Birder's Guide

AUG 2013

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 30 of 67

Photo © Frieda lee Photo © SuSan MyerS race assimilis, photographed here, is sometimes split as Sri Lanka Bay-Owl. Note the blood-sucking fy on its eye! 17•Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria) Southern Europe to Central Asia and the Himalayas. I love a good taxonomic conundrum! Historically, the Wallcreeper was placed with the treecreepers (e.g., Brown Creeper), but these days some authorities  place it in its own family, while others place it with the nuthatches. A longbilled, rock-climbing insectivore with butterfy wings, this is a bird of rugged high mountains. It hops and fits around rocky cliff faces in search of insects and spiders. The plumage is dull gray-brown, but as the bird takes short fights, the extraordinary crimson wings with white-spotted black primaries are revealed. This enigmatic bird has an undeniable charisma that places it high on every birder's wish list. 18•Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus) bird lies in its behavior, color pattern, and location. One of the nice things about birding in Sumatra and Java is that this bird is one of the most common members of mixed focks. Most people look for them at Fraser's Hill, in Malaysia, where they seem to be less common. I prefer to have a whole bunch of them descend upon me, as they do in the mountains in Gunung Gede on Java or Mount Kerinci on Sumatra. Did that little list whet your appetite to come exploring in Asia? I hope so! Please feel free to suggest your own favorites for the 20 Best Birds of Asia—and I welcome your ideas for new lists, such as "20 Best Birding Sites in Asia" or "20 Most Souldestroying Birds in Asia", on the ABA Blog via the Birder's Guide website at . 20•Giant Ibis (Pseudibis gigantea) Cambodia and southern Laos. The Giant Ibis may not be all that attractive, but it has a certain je ne sais quoi. Maybe we are attracted by its rarity, or its amazing size— it really is a giant (a word that's often overused in bird names)—or maybe it's the adventure of searching for it—or the fact that it's a survivor of a horrible war. Or perhaps it's a combination of all these. Regardless, it's a thrilling bird, and the Wildlife Conservation Society's project in the northern plains of Cambodia is one of my personal favorite conservation efforts. Photo © eddy lee kaM Pang Photo © World Bank develoPMent MarketPlace Thai-Malay Peninsula, Borneo, and Sumatra. The broadbills are essentially an Asian family (with a couple of less-thanspectacular-looking species in Africa). This particular species is one of the world's cutest birds, and a perennial crowd-pleaser. The combination of yellow, black, white, and pink plumage; that crazy, wide, blue bill; and big, bright, yellow eyes give this bird an unforgettable appearance.  19•Blue Nuthatch (Sitta azurea) Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, and Java. A little gem of a bird! The appeal of this August 2013 | Birder's Guide to Travel 29

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