Birder's Guide

NOV 2018

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 38 of 43

37 November 2018 | Birder's Guide to Gear for submitting your NFC observations. In addition to the scientific importance, NFCs can help you improve your bird- identification skills, increase your "yard list", and learn more about bird behavior and migratory patterns. The fascinating nocturnal world of mi- grants is out there just waiting for you to experience and record. What will your first recording be? When you throw on created by the recording software, and sort through the calls, you may stumble on some calls that don't really match any normal NFC. Have no fear, birders are here! There are two great places to post mystery recordings where helpful en- thusiasts like yourself will respond with their thoughts: the Nocturnal Flight Call Facebook page and the listserv at north- In both of these places, you can post your own thoughts or ques- tions, participate or observe discussions of tricky IDs, and read comments about weather and its effect on migrating birds. Once you have all those recordings, what do you do with them? I highly recommend adding them to your bird observations at When sub- mitting an eBird checklist for your NFC counts, be sure to use the Nocturnal Flight Call Count option for observa- tion type. Also, take care when estimat- ing numbers for a night of recording. Many individual birds duplicate their calls; be careful not to count each call as one bird, but rather err on the safe side and indicate that two closely spaced calls of the same species represent one individual. Follow the eBird instructions ■ TOP: American Redstart is one of the most common nocturnal migrants detected in the "Tribute in Light" in New York City. Photo © Douglas Gochfeld ■ BOTTOM: This rooftop directional microphone used to record nocturnal flight calls was built and designed by Bill Evans. Photo © Bill Evans your headphones and hit the start button that first time, maybe it will be a Savannah Sparrow, identifiable by the unique dou- ble-banded downsweep of the spectro- gram. And then you'll realize: sparrow migration must be just starting up. References Ball, S. C. 1952. Fall bird migration in the Gaspe´ Peninsula. Bulletin Number 7. Peabody Museum

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