Birder's Guide

OCT 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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3 October 2017 | Birder's Guide to Listing & Taxonomy Jeffrey A. Gordon Delaware City, Delaware he American Birding Association strives to offer birders of all sorts both information and inspiration that will help them get more from their birding. Each year in the Birder's Guide to Listing and Taxonomy, we aim to illuminate the sometimes confusing science that is so central to birding, as well as to inspire you to get out and conquer new birding challenges, be they in your backyard or across the continent. Birding takes in so many thingsā€”it's part sport, part science, part contemplation of Nature and our place in it, part pure sensory delight. It is by turns social and solitary. At the ABA, we're proud to support all of it and all of you. The Birder's Guide series, which is free online to all at, is just one way the American Birding Association works to fulfill its mission to inspire all people to enjoy and protect wild birds. To those of you who support our work through membership and donations, my sincere thanks. And if you're not an ABA member yet, I cordially invite you to consider joining at or by calling us at 800-850-2473. Good birding, Jeffrey A. Gordon President, American Birding Association isting and taxonomy may not immediately seem related, but dive a bit deeper, and it soon becomes apparent. Of course, ABA Area listers depend on the American Ornithologists' Union to maintain its checklist because they use its taxonomy as the scorecard for their listing endeavors. Rather, they used to. Paul Hess explains what led to the birth of the American Ornithological Society in this issue. Our annual "Check-list Redux" explains in simple terms all that's changed on the (now) AOS Check-list in 2017. You can use this information to update your list totals in ABA's Listing Central. Greg Neise tells us what's new there in the "Listing Central Update", and last year's top totals are found in the "Listing Snapshot". Other listing articles in this issue include details on a new world-record Big Year, an impressive Big Day effort in South America, and an update from ABA Checklist Committee chair Peter Pyle on the progress of incorporating Hawaiian species into the ABA Checklist. Whether your passion is attending bird walks in a local park, competing in Big Days, or keeping up-to-date on the latest details of duck taxonomy, I hope you will find something of interest in this issue. Please take a moment to let us know what you did and didn't like, and what was missing. Even better, write something for us! And, finally, be sure to check in at, where you will find links to discussions about the articles you see here. We look forward to hearing from you! Good birding, Michael L. P. Retter Editor, Birder's Guide From the President From the Editor T Michael L. P. Retter Fort Worth, Texas L

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