Birder's Guide

JAN 2019

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.

Issue link: http://bg.aba.org/i/1072320

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13 January 2019 | Birder's Guide to Travel warbler, which never made sense. The chat's flight displays and vocalizations are unlike any other Parulid. This bird has recently been reclassified and placed in its own family in between sparrows and blackbirds. 5 | Whooping Crane Grus americana Only when seen standing next to a Sandhill Crane does one realize just how tall these statuesque cranes are. Their re- covery story alone makes them an ideal candidate for this list. Most people see them at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, where they winter. We came perilously close to losing this magnifi- cent creature forever. Between hunting and habitat loss, only 15 were left by the early 1940s. Thanks to dedicated con - servation efforts, there are now over 600, with 400 migrating to central Canada to breed. These cranes remain vulnerable to disease, catastrophic weather events, and ongoing climate change. According to a recent blog by the National Wildlife Federation, Whooping Cranes are mi- grating to Canada as much as three weeks earlier than they used to and re- turning up to three weeks later. 6 | Lewis's Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis With 21 species to choose from, it's hard to imagine this list without at least one woodpecker. I love and chose Lewis's because it is so dissimilar from the rest of its tribe. In his journals, Meriwether Lewis described Lewis's Woodpecker as flying like a crow and foraging like a flycatcher. Indeed, Lewis's perch atop trees, wires, and other high spots hunt- ing for flying insects. They flash their rich pink belly as they swoop on their # 3 # 4 # 5 Photo © Julio Mulero Photo © Mick Thompson Photo © Diana Robinson

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