10,000 Birds

The First Bird Tracking Station Is Up and Running in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Bird migration! In October, it’s what’s happening in Costa Rica. Our big month of bird movements in Costa Rica, the 10th month of the year, is when most of the swallows, Scarlet Tanagers , thrushes, and other species on the South American express push through.

“The 125 Best Bird Watching Sites in Southeast Asia”

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The 125 Best Bird Watching Sites in Southeast Asia, edited by Yong Ding Li & Low Bing Wen.

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Birders: A Documentary Short Film Review

10,000 Birds

The first shot of Birders is of a helicopter. It’s an official-looking helicopter, photographed flying in the air at eye level, as if we’re next to it. Then, a long shot looking down of the Rio Grande delta, green and brown, but mostly green, bisected by a continuing, curving brown line.

2019 275

Bird Songs (but maybe not the kind you’re thinking): A review of “There Are Birds,” a music album, and an interview with songstress Stephanie Seymour

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Why do people become birders? There must be an endless number of individual reasons, and an endless number of stories worth telling about it – about that moment in time when one person’s avidity for avians first kicked in.

2019 207

Hummingbird Heaven

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Central Mexico, where I live, has a monsoon climate. In other words, we tend to have heavy rains from late May or June through October, and little or no rains during the winter and spring. This means that most of our vegetation grows during the summer and flowers (and/or fruits) during the fall.

2019 236

The Economic Impact of Birding on National Wildlife Refuges: Creating Local Jobs

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Every few years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) attempts to calculate the economic contribution of National Wildlife Refuge visitation to local communities. The most recent effort was released in June 2019.

2019 285

Sixth Annual Queens County Bird Club Big Sit An Amazing Success!

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At five-forty-five Sunday morning I started the eBird checklist while perched atop the Battery Harris Platform at Fort Tilden. It was the sixth year in a row of the Queens County Bird Club Big Sit, my favorite event of the year.

2019 153

The benefits of hurricanes in Southeast Arizona

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For the past few weeks I have been touting all the different reasons that Southeast Arizona is such an amazing area for birding. The diversity of the area affords one the ability to acquire a pretty impressive list of species.

Broad-billed Sandpiper on Cable Beach

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September is always an interesting month as we observe the shorebirds return to Broome from their northerly migration. The shorebirds gather on Cable Beach from around two hours before until two hours after high tide.

2019 217

Best Bird of the Weekend (First of October 2019)

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October oversees a general cooling of the Northern Hemisphere, but the birding tends to heat up in the beginning of the month. Plus, when else can you chase migrants while guzzling pumpkin spice lattes? I enjoyed neither birding nor guzzling lattes during this work-encumbered weekend.

2019 195

Shearwaters from Shore

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I was poking around my eBird checklists recently and came across one from one of my more intriguing days birding. Like many birders, I’ve had “patches” where I routinely go birding. Patch birding is rewarding because the birds become familiar, as do the changes across the seasons.

2019 188

Spoon-billed Sandpiper at Tiaozini, Jiangsu, China

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Spoon-billed Sandpiper at Tiaozini, Jiangsu, China. The Spoon-billed Sandpiper is probably the most iconic bird species in China – to the point that some bird guides I know are quite tired of looking for it. And yet, I have now birded China for almost 5 years without ever really trying to see one.

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Hoping for Grasspipers in Costa Rica

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In Costa Rica, sandpipers are locally known as “correlimos”, which to me sounds something along the lines of “little runners” and that sounds about right.

Birding Bryant Park

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It’s been almost five years since the last time I blogged about a visit to midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park. This pocket park is well known by New York City birders as a migrant trap and this fall has been no exception.

2019 171

Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of October 2019)

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Mid-October birding can be as exciting as you–and wind and weather conditions–allow it to be. Did everything needed for a phenomenal weekend come together for you?

2019 156

Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of September 2019)

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Mid-September conjures up visions of migrating shorebirds, songbirds, and waterfowl all joining together under ideal natural lighting for one perfect moment of birding. Sometimes, that even happens.

2019 229

Bird Litigation: “Standing” and the California Gnatcatcher

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The coastal subspecies of California Gnatcatcher ( Polioptila californica californica ) can be found in sage scrub that was once abundant from Ventura County to northern Baja California. But its U.S.

Zero Gravity Brewing Company: Bobolink Saison

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Birders know that the pairing of farms and birds represents more than mere bucolic romance – it’s a match borne out of a real avian dependence on these man-made landscapes.

2019 162

Heaven for more than Hummingbirds

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Last week I told you about one of my favorite places to visit at this time of year, the tiny town of Laurelito, Michoacán, Mexico. This spot, just south of my city of Morelia, has the largest bank of Salvias in my area.

2019 188

Homage to Catalonia

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In a warm Catalonian March (I was about to say Spanish, but among quite a few flags, I haven’t seen a single Spanish one), Barcelona was filled with sunlight and full of Rose-ringed and Monk Parakeets , two charming but alien and invasive species.

2019 235

Return of the Dollarbird

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It’s that time of year again! Not only are all of the migratory shorebirds returning to Australia, but also other migratory birds. Channel-billed Cuckoos , Eastern Koels and Dollarbirds all return to Australia around September.

2019 174

Reminders and Perils of Fall Migration in Costa Rica

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Migration is happening. Every birder knows it. Even if we couldn’t find time to raise the bins at a favorite patch, it only takes momentary glances into the sky and hearing chip notes from the trees to remind us that birds are on the move. The old neighborhood standbys are quiet or maybe gone.

A Young, Banded Royal Tern and Where It Came From

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This past Saturday afternoon I was out on the beach in the Rockaways with my family. We were taking advantage of one of the many warm and sunny days we have enjoyed this fall, looking for cool shells, getting our feet wet in the surf, and just generally enjoying ourselves.

2019 186

Freckled Ducks and field guides

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Anybody that has spent some time birding and using field guides will soon realise that the field guides are written for humans. Birds do not follow field guides and they are purely written to help us identify which bird species we are most likely to observe at certain locations.

2019 210

Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of September 2019)

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As I anticipated, this past weekend offered a dazzling range of temperatures guaranteed to remind a person of every season in turn. But did that impact or improve bird visibility? I wish I knew.

2019 199

Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of October 2019?

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For many Americans, a three- or four-day weekend–no matter its provenance–arrives at the perfect time to enjoy peak autumn excitement. Fall migration only adds to the festivities. If you’re planning any kind of Big Day or Big Sit , this may be your best chance.

2019 153

A huge gathering of Galahs

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On Monday we went from Broome to Derby. We left home just before 8am when we hoped most of the wallabies had moved away from the highway.

2019 219

Audubon’s New Report on Climate Change Shows Us How We Can Make a Difference

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Photo by Mac Stone. Yesterday, Audubon released a report years in the making, entitled, “ Survival by Degrees: 389 Species on the Brink.

2019 150

Fall migration brings rarities to Tucson

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When you think of Southeast Arizona Birding, and the unique birds that can be found there, it conjures thoughts of roadrunners, hummingbirds, trogons, and the many other desert residents. In the last few days, we have had a couple of avian visitors that are well outside the norm.

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Birds Expected and Unexpected at Calle Jocote, Costa Rica

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In January, we moved to a new place at a slightly lower elevation yet still located in the Central Valley rather near the main airport. As with any home inhabited by birders, we have kept track of all species heard or seen, night and day.

Nightingale-Thrushes

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We all have them: families of birds that are maddeningly similar, forever leaving nagging doubts about our identifications. Gulls. Terns. New World Warblers in non-reproductive plumage. “Old World” Warblers, any time of the year. Empidonax flycatchers, oh God, Empidonax flycatchers.

2019 195

Kings County Brewers Collective: Safe Flight IPA

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Some days just turn out really well. On one gray, drizzly morning this week, I set out to bird my local patch in Albany, New York, and found 56 species in a few hours of aimless, unhurried traipsing.

2019 168

Rename All Birds Named After White People

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Zach Schwartz-Weinstein is a writer, teacher, organizer, and birdwatcher who lives in upstate New York.

2019 260

Ground-Sparrows and Brush-Finches

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Most birders love a good double-hyphenate. Except, of course, for those who don’t yet know what a double-hyphenate is. Double-hyphenates are birds with two hyphens in their common name, which is a characteristic that suggests a high degree of rarity or difficulty.

2019 199

Puerto Vallarta Birds

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Back in November of 2017, I travelled to the tourist town of Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s west coast, to sing in a Christian event. Yes, I sing. You can find my music on YouTube under the name of Pablo Lewis. If you are into that sort of thing, you might enjoy clicking on one of the songs.

2019 150

What is a “Nonessential Experimental” California Condor?

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently proposed reintroducing California Condors in the Pacific Northwest. Although sometimes thought of a bird of the Southwest, the condor’s historical range reaches as far north as British Columbia.

Urban Birding in Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is well known for national parks and other protected areas than offer access to tropical ecosystems dripping with biodiversity. Lots of birds, a lot of really cool birds! The Emerald Tanager is one of those cool ones.

Little Curlew on Cable Beach

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Each year at the beginning of September we start to keep an eye out for the return of the Little Curlew- Numenius minutus from their northern migration. Little Curlew are often observed on Broome’s Sport Ovals prior to and after their migration.

Collaborative List – September 2019 – (Red-letter version)

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The autumn is upon us. Southbound migrants are passing through in torrents. Are you getting any action? The beats have been ranging far and wide. 62 species have been added to our combined life list, breaking through the next hundred which has been proving very stubborn.

2019 159

Foreign Languages on a Birding Trip

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Don’t you hate it when you cannot communicate while birding overseas? Having mobility issues, I still remember birding from a van along a rather productive dirt road in Costa Rica ( Broad-billed Motmot , Lineated Woodpecker , Cocoa Woodcreeper , etc.), while the rest of the group took a hike.

2019 194

Birds of the West Indies by Kirwan, Levesque, Oberle & Sharpe

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Or How a Serbian Suave Playboy Promoted Birding the Caribbean. Oh, the joys of slipping through the pages of a new book that has just arrived, the Birds of the West Indies by Kirwan, Levesque, Oberle and Sharpe. I am checking the References and one name, expectedly, stands out: Bond, J.

2019 214

Oceanic Birds of The World: A Photo Guide–A Book Review

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Are seabirds the last frontier of bird identification? Steve N. Howell and Kirk Zufelt certainly think so. They say so right here in the Preface of Oceanic Birds of The World: A Photo Guide —seabirds are “some of the most challenging of all birds to identify.”

2019 199

The Top 25 Target Birds to Look for in Costa Rica

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“Target birds” The term can foster excitement but is easily contentious. It would be uber cool to lay eyes on a rare lifer, on species that only seem to live on the pages of a field guide but isn’t that somewhat discriminatory? Aren’t all birds worth watching?