American Birding Podcast

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Many birders throughout the ABA Area have been paying attention to the ongoing situation in South Texas with regard to the construction of the border wall. So many of our favorite birding sites have been under threat, and the situation has been alternately sad and triumphant and frustrating. Filmmaker Otilia Portillo Padua offers her insight into the often fraught affair with Birders, a short documentary recently released on the streaming platform Netflix. She joins me from Mexico City to talk about the film and her journey from Texas to Veracruz through the eyes of birds and the people who love them.  Also, exciting news about a hummingbird oasis in Arizona and thoughts about the recent Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. 
How many of you out there have dressed as a bird for Halloween? Many, we're sure! But there is obviously so much more that can be done in the realm of bird costuming, and Dr. Lisa Buckley has taken bird inspired cosplay to its logical extreme. In her day job she is a vertebrate paleontologist in British Columbia but on the side she has created Bird Glamour, eye makeup inspired by a whole host of birds. She's a singularly appropriate person to chat with on Halloween and she joins host Nate Swick to talk about how birds inspire a very unique form of art.  Also, the ear-splitting White Bellbird and your bird costumes at the blog!  Thanks to Turismo de Lisboa for sponsoring this episode.
All birders intuitively understand the value of birding, even if we're not so great as a community as expressing that value. Birding as a means for personal growth, and coming to grips with the changing world around us is an important part of why we enjoy this hobby. It's certainly a fascinating topic with a lot of rich veins to mine. It's something that Dr. Trish O'Kane of the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources has thought a lot about. Her piece Of Fledglings and Freshmen was published recently in The New York Times, and she joins host Nate Swick to talk about her program "Birding to Change the World" and how birding can be a salve in this age of environmental anxiety. Also, the most metal birds, and a few outstanding questions from a recent What's This Bird Live Q&A session.
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is underway with a handful of storms already named. In the last couple decades human meteorologists have gotten pretty good at predicting the strength and track of tropical storms in the Atlantic basin, but still less good at predicting the severity of any individual season. But as it turns out, that's something Veerys, the ruddy Catharus thrush with the swirly song, are quite good at it. Dr. Christopher Heckscher of Delaware State University made the connection, and using the behavior of Veerys as a guide, beat most, all, meteorologists last year in accurately predicting the hurricane season in 2018. He joins host Nate Swick to talk about this amazing work, and the predictive powers of birds.  Also, some news on our upcoming live show at the Rio Grande Valley Bird Festival and some thoughts on what bird clubs can be in the 21st Century.  Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast!
Fantasy Sports is big business these day, especially now that participants no longer have to do the work by hand. It’s so popular that managing virtual worlds based on real world data has spread beyond sports. Fantasy Birding has become a obsession among a growing cadre of real birders, it has been featured in a number of general interest articles, it was lightly mocked on the NPR show Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and it’s taken hold of a handful of my colleagues at the ABA. Matt Smith is a computer programmer and birder and is the creator of Fantasy Birding. He joins host Nate Swick to talk about the wild ride.  Also, some potential changes to the Duck Stamp that seem to cause more harm than good, and Nate reminisces about an amazing trip to Costa Rica with an amazing group of young naturalists.   Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast.   
Spring is finally on its way and with it, the promise of returning migratory birds to the United States and Canada. Among the first to arrive every year, and beloved among birders and non-birders alike, is North America’s largest swallow, the Purple Martin. With their chatty and gregarious nature martins have inspired so many people, one of whom is Dr. Kevin Fraser of the Avian Behavior and Conservation Lab at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. A migration ecologist with a particularly interest in neotropical migrants, Kevin has worked with Purple Martins for years, and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about the uncommon lives of these common birds.  Also, congratulations to the ABA's 2019 Young Birders of the Year, don't forget to help the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears, and some thoughts on Old Media, New Media, and learning about birds.  Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast!  
The February 2019 issue of Birding magazine is noteworthy not only for being the Bird of the Year issue, or for launching the 50th Anniversary of the ABA, but for another, less obvious, reason. February 2019 is the 100th issue of Birding for which Ted Floyd has been editor-in-chief. The 16 years that Ted has been in charge of the ABA's flagship publication have seen a lot of changes, not just in the way that the ABA has reached its members and the birding community, but for birding itself. Ted joins host Nate Swick to talk about how birding has changed over the years, and how Birding has changed along with it.  Plus, an update on the border wall and a Dark-billed Cuckoo in Florida.  Come join the ABA in Colombia this summer!  
The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas is one of the most special places in the ABA Area­ for birders and naturalists, hosting some exceptional species and some iconic birding locations. It’s why so many birders have watched the politics around the proposed construction of a border wall in the Valley so closely and why we, along with many other stakeholders, have mobilized to protect those places. One of those on the forefront has been Tiffany Kersten, a biologist, educator, and board member of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor. Her article "Walling Off Wildlife" was published last year in the Birder’s Guide to Conservation and Community. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about birding around a border wall, and the current state of affairs in South Texas.  Resources that Tiffany mentions in the interview include the No Border Wall Facebook page and and Valley Green Space Resistance Kit.  Also, a eulogy for a Great Black Hawk. The song by Troy R. Bennett that plays at the end can be found here.  Come join the ABA in Colombia this summer!
We're getting to the end of the year and it's time for a look back at the best bird books published in 2018. Once again, 10,000 Birds book reviewer Donna Schulman joins me to talk about our favorites. Donna and I each share our Top 5, including field guides, family specific guides, and narratives from well-known authors and publishers. Thanks to Space Coast Birding & Nature Festival for sponsoring this episode. Join the ABA in Titusville this January for great birding and fellowship! Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!   Donna’s Top 5 1) Birds of Central America - Andrew Vallely & Dale Dyer 2) Birds of Prey of the East/West - Brian K. Wheeler 3) Peterson Guide to Bird Identification in 12 Steps - Steve NG Howell & Brian Sullivan 4) The Feather Thief - Kirk Wallace Johnson 5) Belonging on an Island - Daniel Lewis   Nate’s Top 5 1) Birds of Central America - Andrew Vallely & Dale Dyer 2) Gulls Simplified - Pete Dunne & Kevin Karlson 3) Birds of Nicaragua - Liliana Chavarria-Duriaux, Robert Dean, & Robert T. Moore 4) Birds of Prey of the East/West - Brian K. Wheeler 5) ABA Field Guide to Birds of Oregon - Dave Irons & Brian Small
For many of us, birding is about community, and for retaining people in the hobby finding a group of people you like to bird with is as important as that first pair of binoculars or a field guide. Molly Adams of Brooklyn, New York, knows this more than most. In 2016 she founded the Feminist Bird Club, an inclusive bird watching club dedicated to providing a safe opportunity to connect with the natural world in urban environments. Molly and the FBC were featured in a New York Times article earlier this year about young urban birders. The group has only grown in numbers and ambition since then and she joins host Nate Swick to talk about it.  Also, Birds Aren't Real and other avian conspiracies, and ABA President Jeff Gordon shares a story of wonder and melancholy while birding on his bike.  Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
When Birding editor Ted Floyd and host Nate Swick did their first Birding Without Tears episode a few weeks ago they were called to the carpet by the fact that we were only telling half of the story. Ted and Nate are both birding dads and our experiences are similar but not exactly like, those of birding moms, and there's no better time to revisit this topic than during our Nesting Season Appeal anyway! To help tell the rest of the story, Nate is joined by Seattle-based writer Bryony Angell, who draws on her experience as a birding mom and her past as a birding kid to offer insight into a topic that many birders deal with at some point--"how do I get my kids to go birding and all of us have a good experience?" Also, birding in the news! Recent articles in the New York Times and Outside Magazine cast birding in a positive light. A listener asks for advice for a new birder. Can we help him out! Send us tips you wish you knew when you started at The ABA Blog, on Twitter or Facebook.  Thanks to episode sponsor, the Partnership for International Birding, combining 200 scheduled tours to destinations around the world with unmatched support for local bird conservation. You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!    
Hawk-watchers are easily the most established sub-groups within th birding community, and the hawk-watching community in North America is close-knit and passionate. One of its undisputed authorities is Jerry Liguori of Salt Lake City, Utah, the author of Hawks at a Distance and Hawks from Every Angle and the co-author of many more. He is the 2017 recipient of the ABA’s Robert Ridgway Award for publications in field ornithology and his articles have appeared many times in ABA’s Birding magazine. Jerry joins host Nate Swick to talk about the magic of watching hawks, his diagnosis with ALS, and what birders need to know about hawk-watching.  Thanks to our episode sponsor, Land, Sea, and Sky. Since 1940, the optics experts at Land Sea & Sky to purchase just the right pair of binoculars for their birding adventures. This shop has hundreds of binoculars and spotting scopes in stock, an industry-leading 90 day return policy, and experienced staff to lend you a helping hand. You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
If you’re a naturalist or a nature lover on social media chances are you have come across Bird & Moon, an exceptionally fun series of webcomics filled with colorful and endearing and accurate nature themes. Bird & Moon is the creation of New England-based artist and writer Rosemary Mosco. Her new book, Birding is my Favorite Video Game, is a collection of many of her most viral creations and a lot more. Rosemary joins host Nate Swick to talk birds, video games, science communication, and the fun of gross-out science.  Also, a watershed moment in the history of birds in media, and the yanny-laurel theory of bird mnemonics. You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!      
It's natural for birding parents to want to share their passion with their children. Birding with kids often brings additional complications, but also additional pleasures, and opportunities to appreciate birding in different and delightful ways. Both Birding magazine editor Ted Floyd and host Nate Swick are veterans of birding with children, with a few decades of experience between them, and they lay out the struggles and strategies of taking kids into the field for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, mentors, or anyone else who wants to introduce birding to the young people in their lives. Also, what happens when birders teach a weatherman about Doppler Radar. Interested in joining the ABA in Thailand next year? Get more information here! You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
The Champions of the Flyway is one the world's premiere birding events, a combination bird race/conservation fundraiser held annually in southern Israel that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help stop illegal bird poaching around the Mediterranean. While North American teams have participated in the event before, this was the first year that ABA helped sponsor a team, the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears, consisting of college-aged birders who all have connections to ABA young birder programs: Johanna Beam, Marky Mutchler, and Aidan Place. Host Nate Swick joins the wheatears as driver and documentarian and brings you in the car with the wheatears as they tackle Champions for the first time.  Special thanks to Jonathan Meyrav and Leica's Jeff Bouton for their support in all matters, and to everyone who donated to help the Subadult Wheaters reach their conservation goals! Interested in joining the ABA in Colombia next year? Get more information here! You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
Spring is right around the corner. And if you're going to be birding, you might as well be eBirding. You should definitely be eBirding on May 5th, eBird’s annual Global Big Day. Last year birders recorded more than 6600 species from 160 different countries on one day. eBird’s Project Coordinator Ian Davies joins host Nate Swick to talk about the Global Big Day initiative. Also, radar ornithologist Kyle Horton talks about Cornell’s Birdcast project, which recently launched live migration maps, an amazing tool to help birders maximize their opportunities to see great birds this spring.  Nate is back in the driver's seat to talk about warbler obsession, Florida birding, and birds at airports. You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
Few birders in North American have taken on the mantle of urban birding like Cleveland native Jen Brumfield. Her Cuyahoga County Big Years are the stuff of legend, not only for their high totals but for the passion she throws into birding her hometown and getting others excited about the birdlife and birding opportunities there. Guest host and Chicago native Greg Neise who has his own long history birding in urban areas, steps in for Nate Swick to talk to Jen about her Big Years, her favorite local patches, and what she loves about birding in the city.Birding editor Ted Floyd shares a commentary about his favorite urban bird. Interested in joining the ABA in a trip to Thailand with Tropical Birding in 2019? Get more information here! You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
Jim Carpenter opened the very first Wild Birds Unlimited store near his home in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1981. At the time it was one of very few bird specific retail outlets in the country, and since then, Wild Birds Unlimited has grown to include more than 300 stores across the US and Canada. His new book, The Joy of Birdfeeding, The Essential Guide to Attracting and Feeding our Backyard Birds, was published late last year. Jim joins host Nate Swick to talk about how Wild Birds Unlimited came to be, and what he thinks are the most important things people should know about feeding birds. Also, Greg Neise and Ted Floyd are back to talk about the most magical sounds of spring, duck songs. Or rather, the things that ducks do that aren't quacks. If you think the yellow Northern Cardinal was great, check out this yellow Scarlet Tanager! Come birding with yours truly in Cuba this fall! You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
Birds are everywhere. They are in your movies and TV shows, on your sports team logos, even in your Google Street View. There is no shortage of ways that your interest in birds can manifest itself beyond time in the field. Maybe no one knows that better than Nick Lund. Nick is The Birdist on his own blog of that name and on social media, a frequent contributor to National Audubon and Ray Brown’s Talking Birds and works in outreach with Maine Audubon. He joins me to talk about birds in non-bird places, what he calls “Birds at Large”.  Also, I have enough correspondence to do a mailbag! And I talk a little about the new AOS Taxonomy proposals, which you can learn more about here.  Thanks to Land Sea and Sky for sponsoring this episode! Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
It’s the dream of many birders, to travel the US and Canada by car for one entire year, taking in as much of the continent’s birds as you can along the way. It is the reality of Marc Kramer and Eliana Ardila Ardila, the Birding by Bus duo. They’ve spend the whole of 2018 crossing the country in their Volkswagen Westfalia and documenting the whole thing on social media to the delight of those of us who get to follow along. They’re join host Nate Swick from a stop at ABA headquarters in Delaware City to talk about their amazing year and where they'll go from here.  Also, Major League Soccer is pretty great for birds in a couple different ways.  Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
Have you ever had to describe birding to a friend or family member who just doesn't get it? What analogies do you use? Is birding like a religion? A sport? An obsession? Guest host Greg Neise brings Birding editor Ted Floyd and young birder liaison Jennie Duberstein to bear on the issue in a rollicking discussion that tries to figure it out. Regular host Nate Swick in Cuba this week so no Rare Bird Focus, but stay turned for it the next time around. Thanks to our episode sponsor Rockjumper Birding Tours, proudly offering quality birding adventures, expertly guided by passionate and experienced professional tour leaders. Their 300 scheduled tours annually explore the world’s prime birding areas, including Colombia with the ABA next summer. You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
Birders in North America are increasingly keen to combine the somewhat separate skills of birding and photography, but around the rest of the world birding is pretty much synonymous with photography to the point where sometimes you don’t even carry binoculars. It seems strange to us, but it’s the way things are to birder and photographer Keith Barnes, who joins host Nate Swick to talk about how birders use cameras, tips for would-be photographers, and the way birding culture differs in east Asia. Keith is one of the founders of the bird tour company Tropical Birding, a South African expat now living in Taiwan, and he is the architect of the ABA’s Birding with a Camera Tour of Thailand early next year. Also, is a great list schism on the horizon? And listeners write in with tips for new birders that they wish they knew when they were getting started. Thanks to our episode sponsor, Land, Sea, and Sky. Since 1940, the optics experts at Land Sea & Sky to purchase just the right pair of binoculars for their birding adventures. This shop has hundreds of binoculars and spotting scopes in stock, an industry-leading 90 day return policy, and experienced staff to lend you a helping hand. You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
Another year, another trip around the world of bird taxonomy courtesy of the American Ornithological Society’s classification committee. That group of bird scientists informs the field guides and lists we birders use every day and they are once again making those decisions presently. As we have before, we lean again on Dr. Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts and Secretary of the ABA’s Recording Standards and Ethics Committee, He joins host Nate Swick to help break down some of 2018’s taxonomy proposals up for consideration by the AOS.  You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
For birders interested in Status & Distribution, that is the wheres and whys of birding, the ABA’s quarterly journal, North American Birds, has always been a much anticipated part of the ornithological canon. After a year or so in stasis, North American Birds is back under the charge of editors Mike Hudson of Baltimore, Maryland, and Tom Reed of Cape May, New Jersey. The much-anticipated volume 70 came out earlier this year. Mike and Tom join me with me now for what I hope will be a seasonal thing on the podcast, to talk a little about North American Birds but mostly about the winter that just was in birding, covering crossbills, Nazca Boobies, Rufous-backed Robins, Tufted Ducks, and more. Plus, have you visited a particularly nice airport for birding in your travels? By that I mean, one that isn't awful? I want to hear about it. Last chance to help the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears at Champions of the Flyway! You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here. Thanks to Land, Sea, and Sky for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast. Land, Sea, and Sky offers great selection and unparalleled customer service for birders seeking the perfect optics. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
The 2017 Hurricane season was notable for the scale of the tropical storms involved and the destruction they caused not only where they made landfall in the United States, but also the islands in the Caribbean that they passed over. Alvaro Jaramillo of Alvaro’s Adventures joins host Nate Swick to talk about it. He's spent time on all these islands and has a lot of insight on the birds there and the unique conservation challenges they face in the wake of these storms. Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!
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Podcast Details

Created by
naswick
Podcast Status
Active
Started
Dec 14th, 2016
Latest Episode
May 6th, 2021
Release Period
2 per month
Episodes
143
Avg. Episode Length
37 minutes
Explicit
No
Order
Episodic
Language
English
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