February, 2020

My first eLearning Blog Article

Hannah's Blog

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2020 100

“Birds of Cyprus” field guide review

10,000 Birds

For the last two decades, Europe and the greater Mediterranean have been covered by one of the best field guides anywhere: “Collins Bird Guide” by Lars Svensson et al., published in the US by Princeton as “Birds of Europe”. Not many European countries have their single-country guides (the exception being UK, Spain and a few others with a strong in-country publishing scene).

Mon troisieme article elearning

Hannah's Blog

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2020 100

My second eLearning Blog Article

Hannah's Blog

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2020 100

PPT 11/19/20

February Birds from Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Growing up in western New York, February was one of the more tedious of winter months. It might be the shortest month but the continuing cold, snow, and dreary weather made it seem like one of the longest. Stomping the slush from winter boots, shoveling the sidewalk, extracting the car from a tomb of snow, those were some memories of February in the 80s.

Going Medieval: Waterfowling the Two Towers of Serbia

10,000 Birds

Cover photo : Ram Fortress by Ilija Jacanovic. In the chill morning of late January, I am driving east of Belgrade towards the Two Towers section of the Danube and the best waterfowling bonanza in the whole of Serbia. Actually, I visited the Two Towers twice, had about 50 bird species each time and about 60 in total, so this is sort of a composite tour description. Some two hours later, we are in front of the first tower, the early 14th century but recently restored Golubac Fortress.

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IDs on the wing

10,000 Birds

I have commented before on the privilege and pain of living in a state (Michoacán, Mexico) which hosts 10 out of the 15 Empidonax Flycatchers , as well as at least 4 of the 22 Myiarchus Flycatchers. But those are not the only taxonomic families in which Michoacán has an embarassment of (difficult) riches. If you are lucky, and very, very obsessive, you can also see 7 different Swifts in my state. As it happens, I have so far only seen five, perhaps six, of these Swifts.

2020 67

Post Apocalyptic Steampunk Birding

10,000 Birds

Set in an abandoned oil refinery where wildlife is slowly regaining control save for the desperate attempts of golfers to retain all eighteen holes, industrial ghosts loom over rolling freshwater lakes bordered by fifty foot tall trees. Fortunately, throughout the tenure of the refinery many of the older, larger trees were preserved.

2020 67

The Benefits of Pre-Dawn Birding in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

It’s not always easy to get up early. For the early bird people yes but for those who relish some extra sleep, not really. Even when visiting a new place where the possibilities for lifers abound, days do arrive when a birder has to dig for enough will power to drag his or herself out of bed. The exhaustion of early starts and long hot walks adds up until the body demands an easy birding day in lieu of yet another exciting yet tiring birding marathon.

A Japanese twitch.

10,000 Birds

It’s the same the whole world over. A rare bird draws a crowd of optics and men of a certain age. The Tokyo Bay Wild Bird Park was exceptionally busy this morning. Rumour had it that a Bohemian Waxwing had been sighted and it had been noted consorting with 4 Japanese Waxwings. The Japanese Waxwing, Bombycilla japonica , is uncommon and would have been enough to draw a crowd from the Tokyo contingent of birders, but B. garrulus would be top of the bill.

2020 67

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Starting the Year in Birding at Raptor Ridge, Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

No matter where you happen to be, you can’t really go wrong when beginning a new year of birding. Birds are everywhere and if you keep the mind open to appreciation, even the most common of familiar birds are incredible, beautiful creatures. That said, more birds are always better and ones infrequently seen even more so.

Birding Breezy Point

10,000 Birds

Breezy Point, the westernmost tip of the barrier islands that protect Long Island’s south shore, is also the southwestern most portion of Queens and one of my favorite locations to look for birds. Being out on the beach is always nice and Breezy Point often gives you the feeling of being one of the last people on earth despite being in a city of over nine million people.

2020 63

Birding with Baby

10,000 Birds

Over a month had gone by since the birth of my first child. When you don’t know anything about babies, the initial 30 days are a crash course in hormones and learning how to take care of a newborn – feeding, diapering, and so much more. I barely had time to shower, let alone take up my favorite pastimes. But time marches on, and by the 5th week I felt like I had my legs under me again.

2020 62

Gang-gang Cockatoos feeding

10,000 Birds

Just before we left Victoria and returned home to Broome I was doing one of my regular walks from Foster to Fish Creek. I walked up to the look-out, which is about half way between the two small towns. I stopped to take in the view one last time. Suddenly there was the familiar odd sound of Gang-gang Cockatoos, which we had encountered on Boxing Day last year. The pair of birds flew directly overhead and on towards Fish Creek. I wrote them down in my notebook and walked back down to the trail.

2020 62

Attend third

Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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Another post about owls

10,000 Birds

Strange as it may seem, this is not an entry into a “most boring blog headline” contest. Rather, it is derived from an obscure song by a British band (Marc Riley and the Creepers) titled “Another song about motorbikes”. Which I think is quite a clever way of taking a potentially cool topic and making it mundane. For those still reading on after this introduction, this is about Barn Owls I have seen in Germany in summer 2018 and winter 2019 – rural Northern Germany, to be more specific.

Owls 60

Best Bird of the Weekend (Fourth of February 2020)

10,000 Birds

Have you ever had one of those weekends where every project you took on failed, perhaps spectacularly? Some weeks, Monday feels more like a respite than a burden. At least I didn’t have to travel far for great birds; my whole family thrilled to the sight of an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk chowing down on an unspecified rodent in our yard. Corey enjoyed his weekend at his parents’ house in the Hudson Valley though he didn’t see too many birds.

2020 60

Hooded Plovers on Squeaky Beach

10,000 Birds

During the recent months we spent in Victoria we were lucky enough to observe a pair of Hooded Plovers. Hooded Plovers are only found in the south of Australia and they are not abundant in any location. There are two populations and our last encounter was in the south of Western Australia almost two years ago. We have also observed them in Tasmania several years ago. Our most recent encounter was at the end of January at Squeaky Beach in the Wilson’s Promontory National Park.

2020 60

Birds in Winter: A Book Review, Written in Winter

10,000 Birds

Here are some of the things I learned reading Birds in Winter: . Birds who store food in advance of winter (corvids, t**s, and nuthatches) have a larger hippocampus (the brain structure that regulates memory) than non-storing birds do. American Avocet, Black-bellied and Semipalmated Plovers feed nocturnally during winter, the same number of hours as they feed during the day; smaller shorebirds feed more at night.

2020 60

Error test

Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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My Mexican Birdbath

10,000 Birds

My area of central Mexico has a true monsoon climate. That means that we have little or no rain through the winter months, and almost daily rain during the warm months of June through September, with May and October being transitional months. May is always our hottest month, while our recent rains keep temperatures in October much lower. Días de precipitación = Days of precipitation.

2020 59

The Joy of Pigeons

10,000 Birds

This post is inspired by a misconception. When I checked the photograph shown below, it was on a small screen in bright sunlight. In these circumstances, I thought that I saw the man amongst the pigeons putting his hand to his heart in a casual prayer to thank God for all of His creations, however common and familiar they might be. My feelings often run along a similar thread, not always as fervent as our pigeon feeder perhaps, but I am always grateful that I can take pleasure from small things.

2020 59

Best Bird of the Weekend (First of February 2020)

10,000 Birds

Another Super Bowl, another title won by a team named for something other than a bird. Birding is better when you keep sports out of it anyway! Birding has been terribly slow here in the Rochester area. I visited a place that has historically been auspicious for Cackling Goose but couldn’t even find a Canada there. If a pair of Mallards didn’t turn up, I would have gone completely birdless.

2020 58

Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of February 2020?

10,000 Birds

February birding may qualify as boring in many parts of the world, but that simplistic observation ignores all the excitement a truly engaged and dedicated birder can muster. Don’t give up on birding, even during the boring times. Winter has yet to yield all of its avian treasures to me, so I’ll keep combing the lake for something new. Corey never quits his ceaseless quest for the best birds of the NYC area, so look for him just about anywhere near Queens. How about you?

2020 57

Animals in Space 3

PPT10

An unexpected Yellowthroat

10,000 Birds

I have previously written about the central Mexican highlands’ very own microendemic species, the Black-polled Yellowthroat. This bird is only found around three lakes (Lago de Pátzcuaro and Lago de Cuitzeo in the state of Michoacán, and Lago de Yuriria just across the border in Guanajuato state), and in the marshy area southeast of Toluca, the capital of the state of Mexico. The name “Mexico” can refer to the city, a state, or the entire country.

2020 55

But is it safe?

10,000 Birds

Last week I went downhill to Paso Ancho, as I always do at some point each January. I go there to add all those Tierra Caliente (Hot Country) specialties to my year list. The site’s spectacular endemics never let me down: The beautiful Orange-breasted Bunting. This female Red-breasted Chat is showing what it thinks of me. Fortunately, at this time of year there are also a good number of high-quality migratory species: Least Flycatcher. V irginia’s Warbler.

2020 55

Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of February 2020)

10,000 Birds

Some weekends last longer than others. Whether you enjoyed the extra day the United States sets apart to honor former Presidents or spent your day at work in a country predisposed to honor its current leader, you can decide what period best described your weekend.

2020 55

Collective Arts Brewing: Life in the Clouds

10,000 Birds

Anytime I’m shopping in a good local beer shop, I’m always sure to look for any offerings from Collective Arts Brewing. Not only does the Hamilton, Ontario brewery make some great beer, but – as the name suggests – Collective Arts is an enthusiastic supporter of creativity outside of the brewing arts – namely music and visual arts.

New CMI 11/5/20

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of February 2020)

10,000 Birds

I’ve learned a thing or two about winter birding since I’ve moved to a place with an abundance of winter. First and foremost, not every weekend offers ideal conditions for spotting snow birds, but a little patience almost guarantees that the right conditions come along. Did your patience pay off this weekend? Ivy and I went out to spot Snow Buntings and Horned Larks , and, by George, we spotted Snow Buntings and Horned Larks along with a single Lapland Longspur.

2020 54

Brush Bronzewing

10,000 Birds

Brush Bronzewing – Phaps elegans are one of the bird species that we rarely encounter, because we are rarely in the right location in Australia. During our recent visit to South Gippsland in Victoria we had one encounter. They are similar to the Common Bronzewi ng , but they are a larger bird. Both species are very stocky and usually encountered alone or in pairs. The iridescent patch on the Brush Bronzewing does not stand out as much with the Common Bronzewing.

2020 51

Where Are You Birding This Third Weekend of February 2020?

10,000 Birds

The heart, you may have heard, wants what it wants. If what you want this Valentine’s weekend is to chase birds, follow your bliss. As you may have also heard, love means never having to say you are sorry. I’m sorry to be heading down to NYC for reasons that have nothing to do with birding. I won’t even be in position to go after the coastal specialties we miss along the Great Lakes.

2020 51

Where Are You Birding This Fourth Weekend of February 2020?

10,000 Birds

As one season begins to shade ever so slightly–or perhaps heavily, depending on your latitude–new birding opportunities open up. If you focus on first of year (FOY) birds, February always has something fresh and fun to offer. Now that Ivy and I have broken the ice on owls this year, we’re eager to add a couple more, so Owl Woods might be in the cards.

2020 49

Attend second

Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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