Seeing Sociable Lapwing in Kazakhstan

10,000 Birds

Kazakhstan – May 2009 After our excellent time at the Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve we bid a fond farewell to its gorgeous grassy terrain and made our way to a location where Sociable Lapwing were known to breed. Trips features Kazakhstan Sociable Lapwing Species Champions Swarovski

Huge Flock of Sociable Lapwings in Kazakhstan

10,000 Birds

The largest flock of the critically endangered Sociable Lapwing to be seen in Kazakhstan since 1939 was spotted by researchers from ACBK (the Kazakhstan BirdLife International affiliate) on 16 August. Good news ! Asides

Russia Bans Canadian Seal Imports!

Critter News

The other two neighbors that banned them are Kazakhstan and Belarus). World Trade Organization canada kazakhstan europe seal hunt belarus trade seals russiaGreat news! But I'm not exactly sure why RUSSIA would ban them. Apparently, some claim about 90 percent of Canadian sales are to Russia. Russia does have its own seal hunt, but apparently they banned killings of animals under one year old. Weird.

Russia 116

Where Tulips Come From (It Ain’t Holland)

10,000 Birds

Kazakhstan, May 2009 During the two days spent out in the steppe in Kazakhstan I couldn’t help but notice the sheer number of flowers that dotted the grassy steppe. Was it part of some gigantic-scale gardening project planned by the Soviets when Kazakhstan was a part of the USSR? I’ll be reminded of a sunny day in May on the steppe in Kazakhstan… This post was originally published on 7 June 2009 but it is too good to leave languishing in the archives !

We need to talk about your life list

10,000 Birds

Before we turn our attention to your various bird lists, let me tell you a story about some wheatears of the genus Oenanthe that are found in Kazakhstan’s Mangghystau province. The species has [drum roll] a mysterious morph that’s funny in a peculiar way and largely restricted to the southwest of Kazakhstan. I have added Eastern Black-eared Wheatear to my year list based on some hybrids I saw in Kazakhstan. Birds gulls hybrids Kazakhstan taxonomy wheatears

2014 57

Caspian Gull: The continental gull

10,000 Birds

Things get a bit confusing however once we move 2,500 km (or 1,500 miles) east across Kazakhstan towards the foothills of the Altai mountains. Because the species ranges from the western shore of the Black Sea in a broad band across southern Ukraine and through Kazakhstan to the Altai, a region that may have the Caspian Sea in its centre but is not characterized by it as much as by its predominant biome: steppes. This is lake Bukhtarma in far eastern Kazakhstan.

2016 53

Being a Tolai Hare’s life Human

10,000 Birds

Such has frequently been the case in my survey area deep within Kazakhstans barren Mangghystau province, and the most memorable reverse-lifer experience has been with a Tolai Hare just recently. Mammals Kazakhstan rabbits One of the pleasures of birding through a landscape no man has gone before is that one has frequent encounters with individuals – birds, mammals, herps, whatever – that have never seen a human in their life.

2014 61

The Supremacy of the Booted Warbler

10,000 Birds

All it takes is a closer look at an old world warbler, any old world warbler for that matter, let’s see, how about … The shores of lake Bukhtarma in East Kazakhstan, with a heavy smell of warblers in the air The Booted Warbler Hippolais / Iduna caligata The Booted Warbler is a prime, fine example of an old world warbler of the Sylvioid clan, and I was happy to re-connect with it after many years in Bukhtarma, East Kazakhstan, in the landscape seen above.

2012 60

The Fiery Red-fronted Serin

10,000 Birds

Well, for one it inhabits high mountain terrain from the northern part of the Middle East all the way to the Himalayas and the central Asian mountain ranges, reaching 3,200 m above sea level in Kazakhstan. Birds features finches Kazakhstan serinsWhat may look like a cheesy title is a way of pointing out that the bird of this post is usually called Red-fronted Serin , yet BirdLife somehow refers to it as being Fire-fronted.

2012 56

The Chukar Situation

10,000 Birds

Then of course, Chukars have style as they’ve chosen landscapes like this for them to roam… Kazakhstan’s Mangghystau province. Birds chukars introduced species Kazakhstan The Chukar is the most widely distributed and the most numerous of all the partridges that scientists assigned to the genus Alectoris. All these factors combined make for a great bird.

2013 64

Siberian Chiffchaff in the Altai Mountains

10,000 Birds

What I actually meant to say with this introduction is that I spent a few very enjoyable days in Kazakhstan’s far East at the end of September, and that one of the birding highlights for me was the chance to see and study Siberian Chiffchaffs at length and repeatedly. And the foothills of the Altai mountains in Kazakhstan are the prefect setting for watching tristis in autumn, something I trust the following images will convey. Birds autumn chiffchaff Kazakhstan

2011 58

KARE video

4 The Love Of Animals

This was made for KARE , an animal rescue center in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This is a small video that was made to help prevent the irresponsible actions of pet owners. It’s message is universal though, and hopefully people will remember that we are responsible for the animals in our lives.

On "The Botany of Desire"

Animal Person

This is coming very, very late, but part of why " Food Inc." wasn't impressive for me is because I'm not the target audience. I'd already read Pollan and Schlosser and seen " The Future of Food " and " King Corn." And though The Omnivore's Dilemma definitely promotes the eating of animals if those animals were "farmed" a certain way (and locally), there's so much helpful information in it about the food supply, in general, that it's tough to tell people not to read it.

2009 100

Animal Rights Zone Launches Today

Animal Person

Kazakhstan. Today is the launch of. I'm excited to be a blogger for Animal Rights Zone because its target market is people who don't usually subscribe to blogs. Also, it has the added bonus of organizing my content better than I have. The goal is to provide blogospheric content that is easy to find, and from a variety of sources. On the left, you'll see this: Concepts. Project Treadstone. Responsible Policies. Rabbits. More >> Animals. Goats. Horses. Mammals. Buffalo.

NYT Equine Thought Experiment

Animal Person

The site was where northern Kazakhstan is now, the culture was called Botai and the date was around 3500 B.C. Forgot to hit "publish now" on this. The New York Times presents us, this morning, with "Equine Alternative" regarding the recent discovery that horses decided to allow themselves be domesticated by humans for our mutual benefit, earlier than we had thought (3500 BC, and we preciously thought it was more like 2500 BC).

Snow Birds

10,000 Birds

You see, I promised several months ago to do a presentation on the birds of Kazakhstan for the Queens County Bird Club on Wednesday, 15 February. Of course, if you happen to be around New York City on Wednesday and have nothing to do but listen to someone who once spent four days birding Kazakhstan blathering on as if he were expert while misidentifying the birds in his slides then stop on by the Alley Pond Environmental Center on Northern Boulevard in Douglaston, Queens, at 8 PM.

2012 60

Hooded Crow in Staten Island, New York

10,000 Birds

My last encounter with a Hooded Crow was in May of 2009 in the Tien Shan Mountains of Kazakhstan. Prior to that trip to Kazakhstan the only other time I had seen Hooded Crows was in Germany in 2007, when my best looks at a Hooded Crow were along the shore of the Baltic Sea. When I first saw the post on the New York State listserv about the Hooded Crow on Staten Island I wasn’t going to twitch it. Why?

Aqtau Surfer Dudes

10,000 Birds

During the course of a business trip to western Kazakhstan in early April I flew from Germany to Aqtau, right at the coast of the Caspian Sea. Well, it wasn’t: While 02:00 am Kazakhstan time was 11:00 pm German time and thus easily manageable, 06:00 am in Aqtau was 03:00 am in Germany. Kazakhstan had seen two days of extreme weather just before my return to Aqtau, with unusual amounts of rain and a severe storm. Trips Caspian Sea grebes Kazakhstan

2011 58

Wood Sandpiper in New York

10,000 Birds

The ones in 2009, the only previous Wood Sandpipers I’d ever seen, were in Kazakhstan. A couple of weeks ago a group of New York’s better birders were out birding in Suffolk County when one of the four found an interesting shorebird, one which she couldn’t identify immediately.

Pink Finches I Have Known

10,000 Birds

It took a trip to Kazakhstan to see more pink finches. On a single wonderful day to the semi-desert of eastern Kazakhstan I added two pink finches to my life list, the Mongolian Finch at the top of this post and the Desert Finch above. Though the Kazakhstan sightings are up there in terms of my favorite birding experiences my favorite pink finch sighting is a Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch. You can’t really talk about pink birds without talking about pink finches.

2013 61

What is Mexico’s National Bird?

10,000 Birds

In fact, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology , “The Golden Eagle is the most common official national animal in the world – it’s the emblem of Albania, Germany, Austria, Mexico, and Kazakhstan.” One of the most impressive birds in North America is the Golden Eagle. It is found as far north as Alaska and as far south as Mexico, taking its place as one of Mexico’s official symbols.

The Ruddy Shelduck Twitch

10,000 Birds

Further north, in Poland, they used to write off all Ruddy Shelducks recorded, assuming they were escapees, until they found one ringed in Kazakhstan! One of those mornings that somehow let the light in, but without a trace of sun. I leave tarmac behind, entering a dirt track with my low clearance hatchback, carefully avoiding the trenches deeply rooted by combine harvesters. Going over the side corrugations, I wonder if they have used the snow groomer to flatten this section of the track?

2014 80

My Nemesis Birds to Be

10,000 Birds

American Dipper – Yes, I have seen Brown Dipper in Kazakhstan and White-capped Dippers in Ecuador but somehow I am missing the only dipper found in the United States, the American Dipper. “Thus, I give up the binoculars!” ” – Captain Ahab’s last words (paraphrased). I have been relatively fortunate in my birding life in that I don’t have a single nemesis bird that has vexed me.

2014 78

I Love eBird and You Should Too!

10,000 Birds

You can’t even see my visit to Trinidad and Tobago on this map but you definitely notice Kazakhstan !). As if eBird, the marvelous citizen science produced database of bird sightings, wasn’t awesome enough, you can now have an eBird profile that is viewable by other eBird users. It’s a simple but amazing idea. We birders are curious after all, and learning a little bit about other birders is a great way to keep birders on eBird.

2016 61

The Hidden Qualities of House Sparrows

10,000 Birds

A male probable member of the indicus group (foreground) and a male domesticus House Sparrow in western Kazakhstan. Bird blogging in May always gives me the creeps. This ridiculous focus of the Birding Internet on North American wood-warblers is boring on a quiet day and highly annoying during peak migration. Birders in the Americas may not be aware of it, but from the higher ground of a European perspective the American “warblers” are intensely overrated.

Caspian Terns in Queens

10,000 Birds

Fortunately, though Caspian Terns are not common in Queens, they are common around the world (in fact, up until I saw these two birds I had seen as many Caspian Terns in Kazakhstan as I had seen in Queens), and are considered a Species of Least Concern by BirdLife International because of their enormous range and large and growing population.

2011 57

Of Snowflake Birds and the Cold War

10,000 Birds

In 1996, during my university days at Greifswald, I was invited to join an excursion to eastern Kazakhstan, travelling along the Chinese border from Almaty to lake Zaissan and back. My transition from being a kid interested in all kinds of animals to being a full-on birder happened when I was around 11 years old, in the early 1980s (oh dear!). I was given my first real field guide to the birds of Europe by my parents, a guide beyond the species found at backyard feeders and city ponds.

2017 40

Garganey in New York

10,000 Birds

I’d only ever seen Garganey once before, way back in 2009 in Kazakhstan. On Sunday, 5 June, word of Jay McGowan finding a Gargeney at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in western New York State hit the listservs. Lots of birders got to see it that day, the next day, and all week long. I had to work all week and my first shot at this potential first state record wasn’t until Saturday.

Europe’s Brown Warblers: a map through the maze

10,000 Birds

I am pretty sure this is a migrant Blyth’s, seen in Kazakhstan in May. If, by a chain of peculiar events or by purposeful decision, you find yourself somewhere in central Europe, you sooner or later will not be able to avoid seeing a little bird, usually the size of a House Sparrow or smaller, with a slender bill, a rather vertical posture, which will be hopping through some dense vegetation, and which you will have to accept as being a WARBLER.

Essentials For Packing When Birding Anywhere In The World

10,000 Birds

I do have to say that when I was traveling to Kazakhstan a few years ago, the GoGirl was an item that ended up missing from my checked luggage. I travel for birding. A lot. I’m about to head out to the Hula Valley Bird Festival and as I’m packing, I thought I would share with you some essentials I think any birder should plan to have in their suitcase–no matter where they are visiting. I’ve never regretted any of these items being in my suitcase.

2011 82

We’re Not Racists, So Why Aren’t There More Birders Of Color?

10,000 Birds

For the record, I’ve only ever had one theft from airport security and that was my Go Girl when I was in Kazakhstan…and their staff was neither black nor Mexican.

2011 80

A Northern Wheatear in New York

10,000 Birds

And here, for the heck of it, is an image of the last Northern Wheatear I saw – a breeding plumaged bird in May of 2009 in Kazakhstan. When you are a New York City-based birder that is pretty pleased with the amount of boxes ticked off on your New York State checklist you would normally want a rarity that you have not seen in the state to show up within an hour drive of your home.

The Bee-eaters of Africa

10,000 Birds

The eastern form breeds as far away as Kazakhstan, through India and the Middle East into Egypt’s Nile Valley, and migrates southwards to East and South Africa. The wonderful family Meropidae contains 27 dazzling species, of which Africa is endowed with no less than 20 species, the balance occurring across Asia and with one as far afield as Australia.

Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of March 2011?

10,000 Birds

Talk about Big Sky Country – One of Corey’s 10 Views from a Van in Kazakhstan Tags: march , weekend • Have you seen the cool 10,000 Birds t-shirts? home about advertise archives birds conservation contact galleries links reviews subscribe Browse: Home / Birding / Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of March 2011? Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of March 2011?

2011 52

Conserving the Future: Bold Bird Ideas

10,000 Birds

These Blasts From The Past By the Time You Read This I’ll be Birding Kazakhstan Snail Kites, Limpkins and Escargot Spring in East Harbour Regional Park March is Mesoamerican Month at 10,000 Birds Kokako and Kaka on Kapiti About the Author Mike Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but what he really aspires to be is a naturalist.

2011 50

Polygynandry and avian swingers

10,000 Birds

These Blasts From The Past Striped Basilisk Lizard Lore Herps in Rockland County and Orange County Diamondback Terrapin at Jamaica Bay The Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) Lizards of Kazakhstan About the Author Dale Forbes Dale got his first pair of binoculars for a very early birthday after his dad realized that it was the only way to be left in peace.

2011 76

Jochen’s Top 10 birds of 2016

10,000 Birds

The year 2016 was not a particularly birdy year for me, mostly because I didn’t get to go on business trips to Indonesia or Kazakhstan, as was frequently the case during the last few years. You see, I had seen members of the formerly united species very frequently in recent years, e.g. in Kazakhstan and during my time in North America back in 2006/07.

2016 41

A Problem with Gulls

10,000 Birds

These Blasts From The Past No Owls at Croton Point I Hate Connecticut… Birding Kazakhstan: Morning of Day 1 in Astana Ottawa By Way of Ohio The Snow Bunting That Almost Killed Me, or, Hyperbole in Bird Blog Post Titles is Fun!

2011 55

Best Bird of the Year 2012

10,000 Birds

I saw my all-time favourite bird species again after not seeing it for more than 10 years, a splendid Bearded Vulture (well, even two) in the Tien Shan mountains above Almaty, Kazakhstan in June. As 2012 draws to a close we here at 10,000 Birds thought that it would be a great idea if we, like we did in 2010 and 2011 , shared our Best Birds of the Year.

2012 64

Where Are You Birding This First Weekend of July 2012?

10,000 Birds

Enjoy moody skyscapes like this brooding vista over Lake Bukhtarma in Kazakhstan (where Jochen independently discovered Booted Warbler supremacy ) a. Many of us in the United States feel like we just had a weekend, when we really only enjoyed a pyrotechnic mid-week holiday. Early summer surely feels like the season that keeps on giving! Fortunately, nature lovers usually know how to take advantage of extra time to ramble and roam.

2012 56

Jochen’s 2014 Year List

10,000 Birds

In a funny twist of fate, it seems that 2014 will be much the same as 2012 and 2013 have been, with family trips to somewhere in France and business trips to Indonesia and Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan: Mangghystau province at the Caspian Sea shore, probably in May. Outlook and goals for 2014. Repetitions, repetitions, repetitons.

2014 52

Best Bird of the Year for 2015

10,000 Birds

Nearly a year ago I wrote the following about birds that were becoming nemesis birds : Yes, I have seen Brown Dipper in Kazakhstan and White-capped Dippers in Ecuador but somehow I am missing the only dipper found in the United States, the American Dipper. As 2015 comes to a close and birders the world over start thinking about what 2016 will bring we here at 10,000 Birds would like to take a moment to celebrate our best birds of 2015.

2015 63