Birder's Guide

MAR 2017

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 33 of 95

32 Birder's Guide to Travel | March 2017 eabirds have long had a special draw for birders. They are well adapted to spending most of their lives far offshore, living at the mercy of storms, currents, and food sources that are constantly on the move. Their variety and propensity for wandering is cause for much celebration, their way of life both mystifying and awe-inspiring. Picking distant seabirds out from a blustery, windswept point, or through salt spray on the bow of a rocking boat, is a skill many aspire to. The difficulty and expense involved in seeing these species only adds to their allure. For bird- ers content to stay continental, scanning the oceans off the mainland can fill a lifetime of birding… but the U.S. (and now the ABA Area!) has other lands, and other seas, where a whole new suite of striking and captivating species can be found in droves. The Hawaiian Islands lie far to the west of the North American continent. Besides being an iconic tourist destina- tion, they are famous to birders for their endemic and in- creasingly rare forest birds, and almost equally so for their mind-boggling ensemble of introduced species. But despite common perceptions, Hawaii is not all crowded beaches, lava rock, and rainforest. In fact, the Hawaiian chain extends hundreds of miles to the northwest of the populated main islands, in a long string of small islands and atolls. These are the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, the older counterparts to Hawaii's main islands that lie within Papaha - naumokua - kea Marine National Monument. Near the end of the island chain sits Midway Atoll, which is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as a national wildlife refuge. Midway is best known to Ameri - S An Introduction to the Birds of

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