2017

“The Birder’s Guide to Africa” by Michael Mills

10,000 Birds

Starting in the mid-1990s, there was a “where to watch birds in…” series of five site guides written by Nigel Wheatley and covering South America (1994), Africa (1995), Asia (1996), Europe & Russia (2000) and Central America & the Caribbean (2001). I was always curious, but never had a chance to study any of them. Anyway, they are heavily outdated by now.

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The idea is that the benefits of regulations are zero

Environmental Economics

From the "text of executive order on eliminating rules": (b) For fiscal year 2017, which is in progress, the heads of all agencies are directed that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero, unless otherwise required by law or consistent with advice provided in writing by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director). (c)

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Bergamot Rose Spa Box Giveaway – Ends 2/2/17

Hug a Tree with Me

Our first giveaway of the year is our Romantic Bergamot Rose Spa Box filled with handmade beauty items to make you look and feel beautifully relaxed. The box includes: one Bergamot Rose soap bar, one bergamot rose bath bomb, two bath teas, one solid perfume, one container of whipped body butter, one stainless steel soap dish, one small loofah and our “Relax” zine. This spa box is available on our Etsy shop for $34.50, however, no purchase is required for this giveaway. It is opened to all U.S

Love as a Practice

Indigenize

The following is an essay written by my contradancing pal Lynn Ungar. She reframes love from an exclusive romantic destination to a daily practice for everyone. Spiritual Ecopsychology The Wheel of the Year love Lynn Ungar spiritual practice UU valentines day

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Pizza boxes, fast food cardboard and similar

Green (Living) Review

by Michael Smith (Veshengro) On those boxes we can see greenwash in action almost in the extreme. All those containers are marked with the recyclable logo and the imprint “recyclable” and while they are recyclable when they haven't been used the fact is that, once those containers have come into contact with foods, which is the case once they are in our hands, and thus have gotten food residue and/or fat on them, they can no longer be recycled.

2017 159

New York City Park Department Contractor Tears Up Imperiled Sparrows Home

10,000 Birds

Joshua Malbin has been birding in Brooklyn, NY for more than 10 of his 15-plus years doing it so far. He’s been working as a writer and editor for almost 20, and has contributed fiction and nonfiction to more than a dozen online and print journals. He cohosts the independent comics review podcast Comics for Grownups and has self-published a novel about water wars in the western U.S. Another is in the works. .

What is killing birds at Karla Lake (Greece)?

10,000 Birds

There should be thousands of birds at this time of the year, Dimitris Michalakis from the Karla Lake management authority told me. In early August this year, I saw 77 species here (69 on the lake, plus 8 more in the surrounding areas) but barely more than a thousand individuals. Located in Thessaly province in central Greece, what is now left of the lake where the god Apollo was married and where the Argonauts built their kingdom is officially called the reservoirs of the former Lake Karla.

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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.” While I am a Belgrader, I have no clue why someone in the New Berlin should feel like a New Yorker (what, do New Yorkers feel like Berliners?) and am not a lifestyle writer to comment on those claims.

2017 176

“Keep your taxonomy out of my field guide” – revisited

10,000 Birds

Way back in the days when blog posts still got a lot of comments, I wrote a piece on why field guides that arrange species in a more or less strict taxonomic order regularly frustrate me. I gave a number of reasons in a great number of paragraphs and got an enormous amount of comments, many of which were highly critical of what I had said. The original post is here , and if you have some left-over time, spending it on going through the comments is time well spent.

2017 172

An Absolute Beginner in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

I have just returned from Costa Rica, the country about which I knew very little, despite it coming under my radar all the way back in 1999 when the “Africa – Birds & Birding” magazine published some of John Graham’s experiences from his visit in 1993. But, living in the Western Balkans, Costa Rica – and the entire New World – seemed not 14 hours of flight, but more like 14 light years away. My hopes of ever visiting it were not particularly high.

eBird Economics: How Much Would You Pay to See Birds?

10,000 Birds

Birders derive “value” from birding. But does the value of a particular trip come from the number of birds seen, viewing a particular species, seeing an endangered species, catching a glimpse of a rarity, adding a lifer, or something else? How much do birders value a birding experience? Some aspects of birding can be calculated and studied economists. For example, binoculars and field guides have a cost that can be measured in dollars.

Ten Years of Select Economic Data in Graphs

Environmental Economics

A pet peeve of mine as an economist is giving too much credit to the current quarterback , er.President for [economic] wins and too much blame for [economic] losses.    To give a better picture of what's going on with the economy, here are some graphs of the past decade of select economic data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.      I'll leave it to others to draw conclusions. 1) Median Household Income in the U.S.

2017 159

The Case for Adding the U.S. Territories in the Caribbean to the ABA Area

10,000 Birds

I recently asked whether Puerto Rico should be part of the American Birding Association’s ABA Area. That post led to a spirited discussion on the ABA Facebook page. I will suggest an answer to the question: this post makes the argument that both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands should be added to the ABA Area. # # #. Now that Hawaii is in the ABA Area , the next additions should be Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).

2017 167

Leading a Contra Dance Role-Swapping Workshop

Indigenize

Contra dancers, if you’ve ever been curious about dancing the other gender role, I have published a new article with co-author Erik Erhardt about how to optimally pull it off. We of course offer tips for smooth swapping points and the like, yet our main point is the “prime directive” of keeping neighbors, shadows, […]. Arts Dance cdss contra dance Erik Erhardt gender respect role swapping

2017 116

The myth of glass recycling

Green (Living) Review

by Michael Smith (Veshengro) The great majority of people, I am sure, firmly believe that the glass bottles and glass jars, of which they so diligently remove the labels and then put out for the kerbside recycling pick-up are going to make new glass bottles and -jars. But this is a myths that needs busting.

Glass 159

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. The hike hadn’t seemed so difficult that we needed to celebrate having completed it with champagne.

White-breasted Dipper

10,000 Birds

Firstly, I have to say “Happy New Year”! May you all have a great birding year and may you all take pleasure in what you see and enjoy the time you spend in nature! Last week I had to decide which birds would be my top ten birds for 2016 and although it was a hard decision to make I had to give top place to the White-breasted Dipper.

2017 164

In defence of museum collections

10,000 Birds

You’d be hard pressed to find a 19th century scientist more despised than Richard Owen. For all his qualities as an anatomist (at a time when the profession was so esteemed) he seemed to lack anything so unbecoming as integrity or decency. Not for nothing has he been cast as the villain in the story of Darwin’s life and the development of evolution, to say nothing of his role as the supervillian in the tragic life of Gregory Mantell.

2017 163

Snow in Costa Rica!

10,000 Birds

It was already dark in mid-October when we arrived to the Costa Rican birding mecca of Rancho Naturalista to have dinner on the veranda but then were interrupted with a call: There’s a Mottled Owl at the other side! You can imagine the rest: everyone jumped from the table to look for the owl. Lisa Erb, the manager and owner, but also a former bird guide, perfectly understood her guests. After dinner, some teams walked around hoping for some more birds.

The Scarlet Pacific of Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

The Crocodile Bridge on the Tarcoles River is a strange place. Cars stopped at the bridge itself, people walking – not just along the narrow sidewalks, but across the lanes… Abelardo Benavides, our guide, explained that there are up to a hundred American Crocodiles along one kilometre of the river underneath us. Yet, as a team participating in a bird race, we had our schedule, to appear at the lodge at 6.30 And since crocs sport no feathers, we went to check the Tarcoles town beach instead.

A Corn Crake in New York State!

10,000 Birds

No one expected a Corn Crake. But, then, no one expected a Common Greenshanks in New Jersey. And, the message on the NYSbirds listserv this morning was clear: A Corn Crake (this is no joke) is currently feeding on the north shoulder of the Ocean Parkway east of the Cedar Beach marina … Ken & Sue Feustel. Now, probably if I was Corey, my response would be to grab my car keys, bins, and camera and go go go.

Bird Migration and Conservation Meet at Selva Bananito, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In Costa Rica, October is our May. Birds begin to filter down through this southern part of Central America by August but the biggest avian movement happens during the third and final weeks of October. While birders up north are pishing up sparrows, digging the Autumn weekend at Cape May, or twitching vagrants, we are busy with kingbird flocks during our height of migration.

"Nation With Crumbling Bridges and Roads Excited to Build Giant Wall"

Environmental Economics

From the Borowitz Report: As America’s bridges, roads, and other infrastructure dangerously deteriorate from decades of neglect, there is a mounting sense of urgency that it is time to build a giant wall. Across the U.S., whose rail system is a rickety antique plagued by deadly accidents, Americans are increasingly recognizing that building a wall with Mexico, and possibly another one with Canada, should be the country’s top priority.

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Should Puerto Rico be Part of the ABA Area?

10,000 Birds

Hurricanes Irma and Maria recently caused devastating damage to the U.S. territories in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most residents are still without electricity and there was extensive damage to homes, buildings, and public infrastructure. Recovery and rebuilding will be long, difficult, and expensive. The human toll has been and continues to be staggering. Residents of both territories are U.S.

Partial Eclipse

Indigenize

96% totality experienced. Even at that much shadowed occultation, the sun offered a surprising amount of light. The profound takeaway I got is this: If we consider the parallels between the larger natural world and our own psyches, it’s a sweet reminder that even if we’ve sabotaged our lives a lot through our own BS […]. Spiritual Ecopsychology eclipse ecopsychology hope innate goodness nature original nature perspective

2017 100

The pathological consumption of the majority

Green (Living) Review

by Michael Smith (Veshengro) The pathological consumption of the majority, for I do know that not all participate in it, has become so normalized that we scarcely notice it. The way the majority buys things that is, aside from the essentials, with which we are not concerned really when it comes to consumption for we all have to eat, have at least some clothes to wear, need toilet paper and other things.

2017 157

They’ve Got an Awful Lot of Birds in Brazil.

10,000 Birds

Way down among the Brazillians, Coffee beans grow by the billions, So they’ve got to find those extra cups to fill, They’ve got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil.… The Coffee Song lyrics ran like an earworm through my head as I prepared for my September trip to Brazil. Only, once I got there, I discovered that the coffee, while good, can’t compare to the birds. Oh my gosh! 1,712 species, 12% of which are endemics. I shouldn’t have been surprised.

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Confessions from a Christmas Bird Count in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

A blog is a place to express ideas, thoughts, recipes, and whatever floats your personal boat. At 10,000 Birds, readers who haven’t been here before might correctly surmise that this platform talks about anything bird-related. As for myself, since I live in Costa Rica, I usually put the focus on birding and/or birds in this small yet very bio-rich country.

Trolling for Cuckoos in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

I watch birds pretty much all the time. This may come as a surprise to folks who keep their birding casual, or who limit their watching to a backyard feeder. It will probably be all too familiar to peeps who arise before a cold dawn so they can trudge through some muddy marsh, or who spend well earned bucks to do similar comfort challenging behavior in lands very far from home. I watch birds all the time and I can’t help it.

A Dozen Quick and Easy Hummingbirds in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

When the birding slows down, someone usually lets out the excuse that our hobby wouldn’t be as fun if there was no challenge. There’s everything right about positive thinking but if I was forced to choose between easy looks at lots of stunning birds in an hour or a few sub-standard glimpses at birds over the course of an entire day, I’m hanging with the stunners.

Welcome Our New Beat Writer, Tristan Lowery

10,000 Birds

If there is one thing better than a nice cold beer after a long day of spring migration I don’t know what it is. A mojito while birding in the tropics is often refreshing and a nice glass of red wine after a Christmas Bird Count is a great way to unwind. Birders know the wonderful combination that birds and booze is which is why Birdchick has long been a proponent of Birds and Beers and in Maine there are even dedicated trips called “ Birds on Tap !”

2017 159

Snowy Owl Ethics

10,000 Birds

Greg Lawrence is a long-time friend of 10,000 Birds and a birding machine in the Rochester, New York, area. He is currently a Fish and Wildlife Technician with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Research Foundation for SUNY. When he reached out to ask if he could contribute a piece to 10,000 Birds about about the ethics around the current Snowy Owl irruption in the central and eastern United States we were all for it! “In

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

10,000 Birds

Birds of Kruger National Park by Keith Barnes and Ken Behrens and Wildlife of Ecuador by Andrés Vásquez Noboa, photography by Pablo Cervantes Daza are the latest titles in Princeton University Press’s WildGuides Wildlife Explorer Series, a series focused on the “general reader,” the layperson, the traveler who is not a “birder” but who wants to know what bird or animal or amphibian or reptile she’s observing.

Do you know an editor at a top general interest journal?

Environmental Economics

Then your publication chance is much lower: Abstract: This paper employs a unique dataset on articles, authors and editors of the top general interest journals in economics to investigate the role of social connections in the publication process. Ties between editors and authors are identified based on their academic histories. About 43% of the articles published in these journals are authored by scholars connected to one editor at the time of the publication.

2017 150

Poolside in Cabo Pulmo

10,000 Birds

The last 30 days have been a real challenge, both personally as well as in our business. So, it was with that in mind, that we loaded the truck up, and rented a beautiful little casita in the Oceanside village of Cabo Pulmo. This little town of about 100 is located right next to what is considered the largest coral reef in all of Mexico [link] which is very well protected with in the boundaries of a Federal Marine Reserve.

2017 159

Three Days of Birding in Costa Rica = Owls, Hummingbirds, Tanagers, and More

10,000 Birds

I just finished three days of guiding in Costa Rica, each of which was a day trip from the Central Valley, every one a bonanza of new birds. Costa Rica’s winning combination of small size and distinct habitats makes it possible to connect with species as different as Snowcap, Crested Owl, White-throated Magpie-Jay , and glittering tanagers in a matter of thirty-six short hours, even quicker if you push your luck (and your vehicle).

Ikea Releases Open Source Designs For A Garden Sphere That Feeds A Whole Neighborhood

Green (Living) Review

It doesn’t even require nails. f you’ve already constructed Ikea desks and chairs , then it’s time to take your skills to the next level. This week Space10 , Ikea’s lab for futuristic, solutions-oriented designs, released open source plans for The Growroom , a large, multi-tiered spherical garden designed to sustainably grow enough food for an entire neighborhood. Hoping to help spur local growing and sourcing, Space10 made the plans available for free on Thursday.

2017 156