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 45 of 51

when he said this, so he went on, "Your field guides are your elders. Think about it: The authors of the field guides have spent years putting in their dirt time studying what you want to learn, so go to them when you have questions. If you can't find your answer in the guides, then look to nature for the answer." Jon's approach proved to be spot-on. So, today when I re- ceive a question about tracks, scat, skulls, nests, or feathers, I typically direct the asker of the question to one of my favorite field guides so they can have the pleasure of discovering the answer for themselves. These days, we are quick to satiate our curiosity with in- stant answers. What might unfold for us if we allowed our- selves to sit with a question, to get to know what we are looking at in an intimate manner before trying to figure it out? The journey to see more deeply might just lead us to discover something more rich and deeply satisfying than the instant gratification we initially thought we needed. I would like to introduce you to a few of my favorite teach- ers/field guides so that the next time you come across a bird track, feather, skull, nest, or scat, you will have the elder you need by your side. If it turns out you are unable to find your answer amongst any of these resources or in the natural world itself, feel free n The feather resources listed in this article will help you identify this beauty. You can also check out the author's free "Identifying Bird Feathers" course at Photo © Kristi Dranginis n The linear holes drilled into the bark of this juniper tree comprise a distinctive sign left behind by a particular genus of woodpeckers. Do you know which one? Photo © Kristi Dranginis A B A Event Birds of Alaska A Breeding Extravaganza and Asiatic Vagrants For more details and registration, go to: events . aba . org e ve n t s @ a b a . o r g • 8 0 0 . 8 5 0 . 2 47 3 When : May 19–30, 2018 Where : St. Paul Island (Pribilofs), Gambell on St. Lawrence Island, Nome on the Seward Peninsula Hosts : High Lonesome BirdTours Cost : $7550 • The Pribilof Islands: Often called the "Galapagos of the North." St. Paul Island hosts some of the largest colonies of alcids in the world, as well as the largest Northern Fur Seal colony in the world. Expect to see Asian vagrants along with the resident species. Huge colonies of seabirds, including Parakeet, Least and Crested auklets; Horned and Tufted puffins; Thick-billed and Com- mon murres; Northern Fulmar; and Black-legged and Red-legged kittiwakes. • St. Lawrence Island: High Arctic and Asian vagrants are the draw at Gambell. Northwest Point usually yields Arctic Loon, Yellow-billed Loon, Dovekie, Emperor Goose, and Ivory Gull as well as many other seabirds and ducks. The centuries-old bone yards often hide vagrant passerines, e.,g, Eurasian Bullfinch, Hawfinch, and Common Cuckoo. • Nome: Accessible only by boat and airplane, Nome is a fascinating and chal - lenging destination. We'll cover the prime birding areas along the seacoast, the high tundra and, if time permits, the only boreal forest on the Seward Peninsula. Rareties include the Rock & Willow ptarmigans; Bristle-thighed Curlew; Bar-tailed Godwit; Red-necked Stint; Aleutian Tern; Gyrfalcon; Bluethroat; Eastern Yellow Wagtail; White Wagtail; and others. 44 Birder's Guide to Gear | November 2017 Other Bird Signs

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