Winter Mission

10,000 Birds

A vast congregation of Bald Eagles kept watch over a herd of cattle about to calve, up to seven in a single tree — no doubt awaiting delicious placentas. And not far from that scene was my personal highlight of the day, when my life Prairie Falcon swooped across the road, circled back, and came over the car only a few feet above my head, then perched with prey and let us all observe her clearly for several minutes. Birding Mission valley Prairie falcon raptors

2014 56

Visit the Macaw Lodge in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

10,000 Birds is running a series of articles by and about tour guides, tour companies, eco-lodges, and other birding travel organizations. We want to help the birding tourism industry come back strong from the COVID pandemic.

Collaborative list – March 2020

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ). New Zealand Falcon ( Falco novaeseelandiae ). Lady Helen has often made the point that we get very little opportunity to spend quality time together. The old saying “ be careful what you wish for ” comes to mind.

2020 57

Uganda’s Billion Dollar Bird: The Shoebill

10,000 Birds

Not all birds are created equal. The Resplendent Quetzal boasts a tail so long that people travel the world to admire it. The Sword-billed Hummingbird puts its less endowed kin to shame. Penguins are, obviously, penguins, which makes them awesome.

Fish Creek to Buffalo

10,000 Birds

Some parts of the trail offer views over much more open country and I am lucky enough to encounter a Peregrine Falcon and a Nankeen Kestrel. There had been quite a few Cattle Egrets in the area until recently and so it was good to see them for the first time in 2020.

Pat’s 2020 Bird List, Mostly from Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis; Tambor, 3-Jan. Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans; Raptor Ridge, 5-Jan. Collared Forest-Falcon – Micrastur semitorquatus; Raptor Ridge, 5-Jan. Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis; Curu, 4-Jan.

2020 80

Pat’s Costa Rica Bird List, 2021

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis; San Joaquin de Heredia, 1-Jan. Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans; Tirimbina, 9-Jan. Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis; Tirimbina, 9-Jan. 2021 is already well underway, are you birding?

Critically Endangered: Sociable Lapwing

10,000 Birds

Reasons for their decline include steppes being turned into arable fields – the reason they disappeared from Ukraine and European Russia, on migration they are hunted with guns and falcons, and on their wintering grounds natural habitat is dwindling in the absence of once large herds of wild ungulates (one should try to see these animals as gardeners of a well-kept landscape). Gujarat, December 2010. Target for today: critically endangered Sociable Lapwing ( Vanellus gregarius ).

2014 72

How to Bird Murchison Falls

10,000 Birds

An expanse of habitat as vast as Murchison Falls NP in Uganda, as excessively generous in beauty and biodiversity, permits endless ways to experience both its birds and animals.

2019 59

Serbia – birding overview of a year in the Central Balkans

10,000 Birds

Red-footed Falcons , Whiskered and Black Terns by mid-April, White-winged Terns are passing about a week later. In the last ten years, Cattle Egrets have bred again, on and off, but for the first time since 1870s. While Saker and Peregrine Falcons have plummeted in the last decade, Red-footed Falcons are still holding on, breeding in the northern lowlands. Serbia has 317 eBirded species so far, or 89% of the 356 in the national checklist.

2018 47

Caribbean Lowland Birding at Ara Ambigua Lodge, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In Costa Rica, even the super shy Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon is seen more often than the island pigeon with the snow-white cap. Although a lot of beautiful rainforest was replaced by bananas, cattle pasture, and other ag-lands many years ago, at least we can still enjoy great birding at a number of sites, most of which are easily accessible including Sarapiqui, the most visited site in the lowlands north of San Jose. The Bat Falcon that joined us for breakfast. .

Collaborative list – February 2021

10,000 Birds

201 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. 289 Barred Forest-Falcon – Micrastur ruficollis. 292 Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans. 296 Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis. 297 Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus.

Collaborative list – March 2021

10,000 Birds

It is slightly weird that when I first saw the name of the virus, I misread it as Corvid-19. Is that just a birder thing do you think? A year on I still have to think carefully. There is no escaping the fact that as soon as restrictions are relaxed, infection rates rise again.

Which Bird Species Have Gone Extinct in Costa Rica?

10,000 Birds

Not that long ago, Costa Rica had one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, rainforests were razed to make way for hot and chiggery cattle pasture, and bot flies probably became more numerous than some bird populations. Orange-breasted Falcon : Since there aren’t any specimens of this regal neotropical Falco from Costa Rica, we actually aren’t even sure if it used to live here.

Collaborative list December 2020 and year’s round up.

10,000 Birds

The overwhelming sentiment in Christmas cards this year is that 2021 cannot come fast enough. Lock downs and restrictions have curbed our birding, so if you can summon any blessings to mind, count them instead.

2020 57

Life Birds at Point Reyes National Seashore

10,000 Birds

Normally the lighthouse is obscured in fog, but when we arrived the air was crystal clear, and in addition to seeing groups of Gray Whales migrating past, I spotted hundreds of Surf Scoters , a Pigeon Guillemot , and a pair of Peregrine Falcons from my perch atop the lighthouse cliff. I have only ever seen one Peregrine Falcon, and the scoters and guillemot were lifers for me! California is big.

2015 58

Some of My Favorite National Wildlife Refuge Photos

10,000 Birds

The photo blind at Delevan National Wildlife Refuge gave me this close up of a Peregrine Falcon ( Falco peregrinus ). Check out this image of a Great Egret ( Ardea alba ), Snowy Egret ( Egretta thula ) and Cattle Egret ( Bubulcus ibis ) together. The snag at Delevan NWR not only attracts Peregrine Falcons but Red-winged Blackbirds ( Agelaius phoeniceus ) as well. I think most of you know how important our National Wildlife Refuge system is to me.

2018 40

The Raptor Situation in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In keeping with high diversity in other aspects of the avian kingdom, including falcons and excluding owls, this small country has a raptor list that tops fifty species. In general, the best spots aren’t going to be wide open fields because those are recent, human-made habitats much more suited for cattle than forest birds. What birder doesn’t get excited about raptors?

Collaborative list – November 2020

10,000 Birds

7 Collared Forest-Falcon – Micrastur semitorquatus. 445 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. 493 Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus. Who remembers birding parties? This virus just won’t give up.

2020 57

Tribes and Birds of the Lower Omo Valley by Adam Riley

10,000 Birds

Heading south on a good surfaced road, we made slow progress through the herds of cattle, donkeys and goats that thronged the highway, until we finally reached the land of the Konso. Quality time was spent with a friendly Hamar family at their homestead of grass huts surrounding their cattle corral. As we arrived a party of clockwork-like D’Arnaud’s Barbets were performing their comical tail-wagging display on the upright poles of the cattle corral.

2015 70

Saving the Drowning Cormorant, or the Kerkini Lake, Greece

10,000 Birds

We are entering the mixed colony of 11 species ( Grey , Squacco , Purple and Black-crowned Night Herons ; Great , Little and, recently, Cattle Egrets ; Eurasian Spoonbill (below) and Glossy Ibis ; Pygmy and Great Cormorant ). Nikos managed to show us the incubating Cattle Egrets, of which only 2 or 3 pairs breed in this enormous heronry, counting up to 9000 pairs back in 2014.

2019 55

Collaborative List ? May 2020

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis). Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). This was the month we (in the northern hemisphere) had all been waiting for, but what a strange month May 2020 has been.

2020 57

Collaborative list – June 2020

10,000 Birds

102 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. 137 Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans. 141 Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis. 142 Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus. So, just as our heroes head back out into the woods, the woods go quiet.

2020 58

A Few Ups and Downs of Forest Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Or, another much desired option is hearing the soft calls and songs of antbirds that reveal the presence of an antswarm and real opportunities at seeing antpittas, tinamous, forest-falcons, and even senor maximus of the understory (the Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo ) in action. “Welcome to my antswarm party!” Tropical forests are the bastions of avian biodiversity.

Collaborative List – July 2020

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus. Have you noticed that “pishing” is far less efective when one is wearing a mask? Do you think that the pish is muted, dispersed or in some other way deprived of its urgency?

2020 57

National Geographic Complete Birds of North America, 2nd Edition: A Book Review

10,000 Birds

So, for the Caracaras and Falcons family (photograph, American Kestrel), we learn, amongst other things, that the feet and toes of falcons “are not designed for killing prey, but for grabbing and holding it immobile”, that eastern migrants will “often fly in wind conditions unfavorable to other migrating raptors,” that recent research has shown a close relationship with the parrot family, and that four species of this family are endangered.

Collaborative list – April 2021

10,000 Birds

The roadmap out of lockdown here in the UK has allowed us to meet up in small groups to indulge in outdoor activities, so birders have been gathering in loose flocks to greet the migrants as they head north.

Collaborative List – September 2020

10,000 Birds

217 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. 298 Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans. 302 Aplomado Falcon – Falco femoralis. 303 Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus. Redgannet has dropped off the radar.

2020 66

Collaborative list – August 2020

10,000 Birds

Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis. Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans. Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus.

2020 57

Collaborative list January 2021

10,000 Birds

Elves love the collaborative list. This is where they come in January while there is still nothing to do on the naughty and nice list.

Starting Another Year of Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis; Sarapiqui, 2-Jan. Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis; Sarapiqui, 1-Jan. Barred Forest-Falcon – Micrastur ruficollis; Arenal, 13-Jan. Collared Forest-Falcon – Micrastur semitorquatus; Sarapiqui, 7-Jan. Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans; Sarapiqui, 7-Jan. Not long ago, I had trouble sleeping because of these small, random explosions going off in my neighborhood.

2018 48

Birding Chaco at JV Gonzles – Trip Report

10,000 Birds

This land has gone through extensive ecosystem destruction from farming cattle and soybeans. Continued from: Calilegua National Park Birding Trip Report. We started our drive towards J.V Gonzales and decided to follow the locals advice and took the shorter route going through secondary roads. We used our GPS to guide us towards J.V Gonzales and had a nice but bumpy ride.

2014 58

Pat’s Year List from Costa Rica, 2019

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis; Turrucares, 1-Jan. Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans; Carara, 3-Jan. Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis; Carara, 3-Jan. Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus; Villas San Ignacio, 7-Jan. A new year begins and last year’s bird list gets archived. It’s a fresh start, a time when we can start counting once again to see how many birds we can find over the next 12 months.

2019 43

Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge, Honduras, Part 1

10,000 Birds

Little Blue and Tricolored Herons , Snowy , Great , and Cattle Egrets , a Laughing Falcon , Black Vultures, Blue-winged Teal , a Wood Stork , a nesting tree of Montezuma Oropendulas , and Ruddy Ground-Doves were just some of the species we saw on our short train ride into the refuge.

Plague of Summer’s End: An Ode to the Carolina Grasshopper

10,000 Birds

The American Kestrel seems like a safe bet – it too favors roadsides and field edges, it’s the right size, its keen eyes would allow it to pick out the hidden sitting grasshoppers and its swift falcon wings would let it pursue the flying ones. Cattle Egrets might well get them when they leap out of the way of our domestic replacement bison. When I was a child, we called them locusts.

2011 55

Great Miami Winter Bird Count 2015

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret: 133. Peregrine Falcon: 3. For many in the birding community, Miami is a destination meant only for ticking off ABA-countable exotics such as Spot-breasted Oriole or Red-whiskered Bulbul. For others, it is simply a launching point to Everglades National Park or the Florida Keys. However, few realize that this flat, densely populated county boasts one of the highest list totals of any county east of the Mississippi.

2015 56

Collaborative list – October 2020

10,000 Birds

31 Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis. 341 Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus. 353 Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans. 646 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. Fall is well and truly underway and the shoreline is filling with waders and wildfowl. October has seen the return of closer to normal activity for the beats and collaboration has been as high as it has been since February.

2020 47

Pentecost River birding

10,000 Birds

The first 25 kilometres of the Gibb River Road from the east is good bitumen, enabling those without four-wheel drives to visit some of the gorges, but there is a warning straight away that it is unfenced cattle country and everything roams free. A young White-bellied Sea-Eagle soared overhead and other birds of prey included Brown Falcons, Whistling Kites and a Brown Goshawk.

2015 53

Heading out on the road

10,000 Birds

28 Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis El Centenario Tidal Flats 1-Jan-18. 85 Peregrine Falcon – Falco peregrinus El Centenario Tidal Flats 1-Jan-18. And so the next chapter begins. By the time most of you will be reading this, we will be on the road. As of midnight, February 31st, I am officially retired. Let the full time birding begin.

2018 43

I and the Bird: What is a Vulture?

10,000 Birds

Sure, they may not have the raw power of a Peregrine Falcon or the agility of a Northern Goshawk , but wager there isn’t a birder out there who hasn’t taken a long look at the Turkey Vulture , an incredibly common species across North America, and wondered at the skill it takes to hang, teetering in the air , without flapping for what seems like and probably is hours at a time. That vultures get a bad rap is something of a given.

2013 57

Collaborative list – December 2019

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. Barred Forest-Falcon – Micrastur ruficollis. Collared Forest-Falcon – Micrastur semitorquatus. Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans. Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis. They came home exhausted.

2019 56

Collaborative list – Year list 2020

10,000 Birds

This year you get two listy posts for the price of one. You lucky, lucky birders! The idea being that putting December and the 2020 year review in the same post may prove to be listing overload for some. So this is the list for the complete year and the December list can be seen here.

2020 56

Collaborative List – July 2019

10,000 Birds

Cattle Egret – Bubulcus ibis. Collared Forest-Falcon – Micrastur semitorquatus. Laughing Falcon – Herpetotheres cachinnans. Bat Falcon – Falco rufigularis. Prairie Falcon – Falco mexicanus. During July, 11 beats birded 11 countries (USA, UK, Australia, Spain, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Japan, UAE, Mexico, China and Saudi Arabia) and submitted 82 checklists. They accounted for 562 species at this sluggish time of year.

2019 44