10,000 Birds

Birds of Kruger National Park and Wildlife of Ecuador: Two WILDGuides Reviewed

10,000 Birds

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.

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Exploring the Kapela (Chapel) Reserve

10,000 Birds

Ah, late summer mornings, fresh, yet warm and sunny, when fields are rich-yellow and the river Danube so tranquil (so much so that even a Buddhist temple was recently opened at the Danube riverbank). It’s the migration season. Cover photo: Eurasian Sparrowhawk by Magnus Manske (Wikimedia Commons).

2017 64

Those magnificent places down the Danube

10,000 Birds

Cover photo: Black-headed Bunting by Mark S. Jobling / Wikimedia Commons. This year, the first heat of the season came late, only with early June. Instead of writing at home, I discovered a new “study”, a discreet fish restaurant hidden in the branch of the Danube.

2017 78

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 87

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.

Britain’s Birds: An Identification Guide to the Birds of Britain and Ireland–A Book Review

10,000 Birds

British birders are very serious about birding and their birds. This is a very good thing; it means they publish a lot of books about birds (probably more at this point than U.S.

A holiday in Egypt

10,000 Birds

East Sinai – Bay of Aqaba, Taba Resort. Morning. Some three dozen migrating Barn Swallows fly above the hotel garden where I am having coffee at the Breeze Bar by the pool.

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There’s a bear! There’s a bear!

10,000 Birds

In the most of Europe, Brown Bear is a mythical creature that lives only in mediaeval tapestries and folk tales. It has become extinct, one may say, but such formulation hides the gruesome fact: it has been exterminated. By us.

2016 86

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

Everything’s Coming Up Carrie Laben

10,000 Birds

We at 10,000 Birds are lucky to have such distinguished writers on our team. Yet, few of them are actually distinguished for their writing. That’s just one reason why we’re so proud of Beat Writer Carrie Laben , who’s been having a heck of a month.

2017 56

You Gotta Fight When You Think it’s the Right Thing to Do

10,000 Birds

I bird, therefore I am. Birding defines me, that much is clear. Yet, for the last month and a half I don’t remember doing any birding (my longest pause in the several years, for sure). I was mostly guiding journalists to “ Belgrade Amazon ” and I continue to do so these days.

2017 54

The Smell of Napalm in the Morning

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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

Message in a bottle

10,000 Birds

Did you ever get a message in a bottle? Completely meaningless gibberish from an entirely unknown guy (from my experience, it’s always a guy, looking like a lumberjack and that’s okay) that, strangely enough, makes you insanely excited? If not, you must try gulling.

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

Arizona in Summer: It Ain’t All Hummers

10,000 Birds

It’s a well-known fact that southeast Arizona in summer is awesome. At least for birders. My first birding trip ever was to Arizona.

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

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

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.

We are Just Money Grubbers

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

2016 61

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.

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


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

The slaughter tourism trade in Serbia

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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.

The beautiful nests of the Hooded Oriole

10,000 Birds

When it comes to nest construction, few if any birds rival the detail put into their nests, like members of the oriole family. Here in the southern half of the Baja, we have both Hooded and Scott’s Orioles , with the Hooded variety being quite a bit more common.

2017 43

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

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

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.

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.

About gulls and panic

10,000 Birds

Do you ever feel that you do not know your birds anymore? I had that feeling today.

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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

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

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.

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?

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

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.

Crested Serpent Eagle

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To the north of Kuala Lumpur, is a section of forest, easily accessible from the city. A flight over the forest via Google Earth, shows that quarrying is encroaching into the forest from the north and west and the city is threatening to overwhelm it from the south and east.

2017 34

Birding the Pannonian Sea Sands

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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

How Fast Can A Roadrunner Run?

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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.

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