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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18 Birder's Guide to Travel | January 2019 20 Best Birds in the ABA Area 17 | Painted Bunting Passerina ciris With a blue head, red eye ring, and fire- engine-red body accented by an almost fluorescent chartreuse back, the colors of a male Painted Bunting seem more appropriate for a tropical tanager. This bunting is pure eye candy. Female bun- tings are far more subdued in color, but still a rich, grassy green. When Painted Buntings arrive in spring, scrubby habitats come alive with color and in- tricately warbled songs. There are two populations, the largest inhabiting the south-central part of the U.S. and a much smaller group breeding along the Atlantic Coast. Not surprisingly and un- fortunately, they are popular caged birds in Mexico. 18 | Wrentit Chamaea fasciata Its bubbling, bouncing, descending song ringing from dense coastal or chap- arral vegetation alerts one to a Wrentit's presence. It is one of those birds that is easier to hear than see, particularly when you are trying to show someone their first. This jaunty little brown bird has a big head, pale eyes, and a long tail that it cocks over its back like a wren. It is the only New World member of the Old World warbler family, Sylviidae. A testament to its weak flying ability is that the four-mile width at the mouth of the Columbia River forms a barrier that is just too far for the Wrentit to cross. Despite being abundant all along the California and Oregon coasts, this bird has never made it to Washington. 19 | 'Akiapo - la - 'au Hemignathus wilsoni With the addition of Hawaii to the ABA Area, it is appropriate to include one of the 50th state's endemic species. Of Hawaii's extant native species, the one with the most unusual lifestyle is 'Akiapo - la - 'au, which is found only on the Big Island. The population of this en - dangered Hawaiian "honeycreeper" has dwindled to about 1,000 individuals. It is olive above and yellow below, with a thin, black, decurved upper mandible. # 16 # 17 Photo © Gene Koziara Photo © Ian Davies

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