American Birding Podcast

By American Birding Association

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The American Birding Podcast brings together staff and friends of the American Birding Association as we talk about birds, birding, travel and conservation in North America and beyond. Join host Nate Swick every other Thursday for news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.

Episode Date
03-12: 2019 Splits and Lumps with Nick Block
40:12

It's taxonomy time again, bird nerds! The 2019 proposals to the American Ornithological Society's Classification Committee are chock full of splits, name changes, and a couple proposals that may or may not set some interesting precedents in the way we interact with bird common names. As we have before, we lean again on Dr. Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, and Secretary of the ABA’s Recording Standards and Ethics Committee, to break it all down. He joins me to talk about some of those 2019’s taxonomy proposals and what they might mean for birders in the US and Canada. 

You can find the American Birding Podcast listener survey that I talk about in the episode here!

Thanks to Caligo Ventures for sponsoring this episode. Caligo is North America's one and only representative for Trinidad's famous Asa Wright Nature Center. Get your birding vacation started by going to caligo.com or call 800.426.7781. 

Jun 13, 2019
03-11: Birds and Board Games with Elizabeth Hargrave
36:37

What do birding and board games have in common? More than you’d expect! Birder and game designer Elizabeth Hargrave has made it a mission to bring these two things together and her bird-themed game Wingspan, released earlier this year to great reviews, does just that.

Wingspan has been covered by the New York Times, Smithsonian, and Science magazine among other places and has managed to elicit interest at a time when enthusiasm among the general public for both birding and board games are at an all-time high. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about both. 

Also, Birding editor Ted Floyd shares some thoughts about an extraordinary Western Tanager phenomenon. 

You can find the American Birding Podcast listener survey that I talk about in the episode here!

Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast.

May 30, 2019
03-10: LIVE from The Biggest Week-The ABA at 50
57:35

The ABA's 50th Anniversary and The Biggest Week's 10th Anniversary coincide this year and it's a great time to celebrate both stalwarts of the birding community. We threw a bird party and recorded the very first LIVE episode of the American Birding Podcast featuring special guests, live music, and more! We're excited to share it all with those who couldn't be with us that evening. 

Special thanks to Jason Guerard from Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Wendy Clark and David Mosher for the amazing music, and panelists Jordan Rutter of the American Bird Conservancy, Eliana Ardila Ardila from Birding By Bus, and field guide author David Sibley. We had an amazing time discussion the past and future of birding and the ABA. 

Thanks to L.L. Bean and the L.L. Bean Birding Festival for sponsoring this episode. The L.L. Bean Birding Festival is held May 24-26, 2019, in Freeport, Maine. 

May 16, 2019
03-09: A Season on the Wind with Kenn Kaufman
38:42

Kenn Kaufman is one of America's best known birders, and he has done just about everything a person can do in the birding world. He's a guide, an artist, an incredibly skilled birder, and an author of several books, the latest of which is called A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration. Kenn's new book is a love letter to northwest Ohio, a compelling story about the phenomenon of migration, and a call for action to protect these extraordinary birds and these important places. He joins Nate Swick to talk about the book and all things spring. 

Also, why you should be leading bird walks (seriously), dipping tales from Florida, and a big podcast event at the Biggest Week!

Interested in our West Virginia Adult Birder Camp? Get more information here!

Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for sponsoring this episode and their continuing support of the ABA's Young Birder Programs. 

May 02, 2019
03-08: Field to Screen with Jason Ward & Rob Meyer
31:48

Birders have been portrayed onscreen for decades now, with mixed accuracy. While this has definitely changed for the better in recent years there's still room to grow and the web-series Birds of North America is pushing the public perception forward once again and it definitely deserves your attention. The series is produced by the media group Topic, it can be found on their website and on YouTube. It is hosted by Bronx-native and bird twitter stalwart Jason Ward and directed by filmmaker Rob Meyer, who wrote and directed A Birder’s Guide to Everything. They both join me to talk about this new venture and what it means for birders.

Also, a great idea in Portland that we might have heard before and a little bit on the LIVE episode of the American Birding Podcast that we're hosting at the Biggest Week in American Birding.

Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for their support of this episode!

Apr 18, 2019
03-07: On Crow Culture with Kaeli Swift
33:44

Dr. Kaeli Swift knows crows. And she's watched them do some pretty extraordinary things. In fact all corvids-the family that includes crows, jays, magpies, and others-have a well deserved reputation for intelligence and fascinating social behaviors. Dr. Swift's research has provided insights into how crows interact with us, with their dead, and with each other. She joins host Nate Swick from Denali National Park where she is working with Canada Jays to talk about corvid culture and cognition. 

Also, Fantasy Birding makes the big time! Sort of. And some thoughts on the passing of a giant of modern birding

Thanks to the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival for their support of the American Birding Podcast.

 

Apr 04, 2019
03-06: Birding Means Business in Colombia with John Myers
35:07

Birders know the South American nation of Colombia as the most bird-rich country on the planet, but Colombia’s reputation among the general public is unfortunately somewhat more mixed. That is something that the Colombian government and non-profits who work there are trying to fix, as Colombia is heavily playing up its bona fides as a travel destination. Luckily for nature-lovers, birding is a big part of that strategy and John Myers of Conservation International has been working to build advise ecotourism initiatives in Colombia that promote conservation and lay the groundwork for an organic birding culture, and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about the amazing things going on in the biodiversity capital of the world. We mention the film, The Birdersas a great example of how birding has taken off in Colombia.

If this episode whets your appetite to visit Colombia, join us at our Colombia event this summer!

Also, more birding in the news, birding board games, and a new birding web-series!

Thanks to the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival for their support of the American Birding Podcast. 

 

Mar 21, 2019
03-05: Martin Migration Magic with Kevin Fraser
34:57

Spring is finally on its way and with it, the promise of returning migratory birds to the United States and Canada. Among the first to arrive every year, and beloved among birders and non-birders alike, is North America’s largest swallow, the Purple Martin. With their chatty and gregarious nature martins have inspired so many people, one of whom is Dr. Kevin Fraser of the Avian Behavior and Conservation Lab at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. A migration ecologist with a particularly interest in neotropical migrants, Kevin has worked with Purple Martins for years, and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about the uncommon lives of these common birds. 

Also, congratulations to the ABA's 2019 Young Birders of the Year, don't forget to help the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears, and some thoughts on Old Media, New Media, and learning about birds. 

Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast!

 

Mar 07, 2019
03-04: Birding at 100 (Issues) with Ted Floyd
41:27

The February 2019 issue of Birding magazine is noteworthy not only for being the Bird of the Year issue, or for launching the 50th Anniversary of the ABA, but for another, less obvious, reason. February 2019 is the 100th issue of Birding for which Ted Floyd has been editor-in-chief. The 16 years that Ted has been in charge of the ABA's flagship publication have seen a lot of changes, not just in the way that the ABA has reached its members and the birding community, but for birding itself. Ted joins host Nate Swick to talk about how birding has changed over the years, and how Birding has changed along with it. 

Plus, an update on the border wall and a Dark-billed Cuckoo in Florida. 

Come join the ABA in Colombia this summer!

 

Feb 21, 2019
03-03: Birding and the Border Wall with Tiffany Kersten
37:07

The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas is one of the most special places in the ABA Area­ for birders and naturalists, hosting some exceptional species and some iconic birding locations. It’s why so many birders have watched the politics around the proposed construction of a border wall in the Valley so closely and why we, along with many other stakeholders, have mobilized to protect those places. One of those on the forefront has been Tiffany Kersten, a biologist, educator, and board member of Friends of the Wildlife Corridor. Her article "Walling Off Wildlife" was published last year in the Birder’s Guide to Conservation and Community. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about birding around a border wall, and the current state of affairs in South Texas. 

Resources that Tiffany mentions in the interview include the No Border Wall Facebook page and and Valley Green Space Resistance Kit

Also, a eulogy for a Great Black Hawk. The song by Troy R. Bennett that plays at the end can be found here

Come join the ABA in Colombia this summer!

Feb 07, 2019
03-02: eBird's Spectacular Status & Trends with Tom Auer
33:15

Cornell’s eBird has been around for 16 years now, and 2019 finds it as ingrained in the birding community, especially in North America, as it’s ever been. More users than ever plugging more data than ever into the project, which in turn facilitates a ton of great information that informs research, conservation, and everyday birding. In the last few weeks of 2018, eBird launched a new status and trend database, an incredibly detailed spatial and temporal information on bird populations, combining eBird data with NASA data that takes into account land cover and topography. Cornell's Tom Auer is the Geographic Information Science (GIS) Developer charged with creating these maps, and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about them. 

Also, Fantasy Birding and a little on McCown's Longspur and the question of who bird common names are for. 

Thanks to Rockjumper Birding Tours for sponsoring this episode of the podcast. Come join the ABA in Colombia this summer!

Jan 24, 2019
03-01: 2019 Bird of the Year Artist Megan Massa
33:57

Multimedia bird artist Megan Massa is the latest artist to create the Bird of the Year cover art, an auspicious list that includes David Sibley, Julie Zickefoose, and Louise Zemaitis, among others. Her experiences have run the gamut from the hobby side of birding to birds research to art and her creation, a Red-billed Tropicbird soaring over a boat full of birders will be featured on the cover of the February 2019 issue of Birding magazine. It's the first Bird of the Year work to exist completely in a digital realm, a fascinating process that allowed Megan to add some cool artistic easter eggs. She joins host Nate Swick to talk bird art, research, and the needs of college-aged birders. 

Plus, a good-bye to the Iiwi, a bird that asked all of us to learn a little more about Hawaiian native birds. 

Thanks to the Space Coast Birding Festival for sponsoring this episode. We'll be there! Will you?

Jan 10, 2019
02-26: Winter Birding Basics with Ted Floyd & Greg Neise
38:05

Days are short, weather is at or near its coldest, and it's easy to just suspend birding for a few months and wait for Spring. But that would be missing out on some truly great birding experiences, including Christmas Counts, which many birders consider to be a highlight of their year. We are currently in the middle of the CBC season host Nate Swick welcomes two birders who are no strangers to winter weather conditions, ABA Web Developer Greg Neise, of Chicago, Illinois, and Birding editor Ted Floyd of Boulder Colorado, to talk winter birding, Christmas Bird Counts, and more. 

Thanks to everyone who made this year a great one. If you enjoy what we do here, please consider making a donation to the ABA's Year-End Appeal, or joining the ABA.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Dec 27, 2018
02-25: Birds at Large with Nick Lund
38:42

Birds are everywhere. They are in your movies and TV shows, on your sports team logos, even in your Google Street View. There is no shortage of ways that your interest in birds can manifest itself beyond time in the field. Maybe no one knows that better than Nick Lund. Nick is The Birdist on his own blog of that name and on social media, a frequent contributor to National Audubon and Ray Brown’s Talking Birds and works in outreach with Maine Audubon. He joins me to talk about birds in non-bird places, what he calls “Birds at Large”. 

Also, I have enough correspondence to do a mailbag! And I talk a little about the new AOS Taxonomy proposals, which you can learn more about here. 

Thanks to Land Sea and Sky for sponsoring this episode!

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Dec 13, 2018
02-24: Best Bird Books of 2018 with Donna Schulman
31:13

We're getting to the end of the year and it's time for a look back at the best bird books published in 2018. Once again, 10,000 Birds book reviewer Donna Schulman joins me to talk about our favorites. Donna and I each share our Top 5, including field guides, family specific guides, and narratives from well-known authors and publishers.

Thanks to Space Coast Birding & Nature Festival for sponsoring this episode. Join the ABA in Titusville this January for great birding and fellowship!

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

 

Donna’s Top 5

1) Birds of Central AmericaAndrew Vallely & Dale Dyer

2) Birds of Prey of the East/WestBrian K. Wheeler

3) Peterson Guide to Bird Identification in 12 StepsSteve NG Howell & Brian Sullivan

4) The Feather ThiefKirk Wallace Johnson

5) Belonging on an IslandDaniel Lewis

 

Nate’s Top 5

1) Birds of Central AmericaAndrew Vallely & Dale Dyer

2) Gulls SimplifiedPete Dunne & Kevin Karlson

3) Birds of NicaraguaLiliana Chavarria-Duriaux, Robert Dean, & Robert T. Moore

4) Birds of Prey of the East/WestBrian K. Wheeler

5) ABA Field Guide to Birds of OregonDave Irons & Brian Small

Nov 29, 2018
02-23: The Internet of Wildlife with Mike Lanzone
32:28

One of the more exciting aspects of birding and birding science in the 21st Century has been the reveal of a great many secrets of bird movements and migration, much of it the result of technology. Increasingly small trackers that are fitted to various bird species enable scientists, and those of us on the sidelines, to follow along, sometimes in real time, with where these birds are going. Mike Lanzone s the 2017 recipient of the ABA's Chandler Robbins Award for Conservation and Education, and he's the co-founder and CEO of Cellular Tracking Technologies, the people who develop the devices and figure out the best way to use them. He joins host Nate Swick to talk about how it all works and what amazing things he has planned. 

Also, the 2018 ABA Awards recipients are out, and they are an amazing group of birders, conservationists, and scientists. And Nate share some thoughts about that Central Park Mandarin Duck. 

Join the ABA in Thailand early next year for Birding and Photography. Get more information at the ABA Travel!

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Nov 15, 2018
02-22: Birding By Bus with Marc Kramer & Eliana Ardila Ardila
29:29

It’s the dream of many birders, to travel the US and Canada by car for one entire year, taking in as much of the continent’s birds as you can along the way. It is the reality of Marc Kramer and Eliana Ardila Ardila, the Birding by Bus duo. They’ve spend the whole of 2018 crossing the country in their Volkswagen Westfalia and documenting the whole thing on social media to the delight of those of us who get to follow along. They’re join host Nate Swick from a stop at ABA headquarters in Delaware City to talk about their amazing year and where they'll go from here. 

Also, Major League Soccer is pretty great for birds in a couple different ways. 

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Nov 01, 2018
02-21: The Feminist Bird Club Story with Molly Adams
30:50

For many of us, birding is about community, and for retaining people in the hobby finding a group of people you like to bird with is as important as that first pair of binoculars or a field guide. Molly Adams of Brooklyn, New York, knows this more than most. In 2016 she founded the Feminist Bird Club, an inclusive bird watching club dedicated to providing a safe opportunity to connect with the natural world in urban environments. Molly and the FBC were featured in a New York Times article earlier this year about young urban birders. The group has only grown in numbers and ambition since then and she joins host Nate Swick to talk about it. 

Also, Birds Aren't Real and other avian conspiracies, and ABA President Jeff Gordon shares a story of wonder and melancholy while birding on his bike. 

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Oct 18, 2018
02-20: Fall at Cape May with David La Puma
35:03

Few birders would dispute that Cape May, New Jersey, is among the continent’s most storied birding locations, both in terms of birding spectacle and influence on North American birding culture. It feels like Cape May Bird Observatory, New Jersey Audubon’s center for bird research and education, has always been at the center of it all. CMBO has been doing research and outreach about birds and especially bird migration since 1975, and Dr. David La Puma is the current director. He and the New Jersey Audubon crew are hosting the Cape May Fall Festival later this month and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about that, as well as fallouts, next-generation bird research, and what it's like to be the steward of all that history. 

Also, Nate shares some thoughts on his recent trip to Cuba, thinks about the USFWS's recently released Outdoor Recreation Survey, and catches up on all the rare bird news for the last 4 weeks. 

Come join us at the Lower Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival this November!

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Oct 04, 2018
02-19: What is Birding Like?
31:03

Have you ever had to describe birding to a friend or family member who just doesn't get it? What analogies do you use? Is birding like a religion? A sport? An obsession? Guest host Greg Neise brings Birding editor Ted Floyd and young birder liaison Jennie Duberstein to bear on the issue in a rollicking discussion that tries to figure it out.

Regular host Nate Swick in Cuba this week so no Rare Bird Focus, but stay turned for it the next time around.

Thanks to our episode sponsor Rockjumper Birding Tours, proudly offering quality birding adventures, expertly guided by passionate and experienced professional tour leaders. Their 300 scheduled tours annually explore the world’s prime birding areas, including Colombia with the ABA next summer.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Sep 20, 2018
02-18: Photography as Birding with Keith Barnes
32:37

Birders in North America are increasingly keen to combine the somewhat separate skills of birding and photography, but around the rest of the world birding is pretty much synonymous with photography to the point where sometimes you don’t even carry binoculars. It seems strange to us, but it’s the way things are to birder and photographer Keith Barnes, who joins host Nate Swick to talk about how birders use cameras, tips for would-be photographers, and the way birding culture differs in east Asia. Keith is one of the founders of the bird tour company Tropical Birding, a South African expat now living in Taiwan, and he is the architect of the ABA’s Birding with a Camera Tour of Thailand early next year.

Also, is a great list schism on the horizon? And listeners write in with tips for new birders that they wish they knew when they were getting started.

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Land, Sea, and Sky. Since 1940, the optics experts at Land Sea & Sky to purchase just the right pair of binoculars for their birding adventures. This shop has hundreds of binoculars and spotting scopes in stock, an industry-leading 90 day return policy, and experienced staff to lend you a helping hand.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Sep 06, 2018
02-17: Out There With the American Birding Expo with Bill Thompson III & Ben Lizdas
33:38

The American Birding Expo is returning to the Philadelphia area once more next month. Running from 21-23 September, it is billed as “the world of birding in one place” and with exhibitors from 6 continents that is a pretty fair description. Expo-runners, Bill Thompson III and Ben Lizdas join me to talk about the Expo and what birders can expect in the way of exhibitors, workshops and keynoters. In addition to running the Expo, Bill is the editor of BirdWatcher’s Digest, and Ben runs the new optics retailer Redstart Birding. They are also the co-hosts of the podcast “Out There With the Birds", and we cover it all from the Global Big Year Challenge (tm) to the joys of matching people with the perfect pair of binoculars. 

Plus, the feral cat problem and a bright spot thanks to our friends at the American Bird Conservancy. 

Thanks to episode sponsor, the Partnership for International Birding, combining 200 scheduled tours to destinations around the world with unmatched support for local bird conservation.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Aug 23, 2018
02-16: Birding while Black with Drew Lanham
36:11

One of the issues that the birding community has been reckoning with for the last several years is our relative lack of diversity, at least in terms of black and brown faces in the field, and how we can encourage a broader coalition of nature enthusiasts to join us and to share the joy of birding. It's an issue that Dr. Drew Lanham has given a great deal of thought. Lanham is a distinguished professor of wildlife ecology at Clemson University, he sits on the boards of both National Audubon and the American Birding Association, and his memoir, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair With Nature was published in 2017. Drew was recently profiled in the August/September issue of Garden & Gun magazine and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about his experiences as a black man who loves what he calls one of "the whitest things you can do".  

Also, news from the border as birders are given another opportunity to make their voices heard on the proposed border wall that will cut off several great birding locations. 

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Land, Sea, and Sky. Since 1940, the optics experts at Land Sea & Sky to purchase just the right pair of binoculars for their birding adventures. This shop has hundreds of binoculars and spotting scopes in stock, an industry-leading 90 day return policy, and experienced staff to lend you a helping hand.

Aug 09, 2018
02-15: Birding Without Tears 2: Birding & Kids with Bryony Angell
31:15

When Birding editor Ted Floyd and host Nate Swick did their first Birding Without Tears episode a few weeks ago they were called to the carpet by the fact that we were only telling half of the story. Ted and Nate are both birding dads and our experiences are similar but not exactly like, those of birding moms, and there's no better time to revisit this topic than during our Nesting Season Appeal anyway! To help tell the rest of the story, Nate is joined by Seattle-based writer Bryony Angell, who draws on her experience as a birding mom and her past as a birding kid to offer insight into a topic that many birders deal with at some point--"how do I get my kids to go birding and all of us have a good experience?"

Also, birding in the news! Recent articles in the New York Times and Outside Magazine cast birding in a positive light.

A listener asks for advice for a new birder. Can we help him out! Send us tips you wish you knew when you started at The ABA Blog, on Twitter or Facebook

Thanks to episode sponsor, the Partnership for International Birding, combining 200 scheduled tours to destinations around the world with unmatched support for local bird conservation.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

 

 

Jul 26, 2018
02-14: A Life in Raptors with Jerry Liguori
28:46

Hawk-watchers are easily the most established sub-groups within th birding community, and the hawk-watching community in North America is close-knit and passionate. One of its undisputed authorities is Jerry Liguori of Salt Lake City, Utah, the author of Hawks at a Distance and Hawks from Every Angle and the co-author of many more. He is the 2017 recipient of the ABA’s Robert Ridgway Award for publications in field ornithology and his articles have appeared many times in ABA’s Birding magazine. Jerry joins host Nate Swick to talk about the magic of watching hawks, his diagnosis with ALS, and what birders need to know about hawk-watching. 

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Land, Sea, and Sky. Since 1940, the optics experts at Land Sea & Sky to purchase just the right pair of binoculars for their birding adventures. This shop has hundreds of binoculars and spotting scopes in stock, an industry-leading 90 day return policy, and experienced staff to lend you a helping hand.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jul 12, 2018
02-13: Voices from The Biggest Week- Women and ABA Big Years
42:01

For decades, the ABA Big Year has been a man's game, but in the last few years that has changed, with more women than ever tackling the grueling endeavor in a number of creative and personally enriching ways. This year's Biggest Week in American Birding featured a panel discussion that included five women who have taken on Big Years: Laura Keene of Ohio, who did an ABA Big Year in 2016 which, along with three other birders, broke the previous record and set a new standard for a photographic Big Year, Lynn Barber of Alaska, who was the first woman to crack 700 species in a year, Laura Erickson of Minnesota, who did a Lower 48 Conservation Big Year in 2013, Nancy McAllister from Maryland who did a "Mom’s Big Year" in 2016, and, of course, Yve Morrell of Florida, she of the most recent Big Year in 2017.

Thanks to Kim Kaufman of The Biggest Week in American Birding for allowing us to produce this panel as a podcast, and thanks to our episode sponsor, the Hawai'i Festival of Birds held this September on the big island. 

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jun 28, 2018
02-12: 2018 Splits and Lumps with Nick Block
35:01

Another year, another trip around the world of bird taxonomy courtesy of the American Ornithological Society’s classification committee. That group of bird scientists informs the field guides and lists we birders use every day and they are once again making those decisions presently. As we have before, we lean again on Dr. Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts and Secretary of the ABA’s Recording Standards and Ethics Committee, He joins host Nate Swick to help break down some of 2018’s taxonomy proposals up for consideration by the AOS. 

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jun 14, 2018
02-11: Birding is My Favorite Video Game with Rosemary Mosco
32:40

If you’re a naturalist or a nature lover on social media chances are you have come across Bird & Moon, an exceptionally fun series of webcomics filled with colorful and endearing and accurate nature themes. Bird & Moon is the creation of New England-based artist and writer Rosemary Mosco. Her new book, Birding is my Favorite Video Game, is a collection of many of her most viral creations and a lot more. Rosemary joins host Nate Swick to talk birds, video games, science communication, and the fun of gross-out science. 

Also, a watershed moment in the history of birds in media, and the yanny-laurel theory of bird mnemonics.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

 

 

 

May 31, 2018
02-10: Birding Without Tears- Stories and Secrets of Birding With Kids
32:45

It's natural for birding parents to want to share their passion with their children. Birding with kids often brings additional complications, but also additional pleasures, and opportunities to appreciate birding in different and delightful ways. Both Birding magazine editor Ted Floyd and host Nate Swick are veterans of birding with children, with a few decades of experience between them, and they lay out the struggles and strategies of taking kids into the field for parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, mentors, or anyone else who wants to introduce birding to the young people in their lives.

Also, what happens when birders teach a weatherman about Doppler Radar.

Interested in joining the ABA in Thailand next year? Get more information here!

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

May 17, 2018
02-09: At the Champions of the Flyway with the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears
33:34

The Champions of the Flyway is one the world's premiere birding events, a combination bird race/conservation fundraiser held annually in southern Israel that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help stop illegal bird poaching around the Mediterranean. While North American teams have participated in the event before, this was the first year that ABA helped sponsor a team, the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears, consisting of college-aged birders who all have connections to ABA young birder programs: Johanna Beam, Marky Mutchler, and Aidan Place.

Host Nate Swick joins the wheatears as driver and documentarian and brings you in the car with the wheatears as they tackle Champions for the first time. 

Special thanks to Jonathan Meyrav and Leica's Jeff Bouton for their support in all matters, and to everyone who donated to help the Subadult Wheaters reach their conservation goals!

Interested in joining the ABA in Colombia next year? Get more information here!

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

May 03, 2018
02-08: eBird's Global Big Day with Ian Davies & Kyle Horton
32:41

Spring is right around the corner. And if you're going to be birding, you might as well be eBirding. You should definitely be eBirding on May 5th, eBird’s annual Global Big Day. Last year birders recorded more than 6600 species from 160 different countries on one day. eBird’s Project Coordinator Ian Davies joins host Nate Swick to talk about the Global Big Day initiative.

Also, radar ornithologist Kyle Horton talks about Cornell’s Birdcast project, which recently launched live migration maps, an amazing tool to help birders maximize their opportunities to see great birds this spring. 

Nate is back in the driver's seat to talk about warbler obsession, Florida birding, and birds at airports.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Apr 19, 2018
02-07: Tales of Urban Birding with Jen Brumfield
27:56

Few birders in North American have taken on the mantle of urban birding like Cleveland native Jen Brumfield. Her Cuyahoga County Big Years are the stuff of legend, not only for their high totals but for the passion she throws into birding her hometown and getting others excited about the birdlife and birding opportunities there. Guest host and Chicago native Greg Neise who has his own long history birding in urban areas, steps in for Nate Swick to talk to Jen about her Big Years, her favorite local patches, and what she loves about birding in the city.

Birding editor Ted Floyd shares a commentary about his favorite urban bird.

Interested in joining the ABA in a trip to Thailand with Tropical Birding in 2019? Get more information here!

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Apr 05, 2018
02-06: Winter Birding in Review with Mike Hudson & Tom Reed
28:13

For birders interested in Status & Distribution, that is the wheres and whys of birding, the ABA’s quarterly journal, North American Birds, has always been a much anticipated part of the ornithological canon. After a year or so in stasis, North American Birds is back under the charge of editors Mike Hudson of Baltimore, Maryland, and Tom Reed of Cape May, New Jersey. The much-anticipated volume 70 came out earlier this year. Mike and Tom join me with me now for what I hope will be a seasonal thing on the podcast, to talk a little about North American Birds but mostly about the winter that just was in birding, covering crossbills, Nazca Boobies, Rufous-backed Robins, Tufted Ducks, and more.

Plus, have you visited a particularly nice airport for birding in your travels? By that I mean, one that isn't awful? I want to hear about it.

Last chance to help the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears at Champions of the Flyway!

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Thanks to Land, Sea, and Sky for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast. Land, Sea, and Sky offers great selection and unparalleled customer service for birders seeking the perfect optics.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Mar 22, 2018
02-05: The Joy of Birdfeeding with Jim Carpenter
40:38

Jim Carpenter opened the very first Wild Birds Unlimited store near his home in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1981. At the time it was one of very few bird specific retail outlets in the country, and since then, Wild Birds Unlimited has grown to include more than 300 stores across the US and Canada. His new book, The Joy of Birdfeeding, The Essential Guide to Attracting and Feeding our Backyard Birds, was published late last year. Jim joins host Nate Swick to talk about how Wild Birds Unlimited came to be, and what he thinks are the most important things people should know about feeding birds.

Also, Greg Neise and Ted Floyd are back to talk about the most magical sounds of spring, duck songs. Or rather, the things that ducks do that aren't quacks.

If you think the yellow Northern Cardinal was great, check out this yellow Scarlet Tanager! Come birding with yours truly in Cuba this fall!

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Mar 08, 2018
02-04: Big Year Reflections with Yve Morrell
32:02

In 2017, Florida birder Yve Morrell did what many of us dream of doing--she took an entire year off for birding all around the continent. Her 2017 Big Year ended in December with 813 (+4 provisional species), a total that will likely place her 3rd all time. Yve joins host Nate Swick to talk about her Big Year, including the strategy of including Hawaii, unexpected struggles, and reflections on a year spent among the birds and birders of the US and Canada.

Also, the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears are heading to the Champions of the Flyway competition in Israel next month to bird and raise money to support Birdlife International's efforts to stop illegal bird hunting and trapping around the Mediterranean. They talk about why they felt like this is an important issue, the responsibilities of young birders to the conservation movement, and what they are looking forward to. You can help them along the way by donating to Birdlife International in their name.

Also, Happy Great Backyard Bird Count and congratulations to the ABAs's 2018 Young Birders of the Year!

Thanks to Land, Sea, and Sky for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast. Land, Sea, and Sky offers great selection and unparalleled customer service for birders seeking the perfect optics.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Feb 22, 2018
02-03: More than Birds with Jody Allair & Frank Izaguirre
31:44

One of the major birding trends of the 21st Century has been a move away from a sole interest in birds. This is facilitated by an ever increasing library of field guides to various taxa, smartphone apps that make it easier than ever to identify and catalog the things we see, and a general nature aesthetic that has become a bigger part of how we interact with the natural world. In this episode host Nate Swick welcomes two birders who have whole-heartedly thrown themselves into this new reality. Jody Allair is researcher and environmental educator with Bird Studies Canada at Long Point, Ontario, and Frank Izaguirre is a writer and naturalist, currently in Morgantown, West Virginia. His Tools of the Trade article, All the Wonders of the World: iNaturalist and Birding is featured in the latest issue of the ABA’s Birding magazine.

Jody and Frank share a ton of great resources for birders looking to expand their nature knowledge at The ABA Blog.

Also in this episode, opinions on the proposal to change the name of Gray Jay to Canada Jay. You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

 

Feb 08, 2018
02-02: The Nomadic Nature of Snow Buntings with Emily McKinnon
29:59

It’s the time of year when Arctic birds are moving south into the populated parts of the continent, and citizen scientists are there to meet them, trap them, and use cutting edge technology to track their movements. It’s a testament to our interest in nomadic tundra birds that that could apply to a couple different projects, but this time around we are talking about Snow Buntings and the Canadian Snow Bunting Network. Dr. Emily McKinnon is a researcher at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and the administrator of this project, she talks with host Nate Swick about about the fascinating things they've discovered about these consummate winter birds.

Also mentioned in this episode, A Jonathan Franzen essay on the Year of the Bird from National Geographic and a New York Times essay on owl politics.

You can also help us out by filling out our advertising survey. Thanks in advance. And be sure to help support the ABA-Leica Young Birders Team participating in the Champions of the Flyway!

Thanks to episode sponsor, the Port Aransas Whooping Crane Festival on the Gulf Coast in Texas. Experience the last naturally-occurring population of North America’s largest bird at its traditional winter home.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jan 25, 2018
02-01: 2018 Bird of the Year Artist Doug Pratt
36:58

When we chose Iiwi as the 2018 Bird of the Year, there was really only one person we could ask to do the artwork. H. Douglas Pratt is a bird artist, author, and researcher, currently based in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose work has been featured in the National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America, among other works, and he wrote wrote and illustrated The Field Guide to Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. Doug spoke with host Nate Swick about the cover art he created for the February issue of Birding magazine, as well as what he's seen in his 50 years of working on the Hawaiian Islands with Hawaii's native birds. 

Also, new contributor Alain Clavette debuts on the podcast, with a field interview with Peter Gadd, a New Brunswick birder who, for the last few weeks, has hosted a very lost thrush.

Thanks to episode sponsor, the Port Aransas Whooping Crane Festival on the Gulf Coast in Texas. Experience the last naturally-occurring population of North America's largest bird at its traditional winter home.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jan 11, 2018
01-26: The Christmas Bird Count-stravaganza Episode
31:18

It's Christmas Bird Count season, and in this episode of the American Birding Podcast we bring you past guests and ABA friends and staff sharing their own CBC stories. We have tales of found birds, of missed birds, of fun and fellowship and legacies involving this longest-running citizen science initiative in North America. Hear stories from host Nate Swick, Greg Neise, Jody Allair, Scott Somershoe, Noah Strycker, and Jeff and Liz Gordon. 

If you're still looking for a holiday gift for 2018, please check out a wonderful 2018 calendar from Rogue Birders, the proceeds of which go to help support the ABA's Young Birder Programs. And don't forget our ABA End of Year Appeal, going on right now!

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

 

Dec 28, 2017
01-25: What's in a Common Name?
36:13

What is in a bird common name? It’s a question that many of us might not think about immediately, but there’s a lot going on in those lists we are so familiar with. Capitalization, honorifics, patronyms, how names are assigned, how they’re changed. The names are an important part of how we interact with birds around us, though perhaps the least considered. Birding editor Ted Floyd joins host Nate Swick to talk about it in a wide-ranging discussion.

Also, it's Snowy Owl season, and that means not only opportunities to enjoy the spectacular birds but also inevitable conflicts. Check out Project SNOWstorm's Snowy Owl ettiquette and the ABA's Code of Birding Ethics.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Dec 14, 2017
01-24: Best Bird Books of 2017 with Donna Schulman
31:36

We all love bird books and 2017 was a good year for them with a number of exciting titles seeing publication this year. As we reach the end of the year it's a good time to look back at the ones we loved, and 10,000 Birds book reviewer Donna Schulman joins host Nate Swick to talk about our favorites. Donna and Nate each share our Top 5, including field guides, family specific guides, and narratives from well-known authors and publishers. Find those lists here!

Also, the new ABA Checklist is out and it includes Hawaiian birds. Nate talks about why that's exciting and one, completely arbitrary reason why it's not.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Nov 30, 2017
01-23: Birding Without Borders with Noah Strycker
36:34

Before 2015, a 365 day round the world Big Year had never been attempted. The playing field was intimidating, the perceived cost was daunting, and the logistics were demanding. But in 2015 Noah Strycker tossed all that aside, tackling an ambitious year of birding that took him to all 7 continents and saw him finish with a list of over 6,000 species - well more than half of the world’s species - and an amazing collection of experiences and stories. His recently published memoir detailing his exceptional year is called Birding without Borders: An Obsession, A Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World. In this episode, Noah joins host Nate Swick to talk about his big year, his book, and what he learned at the end of it all.

Also, Birding editor Ted Floyd and webmaster Greg Neise are back to talk about winter finches, specifically crossbills. This winter looks like it is going to be a good one for the fascinating little finches.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Nov 16, 2017
01-22: Hurricane Impacts on Caribbean Birds with Alvaro Jaramillo
31:07

The 2017 Hurricane season was notable for the scale of the tropical storms involved and the destruction they caused not only where they made landfall in the United States, but also the islands in the Caribbean that they passed over. Alvaro Jaramillo of Alvaro’s Adventures joins host Nate Swick to talk about it. He's spent time on all these islands and has a lot of insight on the birds there and the unique conservation challenges they face in the wake of these storms.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Nov 02, 2017
01-21: Birds and the Farm Bill with Amanda Rodewald
32:14

When birders think about the Farm Bill they might be forgiven for thinking immediately about corn and soybeans. But the Farm Bill is more than an agricultural omnibus, it also funds projects that provide important habitat for more than 100 species of birds and is the largest source of funding for habitat conservation on private lands. Amanda Rodewald of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology joins host Nate Swick to talk about this most recent State of the Birds report, which features the Farm Bill, and all that it does for birds.

Also, ABA President Jeff Gordon responds to conversation about Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and what the "ABA Area" really means. You can find that conversation here, and the Birds Caribbean GoFundMe started by our friends at Wildside Nature Tour here. 

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Oct 19, 2017
01-20: How Photography has Changed Birding
35:10

There is arguably no technological shift that has changed birding more in the last decade or so than the proliferation of cameras. Taking photos and sharing photos has become synonymous with birding for many and it’s hard to remember time now when that wasn’t the case. In this episode, host Nate Swick talks broadly about photography in the birding world with a couple American Birding Podcast regulars, webmaster Greg Neise and Birding magazine editor Ted Floyd. We discuss records committees, social media, and whether this change is good for birding on the whole.

Also, birds and bird conservationists in the Caribbean are hurting following the passage of two major hurricanes. Our friends at Wildside Nature Tours give you an opportunity to help.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Oct 05, 2017
01-19: Bird Tours from the Inside with Rockjumper's George Armistead
31:06

There's more to a successful bird tour than just pointing out the birds, from logistics to managing personalities, a bird tour guide has to be part ornithologist and part psychologist. Rockjumper Birding's George Armistead has led bird tours on all seven continents and has a lot to say on the subject, and he joins host Nate Swick to talk tour tips, places he loves to take birders, and much more.

Also, the new Duck Stamp art for 2018 is out, but Nate argues that the subject leaves a little to be desired. Plus a whole host of rare birds on opposite ends of the continent.

Resources referenced in this episode include The ABA Blog Hurricane Irma round-up.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Sep 21, 2017
01-18: American Birding Expo News with Bill Thompson III
30:41

Later this month, birders and tour operators from across the globe will converge on Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the 3rd American Birding Expo. This "World of Birding in One Place" is the brainchild of Bill Thompson III, editor of Birdwatcher's Digest, author, podcaster, and pied piper of the North American birding community. Bill joins host Nate Swick to talk about the upcoming expo, the bird festival landscape in North America, and what birders attending the event can expect, up to and including zombies (not kidding).

Plus, Nate talks birding big storms and the hurricane paradox, and Birding editor Ted Floyd shares a commentary about the magic of birding in the mundaneness of normal life.

Resources referenced in this episode include Houston Audubon and Ted Floyd's essay on The ABA Blog.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Sep 07, 2017
01-17: The Secret Life of Rails with Auriel Fournier
33:39

Rails are a mysterious and enigmatic family, often requiring and rewarding effort. Researcher Auriel Fournier knows that more than most, and her work with rails in Missouri has shed some light on how these birds migrate and how they use the landscape when they do. Auriel joins me to talk Rallidae and STEM outreach for women.

Also, Greg Neise and Birding editor Ted Floyd are back to discuss the much-maligned House Sparrow. Or, at least, to discuss their remarkable molt.

Some other things mentioned in this episode include ABA President Jeff Gordon's Facebook Live posts from the Protect Santa Ana Protest March, and the Dead Birds Facebook group.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Aug 24, 2017
01-16: Reviewing the 2017 AOS Supplement
33:35

The 2017 American Ornithological Society Check-list Supplement was notable for the taxonomic decisions that were not made as much as those that were. Yellow-rumped Warbler and Willet were not split, but Cassia Crossbill was. We also saw the unprecedented lump of Thayer's Gull into the holarctic Iceland Gull. Biologist Nick Block returns along with Birder's Guide editor Michael Retter to discuss the changes made and the AOS's process.

Also, we hear from Laura Erickson, author of the new ABA Field Guide to Birds of Minnesota, about writing the book and some of her favorite experiences birding in that part of the world. And Nate has a little something to say about the rise of millennial birders via this Maclean's article

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Aug 10, 2017
01-15: Birds Over the Top with Seabird McKeon
30:58

A changing climate means a different world for many bird species, particularly seabirds which may find themselves exploring new paths over the top of a melting Arctic. Ocean Researcher Seabird McKeon joins host Nate Swick to talk about one part of the massive global experiment we inadvertently find ourselves in, and what it could mean for birders in either ocean.

Also, Nate discusses the troubling news about a the plans for a border wall on Santa Ana NWR in south Texas. Birders have an opportunity to make their voices heard on this issue, and the ABA provides some guidance. We've also love to hear your #MySantaAna stories, tell us about your experiences in this special place

Thanks to Global Rescue for supporting this episode of American Birding Podcast. Global Rescue is the ABA's official emergency medial and evacuation provider. When ABA members purchase a Global Rescue membership, a portion of the proceeds go to support ABA conservation and community programs.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jul 27, 2017
01-14: Birding, Social Media, and the Facebook Summit
34:36

Birders have always been great at taking advantage of technological tools to pass on birding information. The birding community has made especially good use of Facebook, and the internet giant has taken note. The ABA was received as a guest at the 1st Facebook Communities Summit to talk about two of our more vibrant groups, ABA Rare Bird Alert and What's This Bird. Jeff Gordon, Greg Neise, and Liz Gordon join host Nate Swick to talk about their experiences, and why it is that birders are so adept at social media.

And be sure to read Jeff's post on The ABA Blog about his experience, it was really cool that birders and the birding community played such a large role in the event.

Nate talks briefly about the recent split and lump news, you can read Birder's Guide editor Michael Retter's comprehensive run down of all the taxonomic changes.

Thanks again to Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Tours for sponsoring this episode and ABA Events, and to Samson Technologies for providing equipment used on the podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

 

Jul 13, 2017
01-13: Actor Ian Harding's Odd Birds
33:06

In demand actor, 7 time winner of the Teen Choice Award, and avid birder?

Ian Harding is best known for his work on the Freeform network's teen-drama Pretty Little Liars, but in his new memoir Odd Birds he talks about how birds and birding have provided him with opportunities to find peace and focus in a life in the public eye. Ian joins me to share some stories from his new book and thoughts on what it could mean for birding to have such a high-profile advocate. I think listeners are really going to enjoy this one.

Don’t forget to help support young birders through the ABA’s Nesting Season Appeal!

Thanks to Samson Technologies for providing support for this podcast!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jun 29, 2017
01-12: The Young Birder Episode 2017
26:48

The ABA has a long history of supporting young birders through our Young Birder of the Year competitions and the young birder camps in Colorado and Delaware, programs that have had real positive impacts on the young people who participate in them. Host Nate Swick talks with four young birders--Cayenne Sweeney, Bailey Eichhorn, Diego Blanco and Johanna Beam--about their experiences. They share what it means to participate in these programs, and what the birding community can do to support them.

Also, Nate wraps up his, er, interesting spring.

Thanks to Rockjumper Birding Tours for supporting the podcast!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jun 15, 2017
01-11: Bird Conservation in Hawaii with Mike Parr
31:09

Mike Parr is the new president of the American Bird Conservancy, one of the premier bird conservation organizations in the Americas. ABC has done a great deal of work supporting bird conservation initiatives in Hawaii, the archipelago often referred to as the "Bird Extinction Capital of the World". Mike joins host Nate Swick to talk about ABC's projects, what birders and the ABA can do to help support these efforts, and why he believes that there is absolutely reason to hope that Hawaiian birds can recover.

Also, Hawaii birder Lance Tanino joins Nate to talk about just how you are supposed to pronounce the names of those native Hawaiian birds.

Thanks to Rockjumper Birding Tours for supporting the podcast!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jun 01, 2017
01-10: Voices from Biggest Week - The Good Birders Panel
45:06

The ABA was once again excited to have a presence at The Biggest Week in American Birding in northwest Ohio in 2017. At this year's festival, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt editor Lisa White and ABA President Jeffrey Gordon hosted a keynote panel featuring contributors to the new book Good Birders Still Don't Wear White. Hear highlights from that engaging discussion featuring host Nate Swick, artist Catherine Hamilton, author and recordist Tom Stephenson, editor Chuck Hagner, Big Year birder Greg Miller, and Panamanian bird guide Carlos Bethancourt as they discuss what it is about birding that they find most fascinating.  

Thanks to Samson Technologies for providing support for this podcast!

May 18, 2017
01-09: The Great Canadian Birdathon with Jody Allair
28:34

Bird Studies Canada is the premier bird conservation organization in Canada, and their annual Great Canadian Birdathon is a the world's oldest sponsored bird race. It's a great way for Canadian birders to support conservation work across the country. Researcher and educator Jody Allair of Bird Studies Canada joins Nate Swick to talk about BSC and the Great Canadian Birdathon, and the conservation priorities in the northern part of the ABA Area.

Also, Nate heads out to search for a Yellow Rail in the marshes of North Carolina, and the ABA is heading to The Biggest Week in American Birding. We hope to see you there!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

May 04, 2017
01-08: 2017 Splits and Lumps, The AOS Episode
37:03

Every year, birders look forward to the check-list supplement from the American Ornithological Society (formerly the American Ornithologist's Union), and this year is no exception. In fact, 2017 offers a bounty of potential splits for your armchair ticks, as well as some very compelling lumps. In this episode, Nate Swick breaks down some of those taxonomic decision with Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College and member of the ABA's Recording Standards and Ethics Committee, talking Yellow-rumped Warblers, redpolls, willets and more!

And Greg Neise and Ted Floyd return with guest and gull expert Amar Ayyash to talk about one of the most fascinating proposals in this year's batch, the lump of Thayer's and Iceland Gulls. Clines and hybrid swarms are on the agenda!

Subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a review if you are so inclined! It definitely helps people find us.

Apr 20, 2017
01-07: The Biggest Week with Kim Kaufman
25:18

The Biggest Week in American Birding is one of the biggest birding events on the calendar, and a wonderful opportunity for birders to make a difference while enjoying the best spring birding on the continent. Biggest Week creator Kim Kaufman joins Nate to talk about this year's event and the conservation ethos that inspired it.

Also, the ABA remembers Chandler Robbins, author of the Golden Guide, creator of the Breeding Bird Survey, and one of the most influential and beloved birders and ornithologists in North American birding history. Be sure to read Birding editor Ted Floyd's remembrance, and the interview with Chan published in 2014.

Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for supporting this episode. Their Spring Promotion ends on April 10, 2017!

Apr 06, 2017
01-06: The Field Guide to Bird Sounds with Nathan Pieplow
31:46

Nathan Pieplow's new Field Guide is a departure from the traditional book of bird images. It depicts images of bird sounds as spectrograms, showcasing the diversity of vocalizations in North America. Nathan joins Nate Swick to talk about his new book, the Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America, and the need for birders to establish a common vocabulary for bird sounds.

Also Greg Neise and Ted Floyd check back in during the waning days of winter to talk snowbird diversity. Juncos are one of the most fascinating groups of birds on the continent and now is a great time to appreciate them.

Plus, the ABA is excited about the new book Good Birders Still Don't Wear WhiteJoin now and you could win a copy!

If you are interested in sponsoring an episode of this podcast, and reaching the thousands of birders who listen to is, please be in touch with John Lowry at jlowry@aba.org

Mar 23, 2017
01-05: Champions of the Flyway with Jonathan Meyrav
33:57

Bird-trapping and shooting are huge problems around the Mediterranean, which prompted Israeli birder Jonathan Meyrav to create the Champions of the Flyway, a 24 hour bird race in Eilat, Israel, that raises money and awareness to combat the threats to migratory birds in Europe and Africa. He joins host Nate Swick to talk about Champions, and the great work they they are helping to fund. 

Also, we talk about birding awards, from Piper's win at the Oscars, to ABA Awards and Young Birders of the Year, and John Lowry and ABA President Jeff Gordon discuss an innovative new product from Swarovski.

Thanks to Global Rescue, the ABA's official emergency evacuation provider, for sponsoring this episode

Mar 09, 2017
01-04: Natural Soundscapes with Lang Elliot
37:50

Master bird recordist Lang Elliott joins Nate Swick to talk about his new project, a sound-recording expedition to the western US.  Lang hopes to record in a wide variety of locations and habitats, and he's documenting his journey on his website, Music of Nature, and sharing his recordings in a new podcast he has launched.

Also, ABA president Jeff Gordon checks in, reporting from eastern Pennsylvania where a Black-backed Oriole has been attracting birders from all over to a nondescript neighborhood outside of Philadelphia full of people who had a front row seat to a real birding phenomenon.

Plus, owl baiting and recent Rare Bird news!

Thanks to Naturalist Journeys for sponsoring this episode!

Feb 23, 2017
01-03: Cornell's Merlin App with Drew Weber
29:35

With the ambitious and impressive Merlin app, Cornell Lab of Ornithology will identify your mystery bird photos! Project Manager Drew Weber joins Nate Swick to talk about how it works and what kind of applications this program has for every birder and birdwatcher.

Plus we discuss potential ornithological taxonomic changes coming down the pike, and Nate shares your Ruddy Turnstone stories as we continue to celebrate the 2017 Bird of the Year.

Thanks to Song Bird Coffee for sponsoring this episode! Song Bird Coffee is the gold-standard for shade-grown, environmentally friendly coffee.

Feb 09, 2017
01-02: The Big Big Year Episode
45:39

2016 was an exceptional year for ABA Area Big Year birders, with four individuals all breaking the record in one year! Nate Swick talks with all four - Christian Hagenlocher, Laura Keene, Olaf Danielson, and John Weigel - about their experiences and insights in a jam-packed episode.  Nate also has a conversation with previous record-holder Neil Hayward, whose book, Lost Among the Birds, was published in 2016.

Thanks to Naturalist Journeys for sponsoring this episode!

Jan 26, 2017
01-01: 2017 ABA Bird of the Year Artist Sophie Webb
27:29

Welcome Ruddy Turnstone, 2017 ABA Bird of the Year! Nate Swick has a conversation with scientist, author, and 2017 BOY artist Sophie Webb (www.sophiewebb.com) whose image of Ruddy Turnstones will be featured on the cover of the February 2017 issue of Birding magazine. We discuss turnstones, art, and what she looks for in her role as a Young Birder of the Year judge.

We also want to hear your Ruddy Turnstone stories! One of the wonderful things about this bird is that you can find them when you're birding just about anywhere in the world, as Nate Swick recently discovered. He shares the story.

Share your Ruddy Turnstone stories with us! We'd love to hear them!

Jan 12, 2017
00-02: Prairie Bird Conservation with Scott Somershoe
26:19

Merry Christmas Bird Count Season, and congratulations to Canada for their new national bird, Gray Jay, and the birdy headlines it spawned.

Then it's good-bye to 2016 with Scott Somershoe, a bird researcher with USFWS, who joins Nate Swick to talk about the work he does with the ABA's 2016 Bird of the Year Chestnut-collared Longspur and other prairie species.

Last, Greg Neise and Ted Floyd discuss identification of white-cheeked geese, and share tips that might help you on your next Christmas Bird Count.

Dec 29, 2016
00-01: Nature Travel with Laura Kammermeier
29:09

Laura Kammermeier of Nature Travel Network joins us to talk about birding travel, what birders want when they head abroad, and how traveling for birds helps establish ecotourism and conservation initiatives around the world.

Nate Swick offers a commentary on a cool birding tourism initiative in Colombia.

Dec 14, 2016