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.

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Page 77 of 91

76 Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2014 Pelagic Prep Storm-Petrels of North America (2012). Behrens's and Cox's Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching (2013) includes alcids and tubenoses, and Tove's Guide to the Offshore Wildlife of the Northern At- lantic (2001) supplements seabirds with whales and sea turtles. If you're relying on a feld guide app, such as Peterson Birds or the Sibley eGuide, it's important to be able to com- pare species side by side. The Peterson app accomplishes this with its illustrat- ed plates; Sibley has a Compare feature (upper right, "Comp."). Either way, a larger-screen tablet is much easier for comparison than a small phone screen. Field marks go only so far in the iden- tifcation of seabirds. For example, the variations in the tail shapes and white rump patches of Wilson's, Leach's, and Band-rumped storm-petrels are impos- sible to see from afar. Instead, traits such as fight style, silhouette, and feeding behavior are key. To study up on these at-sea traits, read the species descriptions in Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion (2006). And, because fight and behavior mat- ter so much at sea, nothing beats video clips. Pelagic identifcation DVDs and online videos are available from Shearwa- ter Journeys and Scilly Pelagics . Spending time with these videos will give you a sense of the beauty and excitement of pelagic birding. Wilson's Storm-petrel. Photo © Pablo Gutiérrez Varga Continued from page 74 10-Pelagic Prep.indd 76 3/4/14 1:28 PM

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