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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3 November 2017 | Birder's Guide to Gear Jeffrey A. Gordon Delaware City, Delaware ver the past 18 months, I've sparked up a pretty serious interest in bicycling. I've owned various bikes for most of my life and generally ridden them just a couple times a year. But I've really geared up, if you will, having biked over 4,000 miles in the past year and a half. As both my saddle time and my enjoyment of it have increased, I've found myself searching for practical, reliable tips I can use, both on gear and technique. And I can tell you how much I appreciate it when I find an authoritative article or blog post that really gives me advice I can use and doesn't feel like a thinly-veiled sales job. That's exactly what we aim to give birders in the Birder's Guide to Gear. Luckily, birding isn't quite as inten- sive—usually—as cycling. But there is still an often-bewildering array of options for things like cameras, binoculars, clothing, and accessories. We aim to cut through the noise and tell you how to get the most from gear you already own and how to make decisions about potential new purchases that will leave you smiling, not crying tears of frustration. Birders helping birders get more out of birding. It's the heart of the ABA culture. If you find these Birder's Guides helpful, please do two things. Join the ABA, if you're not already a member, at, and share Birder's Guide with others who will benefit from it. All issues are available for free online, at With a little help from the ABA, any birder can get more out of their gear, and their time in and out of the field. Good birding, Jeffrey A. Gordon President, American Birding Association hether your gear is shiny and new or old and battle-scarred, the mission of Birder's Guide to Gear is to help you get the most out of it. What exactly constitutes birding gear? Well, these days a camera is pretty common. And field guides...definitely field guides. Now expand your thinking a bit. What about smartphone apps? Luggage? How about shoes, even? This issue features information and expert advice on all of these topics. We want you to spend more time enjoying the birds—not worrying about aching feet or slow cameras. Birder's Guide only exists because our talented pool of ABA members is willing to share its knowledge. You can join in by writing an article. By the same token, we depend on our members to give us feedback about what they want—and don't want—to see in Birder's Guide. Take just a moment to share your thoughts with us, either via the email address printed above or by leaving a comment at Good birding, Michael L. P. Retter Editor, Birder's Guide From the President From the Editor O Michael L. P. Retter Fort Worth, Texas W

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