March, 2019

A DOG’S WAY HOME book and Blu-Ray giveaway

4 The Love Of Animals

Based on the bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A DOG’S WAY HOME finds its way onto Digital March 26 and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on April 9 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The film chronicles the heartwarming … Continue reading →

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The 20 best birds of Belgrade and where to find them

10,000 Birds

Some five years ago I was involved in a project of ecotourism evaluation of the river Danube in Serbia, which included the city of Belgrade, founded at the bank of this river. The toughest thing for me, as a local birder, was to choose the most attractive birds because those that attract my attention are generally all too common in the northwest of Europe, from where most visiting birders are coming. Hence, I asked my friend B.C.,

2019 72

Superpower Dogs

4 The Love Of Animals

We are so excited about the upcoming IMAX movie, Superpower Dogs! The World Premiere of Superpower Dogs, an inspiring true story of extraordinary dogs and their life-saving superpowers, opens on March 9th at the California Science Center. The following week … Continue reading → dogs events

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Bird Litigation: Is the Golden-cheeked Warbler Still Endangered?

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The striking Golden-cheeked Warbler nests only in the hills of central Texas near Austin but a substantial part of those breeding grounds have leveled in favor of development. One of the fastest growing cities in America, Austin is the capital of Texas and home of the University of Texas. Fueled by a dynamic economy, it is now the 11th largest city in the country: more than 2 million people now live in the metropolitan area. On December 27, 1990 , the U.S.

2019 70

April Showers 4.30

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Looking for Year Birds in the Central Valley of Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

It’s good to have birding goals. Challenges like a Big Year, county lists, or a Big Sit can push a birder to learn more, to improve the birding focus, and become more aware of what’s happening in the avian neighborhood. This year, my main challenge is identifying 700 species within the borders of Costa Rica by December 31st.

2019 70

Fear Of The Dark

10,000 Birds

I picked up E. in the morning in front of her hotel. To avoid the traffic lights and rush hour, I drove through some forgotten, derelict industrial zone at the outskirts of the city (which is my usual shortcut). I was describing the area we were going to and the target birds ( European Rollers – cover digiscoped in the rain in the same area, Ortolan Buntings , etc.). was mostly silent. Joining the main road… and off the main road into the woods.

2019 69

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10 Cool Birds from the Caribbean Lowlands of Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

In Costa Rica, we have two coasts, a pair of shorelines that touch two oceans. To the west and south, we have the Pacific, go east and north and a birder scans the Atlantic. However, in Costa Rica, we don’t usually refer to that body of water as the Atlantic, nor even as an ocean. Around here, it’s the Caribbean Sea and that’s also why we bird the Caribbean slope, we look for macaws, toucans, and Great Potoos in the Caribbean lowlands.

2019 67

Birding or Birdwatching? A Backyard Realization

10,000 Birds

Sliding the glass door to my Florida backyard, I shuffled my slipper-clad feet and closed the opening behind me. The sun had broken through an early morning haze, warming my backyard to over 70 degrees F – a bright spot in what had been a generally gloomy February. Plopping myself down on a bright blue chair, I carefully placed my binoculars on my lap and picked up my knitting. My view? A straight shot to my bird feeder. My yard is a birding hotspot.

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Migrants are on the Move in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Spring is happening! Each day, the sun stays out just a bit longer and up north, the snow is old, feeble and on its way to a wetter, more fluid existence. However, for those of us living the birding life, Spring is more than just the transition between the cold and the warm. It’s also a big time for bird movements, a period punctuated by waves of migrants, first the early ones, then a time of many species, and finally, those last “late” migrants moving north.

2019 65

South East Arizona’s Madera Canyon

10,000 Birds

A note of thanks to Corey and Mike, for their patience, while I took a break after a very busy 2018!! Now that Jeanne and I have finally settled on Tucson, Arizona at least for a while, I will pick up where I left off at the end of 2018. Arizona, specifically the South East portion of the state, will be my “beat” for the rest of this year.

2019 65

Animal Rights: Direct Action$ % ! &

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Quinta do Casal Branco: Lobo e Falcão Reserva (2016)

10,000 Birds

I’ve decided to dedicate this month of March 2019 to wines and beers related to the history of falconry – or hawking – for no other reason than that I’ve recently acquired several bottles adorned with mostly medieval European iconography relating to this “sport of kings”.

2019 63

Fun with Fish Crows

10,000 Birds

Over the last couple of weeks Fish Crows have flooded back into New York City, early harbingers of spring, and those that stuck around have become much more vocal, meaning that birders can now put them on their checklist instead of “crow sp.” ” And it is essentially only birders who realize that Fish Crows are back. Their nasal calls aren’t of interest to anyone else and, really, birders tend to give them short shrift as well once they have been marked off the year list.

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Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of March 2019?

10,000 Birds

All things being equal, March offers much less birding excitement than most other months. I’ll go so far as to say that birding in March is boring. Do you disagree? Change my mind. The one diversion this month offers in the Finger Lakes region is the potential for Saw-whet Owls , which I’ll be seeking this weekend. Corey never seems to find birding boring, so look for him in all the usual NYC-area haunts. How about you? Where will you be this weekend and will you be birding?

2019 50

My Trip To Costa Rica with Lifer Tours Part 1

10,000 Birds

I recently returned from a twelve day birding tour of Costa Rica with Lifer Tours guided by an incredible birder, David Rodriquez. I began the trip with a rather long drive from the airport hotel in San Jose to Punta Uva on the southern Caribbean coast for a couple of “free” days before joining the actual tour. One of the obvious sights on the way down were large pendulous nests hanging from several tall trees.

2019 50

Attend third

Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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Common Greenshank around Broome

10,000 Birds

At this time of year it is not always easy to access areas of Roebuck Bay where access is on a gravel road. There is always an update on the road conditions on the Shire website. For those of you who would like to observe Common Greenshanks around the Broome area without venturing onto a gravel road there are a couple of options. Firstly you can go to the Barndarlmada Hut at the Poo Ponds.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Last of March 2019)

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Snow this time of year feels a lot like an April Fool’s joke, but these last gasps of winter can’t change the prevailing winds blowing birds north. Depending on where you live, this weekend might not have been ideal to meet these migrants. No worries, because better days lie ahead. My time at the Braddock Bay Hawk Watch platform may have been sparse for raptors, but I picked up all kinds of FOY birds.

2019 47

Finding an Asian Openbill in Singapore-second ever record!

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We have just returned from an incredible three weeks in Singapore, where unlike many others who visit the country we spent the whole time in nature parks, forests and gardens observing birds. The only shopping we did was to buy fresh fruit and some Asian snacks for while we were out all day hiking and birding. Most people in Singapore were photographing birds, so we did rather stand out as we walked for hours each day wearing binoculars and carrying a small camera!

2019 47

Best Bird of the Weekend (Fourth of March 2019)

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Here we are, one weekend into a season of migration. Did you make the most of it? Despite the miserable weather, I made a run to Braddock Bay. Though raptors themselves were scarce, I did meet David Brown, this season’s new hawk watcher. The winter resident Northern Shrike also turned up, which was a treat. Corey saw a bunch of birds on a mild Sunday morning though none of them were particularly spectacular.

2019 47

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Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of March 2019)

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While you enjoyed the wearing of the green for St. Patrick’s Day, did you stop to wonder why so few birds wear green plumage? Based on how naturally parrots and leafbirds (the real ones in Asia, not the figments that plague birders in every country) blend into foliage, I’d imagine that most arboreal avian species would want the same advantages. Does anyone know why we don’t have more truly green birds?

2019 47

Best Bird of the Weekend (Second of March 2019)

10,000 Birds

To continue my assertion before the weekend began, March may be one of the most boring months of the year for birding. However, just as a bad day of fishing beats a good day at work for many anglers, even a boring birding month offers excitement. Did you find any this weekend? So far this year, my daughter and I have gone 3 for 3 with owls.

2019 47

Terredora Dipaolo: Aglianico Campania (2016)

10,000 Birds

Falconry Month at Birds and Booze: I’ve decided to dedicate this month of March 2019 to wines and beers related to the history of falconry – or hawking – for no other reason than that I’ve recently acquired several bottles adorned with mostly medieval European iconography relating to this “sport of kings”.

2019 47

Best Bird of the Weekend (First of March 2019)

10,000 Birds

Now that we’ve entered the third month of the calendar year, take stock: did your birding March come in like a lion or a lamb? My birding was positively sheepish during this busy weekend. Luckily, a Carolina Wren took kindness upon me by singing at my office window. Corey enjoyed getting out and about in Queens on Sunday morning between two snowstorms. He didn’t see a ton of birds but he did appreciate the number of Snow Geese flocking up at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.

2019 47

Animals in Space 3

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Where Are You Birding This Final Weekend of March 2019?

10,000 Birds

All birding–with the possible exception of fantasy birding –depends on movement. Either the birds come to you, you go to the birds, or you and the birds come to each other. During this time of year when migration is just beginning, think about where you might position yourself for optimal avian encounters. Then place yourself there and prepare for good things to come your way. I’ll be positioning myself on the Braddock Bay Hawk Watch platform when I can this weekend.

2019 43

Purple Sunbird

10,000 Birds

The dispute over Kashmir has been rumbling on since Partition in 1947. India and Pakistan are mostly left to get on with their conflict with little intervention from the outside world. This week however, it appeared that the conflict may escalate after India targeted terrorist activity within Pakistan and had one of their aircraft shot down in the process. The pilot was held for a few days, but was allowed to return to India in a gesture of peace.

2019 43

Where Are You Birding This Fourth Weekend of March 2019?

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It’s official. The calendar has finally caught up to what birds have known for a while: a new season has sprung! Even better, this is a migratory season, one which will feature months of avian excitement. Do you love to observe massive, diverse flocks of raptors, waterfowl, or passerines on the move? If so, the good times are rolling right now. The good news in my part of the world is that interesting raptors are already funneling through Braddock Bay.

2019 43

Brouwerij Verhaeghe: Duchesse de Bourgogne

10,000 Birds

Falconry Month at Birds and Booze: I’ve decided to dedicate this month of March 2019 to wines and beers related to the history of falconry – or hawking – for no other reason than that I’ve recently acquired several bottles adorned with mostly medieval European iconography relating to this “sport of kings”.

2019 43

March Madness 4.0

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My Trip to Costa Rica Part 2

10,000 Birds

Before leaving Olguita’s on the second day in Costa Rica, I spotted this migrant male Baltimore Oriole ( Icterus galbula ) pictured above, but I also enjoyed a resident Black-cowled Oriole ( Icterus prosthemelas ), both lifers! Since the weather was not favorable for snorkeling I decided to kayak up the local Quebrada Ernesto Inlet. Climbing into the kayak I noticed a Three-toed Sloth hanging in an overhanging tree. The sloths are a big draw in Costa Rica.

First Phoebe of 2019

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I saw my first migratory Eastern Phoebe of 2019 this morning at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Actually, I saw my first five phoebes there, perhaps the most I ever saw in one location for my first of the season. For me, it is now officially spring! Over the last ten years my average first phoebe has been the 22nd of March, meaning that this year’s bird was five days earlier than average and nearly two weeks earlier than last year’s.

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Where Are You Birding This Third Weekend of March 2019?

10,000 Birds

Most birders show reasonable to remarkable understanding of phenology. Our attunement to periodic plant and animal life cycle events explains why we anticipate migration with the eagerness of schoolchildren waiting for the final bell. This phenological fluency also helps us recognize signs of a changing season. For example, we all have birds we associate with the beginning of spring. I and everyone else living in the land of long winters can’t wait to see these harbingers of warmer weather.

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Sneaky Striated Herons

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The Striated Heron Butorides striata is generally found along the coast around Broome, but we have also had one in our garden in the past. We have also observed them at river crossings between Broome and Derby. They can be reliably found at Gantheaume Point feeding among the rocks, but if the tide is very high they go into the scrub on the cliffs until the tide turns. They can also be found within the vicinity of the Broome Bird Observatory in Roebuck Bay.

2019 43

Attend second

Speaker: Hannah Flynn

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