtle Doves were a common sight in Serbia in spring. Ten years ago, those flocks were reduced to a few hundred birds. Nowadays, the flocks are even smaller, merely a few dozen birds. As we speak, in Serbia these birds are still hunted in August and September. Turtle Doves have been declining in Europe since the 1970s, and in this century alone, the continent has lost 40% of its population of the species.

Things I Learned While Birding at Laguna del Lagarto, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Last weekend, I guided a trip to Laguna del Lagarto for the Birding Club of Costa Rica. Since all sorts of rare species are possible at this remote lowland rainforest site, I was looking forward to this trip for a while. It would give me yet another chance at lifering that royal pain known as a Tawny-faced Quail , the rare and beautiful Green and Rufous Kingfisher , and who knows what else.

Urban birding at its best

10,000 Birds

And then, two canids appeared in my scope field of view… My plan was that the downpour should finally be over in the morning, so I could go birding. The rain had plans of its own and now, 36 hours later, it is still going strong. However, I am a stubborn person.

2016 64

How I dipped the Horned Grebe

10,000 Birds

…or, how critical are you in twitch or dip situations? Here is one example. In the Old World, Horned (Slavonian) Grebe breeds in a wide belt stretching from Scandinavia to Kamchatka and it spends winters along sea coasts, from Japan to China and from Norway to France, plus the Adriatic and the Black Sea (west and east of the Balkans, respectively).

2015 74

Only for Dogs and Birders – Kalamas Delta, Greece

10,000 Birds

“The estuary and the delta of the River Kalamas form the most important wetland of northwest Greece”, so the “ Birding in Greece ” guidebook claims for the area where I am heading, a bit late since I overslept this morning. Driving north along the Ionian seacoast through the city of Igoumenitsa, there is a place where the main artery takes you right, further away from the sea – follow it for 150 metres (500 ft) and then turn left just before a small stadium.

Snowbound Birding

10,000 Birds

The entire world, it seemed, was buried under two feet of snow. I was checking weather forecasts for days looking for a window of opportunity for a field trip. Yet, even the mighty Danube was frozen solid from bank to bank.

2017 46

Prespa Lakes National Park, Greece: the largest Dalmatian Pelican colony in the world

10,000 Birds

The other day I was exploring a new area for the first time, birding the national park that I’ve watched only in BBC documentaries, the place famous for the largest Dalmatian Pelican colony in the world – more than 1300 pairs! Have you heard of it? Can you pinpoint it on a map?

Wood Anemones

10,000 Birds

At the end of the most recent Ice Age, the temperature began to rise and the ice began to recede northwards. This was around 10,000+ years ago when (what would become known as) Britain was still connected to mainland Europe.

2017 34

How to create an IBA and get a permanent headache in five easy steps

10,000 Birds

First: Dream about it. As a teenager in Yugoslavia, I used to buy National Geographic in secondhand bookshops. Fascinated with New York’s Jamaica Bay, I started dreaming about creating a similar wetland reserve on the Danube inside Belgrade, the area I explored by kayak. Before I had a clue what I was doing, I encompassed the Danube backwaters into the reserve borders that I draw on transparent paper pressed against a street map of the city.

2016 59

The Beauty of Checklists

10,000 Birds

Over the weekend, a fellow naturalist friend of mine came to visit the Florida Panhandle from the Big Bend’s Cedar Key. We spent a day on the beach, a morning on Turkey Creek, and took walks around the neighborhood.

2017 28

Birding the Pannonian Sea Sands

10,000 Birds

Sandy terrains are at their best during spring migration and this is the off season for such habitats. July is that boring period after the breeding and prior to migration season. Yet, somehow, this month I did three trips to those sandy areas downriver from Belgrade.

2016 54

Big Whoop, Indeed: Whooping Cranes in Louisiana!

10,000 Birds

In the fight against extinction, score one—actually, make that two—for Whooping Cranes. For the first time in 75 years, a pair has successfully nested in Louisiana , producing not one but two fuzzy, wild-born chicks. With the bird’s total population hovering roughly 600, every new addition counts—and counts big. Louisiana’s last wild Whoopers disappeared just after World War II.

Better Birding: A Book Review (& a New Year’s goal)

10,000 Birds

New Year’s resolutions from birding friends are starting to trickle in as I write this review. It is the last day of 2015, time to select the bird of the year past and set goals for the bright open future, when everything is new again. Big years, little-big years, surpassing your state list, trouncing your best friend’s state list, inching up on the eBird top 100 (well, no one says that, but you know people are thinking it).

How Fast Can A Roadrunner Run?

10,000 Birds

Every child who has ever seen a cartoon featuring Wile E Coyote and Road Runner has to have wondered if poor Wile E ever had a fair shot at catching the Road Runner. According to Mark Lockwood’s Basic Texas Birds: A Field Guide , with or without Wile.

2011 128

Falcon on the Roof

10,000 Birds

Saint Michael’s Summer

10,000 Birds

Following some bird call, I walk across the hanging deck bridge. Little by little, that woodpecker-like voice takes me ever further and yet, I see no bird. Finally, I sit on the bench by the Lazareva (Lazarus) River, in a limestone canyon sprinkled with all the colours of Saint Michael’s Summer. Wait, what is the Saint Michael’s Summer, you may ask yourself? It is the Serbian name for an Indian Summer, after Saint Michael’s Day, celebrated by the Orthodox Church on October 12.

2015 62

Roseate Spoonbill Platalea ajaja

10,000 Birds

An unmistakable and improbable-looking bird. Pete Dunne. For me, one of the best parts of going to Florida for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival is the chance to see Roseate Spoonbills.

2015 72

Oh Sweet Canada! Canucks Vote on Best Bird

10,000 Birds

While those of us in the United States are coping with a long, painful, crazy Presidential election process, our genial, civilized, and thoughtful neighbors to the North are doing some voting of their own. The contest: Canada’s national bird.

Rosefinches, Griffons and Woodcocks

10,000 Birds

Early morning finds me driving southeast through spruce forests, mountain meadows, pastures and an occasional potato field, across Mt. Zlatar in western Serbia, heading towards the town of Sjenica and, behind it, the bridge on the River Vapa. As we go lower, from glorious sunshine, we enter the morning fog. Are we going to bird in the fog? Still, we are lucky. At about 900 metres / 3000 ft a.s.l., the Sjenicka Plateau (where the Vapa meanders) is below the clouds.

2015 65

Where Are You Birding This Last Weekend of April 2017?

10,000 Birds

With April almost over, the real meat of migration fast approaches. At some point, everyone gets hit with a wave of winged travelers zooming towards their breeding or wintering ground. If that time hasn’t come for you yet, get ready.

2017 28

Migration and More: A Bird News Update

10,000 Birds

With fall migration well underway everywhere, it’s a good time to see what’s flying in bird news. Prothonotary Warblers (like the dapper bird above captured for posterity by Corey) should carry frequent-flier cards—a recent Audubon-led study found that one geolocator-toting individual racked up more than 5,000 miles in eight months. Can California Condors be taught to avoid the dangers of power lines ? Staff from the San Diego Zoo think so.