Birder's Guide

NOV 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 19 of 51

magine: You arrive in Honduras, wondering which species of ant- birds are most likely nearby, wishing you could ask other birders what they've seen there. You pull out your smart- phone with the Merlin ID app and in- stantly have access to all this expertise in the form of a short list of the antbirds observed in the area. Perhaps you are in New Jersey and glance under your feeders to see an un - usual sparrow in a flock of White-throat- ed Sparrows. You put the colors, behav- ior, and location into Merlin, and realize you have your first Harris's Sparrow! Or, you're a school teacher in Mexico peering out the window with your stu- dents, introducing them to birds for the first time. You snap a photo of a gaudy bird on the ground… and instantly they learn it's a Yucatán Jay. Just imagine if anyone could tap into the collective knowledge of the birding community to make identifying birds just a little easier. What could change if more people knew the names of the birds they were seeing around their home and began to care about their feathered neighbors? Merlin's goal is to demys- tify identification, enabling anyone to identify the birds 18 Birder's Guide to Gear | November 2017 Better Birding with I n Bicolored Antbird. Photo © Matt Deres n Antbirds reported in late August near Gracias a Dios, Honduras.

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