Birder's Guide

MAR 2014

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/276205

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Birding the steppe around Agüero, Spain. Photo © Jason Leifester 57 March 2014 | Birder's Guide to Travel using that as a marker for world bird diversity. He suggested that I focus on genera, rather than families; to make his point, he said, "If you've seen a Cooper's Hawk, you've essentially seen a Sharp- shinned Hawk. But you sure haven't seen a Harpy Eagle!" I can't disagree with that. Of course, I have no intention of ignoring a Harpy Eagle, should I get the chance to see one, just because I've had plenty of encounters with common hawks back home. I was only trying to set a more manageable target: 229 ex- tant families, compared to 2,165 gen- Photo © Ignacio Yufera era. Nevertheless, I started tracking new genera as well after that trip. I completed the fnal leg of my initial plan in June 2012 with a short trip to Spain, spending most of my time in two mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa and the Pyrenees. As expected, the bird list was shorter for this trip. I saw just 168 species, including 107 new ones. I picked up three new families, too. With the exception of one rainy day, this trip was ruled by beautiful weather and spectacular scenery. So, how do my results stack up to the European Stonechat in Spain. Photo © Jason Leifester Favorite Birding Moment ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Spain: Having a Wallcreeper fly right past me at eye level before landing on a low, rocky overhang less than 50 feet away in Picos de Europa National Park. 8-Dabbler.indd 57 3/4/14 1:18 PM

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