Cute Fuzzy Adorable Baby Birdies

10,000 Birds

baby Black Skimmer Rynchops niger baby Common Tern Sterna hirundo baby American Oystercatcher Haematopus palliatus … a. Is there anything cuter than precocious fuzzy baby birds? I don’t think so. A recent visit to a nesting colony on Long Island’s south shore led to levels of adorable so high that diabetics are hereby warned to stay away from this post for fear that your blood-sugar levels might skyrocket through osmosis. These baby birds are sweet! And cute!

Niger 78

Pelican Brewing Company: Brut India Pale Ale

10,000 Birds

Unlike conventional brewing yeast species like Saccharomyces cerevisiae , amyloglucosidase – an enzyme derived from the fungus Aspergillus niger, the common black mold found on vegetables like onions – is capable of breaking down more complex sugars like glucose in beer, leaving a fermented product relatively free of the residual sugars that give some sweetness and body to traditional beers.

Collaborative List ? May 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Swift (Cypseloides niger). Black Tern (Chlidonias niger). Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger). This was the month we (in the northern hemisphere) had all been waiting for, but what a strange month May 2020 has been. Normally it is the month of migrants and summer visitors, but who has been out to greet them or wave them on their way?

2020 49

Collaborative List – July 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. 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 66

Collaborative list – April 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Tern (Chlidonias niger). As the rest of the world hides behind the curtains, our beats have thrown theirs open to record the avian life that passes outside their windows. Other sightings have been included from legitimate outings for work and exercise (at all times maintaining a respectable distance). 7 beats contributed this month. Between them they shared 63 checklists, spanning 5 countries and noted 231 species of birds. Graylag Goose (Anser anser).

2020 50

Why Don’t I Have Any Finches At My Feeder?

10,000 Birds

Nyjer (also known as Niger and Thistle) is not grown in the US, though it is possible. So it’s best that when you purcase Nyjer/Niger/Thistle that you always purchase small quantities and purchase often. When trying to attract finches, it can be feast or famine. Some days you get bunches and bunches, other times you might feel totally rejected by them. I recently had a conversation with a colleague who works for the Department of Natural Resources.

2011 80

Collaborative list – November 2020

10,000 Birds

376 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Who remembers birding parties? This virus just won’t give up. With some of the beats locked down still, or again, the birding has been patchy.

2020 63

Finicky Finches

10,000 Birds

The food for finches can go by a variety of names: Thistle or Niger or Nyjer (and that’s just once seed, that doesn’t include all the finch specific mixes on the market). Have you had trouble keeping finches at your feeder? If so, you’re not alone, it’s a common bird feeding question. American Goldfinches are one of the prettiest reasons to keep your feeders full in the summer.

2011 81

Pat’s 2020 Bird List, Mostly from Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Black Tern– Chlidonias niger; Paquera, 3-Jan. It’s January and another year list begins. This is what many of us birders do, we start another list. And this doesn’t mean you are obsessed or a little bit too much into birds because keeping track of a year list actually comes with some side benefits.

2020 67

Collaborative list – June 2020

10,000 Birds

41 Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. 87 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. So, just as our heroes head back out into the woods, the woods go quiet. After their incarceration, a bit of birdsong would be just what was needed to lift the beats back to their normal ebullient selves but, alack and alas, summer approaches. But in bigger news, could this be the month that UK outbirds Costa Rica?

2020 54

Into an Uncertain Future

10,000 Birds

The crucial factor limiting the maximum baggage is the transport of the entire German population to their new home in the central Saharan desert regions of southern Algeria, Mali and Niger by camel. This may come as a surprise and it is sure to rock the stocks, yet it is an inevitable consequence of recent developments and a logic step to those familiar with European affairs: The Germans are preparing to leave the European Union. No seriously.

Collaborative list – August 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Mike complains of a dearth of birds in his BBOTW post for the last weekend of August and I am sure that many of us know exactly how he feels. Try to find new ways of getting your kicks from the common stuff.

2020 61

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 58

Wrapping up a very good 2016

10,000 Birds

5 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger Ok…I have to admit that this bird probably should be much higher up this list, but more birds just kept popping up. As the year begins to wind down, I have taken to a bit of reminiscing. From a professional stand point, this has been an outstanding twelve months. I am not sure I can call it the “Best Year Ever” but it certainly is worth some recognition.

2016 40

Black Swifts Nesting at McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

10,000 Birds

Undoubtedly one of the most interesting aspects of Burney Falls for birders is that it is one of the few locations in California where nesting Black Swifts ( Cypseloides niger ) can be found. McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park sits on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range between two active volcanoes, Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak. The Cascade Range, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, extends from Northern California to Southern British Columbia.

2013 77

The Icebird Cometh

10,000 Birds

Despite their voracious appetite for expensive niger thistle, they’re pleasant to have around. This fall has been an incredible one for winter finches across the eastern part of the continent. Birders in New England and the Mid-Atlantic have been reporting Evening Grosbeaks in numbers for the past month, and along with both redpolls, Pine Grosbeaks , and both crossbills it’s already looking like one for the history books… er…status and distribution guides.

2012 65

What is killing birds at Karla Lake (Greece)?

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger 15. There should be thousands of birds at this time of the year, Dimitris Michalakis from the Karla Lake management authority told me. In early August this year, I saw 77 species here (69 on the lake, plus 8 more in the surrounding areas) but barely more than a thousand individuals.

The Rose-ringed Parakeets of Heidelberg

10,000 Birds

Heidelberg university campus, Niger, Rajasthan – they’re all the same! A Birdy New Year! This article is about the parrots we have, not the ones we wish we had. Here in Germany, we don’t wish we had. Because we never have had. But now that we do have, and while we may or rather should wish we had not, we might as well roll with the punches and accept that we have. Yes, Germany has parrots, or parakeets to be more precise.

2012 81

Birding the Little Rann of Kutch

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger. Wake up buzz at 5.30 am, breakfast at 6 (toast – who can eat at that ungodly hour?) and at 6.30 we’re already in an open 4×4 heading for the salt pans of the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India. With 5000 square kilometres, that “little” is far from small – it should be taken more as a “lesser”, compared to the Great Rann of Kutch. Winter mornings are pretty cold, even without the wind-chill effect of an open Maruti Gypsy.

2013 81

Collaborative List – September 2020

10,000 Birds

188 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Redgannet has dropped off the radar.

2020 71

Feeding Wild Birds in America: Culture, Commerce & Conservation: A Book Review by a Curious Bird Feeder

10,000 Birds

Shelves of feeders to choose from, ranging from inexpensive tubes to porcelain sculptures; bags and barrels of shelled and unshelled seed, including something called variously thistle, nyjer or niger; guidelines on when, how, where to do the actual feeding. I came late to bird feeding, and when I was finally able to put out a “thistle” sock and a seed feeder (or two or six), I was amazed by the learning curve.

2015 80

Collaborative list – June 2019

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger. Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Here comes summer. The beats have been embracing the benign weather and cruising gently into the crazy, hazy, lazy days of summer. The trend at this time of year is a downturn in shared lists and birds reported, nevertheless, 12 (is this a record?) beats have still managed to share 82 checklists and accounted for 737 species.

2019 52

Collaborative List – October 2019

10,000 Birds

Southern Black-Tit – Melaniparus niger. Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver – Bubalornis niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. 14 countries were birded this month by 13 beats; a record participative effort! 172 lists were shared and 1004 species were seen, both records for October, so well done beats! The country list (which also includes Principalities, Territories, Special Administrative Regions, Autonomuos States, Kingdoms, Caliphates, etc.) has reached 54.

2019 55

Heading out on the road

10,000 Birds

70 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger 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. At approximately 7:00 AM MT, we will begin our drive north, leaving our beloved La Paz, Mexico after 7 great years.

2018 46

Collaborative list – October 2020

10,000 Birds

337 Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. 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. Included in the numbers are 2 new life-listers; a Long-tailed Koel from Duncan and a White-throated Rock-Thrush from Kai. This brings our all-time total to 4040.

2020 53

Collaborative List – July 2019

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. 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. The year list has moved forward to 1962 and the life list has leapt forward to 3759. These are the numbers. Alphabetic Taxonomic. Location. Date.

2019 51

We Should Kill More Lions

10,000 Birds

There are also important populations of ungulates including sable antelope (Hippotragus niger) (7000), Lichtenstein’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus lichtensteinii) (52,150), greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros), eland (Taurotragus oryx) and Nyassa wildebeest (Connochaetes albojubatus) (80,815).

Lions 73

Duncan’s 2015 List

10,000 Birds

Black Tern ( Chlidonias niger ); Wakkerstroom, South Africa, 23 February. Struthionidae (Ostriches). Ostritch ( Struthio camelus ); Wakkerstroom, South Africa, 22 February. ANATIDAE (DUCKS). White-faced Whistling Duck ( Dendrocygna viduata ); Kasane, Botswana, 1 January. Lesser Whistling Duck ( Dendrocygna javanica ); Singapore Botanical Gardens, Singapore, 25 February. White-backed Duck ( Thalassornis leuconotus ); Wakkerstroom, South Africa, 22 February.

2015 73

Collaborative list – January 2020

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. A new year, a new list. Does anyone have any special plans for the new decade? If you are not already a lister, this could be the moment that you have been waiting for. A special point in history from which to make a start; the opening of a whole new decade. Bring it on! January is always a busy month with most birders keen to see themselves atop a listing. How did your decade start?

2020 54

Collaborative list – August 2019

10,000 Birds

Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. eBird have applied their new taxonomy as of July/August 2019. What a boon for listers. Desk-top birders have been anxiously awaiting the new catalogue, hoping for splits to boost numbers rather than lumps to reduce them. In publishing the most current thinking, eBird have become the month’s biggest contributor to the life list, expanding it by 7 brand new species and pushing it to 3774. I just live for this stuff!

2019 49

Collaborative List – July 2018

10,000 Birds

Southern Black-Tit – Melaniparus niger. Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. And so to summer. Traditionally, the slow season, but the beats have mopped their collective brow and outdone their previous efforts. The UK has been birded clean by Tom as he ends his Little Big Year (Part 1). Redgannet continues his quest to bring colour to the profile map (one pixel at a time), by visiting The Seychelles (this time, on purpose!).

2018 42

Collaborative list – May 2019

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. So that was May. Despite looking way older than his years, we cannot attribute Regannet’s haggard appearance to hard birding, scoring only 19 during eBird’s Big Day was not the greatest effort expended on May 4th. In fairness, he had to celebrate Star Wars Day with his teenage son as this is their only means of effective conversation.

2019 43

Collaborative list – April 2019

10,000 Birds

It’s official. It’s spring. By all measures, meteorological, astronomical and anatomical, spring is sprung. The meteorological date is from March 1st, the Vernal Equinox was passed on March 20th which accounts for the astronomical marker when the sun crosses the equator on its northwards ramble. April is now behind us and Old Tom’s arthritis is clearing up nicely, thank you very much for asking. The migrants are coming (Hurray!). Some are already here, or passing through.

2019 43

Collaborative List – June 2018

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger. It’s all been happening this month. Just when we thought that the beats deserved a quiet month after the exertions of May, they came out with Bushnell’s blazing and gave June both barrels! Honduras , Malaysia and the southern-most bits of South Africa feature large this month with Mike, Duncan and Tom all vying to be MVB for June. Of course we all know it will be Pat… again… , but let them have their fun.

2018 40

Collaborative list – December 2018

10,000 Birds

Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. So what do you want first? The numbers? The accolades? The lifers? December’s collaborative results also summarises the year’s efforts, so this is December 2018 and the rest of 2018 all rolled into one sentence.

2019 43

Collaborative List – May 2018

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger. Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. That was May. Month of months. As we pass into June we can forgive some of our northern beats if they take a few moments to savour the past few weeks. But the beats go on in Southern climes and our intrepid little-big-year beat, Tom enters Africa.

2018 40

Collaborative List – November 2018

10,000 Birds

Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. A big thank you goes out to Tristan, who demonstrated that at least one person reads this drivel. He pointed out that Illinois had been sadly neglected up to this point, so Redgannet made a special visit to Chicago to redress this oversight. Tom and Pat were toe to toe in Costa Rica , so the numbers from there outshone anything else on the list for November, with over 60% of the month’s total shared between them.

2018 43

Collaborative List – October 2018

10,000 Birds

Southern Black-Tit – Melaniparus niger. Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. In a month that contained the eBird Big Day , we can naturally expect that the beats have been racing about providing much fodder for the collaborative list. The two most prolific contributors, Pat and Tom, have been sharing their birding space in Costa Rica.

2018 43

Collaborative List – November 2019

10,000 Birds

Despite last month being a record month by every measure we could think of, the cumulative total for the year had barely scraped past 2,400. I approached The Management to seek their opinion. Something needed to be done. Somebody had to take one for the team. Mike fixed me with his cold, steely, gray-eyed stare. He rose slowly from his seat, bronzed torso glistening. He raised his binoculars above his head and cried out with courage and clarity, “I am Sparticus!”

2019 49

Collaborative list – September 2018

10,000 Birds

Southern Black-Tit – Melaniparus niger. Black Swift – Cypseloides niger. The nights are drawing in and the mornings are cooler and noticeably damper. It’s September and time for birds to start their southerly journeys. The beats have been out to line their route and cheer them along, wishing them bon voyage and a safe return next spring. At the far ends of the world, our southern beats are poised to welcome them back.

2018 43

Collaborative List – April 2018

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger. Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. Redgannet added another splash of colour to the collective profile by falling asleep on a boat and waking up in Uruguay , the 44th country to feature in the list. Corey smashed the world record for contributing to the list when he shared 29 lists in just 2 minutes. Redgannet retains the world record for staying up late to collate them.

2018 40

Combined Beats’ List – September

10,000 Birds

Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger. Duncan has been in Africa, sweeping all before him like a brush fire. Through Botswana during the first week of September, then into Ethiopia with a late flourish, he has carried the list to 2191 as at September 30t h. Redgannet missed an opportunity to contribute when he was completely washed out at Lekki Conservation Centre in Nigeria. Electric storms closed the new walkway there and he amassed a total list of just 3 birds!

2016 54

Collaborative List – August 2017

10,000 Birds

Black Tern – Chlidonias niger. Black Skimmer – Rynchops niger. 9 beats, birded 9 countries this month; Belize , Guatamala , Costa Rica, UK, Iran, USA, Greece, Australia and Mexico. They submitted 144 checklists, noting 628 species adding 72 to the year’s running total bringing it to 1890. The western hemisphere’s pasting last year has been reversed as it currently out-scores the eastern hemisphere by 1210 to 746.

2017 40