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.

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Page 20 of 67

19 January 2019 | Birder's Guide to Travel It exploits the niche of a woodpecker by extracting its prey from koa tree bark. How it does this is quite different from woodpeckers. Its long, decurved upper mandible is used to hook prey while the short, straight lower mandible acts like an awl. Though difficult to do, it creates sap wells, like a sapsucker, from which it feeds. Happily, conservation efforts are helping protect the 'Aki, as it is af- fectionately known to local birders. 20 | American Woodcock Scolopax minor Rarely seen during the day, the best op- portunity to observe woodcocks is at dusk when they begin to peent before beginning to perform their aerial dis- plays. As enjoyable as it is to behold its display, watching a woodcock walk is guaranteed to seal your affection for this unique bird. Rocking and bobbing, they probe for earthworms and other morsels on the forest floor. Their gait reminds me of a chameleon inching along a branch. Along with their cryp- tic coloration, this odd gait may aid in their camouflage, or perhaps help them locate worms as some suspect, similar to the foot padding of plovers. One of my favorite birding experiences was seeing a newly hatched brood of chicks walking along a road shoulder just like their mother. # 18 # 19 # 20 Photo © Nicholas Kanakis Photo © Bradley Hacker Photo © Josh Clark

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