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Few birders in North American have taken on the mantle of urban birding like Ohio native J.B Brumfield. Their Cuyahoga County big years are the stuff of legend, not only for their high totals but for the passion they throw into birding their hometown of Cleveland and getting others excited about the birdlife and birding opportunities there. Chicago…
 
What can we learn from one of the most familiar birds in North America? A bird so well-known that it’s migration is remarked upon by friends and colleagues who might otherwise have no knowledge about birds at all. The American Robin, of course, is ubiquitous but there is a lot left to learn. That is, in part, the work of Emily Williams, an avian ec…
 
The time of year for messy birds is here. It’s molt season, and nearly every bird you encounter in the late summer and fall is replacing something. Even though we are familiar with molt in theory, it’s still a confusing and intimidating process for many birders in practice. Dani Kaschube is the MAPS coordinator and bird banding guru for the Institu…
 
It’s the last week of August and that means it’s time for This Month in Birding featuring a panel containing some folks familiar to those who are keeping up with the growing birding podcast scene. It's a fun group with some birdosphere podcast crossover energy. Mollee Brown from The Birding Co-op and the Life List podcast, Andrés Jiménez of Birds C…
 
How would you describe summer birding? Hot? Humid? Buggy? Unbearable? For many birders it has always been the least exciting and most taxing season for getting in the field, but there's a lot to be excited about for those who make the effort. ABA colleagues Jennie Duberstein and Greg Neise join host Nate Swick to talk about what excites them about …
 
Parrots and parakeets are among the most spectacular and diverse birds on the planet, but also among the most adaptable. Urban parrots have made their way into dozens of places around the world and in many cities are a regular feature of city and suburban landscapes. The many ways that dynamic manifests is the subject of a new book, Naturalized Par…
 
The Hawaiian Island of Kaua'i is known as the Garden Isle for its lush scenery and dramatic landscapes, but that beauty hides worrying biodiversity loss and an uncertain future for the island’s native birds. Decline driven primarily by mosquito borne avian malaria have decimated populations of Hawaii's honeycreepers, but there is some hope in the f…
 
The last episode of the month means This Month in Birding, with a panel of Orietta Estrada, Gabriel Foley, and Mikko Jimenez. We have some interesting topics to chat about this week including that mystery bird illness and a possible connection to cicadas, a historical perspective on bird names in a major ornithological journal, how bird science is …
 
Birding editor Ted Floyd joins host Nate Swick to once again chat about recent birding experiences in eBird Annotated. This time Ted and Nate have been on the road, birding in places that meant something to them in the past. For Ted, this is Pittsburgh's Frick Park, and for Nate, Sannibel Island in south Florida. As promised, enjoy their eBird chec…
 
We at the ABA are big fans of the growing birding podcast scene and one of the more interesting ones out now is Your Bird Story, which focuses on everyday people’s experiences with birds in cities. The host of Your Bird Story, Dr. Georgia Silvera Seamans, is, among other things, the director of Washington Square Park Eco Projects, an urban and comm…
 
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 host Nate …
 
It's Canada Day and this week sees an all Canada special episode of the American Birding Podcast, a tip of the cap to our friends in the northern part of the ABA Area. The Canada panel consists of some birders from across the country and features voices that podcast regulars probably recognize. From St, John’s, Newfoundland, we welcome Bird the Roc…
 
For June, the The Month in Birding Panel consists of Mo Stych of Bird Sh*t Podcast, Brodie Cass Talbott of Portland Audubon, and newcomer Joanna Wu of Audubon. The panel chats about Black Birders Week, bird habitat as climate sinks, and the many amazing uses of googly eyes. Links to items discussed: The second year of Black Birders Week (05:03) Flo…
 
It’s time for the American Birding Podcast Birding Book Club and host Nate Swick welcomes bird media reviewers Frank Izaguirre from the ABA’s Birding magazine and Donna Schulman from the website 10,000 Birds to finally tackle birding's great contribution to world literature, the field guide. We start with guides to Mexico and Central America, popul…
 
Early summer means that it’s time to talk taxonomy, and that means Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts. For the last several years, Nick is person we like to talk to when it comes to reading the tea-leaves of the American Ornithological Society’s North America Classification Committee. We chat storm-petrel…
 
One of the dreams of the "internet of nature" was a device that birders could put in their yard that picks up GPS fitted and tracked wildlife, and maybe even identifies them when they pass over your home. That device is here and it is called Terra. Mike Lanzone of Cellular Tracking Technologies and birder and writer Scott Whittle, are the creators …
 
Sean Milnes, Jordan Rutter, and Purbita Saha join the May 2021 This Month in Birding panel to talk about some of the most important bird and birding related news items of the month. Links to items discussed: Female Bird Day (6:56) Colombia boycotts the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Global Big Day (8:52) AOS moves forward on changing English bird nam…
 
In the United States, we’re over 100 days into a new administration and five months into a new Congress, and our elected officials have been busy with some interesting environmental policies and legislation in that time. Interestingly, many of them impact birds. To chat about it, we bring back to the podcast, Tykee James, host of the On Word for Wi…
 
Birding editor Ted Floyd is back to play a new birder game we're calling "Random Birds". Host Nate Swick has a list of birds and a random number generator and is ready to chat about whatever bird pops up. Nate and Ted chat about Snow Geese, Red Knots, Bobolinks, Blue Grosbeaks and more. Also, some birds in the news! California Condors and Vaux's Sw…
 
Hummingbirds, perhaps more than any other bird family in the world, seem to elicit a strange sort of mania, and this seems to have been true for as long as human beings have been aware of them. Writer Jon Dunn is one of the obsessed, and his new book The Glitter in the Green - In Search of Hummingbirds is part history, part travelogue, and part que…
 
The last Thursday of the month and that means it's time for the This Month in Birding panel. April 2021 is a special month because it marks one year from the 1st This Month in Birding, and one year since the podcast we went to a weekly format. We're joined by a panel of Birds Canada's Jody Allair, Orietta Estrada of the Birder's Fund, and The Birdi…
 
This time of year is a tough one for many birds, as they make their long dangerous journey from wintering grounds to breeding territories. The path taken by many sees them passing over or stopping to nest in increasingly urban landscapes. These landscape changes affect birds in many ways, some obvious, some more subtle. That is the work of research…
 
There are a few lucky places in the ABA Area where parrots still fly free, even if most have captive origins these day. But these big loud flashy birds have a history and future than is perhaps more interesting than many birders might imagine and these feral populations can even give us some insights into the frequently threatened wild birds in Mex…
 
Migratory birds undertake some of the most extraordinary and exhausting undertaking of any living things on the planet, an endurance test made all the more difficult by climate change, habitat loss, and illegal hunting. Few know this better than Scott Weidensaul, a bird researcher, prolific nature writer, and the author of more than 30 books, mostl…
 
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…
 
It’s the last Thursday in March and that means This Month in Birding. It's the first of 2021 that can officially, meteorologically, and birdingly, be said to be in spring, even if that spring is tumbling in like an awkward albatross landing. And to this first spring panel of 2021 we welcome three excellent birders Nicole Jackson of Black in Nationa…
 
Spring is here and birders across North America, including new pandemic birders for whom this might be their very first spring migration as a birder, are looking forward to birds return. And to help them along, we're starting a new regular feature on the American Birding Podcast, an identification roundtable. This time we welcome Field Guides early…
 
Birding editor Ted Floyd and host Nate Swick try something a little different this time around. They went birding, each in their respective neighborhoods, and come back together to talk about it. Join them as they wend their way through sparrows, crows, and Bushtits of their homes, with a detour into gannets and gulls (which neither saw). It's bird…
 
GPS devices have been a boon for migratory bird research, and it seems that every year a new species gets a turn in the spotlight. This year, it's the amazing Common Nighthawk's turn. Our guest this week is Elly Knight, a researcher at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and the leader an initiative to describe the migration of Common Nighthawks,…
 
It’s the last Thursday in February and that means it’s time for This Month in Birding! We're pleased to welcome some birding friends to talk about the birding news of the month, and in this month maybe more than most, we need each other. February's winning panel consists of Jennie Duberstein of Sonoran Joint Venture, Jordan Rutter of the American B…
 
One of the most underrated bird stories of the last few years, has been the rapid decline of the resident Florida subspecies of Grasshopper Sparrow. In 2017, that population reached a record low of 75 wild birds, and many thought it would fade into extinction much like Dusky Seaside Sparrow before it. But a working group of biologists and conservat…
 
The year 2020 was an especially difficult one for many of us, but for writer and birder Rebecca Heisman, perhaps more than most. In addition to the responsibilities of being the parent of a young child in a year of pandemic, she dealt with a cancer diagnosis that upturned what was already something of a turbulent year. Through it all, birds became,…
 
Pity the poor cowbird. Under-appreciated at best and outright hated at worst, the cowbird and its nest parasitic ways certain lend themselves to strong opinions. But it is a remarkable bird in its own right, capable of amazing developmental feats that allow it to fit into its very odd niche. Ornithologist Sarah Winnicki of the University of Illinoi…
 
It's This Month in Birding for January 2021, and we start the new year off with a panel as impressive as Lady Gaga's gigantic bird pin. Guests including #cemeterybirder Danielle Belleny, host of Always Be Birdin' Sam DeJarnett, and host of Fowl Mouths podcast Sean Milnes talk Audubon internal issues, condor recovery in the northwest, weird birdy pr…
 
Long-time bird blog fans might remember Clare Kines and his blog The House and other Arctic Musings. It was was a familiar voice on the birding internet, with stories about the nature of Arctic Bay, Nunavut, on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. Clare is still out there as a birder and photographer sharing stories and images of a part of the wor…
 
The wide open spaces of the North American west are frequently spotted with signs of human industrial energy production. Oil and gas wells, massive wind turbines, and the like are impossible to miss and impact, occasionally significantly, the birds that live in these vast prairie ecosystems. Dr Janet Ng studies the effects of this industrial incurs…
 
John Kricher is well known by anyone with an interest in tropical ecology. He's professer emeritus of biology at Wheaton College in Massachusetts and the author of many books, notably Tropical Ecology and A Neotropical Companion, re-released as A New Neotropical Companion in 2017. His most recent book, however, is about birds and their behavior, ap…
 
We didn't intend to make an episode this week, but friend of the podcast Jordan Rutter came to me and suggested that instead of the regular podcast we should do a special one where she interviews *me* for a change. So that's what we did. Enjoy and Happy New Year! ABA members are eligible for a 15% discount to Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Birds of t…
 
The winter of 2020-21 is one the likes of which we have not seen before. It's a finch superflight year, with boreal grosbeaks, finches, siskins, crossbills, and more pouring out of the north and into places where birders can more easily experience them. This means that it’s an incredible opportunity for us to learn more about why this phenomenon ha…
 
It’s finally December of 2020, the month of annual superlatives. It was a pretty interesting year for bird books and we convene the Birding Book Club crew to talk about them. 10,000 Birds book review columnist Donna Schulman and Birding media review editor Frank Izaguirre join host Nate Swick to run down our favorites for 2020, including new field …
 
Nate Swick is out of the studio this week so we're sending you a mini-cast to enjoy while he's gone. This one features a pair of ABA friends telling stories of great birding days, one high intensity and one low. First, ABA webmaster Greg Neise shares the tale of his epic Illinois Big Day run. Spills, thrills, and warbling trills take stage as Greg …
 
The last Thursday of November means it’s time for This Month in Birding coming to you for the holiday. As Thanksgiving is the most bird-centric holiday on the US calendar, why not talk birds instead of eating them? Our panel includes Jody Allair of Birds Canada, Tom Johnson of Field Guides and Out Birding, and Jordan Rutter of the American Bird Con…
 
We now see ourselves on the cusp of a change in leadership in the United States. A brand new administration will replace the current one in January, and we’re already seeing people looking forward to what this means for birds, public lands, and conservation. Into that conversation comes Tykee James, who is, among other things, the host of the wildl…
 
Despite being one of the most ubiquitous birds in the Americas, the poor Turkey Vulture is saddled with a mixed reputation. Sure, they look weird and eat dead things, but vultures are more than just nature's garbagemen. Katie Fallon, author of the recently rereleased Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird makes the case that vultures are not …
 
Birders and non-birders alike love urban nesting birds. The drama of life and death in a place where you wouldn’t necessarily expect wildlife is certainly appealing, and when a pair of American Kestrels took up at Cleveland, Ohio's busy West Side Market filmmaker and media producer Najada Davis documented their story, a project that became the docu…
 
It’s the last Thursday in October and that means This Month in Birding, wherein we convene a august panel of birders to discuss the news that we missed this month, or more likely saved till the end of the month because they’re more fun to talk about with other people. The panel this week is, for the first time, all returnees, including #cemeterybir…
 
We are now in the 7th month of this COVID pandemic purgatory, and way way back in April of this year Birding magazine editor Ted Floyd and host Nate Swick had a conversation about what birding will look like during the pandemic. Well, here we are in October, looking at a long winter wherein COVID is still a concern, but at least we have a slightly …
 
The Greater Sage-Grouse is one of the more bizarre birds in North America and frequently a flashpoint for conservation and land management concerns in the American west. Ashley Ahearn is a public radio and podcast journalist who put herself in the middle of that conflict to create Grouse, an audio series produced by BirdNote and available at all th…
 
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 host Nate Swick to talk rallidae and STEM outreach for women. This inte…
 
Recording and identifying nocturnal flight calls has been a popular way for birders in the ABA Area to document migration, and has inspired an entire community to keep track of those tseep and chips passing overhead this time of year. The COVID-19 pandemic and stay at home orders all over the world have motivated a similar passion in the famously i…
 
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