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My Do-over

10,000 Birds

Anytime I travel, I do what it takes to get in some birding. After all, the best way to find new birds is to look in new places. However, I rarely get to travel with family or friends who share my obsession. So I need to find a way to indulge myself without inconveniencing others too much.

Critically Endangered Birds in Costa Rica- How to See Them, How to Help Them

10,000 Birds

Sadly, horribly, we live in an era of mass extinction. Go for a walk in a local park in near the capital of the USA and the statement seems far-fetched, absurd even. Most of the usual birds seem present, a frog or two call from a small wetland, and a few other expected animals are there too.

Not enough Woodpeckers

10,000 Birds

It is hard to imagine any birder not liking woodpeckers – they are the “motherhood and apple pie” of the avian world. So, writing a post about them is easy.

This is my dream – this is my nightmare

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Located in the Kutch District of Gujarat, the Naliya Grassland is the smallest reserve of India, covering only 2 square kilometers (yes – 0.77

Test webinar 6/10 10am

Speaker: Test

Rarely Seen Costa Rica Birds That Aren’t Rare

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A birding trip is more than arriving to your destination and watching birds. It’s also getting ready for the trip and in a sense, once you buy that plane ticket, when you begin with serious planning, you are on your way!

The Wryneck: Biology, Behaviour, Conservation and Symbolism of Jynx torquilla: A Book Review

10,000 Birds

The Eurasian Wryneck is the woodpecker that doesn’t look like a woodpecker, the bird with the portmanteau name that is also a medical condition (and which may remind some people of a Nora Ephron essay).

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Different, but the Same

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An eternity ago, when our now-adult children were young enough to watch Sesame Street, that show used to have segments about diversity with the phrase “We’re different, but the same. The same, but different.”

Out Birding to Help an Endemic Sparrow in Costa Rica

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I won’t be answering any messages this morning, won’t be available. Won’t be taking any phone calls either but I’ve got a good excuse.

Big Day on a Tiny Island

10,000 Birds

The island of Tobago isn’t the smallest in absolute terms, but it’s pretty tiny at approximately 25 miles long and just under 7 miles wide at its widest point. For Global Big Day on May 14th, we decided we’d try our hand at birding as much of the island as possible.

Weird Towhees

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Towhees are large, ground-hugging sparrows that occur only in North America. They belong to either the Pipilo or Melozone genera, or perhaps both, as their taxonomy is still a point of contention.

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Summer Days

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Baihualing – The Sequel

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At this moment, Baihualing is the eBird hotspot in China which has by far the largest number of species – 486. With 398 species, Nanhui is trailing far behind despite being covered by a much larger number of checklists (2225 compared to 608).

My Global Big (half-)Day, May 2022

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In the previous period I wrote mostly book reviews (but of some really great books ), yet I cannot remember when the last time was that I wrote of birding itself? Perhaps in my December posts on birding Colombian Amazonia ?

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Gull for a Godwit in Costa Rica

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Godwits and curlews are shorebird royalty. The macaws of the sandpiper clan, these long-billed, long-legged, loud calling birds are large and in charge. Unlike peeps and other smallish sandpipers, identification of godwits and curlews doesn’t even require the use of a scope.

Black-necked Storks at Myalls Bore near Derby

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Whenever we make a trip to Derby we pull over seven kilometres before we get to town at Myalls Bore and the 120 metre long cattle trough.

Test webinar 6/9/22 9:40am

Speaker: Aggregage

Birding Singapore

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Writing this post, I have been in lockdown in my Shanghai compound for 60 days. The only bird-related activity I can think of is looking at bird photos I took in Singapore in 2015, and adding some irrelevant comments to them. Presumably, birds living in Singapore do not understand German.

Birding St Lucia, South Africa

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St Lucia is a small town on the Southeastern coast of South Africa. It seems to consist mainly of hotels and restaurants, as the local economy depends on visitors to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Outer Range Brewing Company: Pluck Pluck Pluck Rice Lager

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The temperature soared to 85 degrees yesterday here in Albany. That’s not entirely unheard of around here in May, but it was an unexpected foretaste of summer considering we haven’t even hit the peak of spring migration yet.

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One Good Turn

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(No, this is not a reference to my personal worst birder joke ever, that One good tern deserves another. Although that joke does apply to Faraaz Abdool’s latest post.). I consider myself exceedingly fortunate to have several birder friends who are biologists.

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Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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We Go Way Back

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I’ve been through a few rather complicated weeks lately, so my last couple of outings haven’t been very ambitious. The second week of May, I went to the road beyond San Miguel del Monte, a route with the advantage of being only a few miles from my home.

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Accessibility Matters II:  Birdability Q&A

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For those plugged into birding social media, it has been hard to miss the non-profit Birdability. The mission of Birdability is to “share the joys of birding with people who have disabilities, and to ensure that birding is accessible to everybody.”.

Bloody Bay Birding

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It may seem like an unnecessary alliteration but I’m referring to an actual Bloody Bay – one of Tobago’s many picturesque, idyllic bays on its leeward coast.

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Getting sentimental: Birding at Baihualing, China

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Up until a few years ago, Baihualing in Yunnan was both a great place to see birds and open to foreigners. I am not sure about the first nowadays, as the second is no longer true. The place has been blocked for non-Chinese nationals for more than 2 years now.

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May Flowers

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“The Hawk’s Way” — a book review

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Maybe author Sy Montgomery is right when she says that “birdwatchers often look down on falconry,” and maybe not.

Collaborative list – April 2022

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In April 2022, the Collaborative submitted 216 checklists from 4 countries ( Costa Rica , United States , Mexico , and the United Kingdom ) and observed 735 species. The 2022 year list stands at 1,023, and the life rises by a single species ( Great Swallow-tailed Swift seen in Mexico) to 4,114.

Highly recommended – Europe’s Birds: An Identification Guide

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When you spot a brand new bird identification guide, especially for your home region – in this case, Europe – reaching for it comes naturally. And a highly recommendable book it is, there is no doubt about it.

What to Do at High Island When the Winds are South

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High Island in April requires Weather, so I was told. A very specific type of weather–north winds, a cold front, rain.

Animals in Space 3

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Birding Inner Mongolia

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(Note: this post refers to a trip I took a long time ago, in 2015. Still, after I used modern software to turn the originally black-and-white photos into colored ones, some of them may still be worth looking at).

Human elements

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There is an association of wildlife photographers down here, much maligned among my Mexican birder friends for a variety of reasons, which has proposed a rule that governs which photos they will accept: No wildlife photography should contain any human elements.

A Guide to Easy Birding in Costa Rica at Cinchona

10,000 Birds

Birding can be a real challenge. For some, it can involve hiking into a furnace of a canyon to look for a small yellowish bird much easier to see in other countries. Birding can be spending the night on a boat in the Atlantic so you can wake up to White-faced Storm-Petrels and other pelagic treats.

Bogle Vineyards: Juggernaut Pinot Noir (2020)

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This week marks only the second time the Osprey ( Pandion haliaetus ) has been featured here at Birds and Booze.

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Test webinar 6/9/22 3pm

Speaker: Aggregage