BirdsEye Nature Apps http://www.birdseyebirding.com Passionately supporting citizen science projects Mon, 11 Mar 2019 20:26:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Best Bird Photos from BirdsEye.photo – Feb 2019 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2019/02/28/best-bird-photos-feb-2019/ Thu, 28 Feb 2019 22:36:59 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=20626 The post Best Bird Photos from BirdsEye.photo – Feb 2019 appeared first on BirdsEye Nature Apps.

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Every day, BirdsEye users submit beautiful bird photos from around the world. The images are verified and incorporated into our apps to help our users better identify species as they birdwatch. The following images are a collection of our staff’s favorite pics submitted to our BirdsEye.photo site in 2019.

Have a favorite image in our apps that you’d like to see featured? Email us at info@birdsinthehand.com.

The post Best Bird Photos from BirdsEye.photo – Feb 2019 appeared first on BirdsEye Nature Apps.

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Birding and Birdwatching Festivals and Events http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2019/02/28/birding-festivals-events-2019/ Thu, 28 Feb 2019 18:25:53 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=20969 From coast to coast and from Mexico to Canada, 2019 is filled with exciting birding festivals and events. We have compiled all that we could find for the year in the hopes that you can find an event near you to attend. Happy birding! March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019 […]

The post Birding and Birdwatching Festivals and Events appeared first on BirdsEye Nature Apps.

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From coast to coast and from Mexico to Canada, 2019 is filled with exciting birding festivals and events. We have compiled all that we could find for the year in the hopes that you can find an event near you to attend. Happy birding!

March 2019
April 2019
May 2019
June 2019
July 2019
August 2019
September 2019
October 2019
November 2019
December 2019

MARCH 2019

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) by Gerald Hoekstra
Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) by Gerald Hoekstra

International Festival of Owls
March 1-3, 2019 – Huston, Minnesota, USA

Immerse yourself in owls at the only annual, full-weekend, all-owl festival in North America. Highlights include seven species of live owls (including a Snowy Owl and a flying Barn Owl), owl prowls to call in wild owls, a birding and natural history bus trip, and learn from owl experts from around the world. Families can build an owl nest box, dissect an owl pellet, make a variety of owl crafts, buy owl merchandise, enjoy owl art and photography, and have a hoot eating owl-themed food. The whole city of Houston gets involved!

Friends of Goose Pond Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane and Migratory Bird Festival
March 1-2, 2019 – Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, Linton, Indiana

Friday Night Kickoff Dinner at the Linton Elks with doors opening at 5 pm with a social hour, dinner live/silent auction, and guest speaker, Dr. Henry Loope, Geology Research Department, Indiana University speaking on “The Geology of Goose Pond.” Saturday festivities are at the Linton Humphrey’s Park from 8 am to 4 pm with Guided Bus Tours, Education Workshops, Craft Vendors, Art Exhibit by the Indiana Wildlife Artists, Birds of Prey Exhibit, Amphibian Exhibit, and Food Vendors.

Nebraska Crane Season
March 1-April 7, 2019 – Audubon Rowe Sanctuary, Gibbon, Nebraska

Every March, over 600,000 Sandhill Cranes converge on the Platte River Valley in central Nebraska to fuel up before continuing north to their nesting grounds. One of the greatest wildlife spectacles in North America, this gathering of cranes is the largest in the world. Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary is at the heart of this magnificent crane staging area. Rowe Sanctuary offers guided viewing experiences to see the spectacular concentrations of Sandhill Cranes. For more information about viewing options, check out the website: rowe.audubon.org or call 308-468-5282. Reservations open January 2, 2019, at 9 am CST.

SOAR With The Eagles
March 2-31, 2019 – National Eagle Center, Wabasha, Minnesota

SOAR With the Eagles is the National Eagle Center’s annual festival that celebrates the spring Bald Eagle migration along the Mississippi River. During weekends in March, visitors enjoy a variety of special programming hosted by the National Eagle Center. The festival includes animal presentations, nationally renowned flying bird shows, environmental exhibits, demonstrations by the DNR and US Fish and Wildlife Service, Native American crafts, wild eagle viewing, and much more! There is programming for all ages and exciting opportunities to experience and learn new things about the natural world! Contact 651-565-4989 or info@nationaleaglecenter.org.

Cape Anne Winter Birding Boat Trip
March 9, 2019 – Seas Wharf, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Birdwatchers from New England and beyond flock to Cape Ann to participate in the Cape Ann Winter Birding Weekend each year. Weather permitting, we are hosting the Winter Birding Boat Trip, aboard the PRIVATEER IV, with 7 Seas Whale Watch. Saturday, March 2, 2019, from 8 am to 1 pm. Cape Ann is known worldwide for its exciting concentrations of winter seabirds, and the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce is planning a morning at sea, which will delight all levels of birders. Expert guides, including Wayne Petersen, the Director of Mass. Important Bird Area Program, will help identify the Winter Birds you will see. We will visit one of New England’s most productive marine habitats: Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.

15th Annual Nature Fest
March 2, 2019 – Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center, Humble, Texas

Nature lovers of all ages are invited to our Annual Nature Fest introducing visitors to local environmental organizations, outdoor activities, and native plants and wildlife. This free family event includes pontoon boat tours, guided walks, live animals, a catch-and-release fish tank, and a variety of presentations throughout the day. The Nature Center has free guided bird walks on the first Saturdays of September through May. January features the “Winter Bird Count,” and February has a “Beginning Birding” workshop and outing.

Vallarta Bird and Nature Festival
March 8-10, 2019 – Las Juntas y Los Veranos Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco, México

Hosted by the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, the festival honors the amazing diversity of birds and nature that exist in Mexico and more specifically in the Puerto Vallarta area, Banderas Bay and Cabo Corrientes. This year we are fundraising in support of The Macaw Sanctuary with hopes to fund Military Macaw nestbox construction and installation. Guest speakers Ernesto Ruelas Inzuna from The Veracruz River Of Raptors Project, and Mark Stackhouse from San Blas, Nayarit speaking on how to be a better birder. We will have Jorge Novoa, from The Macaw Sanctuary, providing an informative discussion about the Military Macaw Sanctuary along with Rohini Suta Velasco Legarreta bringing rescued birds from the organizations, Aves Paraiso, and CEMBAB. Tours to bird-rich areas within an hour’s drive of the Vallarta Botanical Gardens will be offered each day along with tours of the beautiful and internationally recognized botanical gardens. Fun and educational children’s activities will be offered along with a family birding walk within the botanical gardens.

Monte Vista Crane Festival
March 8-10, 2019 – Monte Vista, Colorado

Every year, like clockwork, nearly 20,000 Sandhill Cranes descend on Colorado’s scenic San Luis Valley for a six-week stopover to rest and refuel before continuing their northward spring migration. They perform a courtship dance — leaping and bowing while raising and lowering their wings, and making a croaking sound to one another. Once a male and female bond they form a pair for life. Activities during the Monte Vista Crane Festival include photography workshops, interpreter­-led bus tours to view the cranes, raptors, and places of interest. The festival is a collaborative effort between The Friends of the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuges (slvrefuges.org), The Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Monte Vista. A visit to the Monte Vista Crane Festival is an opportunity to see an amazing natural spectacle as well as experience a unique local community.

29th Annual Brant Wildlife Festival
March 11-April 21, 2019 – North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Join us for the 29th annual Brant Wildlife Festival during March and April 2019. This festival celebrates nature, particularly Brant geese, on mid-Vancouver Island through many fun activities for all ages. Events range from Spring Break Nature Camps for kids to wildlife viewing opportunities and guest speakers across Parksville, Qualicum Beach, and surrounding areas. For a full list of confirmed events and for specific locations, check out our Events page.

Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival
March 15-17, 2019 – Blaine/Birch Bay/Semiahmoo, Washington

Join us for an adventure birding along the coastal areas of Blaine, Birch Bay, and Semiahmoo in the northwest corner of Washington State. This premiere birding area is the anchor to the North Cascade Loop of the Great Washington Birding Trail and offers the opportunity to view an abundance of bird species intimately. The festival will feature a guided field trip to Reifel Bird Sanctuary as well at open water birding cruises aboard the 50′ Salish Sea. The all-day birding expo on Saturday provides indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family, with birding and geology field trips, wildlife speakers, live raptor presentations, exhibits, kid’s activities, photography workshops, and more.

21st Othello Sandhill Crane Festival
March 21-24, 2019 – Othello, Washington

For two decades we have celebrated the annual return of nearly 35,000 Sandhill Cranes to Othello, Washington, every March as they migrate north to their breeding grounds in Alaska. The Festival offers an incredible opportunity to view the cranes up-close, with tours led by local experts. The Festival also boasts other specialty tours of the flora, fauna, and geology of the area, and many lectures, as well as children’s activities. The festival has grown over the years with returning participants attending from across the country. Friday night activities to be announced, and Saturday and Sunday activities at the Othello High School. 

Audubon’s 49th Annual Nebraska Crane Festival
March 22-24, 2019 – Kearney, Nebraska

Join us in celebrating the 49th year, the festival brings together hundreds of crane lovers from around the country to Kearney, Nebraska, to interact with a wide range of environmental speakers, take part in incredible birding trips, and, best of all, experience the world’s largest gathering of Sandhill Cranes! This year’s keynote speakers are David Mizejewski and Lili Taylor. 

APRIL 2019

Tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus) by Linda Cote
Tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus) by Linda Cote

A Celebration of Swans
April 1-30, 2019 – Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Yukon’s premier birding festival brings residents and visitors alike out to great swan viewing areas to welcome spring to the North. The mass migration of tens of thousands of swans, ducks, and geese is not to be missed. The Swan Haven Interpretive Centre, open daily in April, is the hub of the festival. Events include photography and art workshops, presentations, campfire storytelling, children’s activities, and more.

23rd Annual Great Louisiana BirdFest
April 5-8, 2019 – Mandeville, Louisiana

Birders travel from all corners of the U.S. and from around the world to participate in the Great Louisiana BirdFest. Our area is a prime bird-watching location, and the Great Louisiana BirdFest is considered one of the premier birding events in the country. Join us and enjoy what people travel long distances to see and experience—the ideal spring weather, natural resources, and wildlife of Southeast Louisiana—in our own backyard. Birding trips by foot and pontoon boat for expert and beginning birdwatchers in varied habitat, including swamps, wetlands, pine savanna, and hardwoods. Photography and other workshops, Southern food and hospitality.

Mackinaw Raptor Fest
April 5-7, 2019 – Mackinaw City, Michigan

Mackinaw City, Michigan, located at the junction of two peninsulas and two Great Lakes, creates a unique confluence of migrating birds every spring and fall. Come see and learn about hawks, owls, and waterbirds. Sponsored by Mackinac Straits Raptor Watch, which hires biologists to conduct research. Along with outdoor experiences, including field trips, on all days, enjoy your choices of five concurrent educational indoor programs on Saturday. Keynoter Todd Katzner from Boise, Idaho will speak on Golden Eagle Conservation. The Plenary Presenter David Cuthrell will describe Conservation of Raptors and Michigan’s Natural Features Inventory Program. They and four other presenters from the Eastern Golden Eagle Working Group invite Fest registrants to stay for their conference in Mackinaw City immediately after the Mackinaw Raptor Fest. A live raptor program will precede the evening banquet, with a separate ticket available for those two features, designed for people who wish to bird outside all day. Registration will begin early February 2019. For more information on sponsorship and programming, visit the website or contact Richard Couse, Executive Director, at rcouse.msrw@gmail.com.

Lek Treks & More: The Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival
April 10-17, 2019 – Woodward, Oklahoma

Join us in northwest Oklahoma to view Lesser Prairie-Chickens from blinds or vans. We offer an extended trip to view Greater Prairie-Chickens at the Tallgrass Prairie in northeast Oklahoma. Get both species of prairie-chickens in one trip! For photographers, we offer special packages, with dedicated blinds and special access to the Selman Ranch. A unique feature of our festival is everyone has an opportunity to participate in fence marking, a conservation action that is easy to do and critical to the survival of these birds. Additional field trips are scheduled to areas around northwest Oklahoma, including the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, Black Mesa at the end of the Oklahoma Panhandle, where the plains meet the Rocky Mountains, and the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, where we’ll see Black-capped Vireos. Other activities include star gazing, bat and owl watches, and workshops. Keynote speaker to be announced.

17th Annual Galveston FeatherFest Birding & Nature Photography Festival
April 11-14, 2019 – FeatherFest Headquarters, Galveston Island, Texas

FeatherFest is the Island’s annual birding and nature photography festival held during the height of spring migration. Galveston is one of the top locations in the country for birding because it hosts a wide variety of habitats in a small geographical area where some 300 species make their permanent or temporary home throughout the year. Mark your calendar now to attend the largest birding festival on the Upper Texas Coast and the only one with a dedicated nature photography track! Expert-led memorable trips (including High Island) and workshops, birding and photography events, and 200+ species.

Harney County Migratory Bird Festival
April 11-14, 2019 – Burns, Oregon

Spend an amazing weekend witnessing the spectacular spring migration in the Harney Basin of Southeast Oregon. View thousands of migratory birds as they rest and feed in the open spaces of Oregon’s high desert. Guided birding tours, workshops, keynote speaker dinner, art show, and much more! Call 541-573-2636, email info@harneycounty.com, or visit the website.

Nebraska Prairie-Chicken Festival
April 12-14, 2019 – Burwell, Nebraska

Festival participants will have the opportunity to view Greater Prairie-Chickens and Sharp-tailed Grouse in viewing blinds on the Switzer Ranch, home of Calamus Outfitters. Other activities include birding excursions around Calamus Reservoir and ranch tours in open-top vehicles. Keynote speakers for 2019 are Al Batt and Noppadol Paothong. Come join us for fabulous food in a relaxed atmosphere that is focused on celebrating these awesome birds, the grasslands they inhabit, and the culture that surrounds them. The Nebraska Prairie-Chicken Festival is limited to the first 50 registered participants.

Atlanta Bird Fest
April 13-May 19, 2019 – Atlanta, Georgia

Birds, y’all! Atlanta Audubon welcomes you to Atlanta Bird Fest 2019. This month-long celebration features 35+ guided field trips, bird- and nature-themed workshops, and more. Keynote speakers include big-year-birder and author Noah Strycker for Opening Weekend festivities (April 13–14) and international climate and weather expert Dr. Marshall Shepherd for the Closing Celebration (May 19).

Olympic Birdfest
April 14-16, 2019 – Dungeness River Audubon Center, Sequim, Washington

The North Olympic Peninsula is widely known as a great place for bird watching with a wide variety of bird species. Field trip locations include bays, fields, and wooded areas. The locations are part of the Olympic Loop of the Great Washington State Birding Trail and are known as Important Bird Areas (IBA). Enjoy guided birding trips, boat tours, live auction, raffle, gala banquet, and more. Keynote Speaker to be announced. Join our festival pre-trip: a three-day, two-night birding/sightseeing cruise of the San Juan Islands, or extend your festival with our Neah Bay post-trip: three days exploring northwest coastal Washington. To learn more and register, visit www.olympicbirdfest.org.

24th Godwit Days Spring Migration Bird Festival
April 17-23, 2019 – Arcata, California

Godwit Days is held at the peak of spring migration and celebrates the thousands of shorebirds that flock to the shores of Humboldt Bay. Arcata is nestled between Humboldt Bay and Redwood forest, providing access for day trips to see Northern Spotted Owl, Marbled Murrelet, Western Snowy Plover, Black Oystercatcher, Ruffed Grouse, and other North Coast specialties. Around 100 field trips to choose from. Keynote Speakers Pete Marra with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and Noah Strycker, author and Global Big Year record breaker.

Birdiest Festival in America
April 24-28, 2019 – South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center, Corpus Christi, Texas

Spotlighting South Texas peak spring migration, Corpus Christi’s BIRDIEST FESTIVAL IN AMERICA is scheduled for April 24-28, 2019. The festival features optional guided field trips to regional birding hot spots and private ranches, photography workshops and field trips, “The Raptor Project” presentations, bird banding, vendor trade show, bird walks, and lots of South Texas hospitality. Inaugural year (2017) had 246 species, and 2018 had 257 species, showing why Corpus Christi was named the “Birdiest City in North America” for a decade! Registration opens in December with $35 basic registration plus additional fees for add-on field trips and workshops.

Spring Chirp
April 24-27, 2019 – Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, Texas

Perfect for those seeking a superior introduction to birding South Texas, our small-group field trips with expert guides to hotspots and super-premium destinations make this the best way to see a wide variety of specialty birds and migrants at prime time for hawk migration.

Stikine River Birding Festival
April 25-28, 2019 – Wrangell, Alaska

The Wrangell Stikine River Birding Festival provides an ideal opportunity for all ages to celebrate the spring migration of Bald Eagles, Snow Goose, Sandhill Cranes, and thousands of shorebirds. Events are scheduled for all ages, including art and photo contests, build a feeder, guest speakers, and of course – an opportunity to explore the surrounding islands and Stikine River flats for birds!

Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival
April 25-27, 2019 – Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Suffolk, Virginia

Guided bird walks, refuge tours, photography and birding workshops. All events are free but require reservations. Official schedule and reservation details will be posted on the refuge website by March 1, 2019.

Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival
April 25-28, 2019 – Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, Arizona

Registration begins February 1. The festival includes field trips, workshops, guided walks, seminars, exhibit hall and vendors, and more. Registration required for field trips. Saturday is the free “Family Nature Fair” with games and activities for children and parents alike from 10 am to 2 pm at Dead Horse Ranch State Park’s river day-use area. New trips are added each year. Returning trips include kayak trips down the Verde and the popular Cadillac Canoe Brunch. Favorite field trips to local birding hot spots and trips to explore the geology of the Verde Valley with a knowledgeable guide who will describe the processes that created this amazing and unique landscape. This is an extraordinary festival for everyone, from birding beginners to experts, lovers of nature, and lovers of learning. Keynote speaker to be announced. Visit our website for more information: https://verderiver.org/birding-festival/. Events fill quickly, so register as soon as possible.

Point Reyes Birding and Nature Festival
April 26-28, 2019 – Point Reyes Station, California

Save the date for the 10th Anniversary of the Point Reyes Birding and Nature Festival with keynote speaker Kenn Kaufman, one of the world’s best-known bird experts, lifelong naturalist, and author and editor of the Kaufman Field Guides series. This three-day event is a program of the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin (EAC) and allows attendees to experience one of the most ecologically significant areas along the Pacific Coast with experienced naturalists and biologists. Just outside the magnificent Point Reyes National Seashore, participants will enjoy the biological diversity of plants and animals of this area and the surrounding regional habitats of the rural landscapes of West Marin County. The Festival takes place at the height of spring migration with opportunities for over 184 bird species! Over 50 field events and indoor workshops focused on a variety birds, habitat, plants, and mammals.

19th Annual Balcones Songbird Festival
April 26-28, 2019 – Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, Marble Falls, Texas

Migrating birds consider the Texas Hill Country a sort of freeway rest stop—a way station where they can relax, catch a good meal, and gather strength for the rest of their journey. Nestled in the hill country is the 24,000-acre Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge that provides critical habitat for two endangered songbird migrants—the Black-capped Vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler. They not only stop to rest, they stop to nest. The Balcones Songbird Festival is a celebration of nature through a collection of interpretive events to experience both bird species and their habitat. Experienced guides help you add to your life list.

31st Annual Bird of Prey Days at Braddock Bay
April 26-28, 2019 – Braddock Bay Park, Rochester, New York

Braddock Bay Raptor Research will host the Bird of Prey Days festival at Braddock Bay Park on Lake Ontario and home to one of the best spring raptor migrations on the continent! People of all ages are invited to come out and learn about hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, and other species in support BBRR’s conservation efforts. Activities will be held inside and out, including hawkwatching, raptor banding, owl prowls, live raptor programs, educational and art displays, and kids activities. $5 suggested donation for adults, kids are free. Contact: Braddock Bay Raptor Research, 585-267-5483, information@bbrr.org.

Hatchie BirdFest
April 26-28, 2019 – West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, Brownsville, Tennessee

Unique outdoor adventures and over 200 species of birds await you on the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge. Events will include special speakers and demonstrations, hikes, canoeing, and exhibitors. Entertainment by The Dirt Pilgrims folk band. Perfect for seasoned birders or beginners.

25th Annual Migration Celebration
April 27-28, 2019 – San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, Brazoria, Texas

Migration Celebration is a free, family-friendly event that invites participants to discover, enjoy, and learn about the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge via tours, activities, and exhibits including: Marsh Buggies; Kayaking; Tours: San Bernard Oak Trail, Moccasin Pond, Bobcat Woods, Cedar Lake Creek; Butterfly Encounter; Birds of Prey; Reptile Expo; Touch Tank; and much more. Keynotes: nature, birding, nature walks, butterflies, national wildlife refuge, free event, Texas Mid-Coast, birds of prey, family friendly, reptiles.

9th Annual Thornapple Woodpecker Festival
April 27, 2019 – Paul Henry-Thornapple Trail, Middleville Section, Middleville, Michigan

The Paul Henry-Thornapple Trail follows the Thornapple River and has been called the most beautiful rail trail in Michigan. The paved Middleville section has an established breeding population of the Red-headed Woodpecker, as well as the other five Eastern U.S. woodpeckers. The Thornapple Woodpecker Festival will feature guided birding walks and stationary guides with spotting scopes along the river. Over 50 species are consistently seen on festival day. Canoeing and kayaking are options on your own; a launch for small boats is near the Village Hall parking lot. Additional birding sites with guides will be within short driving distances.

New River Birding & Nature Festival
April 29-May 4, 2019 – Fayetteville, West Virginia

A friendly birding vacation for everyone, featuring nature excursions with world-class speakers and guides, tasty food, and a back-porch atmosphere. We offer options to suit many budgets and packages range from week-long with cabin accommodations to a single day without lodging. Each day includes a field trip of your choice, three tasty meals, a knowledge and fun-packed presentation, and world-class experts you will call friends. All skill levels are welcome. The festival is a non-profit fundraising event started in 2002.

2019 Little St. Simons Island Spring Birding Days
April 29-May 4, 2019 – St. Simons Island, Georgia

Celebrate spring migration on Little St. Simons Island! Guest ornithologists join our staff naturalists on excursions highlighting the abundance of species that flock here during this special time. Availability is limited. Call 888-733-5774 between 9 am and 5 pm ET daily or visit our Reservations page for availability and reservations. Three-, four-, and seven-night packages, priced per couple, double occupancy. Availability is limited. Call 888-733-5774 between 9 am and 5 pm ET daily, email Lodge@LittleSSI.com, or visit the website.

MAY 2019

Cerulean warbler (Setophaga cerulea) by Robert Lewis
Cerulean warbler (Setophaga cerulea) by Robert Lewis

Southwest Wings Spring Fling
May 1-4, 2019 – Cochise College, Sierra Vista, Arizona

Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival is entering its 28th year in summer 2019. This is the premiere nature festival in Arizona, voted one of the top five birding and nature festivals in the country. Due to the abundance and variety of wildlife species, we offer two birding events. May is our Spring Fling with field trips only. July 31 to August 3, 2019, is our larger festival, Southwest Wings, with a keynote speaker, wildlife exhibits, and vendors with birding paraphernalia. Both events offer field trips to all the birding hotspots in Southeast Arizona. We offer small group birding with a limit of ten people plus a guide. We are very proud of our guiding roster that we have developed in the last quarter century. Many come to see our 15 species of hummingbirds, but many other rarities show up on our event bird list. For more information, such as lists of birds seen last year, visit our website.

Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival
May 2-5, 2019 – Cordova, Alaska

Nearly 5 million shorebirds will make the tremendous journey from points as far as South America and Mexico to this stopover site of hemispheric importance on the Copper River Delta, the largest undisturbed wetland in North America. The Copper River Delta Shorebird Festival provides the ideal opportunity for bird watchers to be part of this spectacle of mass migration. Many activities, workshops, and community events are offered throughout the festival. We invite you to join us in Cordova for the premier birding event in Alaska. Keynote speaker to be announced.

Grays Harbor Shorebird and Nature Festival
May 3-5, 2019 – Grays Harbor National National Wildlife Refuge, Hoquiam, Washington

Do you have an itch to go to the northwest coast and see migrating shorebirds? See thousands of birds swirling in massive numbers to avoid Peregrine Falcon? And the chance to see rarities like the Pacific Coast Red Knot? We had over 800 on just one day last May! Grays Harbor is the one reliable place to see the dwindling specie on its long, one-stop, journey to its arctic nesting grounds. Many other shorebird species linger here as well. Join us for outstanding field trips to varied coastal habitats, all led by the region’s most capable birders!

The Biggest Week in American Birding
May 3-12, 2019 – Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center, Oregon, Ohio

Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2019, the “Biggest Week” is a 10-day birding festival organized and hosted by Black Swamp Bird Observatory and features some of the best birding in North America. In May, you won’t want to be anywhere else but Northwest Ohio. With a myriad of workshops, guided birding activities, half-day birding bus tours, keynote speakers, and more, The “Biggest Week” has something to offer beginner and seasoned birders alike. Learn photography skills and bird identification tips from leading experts, take a sketching class with a local artist, or join one of our daily walks at the world famous Magee Marsh boardwalk. If it is bird related, you can find it at The Biggest Week In American Birding! Keynote speakers to be announced.

11th Annual Red Slough Birding Convention
May 4-7, 2019  – Museum of the Red River, Mary H. Herron Conference Center, Idabel, Oklahoma

The Red Slough Birding Convention in Southeast Oklahoma will take you to several birding hotspots to see species, such as Purple Gallinule, White Ibis, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Least Bittern, Painted Bunting, Swainson’s Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Baltimore Oriole, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and many other neotropical migrants, shorebirds, and wading birds. Tours will also showcase the diverse dragonflies, wildflowers, and champion trees. Registration is $125 and includes T-shirt, three presentations (two by a keynote speaker to be determined), five tours, and keynote banquet.

Norman Bird Sanctuary’s 37th Annual Birds & Breakfast
May 5, 2019 – Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown, Rhode Island

Treat yourself to a seasonal gourmet breakfast from 7:30 to 11 am, with sweeping views over Paradise Valley and Rhode Island Sound. Chef Rich Silvia from The White Horse Tavern will prepare a scrumptious breakfast buffet, with organically grown ingredients donated by local farmers and markets. Explore the hiking trails on a guided bird walk with expert naturalists. Children of all ages can learn spring-themed nature crafts and enjoy live animal presentations, including animal ambassador Micah, the Barred Owl!

Wings Over the Rockies Festival
May 6-12, 2019 – Invermere, British Columbia, Canada

With over 100 events to choose from over 7 days, there is a variety of hikes, paddles, presentations, and field trips hosted by a large cross-section of educators, wildlife experts, conservationists, ecologists, historians, biologists, and more.

Ute Mountain Mesa Verde Birding Festival
May 8-12, 2019 – Cortez Cultural Center, Cortez, Colorado

Nestled between alpine and mesa forests and scenic desert canyons, the Four Corner’s intriguingly diverse landscapes and mild climate in Southwestern Colorado has drawn people to the region for generations. Today’s meadows, pastures, cultivated fields, historic orchards, stock ponds, and reservoirs are habitat for a wide variety of migratory and resident birds. Some species, such as Lucy’s Warbler, are found no place else in Colorado. The festival’s birding tally has climbed to 180 species. Hosted by the Cortez Cultural Center, the festival includes day and overnight birding tours to an array of birding hotspots to fit a gamut of abilities, ages, and interests. Some tours combine birding with regional archaeology, ecology, and history. Early evening lectures, keynote speaker, social hours, a bird-themed art show, and banquet.

26th Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival
May 9-12, 2019 – Homer, Alaska

Join birders from around the world for the state’s largest wildlife festival. Located on the beautiful shore of Kachemak Bay, the Homer Spit is one of the most accessible places for shorebird viewing in Alaska. With over 100,000 shorebirds of 25 different species migrating through in early May, this four-day event celebrates the return of spring and migrating birds. The festival has great birds, excellent guiding, educational seminars and workshops, and children’s activities at all skill levels. Keynote speakers to be announced. For more information, contact Festival Coordinator, Robbi Mixon, 907-226-4631, info@kachemakshorebird.org.

Yakima River Canyon Bird Fest
May 10-12, 2019 – Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway, Ellensburg, Washington

Come bird with KEEN for 3 days during the second weekend of May and discover the natural beauty of Central Washington State! Kittitas County features diverse and spectacular habitats ranging from snow-capped mountains, thousands of acres of public forest, lush riparian corridors, and endangered shrub-steppe open space. The Yakima River Canyon is an Audubon Important Bird Area (IBA) with some of the highest densities of passerines and birds of prey in the state, some of them obligates to the shrub-steppe habitat. The festival offers expert-led field trips, keynote speakers, vendors, extended field trips, social events and music, and a plethora of early spring bird watching!

Festival of the Birds at Presque Isle
May 10-12, 2019 – Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania

Enjoy peak songbird migration as well as opportunities to see waders, raptors, shorebirds, and songbirds at Presque Isle State Park, a Lake Erie hotspot in northwestern PA. Keynote Speaker Yve Morell, artist and 2017 Big Year winner. Enjoy small group field trips to distinct habitats, including lagoons and palustrine sand plains, workshops for all skill levels, plenty of social festivities. This is the perfect choice for those seeking an intimate birding experience, as the festival is limited to 150 attendees.

Migration Celebration (May) and 23rd Annual Hummingbird Festival (August) in Land Between the Lakes
May 12, 2019 – Woodlands Nature Station in Land, Between the Lakes, Cadiz, Kentucky

World Migratory Bird Day, the second Saturday in May, honors the spectacle and struggles of our feathered friends that migrate between North America and the tropics. Join us to be part of the celebration! Peek in on baby birds, enjoy kid-friendly crafts and games, and more! We’ll be spotlighting nature’s most amazing travelers with special programs throughout the day. Please visit our website for the full day’s schedule!. If you love hummingbirds, the 23rd Annual Hummingbird Festival in Land Between the Lakes will take place August 3 & 4. Join us to celebrate these backyard beauties as they buzz around our gardens fueling up for the next leg of their journey. Enjoy watching hummingbird banding demonstrations as biologists catch, tag, and release hummingbirds as part of a long-term research project. Discover how you can help hummingbirds and other wildlife, such as monarch butterflies, bats, songbirds, and bees right at your own home. Stroll through our gallery of local wildlife artists, stop by the native plant sale, and enjoy programs, demonstrations, a hummingbird gift shop, and kids’ crafts & games. Full event details will be available on our website by July 1. Spend the whole day by bringing a picnic or stopping by our on-site food vendors.

22nd Annual Detroit Lakes Festival of Birds
May 16-18, 2019 – Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

Migration celebration in Minnesota’s unique transition zone of tallgrass prairie, hardwood and conifer forests, and wetlands. Presentations, socials, and morning field trips. Friday and Saturday night keynotes. Wednesday evening show at the Holmes Theatre. Thursday social. Online program/registration at https://www.visitdetroitlakes.com/events/festival-of-birds.

Tawas Point Birding Festival
May 16-18, 2019 – The Bay Inn, Tawas City, Michigan

Spend an amazing weekend witnessing a spectacular spring migration in northeastern Michigan along Lake Huron. View a wide variety of migratory birds as they rest and feed at Tawas Point State Park. From waterfowl to songbirds, you’ll see it all! This celebration offers nonstop birding activities and interesting information sure to entertain everyone, whether you’re a beginner or a lifelong wildlife enthusiast. For more information about bird viewing options and event reservations go to www.ausablevalleyaudubon.org or contact Jim at 847-381-8663. We are also on Facebook at AuSable Valley Audubon.

Cape May Spring Festival
May 16-19, 2019  – Grand Hotel of Cape May, New Jersey

Perhaps you have heard of all the legendary birding hotspots in Cape May, NJ, such as Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area (WMA), The Nature Conservancy’s South Cape May Meadows (aka “The Meadows”), and new this year, TNC’s Garrett Family Preserve on Cape Island Creek. Then, on up the road a piece, you will find Cox Hall Creek WMA. Springtime brings birders a bit farther to the north, on Rt. 47, aka Shorebird Alley, to Cooks Beach and Reeds Beach for Red Knot and Horseshoe Crabs, Belleplain State Forest for migrants and nesters, and all the way up to Cumberland County for the shorebird-filled impoundments at Heislerville WMA. All these hotspots are within about a 35-mile drive. The best way to experience them all is to immerse yourself into the Cape May Spring Festival! Keynote speaker to be announced. For more information visit our website or call 609-246-3581.

Indiana Dunes Birding Festival
May 16-19, 2019 – Chesterton, Indiana

The Indiana Dunes Birding Festival occurs along the shores of Lake Michigan to celebrate the area’s rich biodiversity and bird-watching opportunities. Activities include nearly 60 guided carpool and van tours to view migrating birds, vendor marketplace, more than 50 bird-related programs, from live raptor talks to species ID workshops, and special workshops for new bird watchers and educators. In the evening there are excursions for owls, woodcocks and whip-poor-wills, and family-friendly “birds and brews” social events. The Saturday keynote presentation includes dinner, silent auction, and vendor marketplace. General early-bird registration begins in mid-February.

21st Great Salt Lake Bird Festival
May 16-19, 2019 – Davis County Legacy Event Center, Farmington, Utah

Come join us at the 20th Great Salt Lake Bird Festival in Farmington, Utah! Bird watching is a great family activity, and Utah is the place to see birds. Just think—4 days of field trips to the best birding areas in northern Utah, and 2 days of workshops, vendors, and youth activities. Field trips include ‘Behind-the-Gates’ trips to areas not normally open to the general public. Keynote Speaker to be announced. Register online for dinner and field trips.

Leavenworth Spring BirdFest
May 16-19, 2019 – Wenatchee River Institute, Leavenworth, Washington

Come bird with us the third weekend in May and celebrate the 17th Annual Leavenworth Spring BirdFest with Keynote Speaker Richard Crossley, internationally acclaimed birder, photographer, and award-winning author of The Crossley ID Guide series! Enjoy the unforgettable experience of witnessing the vast array of returning migratory birds in the midst of the peak wildflower season in the incomparable natural beauty of North Central Washington’s Wenatchee Valley. The Leavenworth area features spectacular habitats ranging from snow-capped mountains to sunny ponderosa pine forests, lush riparian zones to shrub-steppe. Educational and recreational opportunities abound with field trips led by area birding and wildlife experts and professionals. While birding is the heart of the weekend, activities also include wildflower walks, art events, and family activities to ensure fun and learning for birders and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

Huron Fringe Birding Festival
May 24-June 2, 2019 – MacGregor Point Provincial Park, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada

Join us over two four-day weekends to celebrate spring in Ontario! Migration continues north through the fringe of land that follows Lake Huron’s great shoreline and channels birds up the beautiful Bruce Peninsula. From our base in MacGregor Point Provincial Park we bird near and far throughout these rich habitats. Late May captures the end of migration and the beginning of the nesting season to ensure the forests and fields are bursting with birds! Over 80 outings and events featuring top Ontario and global leaders are offered. Mike and Ken Burrell will introduce their book BEST PLACES TO BIRD IN ONTARIO at our banquet. Bill Crins, Justin Peter, Mike Runtz, Jean Iron, and Jeremy Bensette are just a few of our returning guides! Wow! Attendance limits on hikes. Online registration available from March 1, 2019.

21st Acadia Birding Festival
May 30-June 2, 2019 – Somesville Fire Station Community Room & Acadia Repertory Theater, Mount Desert (Somesville), Maine

Where there are birds, there will be birders—and with spring in full swing, Acadia National Park is an avian hotspot. So it’s no surprise that bird lovers from around the country will be converging for the 21st annual Acadia Birding Festival. Experience the birding wonders of Maine, from boreal to ocean—warblers, puffins, and more. We offer field trips, pelagic trips, paddling trips, talks, social events, and evening presentations. Join our keynote speakers Doug Hitchcox, Raymond VanBuskirk, and Abby McBride, along with more than 40 experienced guides on these adventures around Acadia National Park and beyond. Don’t miss our PELAGIC SEABIRD TRIP, Sat June 2. Please pre-register online. Registration opens March 1, 2019.

Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival
May 30-June 2, 2019 – Sisters, Oregon

Observe eleven different species of woodpeckers (including White-headed, Black-backed, and American Three-toed) as well as 200 other bird species who make their homes in the spectacular forests, burn areas, and diverse habitat of central Oregon’s Cascade mountains and high desert. Sponsored by East Cascades Audubon Society (ECAS), this festival offers a fun, friendly, casual atmosphere that is all about the birds. The trips are affordable and guided by two local field trip leaders, with the proceeds supporting the many ECAS projects. Online registration opens April 1, 2019, at 9 am, PDT, and tours fill quickly.

Cerulean Warbler Weekend
May 31-June 2, 2019 – Hastings, Michigan

Cerulean Warbler Weekend will feature guided birding walks throughout Southwest Michigan’s best hotspots, programs and talks by local wildlife experts, and, of course, the opportunity to enjoy the company of your fellow birders. Attendees will visit areas where they can find Cerulean Warbler, a bird whose numbers have been declining faster than any other North American songbird. Otis Sanctuary is also home to the elusive Henslow’s Sparrow.

JUNE 2019

Mono Basin by Don Graham via Flickr
Mono Basin by Don Graham via Flickr

Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua
June 14-16, 2019 – Lee Vining, California
The Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua brings birders together to enhance appreciation and understanding of the Mono Basin’s diverse and abundant bird life and to educate the public about this area’s value to birds and people. The Chautauqua offers over 90 field trips, workshops, and presentations with renowned bird guides, naturalists, and artists. Add live music and delicious food, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic long weekend in nature with friends! The Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua won a Mindful Birding Award in 2015 for adopting ethical birding guidelines and supporting conservation efforts for birds and their habitats. We’re proud to practice ethical birding.

American Ornithology 2019 Meeting
June 24-28, 2019 – Anchorage, Alaska

Please join us for the 137th annual meeting of the American Ornithological Society. Opportunities to share and discuss scientific research in all areas involving birds, with a special emphasis on research and conservation focused on our 2019 theme. Symposia, workshops, field trips, and plenary presentations. Keynote address open to the public. Visit our website for more information and to register.

JULY 2019

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) by Josh Haas
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) by Josh Haas

3rd Annual Raptor Fest
July 27, 2019 – Silt, Colorado

Chadd’s Walking With Wildlife LLC is partnering with the Town of Silt to bring our communities the annual Raptor Festival. The Western Slope of Colorado is home to 27 raptors, which includes eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures, and Ospreys. The Raptor Fest provides the opportunity to listen to and ask local experts about some of our favorite birds! The Nature’s Educators from the Denver area will bring educational birds for an in-depth, instructional demonstration. This year’s event is jammed-packed full of education and information all pertaining to our Raptors of the Skies!

AUGUST 2019

Elegant Trogon (Trogon elegans) by John van Dort
Elegant Trogon (Trogon elegans) by John van Dort

Southeast Arizona Birding Festival
August 7-11, 2019 — DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Tucson, Arizona

Whether your life list is 70 or 700, don’t miss southeast Arizona’s Sonoran Desert monsoon specialties! Elegant Trogons, Five-striped Sparrows, Red-faced Warblers—birds you’ve only stared at with longing in your field guide since you were a kid (or last week!). In Southeast Arizona, you can make seeing these specialty birds a reality. We invite you to join us and experience Tucson Audubon’s Southeast Arizona Birding Festival this year during our beautiful monsoon season with professionally led half- and full-day field trips, programs, keynote speaker, photography workshops, extensive Nature Expo. Register at tucsonaudubon.org/festival. For more information, contact: Luke Safford, lsafford@tucsonaudubon.org.

Davis Mountains Hummingbird Celebration
August 22-25, 2019 — Fort Davis, Texas

In the heart of Texas’ Chihuahuan Desert Sky Islands, Fort Davis at its elevation of 5,050 feet is known as the Hummingbird Capital of Texas! The celebration will feature hummingbird viewing field trips to the beautiful Christmas Mountains, Tule Canyon, and more. Hummingbird banding demonstrations, educational programs, and keynote speakers. For expert hummingbird enthusiasts and people who just love birdwatching and wildlife, the Davis Mountains Hummingbird Celebration offers four packed days of birding activities. Registration begins May 1, 2019, at www.fortdavis.com.

SEPTEMBER 2019

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) by Josh Haas
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) by Josh Haas

20th Annual Hummingbird Migration and Nature Celebration
September 6-8, 2019  Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Holly Springs, Mississippi

Join us for the Hummingbird Migration and Nature Celebration, one of the Southeast’s biggest nature festivals. Highlights include renowned guest speakers, guided nature walks, live animal shows, kids activity zone, wagon rides, nature-themed arts & crafts vendors, native plant sale, and up-close views of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds being banded and released!

Puget Sound Bird Fest
September 13-15, 2019 — Frances Anderson Center, Edmonds, Washington

This acclaimed three-day event includes keynote speakers, guided walks, land and water-based field trips, exhibits, and educational activities for children and adults. Plan to spend the weekend in Edmonds, birding and meeting other birders, naturalists, photographers, and people engaged in fascinating bird research projects.

6th Annual Seatuck Long Island Birding Challenge
September 14, 2019 Long Island, New York

Join Long Island’s only island-wide birding competition to help promote bird watching, wildlife conservation, and open space preservation across the region. The event is open to all levels of experience, from expert birders to complete novices. Bird anywhere on Long Island (including Brooklyn & Queens). Register as a team or join one of ours (family and student categories available). Checklist submitted by 5 pm. All participants meet for dinner at the historic Scully Estate (5-8 pm), 550 Bay Avenue, Islip, New York. $50/person, $20/student. Fall migration promises large numbers of birds and a great diversity of species. The Birding Challenge generates critical funding for Seatuck’s conservation and education work, including efforts to protect bird habitat and important bird areas.

Princeton Whooping Crane Festival
September 14, 2019  Princeton Public School, Princeton, Wisconsin

Festival includes activities for all ages: Kids can paint birdhouses, have their faces painted, and learn about frogs, snakes, and other critters with the ever popular edutainer, David Stokes! Spend time in the artisan and vendor area to get a jump on holiday shopping! Enjoy a pancake breakfast in the cafeteria or lunch at one of the food vendors. Take in one or all of the speaker sessions.

Wings Over Willapa
September 27-29, 2019  Ilwaco, Washington

The festival celebrates Willapa National Wildlife Refuge with a day full of classes, workshops, guided tours and more. We’ll be birding by bike, barge and boat, creating feather raku pottery, learning about our local avian diversity, and hunting for animal tracks. Our tours will take you all over the Refuge and beyond. Whether you’re an experienced birder or just getting acquainted with the great outdoors, nature lovers of all ages are sure to find plenty to do.

OCTOBER 2019

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

4th Annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds
October 25-28, 2019 — Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
The festival features Hawaii’s birding trail, a 90-mile route across Hawaii Island traversing desert to rain forest with elevation changes from sea level to 7,000 feet. The 2019 theme is “Migrants and Wanderers: Hawaii’s Unique Avian Visitors,” highlighting the migratory and accidental avian visitors. On Friday and Sunday there will be field trips to sites along the trail or pelagic birding by boat. Trade show for outdoor and birding equipment; children’s corner; bird-themed arts and crafts fair; photography and art workshops; a birding film festival; and opportunities to interact with Hawaii Island naturalists and bird experts. Keynote speakers to be announced.

NOVEMBER 2019

No known events.

DECEMBER 2019

No known events.

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Tips To Complete A Successful Big Year http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2019/02/01/tips-for-successful-big-year/ Fri, 01 Feb 2019 18:01:35 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=19542 The beginning of a new year brings hope, the setting of resolutions—and a fresh opportunity to complete a Big Year. A Big Year, in birding parlance, can be either a formal or an informal challenge among birders to identify as many species as possible in a single calendar year. According to the American Birding Association, […]

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Birders take part in a bird walk led by the Fort Indiantown Gap (PA) wildlife staff, May 27, 2015.

The beginning of a new year brings hope, the setting of resolutions—and a fresh opportunity to complete a Big Year. A Big Year, in birding parlance, can be either a formal or an informal challenge among birders to identify as many species as possible in a single calendar year. According to the American Birding Association, a Big Year officially begins at 12:00 AM on January 1st and ends at 11:59 PM on December 31st of that same year, based on the local time of the location of the birder at each time threshold.

Many people complete a Big Year for the fun and challenge. Others participate more formally in events hosted by local birding organizations. The Audubon Society of Greater Denver (Colorado), for example, is hosting a Big Year competition in 2019 to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The event challenges local birders to spot as many birds as they can in their local county and also provides field trips and support for beginning birders. Many birders track their progress on eBird, which also serves as an unofficial leaderboard for national Big Year participants. (Our BirdsEye app can be synced to eBird accounts to help you achieve your goals.)

To kick off 2019, we interviewed three birders who have recently completed a Big Year. These birders offer their tips and advice for successfully completing a Big Year in 2019. Our birders include:

  • Tom Ford-Hutchinson (TFH), who accomplished a Big Year in 2013 in Orange County, California.
  • Betty Glass (BG), who is running and promoting the Denver Audubon Big Year competition across six counties in Colorado.
  • Aija Konrad (AK), who completed a Big Year in the lower 48 states in 2018 and spotted an astounding 577 species! You can view some of her husband Ed’s photos of her Big Year on Flickr.

Aija Konrad chasing her Big Year along the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington.

Why should somebody try to complete a Big Year?

BG: If you can keep at it and commit for the full year, you will learn so much about birds, conservation, habitat, other species (mammals, insects, etc.), and ecology. You will become a more involved and aware person.

AK: Doing a Big Year was so rewarding and exciting! We never expected to get to 500 species and finished the year on New Year’s Eve in Portland, Maine, looking for a Great Black Hawk. We saw a lot of the country and visited 36 states and 35 national parks and wildlife refuges.

TFH: That’s the million dollar question, and I feel like most people who have done one would say you shouldn’t, haha. There’s no prize or plaque at the end of it, so if you’re going do it, do it for yourself or use it to promote something you care about.

What kind of time commitment is required for a successful Big Year?

TFH: A big year is whatever you want to make of it and can be whatever sort of time commitment you want to make it. Proper planning and local knowledge can significantly decrease the amount of time you spend on it. In the end, I missed a bird because I went to Coachella for a weekend, and I was still working full-time. So you make it what it is. If you aren’t enjoying it, what’s the point?

BG: If you want to win, you’ll be out birding every day. If you’re going to participate and learn more about birds in your area, you can go out two to three times a week, and you’ll be successful. You can also just watch your backyard every day.

AK: It takes commitment, serious drive, and lots of time to do a national Big Year! And you have to be a little bit crazy. We ended up taking 10 major trips, drove 30,000 miles, flew many more, were away from home for 110 days.

What essentials do birders need to have a successful Big Year?

AK: Once we made the commitment, we looked up festivals and birding trips around the country. Ebird was our biggest source for what to go after. We would often recreate itineraries of tour companies. It also helps to have a partner—I could not have done it without my husband, who was as committed as I was. When we traveled, we would almost always bird from dawn to dusk. That was essential for making the most of our time. It was exhausting but exhilarating.

BG: First of all, think about the birds you are likely to see nearby, find places in your county that you can find them, and research when they are likely to arrive in the area. The other part is to be aware of when new species come to the state and know where you can find rare species. The Denver Audubon Society is putting together resources that discuss 50 birds you can see without binoculars, 50 sights you might want to check out in the region, and 50 things you can do to make Denver more bird-friendly. Resources like these can help you plan your year.

TFH: Equipment-wise, a good pair of binoculars goes a long way, as does some sort of digital camera to document your sightings. A good spotting scope (or a friend with one) can also be critical to find seabirds or shorebirds. The number one thing that birders to need to succeed in a Big Year, however, is an understanding of the status and distribution of species. This couldn’t be easier now with all the data available on eBird. Birding apps (like BirdsEye) can help someone discover what birds to look for during a specific week of the year based on previous records and/or bird sightings in surrounding counties. They can help you be in the right habitat to find them when they show up in your area. Also, being aware of the weather can also help you predict where and when to be somewhere. Lastly, the saying that the early bird gets the worm really is true—birds are most active from right before dawn to an hour after the sun rises. This is by far the easiest time to find most rarities as they search for food.

What kinds of things to birders need to plan in preparation for a big year (timing, location, etc.)?

TFH: Stakeout and find winter rarities early. Plan on May/June for Spring Migration, Late July/August for shorebirds, Late August/Sep/Oct for Fall migration, and December for anything that is found on the Christmas Bird Counts.

BG: Right now (winter), get all the waterfowl. All the ducks are out and in breeding plumage and are easy to see. Get ready for spring migration, which starts the end of April and goes through the beginning of June (in Colorado). Summer is really great for breeding birds in Colorado because you see them in their nest, and see juveniles. Fall is the reverse migration—it is exciting because you see Alaskan birds in Denver sometimes. Participate in a Christmas Bird Count toward the end of the year.

Plan carefully to capture hard-to-find birds, like the Greater Prairie Chicken. Photographed by Ed Konrad in Nebraska.

From your experience, what were some unexpected challenges during your Big Year?

AK: One unexpected challenge we faced was when we were driving to Florida for the American Flamingo in November. I was driving on a rural road in Georgia, and a large log flew off of an oncoming truck and hit my windshield. It was horrifying…I had 30 surface cuts to my face and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, but thankfully released after treatment. Our car was totaled from the glass damage. But I got right back out there and 2 days went back for the bird and got it!

BG: You can get tired by the end of the year, but remember that you’ll complete it just by definition unless something drastic happens. Even with illness and injury, you can keep it going. It’s easier to do a Big Year when it’s local because you’re not killing yourself doing field trips, camping, traveling long distances.

TFH: My first challenge was sleeping through the January pelagic trip and missing a couple of birds that wouldn’t show up again for the remainder of the year. A couple of stakeouts were particularly boring. It can also be challenging when you’re hiking through the full summer heat looking for a yellow-billed cuckoo or sitting on a distant island waiting for Lucy’s warbler to show up.

Any other words of advice?

TFH: Birders are inherently helpful and friendly. Many people like to live vicariously through others’ Big Year journeys and are more than happy to help out. Use this to your advantage to help promote and advance birding. Document your journey on eBird, share your experiences through the local birding listserves (http://birding.aba.org/), or better yet, create a blog and share your own story through blog posts. And remember to pay it forward yourself after it’s all over.

BG: One of the things I want to stress is that this is a friendly endeavor. If you find something spectacular, text other people and let them know. Be friendly, be helpful, and don’t be too competitive. Encourage others to participate.

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Photo Contest Winners http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2019/01/28/photo-contest-winners/ Mon, 28 Jan 2019 23:55:37 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=19324 The post Photo Contest Winners appeared first on BirdsEye Nature Apps.

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2018/2019 Tropical Bird Photo Contest Winners

Thanks to all of you wonderful birders, we received over 700 submissions to first-ever photo contest! Thank you to all who submitted to the Tropical Bird Photo Contest. We were awed by the photographic skill and the diversity of species, habitats, and behaviors on display. After much deliberation among the BirdsEye staff and votes from two independent bird photographers, we are pleased to announce the winners.



First Prize

Eliot’s Storm Petrel (Oceanites gracilis)
Alan Fieldus, photographed at Las Bachas Beach on Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


Seen at Las Bachas Beach on Isla Santa Cruz, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador



Runner-Up

Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus)
Anand Bhatia, photographed in Karnataka, India


Frozen in Flight, Karnataka, India.



Honorable Mention

Red-headed Weaver (Anaplectes rubriceps)
Debra Herst, photographed at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge in Tarangire, Tanzania


Taken on the grounds of the Tarangire Sopa Lodge in Tarangire, Tanzania in February 2018. This male weaver was in the process of starting a new nest.

Taken on the grounds of the Tarangire Sopa Lodge in Tarangire, Tanzania in February 2018. This male weaver was in the process of starting a new nest


Honorable Mention

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum)
Andrea Brannen, photographed in Cayo, Belize


This tiny owl’s prey is almost bigger than the owl!



A Collection Of Other Favorites

A sampling of some other photographs that our caught our judges’ eye.


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How to Maximize Your Christmas Bird Count http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/11/26/how-to-maximize-your-christmas-bird-count/ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 23:02:59 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=17155 The post How to Maximize Your Christmas Bird Count appeared first on BirdsEye Nature Apps.

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In North America, the temperature is dropping, and Thanksgiving is behind us. That can only mean one thing: Christmas Bird Count season is upon us! The annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC), which started in the year 1900, is one of the longest ongoing citizen science projects in the country. It began as a conservation effort to offset the impacts of the now-defunct Christmas “Side Hunt” during which hunters competed in teams to see who could shoot the highest number of animals. Today, CBCs continue to encourage birders from both North and South America to get outside and “hunt” birds. For researchers, the data they collect is useful in determining bird populations, migration patterns, and effects from climate shifts. For the data collectors, CBCs are a fantastic excuse to bird all day long!

If you’re participating in a CBC this year, the BirdsEye app has developed powerful tools that can aid you in your Big Day. Here’s how BirdsEye can help you and your CBC team:  

  • Recent Sightings: BirdsEye compiles lists of ‘Nearby’ sighted avian species in your area. Using this feature, you can see recently submitted species in the area, and you can study the potential species you and your team might run into in the field during your CBC day. Knowing which species to expect can help you study field markings and decrease the amount of time you might spend identifying birds in the field, opening up more time for birding! And what’s better than that?
  • The BirdsEye Smart Search feature can you help you narrow down which birds you may see in the habitat in which you bird.Habitat Preferences: Not only can you search sightings nearby to you, but you can use the Smart Search feature to explore what types of birds are likely to be found in the habitats you’re observing during your CBC. For example, if you’re primarily birding in a grassy field, select the field icon to see which bird species spend time in that type of habitat. Are you going to be in a wetland? Select the wetland icon. Will you be investigating a habitat that could qualify as both? Select both icons! The tool will organize species that are highly likely to be in specific habitats in your CBC circle.
  • Without Service Service: Sometimes, CBC counts take you into areas far from cell phone service. Don’t let that hinder your birding experience! With BirdsEye, you can download sightings lists before your CBC day, which can serve as quick checklists in the field. You can also download all of the BirdsEye content for offline use. It can take some time to complete the full download, so be sure to download this data before you head into the field.

Use the BirdsEye Smart Search feature to discover birds based on color, size, and habitat.

There are a few added bonus capabilities for BirdsEye Members on iOS devices.

  • CBC Circles: BirdsEye populates CBC circles on the ‘Browse by Location’ feature of the app. You can select circle from the map and explore species recently spotted in the CBC area.

Christmas Bird Count circles (15-mile wide study areas) are included in the BirdsEye for iOS app.

  • Month Parameters: North American iOS users also have the option to narrow nearby sightings to a date range. This way, you can explore what types of birds have been seen in December and January in your area for the last seven years. In so doing, you are able to see which birds have not yet been seen this year but could still be sneaking around out there. North American iOS users also have the option to narrow nearby sightings to a date range.

North American iOS users also have the option to narrow nearby sightings to a date range.

Regardless of where you are this CBC season, let BirdsEye help you optimize your experience! From everyone here at BirdsEye, we hope you have an amazing CBC season! Click here to learn more about Christmas Bird Counts and join one near you.

Happy Birding and Happy Holidays!

The BirdsEye Team

We receive CBC location data from the Audubon. If you notice an issue with a CBC circle on our app, please contact us.

Feature image: Karen Arnold via PublicDomainPictures.net

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Michael Montier: November 2018 Birder of the Month http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/11/26/november-2018-birder-of-the-month/ Mon, 26 Nov 2018 19:28:25 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=17137 The post Michael Montier: November 2018 Birder of the Month appeared first on BirdsEye Nature Apps.

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All images courtesy of Michael Montier. Click and hover on an image for the species’ common name.

Our November 2018 Birder of the Month has the honor of being the first user-nominated birder to be featured in this space. Michael Montier lives on the Spanish isle of Mallorca, a Mediterranean birding hotspot, where he fills an outsized role on the island. He runs a thread on Birdforum—updated daily—dedicated to the latest sightings around the island, and for many years, he wrote a birding column for the Majorca Daily Bulletin that detailed the beautiful birds he’d spotted, from soaring vultures to flamingos. Furthermore, he serves as the Vice President of GORA, a raptor study group on Mallorca that monitors birds of prey. His most important contributions to Mallorcan birding, however, are his generous gifts of time and knowledge to beginning birders on the island.

Michael Montier birding on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Montier frequently tutors novice birds on Mallorca, showing them around hotspots and imparting his enthusiasm for birds. The lessons are free and are intended to spread excitement about both birds and the greater natural world. “The more birders there are in a world that needs nature more than ever, the better,” he says.

Birds have carried him through some dark days in his life, Montier explains, and he wants only to pass along his love of nature to a new generation. “If I have managed to fire their imagination, then I could not ask for more than that,” he says.

Montier grew up in London, England, and was first exposed to birds by his grandfather. They would walk in the countryside where his grandfather would pause to point out a bird, or just as importantly, a birdsong. The walks and birds remain vivid in Montier’s mind, particularly the yellowhammer, which still stands out. The memories remain with him today and sparked his lifelong passion for birds and big open spaces. The sense of freedom—inspired by the birds and their environment—continues to thrill him and drive his contributions to the birding community. Like many birders, Montier boasts a substantial collection of bird photographs—he has been snapping birds since 1969!—and particularly values his photos from his travels in Scotland.

Although he has served as a guide for visiting birders on many occasions, Montier has resisted becoming a birding professional. Today, he and his wife travel abroad as frequently as possible to birdwatch. They often visit the U.S. to canvass birding hotspots like California, Arizona, Florida, and Mississippi. After decades of birding and international travel to find new species on his life list, Montier is often asked what his favorite bird is. His reply? “I find it impossible to answer because there are so many species that I love. The nightjars must be near the top of my list though, and I go to see them at every opportunity.”

BirdsEye thanks Michael Montier for his contributions to the birding community and his commitment to our feathered friends. Keep up the good work, Michael!

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Alex Vargas: October Birder of the Month http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/10/22/alex-vargas-october-birder-of-the-month/ Mon, 22 Oct 2018 19:06:02 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=16665 The post Alex Vargas: October Birder of the Month appeared first on BirdsEye Nature Apps.

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Species, listed from left to right in gallery:

Whiskered pitta (Erythropitta kochi), Sulawesi dwarf kingfisher (Ceyx fallax), Scarlet-bellied mountain tanager (Anisognathus igniventris), Royal flycatcher (Onychorchnchus coronatus) – female, Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) – male, Red-headed barbet (Eubucco bourcierii), Red-capped parrot (Purpureicephalus spurius), Red-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis amictus), Long-tailed sylph (Aglaiocercus kingii), King vulture (Sarcoramphus papa), Greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), Fiery-throated hummingbird (Panterpe insignis), Chestnut-crowned antpitta (Grallaria ruficapilla), Banded kingfisher (Lacedo pulchella) – male


Users of eBird, the citizen biodiversity project, run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, have collectively spotted 10,364 species, roughly the entire canon of bird life on the planet. And Alex Vargas? He’s personally tallied 5,138 species on his life list—and counting! For his prolificness and sensational avian photography, Alex is the BirdsEye Birder of the Month for October 2018.

Alex Vargas offers bird photography tours in locales around the world.

Alex is a native Costa Rican who has been birding for over 30 years, first as a childhood hobby and later as a birdwatching tour guide during his teenage years. Since 2009, he has led dedicated bird photography expeditions around the world. Alex inherited his love of birds from his father and grew up studying birds on his family’s farm in Costa Rica’s Caribbean Lowlands, where he created his first bird feeder at age 12. He nabbed his first naturalist gig shortly after that when the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) and the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) recruited him to work at the La Selva Biological Station in Sarapiquí. At 16, he was certified as a “Naturalist Guide” by WWF and OTS.

Alex started photographing birds when the industry entered the digital era. He carried his scope everywhere as he led birdwatching tours, and he got hooked on photography for good when a friend gave him a small point-and-shoot camera. When he moved to Asia, he found more time to shoot birds and pursued photography more seriously. He was later granted the title of “Pro Photographer” from a private school in Japan.

Alex leads bird photography tours around the world for Bird Photo World, his own agency. He regularly visits Costa Rica, Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, and the U.S. He previously worked in research and conservation, as well as a Tourism Business Administrator at various times, but has focused on tours and photography since 2009. He currently lives in Indonesia with his family but plans to relocate to the Americas to work on growing his business. In the coming, Alex hopes to expand to Ecuador and Brazil in 2019 and Guyana and Africa in 2020.

Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)

When pressed, Alex admits that the Resplendent Quetzal is his favorite bird: “They are marvelous, enigmatic birds, and I have spent a long time with them; it is even the bird in my company’s logo” he says. He admits, however, that he has too many favorite birds and expressed a fondness for kingfishers, pittas, hummingbirds, Australian parrots, and the various red-billed, multi-colored species found in Asia.

For novice birders, Alex recommends “practice, practice, practice! But have fun while you’re at it”, he says, “especially when you’re young and can travel without roots pinning you down.” He suggests that if you encounter a challenge identifying certain birds, learn to embrace it and keep moving forward. “Think it’s hard to tell flycatchers apart? Gulls are even harder!” he jokes.

As a final point, he emphasizes that birders should seek out the fun in birding and not make it a competition, which can take away the beauty of the activity.

Congratulations to Alex Vargas for being named the BirdsEye Birder of the Month for October 2018. Keep up the great work, Alex!

All images courtesy of Alex Vargas.

BirdsEye is always looking for ways to highlight the people doing exceptional work in the birding community. Do you know a deserving birder worthy of being featured? If so, please email us at info@birdsinthehand.com with your nominations.

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Use BirdsEye.Photo To Up Your Photography Game http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/10/22/use-birdseye-photo-to-up-your-photography-game/ Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:31:42 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=16642 BirdsEye’s free photography website is a comprehensive library of photos submitted by a nature-enthusiast collective from across the globe. Thanks to users like you, we have amassed one of the most complete and high-quality photo collections of birds, odes, butterflies, and more! If you aren’t already using BirdsEye.photo, here are some of the benefits of […]

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BirdsEye’s free photography website is a comprehensive library of photos submitted by a nature-enthusiast collective from across the globe. Thanks to users like you, we have amassed one of the most complete and high-quality photo collections of birds, odes, butterflies, and more!

If you aren’t already using BirdsEye.photo, here are some of the benefits of becoming a contributor:

  1. Get a free membership! For every 20 photo submissions, we will provide users with a free, one-year, BirdsEye membership of their choice. Want a second year? Great! Simply submit another 20 photos! Or, if you’d prefer, use those 20 additional photo submissions to get a different regional membership!  You could choose from any of our BirdsEye memberships.
  2. Keep track of your photo life list. BirdsEye.photo is a great way to keep track of the birds, odes, and butterflies you’ve seen and photographed. Plus, you’ll be able to easily sort through these photos taxonomically, alphabetically, or by submission date. 
  3. Share your photos and get credit. If you’re anything like us, your photos amass, unseen by the public, on your computer. Here’s a way dust off those digital photo folders and share them with one of the largest birding and nature communities on the planet! The photo site allows other users to browse, rate, and help identify the birds in your photos. Plus, your photos will be eligible for use in our newsletters, on our website, and in our Apps! (With due credit given, of course.)
  4. Educate the masses. While your photos are out there earning you credited recognition, they are also helping to educate other nature enthusiasts as they explore the world around them. The BirdsEye Finding Guide app, Dragonfly ID app, and Bumble Bee Watch app all use user-submitted photos to help nature enthusiasts identify species in the field. Meanwhile, our Daily Bird app displays user-submitted photos every day, helping birders to refine their bird identification skills.
  5. Help us make some of the highest quality apps.  Users can rate photos based on how well the bird is displayed in the photo. We want photos of animals as they appear in the field to help users identify what they’re seeing in the field. For that reason, we need to make sure our apps’ photos do just that! Can you see the bird clearly? Are important field marks present? User ratings help us determine the best photos to include in our nature apps. And, if you think a photo has been misidentified, let us know! We strongly rely on our users to help us ensure the accuracy of our apps’ photo collections.

    Dragonfly ID, BirdsEye Finding Guide, and Daily Bird all feature photos submitted by users on the BirdsEye.Photo website

Sign up for a free BirdsEye.Photo account today and begin contributing to the collection. To get started, visit Birdseye.photo and follow these easy steps: 

  1. Create a free account;
  2. Add your name and website to your profile so people can find more of your work;
  3. Submit your first photo!

By now you can tell how much we want you to contribute to Birdseye.photobut not just to help us complete our collection! While your photograph submissions will help refine the quality of our apps, they’ll also help motivate you to lengthen your own photograph life list and educate the nature-enthusiast community.

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Biomimicry: Emulating Birds & Nature http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/09/25/biomimicry-birds-emulate-nature/ Tue, 25 Sep 2018 10:00:01 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=16328 By Avery T Phillips Many companies are turning to nature for inspiration for tackling the world’s challenges. By mimicking natural designs millions of years in the making, we are learning how to reduce energy consumption and resource depletion, implement self-regulating cleaning methods, and advance technology in new and creative ways. Innovation based on the designs […]

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Image: Pixabay

By Avery T Phillips

Many companies are turning to nature for inspiration for tackling the world’s challenges. By mimicking natural designs millions of years in the making, we are learning how to reduce energy consumption and resource depletion, implement self-regulating cleaning methods, and advance technology in new and creative ways.

Innovation based on the designs found in nature is referred to as biomimicry. Biomimicry is a relatively new field of study that is enticing engineers, biologists, and conservationists to work towards a common goal of overcoming technological challenges and maintaining global sustainability.

When attempting to solve a problem, such as the booming sound caused when a Japanese bullet train blasted away from the station, researchers sought solutions in the animal kingdom. In the case of the bullet train, engineers reshaped the nose of the train to emulate a kingfisher, which allowed it to enter the station soundlessly, like a kingfisher diving into the water after its prey. This modification to the structure of the train also reduced the energy use of the train by 30 percent.

A Shinkansen 500 series train pulls into Japan’s Tokyo Station. The shape of the train’s nose was inspired, in part, by a kingfisher’s bill. Credits: A belted kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon), courtesy of Michael Liskay via birdseye.photo. A Shinkansen 500 series train, via Wikimedia Commons.

Another example of how birds can offer insight into reducing energy use is happening in the world of aeronautics. Scientists have discovered that birds flying in a V-shape reduces the amount of energy that is being exerted by each individual bird. When a bird towards the front of the V flaps its wings, it creates an updraft, lifting the bird behind it. The birds within the group rotate so that each has the opportunity to work harder for the group by being in the front while also having a chance to rest in the back of the formation.

A group of researchers at Stanford University are planning a study that will follow commercial airliners on transcontinental flights while they fly in a V-formation with other airplanes. Their hypothesis is that the jets will use 15 percent less fuel when they simulate the pattern of birds, as opposed to flying alone.

Biomimicry can also be built into our architectural designs by nurturing mutually beneficial relationships found in nature. Birds have symbiotic relationships with many different animals, including horses. Birds feed on the insects that plague horses, while horses offer a safe resting spot and nest building materials for birds. Sustainable barns that offer numerous natural entrances can benefit both domesticated animals as well as the wild ones with whom they interact.

By implementing changes such as the Japanese bullet train and jetliner examples, humans are creating change that reduces fossil fuel consumption and improves industrial design. However, there are always problems with innovation. Humans are bound to make errors in our attempts to mimic nature. Wind turbines, a valuable renewable energy resource, imitate the shape of an owl’s wing to improve energy efficiency, but the reduced noise and ease with which they slice through the air have made them more lethal to bird populations. As we move forward in our innovation and face technological challenges, we must look further into the future and the impact that biomimicry may have. We must support innovation that benefits from nature, but more importantly, we must support innovators that benefit nature.

The ways in which we can learn from birds could be endless and found in the depths of remote places like the tropical rainforests of Asia and South America. During your next birding session be sure to look for other ways we could be using knowledge about birds to solve technological challenges.

Read more by Avery Phillips on Medium and follow her on Twitter.

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Dan Tallman: September Birder of the Month http://www.birdseyebirding.com/2018/09/24/dan-tallman-september-birder-of-the-month/ Mon, 24 Sep 2018 21:42:29 +0000 http://www.birdseyebirding.com/?p=16340 The post Dan Tallman: September Birder of the Month appeared first on BirdsEye Nature Apps.

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Among the birds flitting around the Carpish pass in central Peru, one species carries a unique distinction: it is named after our September 2018 Birder of the Month, Dan Tallman. Dan and his wife, Erika, discovered the new subspecies of fruiteater (Pipreola riefferii tallmanorum) during one of their graduate research expeditions to Peru. Dan also studied habitat partitioning by antbirds in Ecuador while Erika researched intercontinental migration on the parasites of Solitary and Pectoral sandpipers. During their time in South America, the couple also discovered a second new species, Nephelornis oneilli. The research contributed to their dissertations, and each received doctorate degrees from Louisiana State University.

Dan fell for birding after his 7th-grade teacher, John Trott, introduced him to the past time. A year later, his father gave him a Pentax camera with a 300-mm lens and he combined his passion for birds with his interest in photography. He has photographed birds ever since. Dan has contributed over 3,000 bird photographs to BirdsEye as well as nearly 800 dragonfly photographs. His interest in dragonflies started when he and Erika retired to Northfield, Minnesota, after 30 years of teaching biology at Northern State University. A Great Spreadwing visited their garden, and the rest, Dan says, was history.

In addition to photographing birds, Dan and Erika band birds. Dan received a federal banding permit in 1966 and bands between 2,000 to 3,000 birds each year. The couple does most of their birding in Northfield but takes occasional winter trips to warmer climates, including a 2017 dragonfly tour of Costa Rica with Dennis Paulson. Check out their blog for more of their terrific photos.

For novice birders, Dan suggests finding other people with whom to bird. Dan and his brothers used to use Audubon bird cards to quiz each other, and they would later compete to see who could identify the most birds. Having additional people to bird with helps one make the activity communal and can also help improve one’s identification skills.

Congratulations to Dan Tallman, the BirdsEye Birder of the Month for September 2018. Thank you for your contributions, Dan!

All images are courtesy of Dan and Erika Tallman.

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