Birder's Guide

MAR 2018

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 9 of 73

8 Birder's Guide to Travel | April 2018 Jeffrey A. Gordon Delaware City, Delaware hough I've been fortunate to have some really excellent teachers and classes at various formal schools I've attended, I find that travel offers me the most consistently memorable and useful educational experiences. So many events that have been crucial in making me the person I am have happened while traveling, specifically while traveling with a primary goal of birding. Certainly, not all travel is like this. It's possible to visit certain resorts or take some cruises and have an experience that seems engineered to avoid any significant challenge to anyone's notions of anything. And I get that sometimes people want to just get away and bliss out. But most birding travel—if only because rounding out a list that is anything like comprehensive requires one to visit a variety of places and habitats, many of them far off established tourist routes—is going to come with a good measure of educational experiences built in. And, of course, many of those experiences will have little or nothing to do with birds but will instead happen along the way. All of us involved in bringing you this Birder's Guide to Travel hope that you will get a lot of pleasure and excitement from your birding travels near or far. We also hope that you're going to learn a lot from them and come back at least a better-educated person than when you left. And just like a great teacher helps students learn by really knowing the material cold, we strive to offer you useful, practical information that comes from direct experience. You won't find the sort of gauzy "puff pieces" here that characterize so many publications about travel and tourism. We hope that when you come back from a great birding trip, you'll not only be smiling from the birds you saw and the people you met, but that your mind will be buzzing with new ideas and insights. You'll have learned a lot, sometimes without realizing it until later. We also hope that you'll say, "Wow, that piece I read in Birder's Guide was really helpful!" That's what we're working for. Safe travels, and good birding, Jeffrey A. Gordon President, American Birding Association ravel means different things to different birders. For some, it's a leisurely weekend drive from Québec City to Tadoussac to enjoy the scenery, whales, and seabirds. Others enjoy going out onto the high seas on pelagic trips. Some like to spend a week visiting exciting locations such as Iceland or Colombia. And some just like to spend a few hours wandering around the local park down the block from their Brooklyn apartment. Then there are the rare adventurous souls among us who will spend a few dozen cold, damp hours looking for Asian vagrants on windswept islands in the Bering Sea. However you travel, Birder's Guide wants to help you find your joy. I hope that there is something of use and interest to you in this issue. If there's not, please let us know what you'd like to see next time. Be sure to tell us what you liked here, as well, so that we can be sure to include similar content in next year's Birder's Guide to Travel. And as always, we love to hear from folks who want to offer their own advice in the form of an article. We depend on members' contributions to make future issues a reality. You can reach me at and via discussions linked to Happy travels! Michael L. P. Retter Editor, Birder's Guide From the President From the Editor T T Michael L. P. Retter Fort Worth, Texas

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