Birder's Guide

OCT 2016

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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46 Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy | Oct ober 2016 Big Day World Record are roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. How can one identify birds when it is dark? One way, of course, is to identify night birds. But what if enough species of night birds are identified in the morning hours of darkness so that it is not productive to seek night birds for six hours in the evening? What should the team do during the last six hours of the 24 hours in a Big Day? Brinkhuizen devised a strategy to address the limiting factor of darkness. His idea was for the team to take a commercial jet airliner to the coast of Ecuador—at night. Several weeks before the count, Brinkhuizen had travelled to Salinas, Ecuador, to scout for shorebirds. Salinas is an ancient settlement on the coast, adjoined by huge salt deposits and commer- cial shrimp farming operations. These habi- tats attract birds, which can be identified at night aurally by their calls and visually using spotlights. Plane tickets were purchased three weeks before the count. The team's strategy to use aircraft to increase Clockwise from below: n Torrent Duck was ticked off the list at 14:51. Photo © Dušan Brinkhuizen n Inca Jay was ticked off the list at 12:40. Photo © Dušan Brinkhuizen n Birding temperate habitats near Papallacta high in the Andes. Photo © George L. Paul n Taking a flight from Quito to Salinas was instrumental in the team's success. Photo © George L. Paul

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