Birding Skills

How many rare birds did we miss before the internet?

Yesterday morning I ‘found’ Canada’s first Lucy’s Warbler… in my inbox. After reading my recent posts about rare birds, Cathy Mountain (whose redpoll photos were featured here last winter) sent me a series of pictures of a warbler that had been in her yard in Fort McMurray, northern Alberta, from November 8-10, 2008. After rejecting …

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Ageing Canada Geese

Determining the age of a goose can be helpful for identification, and can also reveal some interesting behavioral and ecological information by enabling you to sort out family groups and subflocks. Given good views it’s not hard to distinguish Canada Geese that are still in juvenal plumage from those that are in adult plumage. By …

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Kingbirds, nightjars, and the perception of bird sounds

In a recent post on his excellent blog Earbirding, Nathan Pieplow points out an issue with the voice description of Buff-collared Nightjar in the Sibley Guide to Birds, which says: Song of rapid, sharp, dry chips in crescendoing series tup to to tu tu ti ti trridip accelerating and rising to flourish at end; pattern similar to …

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