Birding

We love to travel to find new birds and participate in a lot of bird counts. We also created a Guide to Birding Field Guides and host a collection of over 200 birding links from all over the globe.

Conservation

While our main focus continues to be birds, we promote other areas of conservation as well. Conserving land not only benefits wildlife, but is hugely beneficial to people as well.

Year of the Young Birder

2013 is officially The Year of the Young Birder! We plan on spending the whole year promoting young birder clubs and sharing ideas on how to help student naturalists become lifelong conservationists.

Ohio | Illinois | Iowa | Michigan | Indiana
Minnesota | New York

Check out the Book Review Library!

C-Notes #10 – Photoblogs

January 31, 2009
Article in: Bird Conservation

cd1000CD 1000 Project – photoblog – Clay Taylor of Swarovski Optik has a photo blog and a quest to digiscope a thousand species of birds and other creatures. Called the CD 1000 Project, he has reached 55 species so far, mainly birds. His photos are an excellent promotion of nature’s beauty.

npaBirdfreak’s Nature, Photography and Art photoblog – In December, the Birdfreaks decided to create a sister blog dedicated to the beauty of nature called Nature, Photography and Art. By working on our own drawings, photos and ideas we are making an attempt to showcase how wonderful the natural world is and perhaps promote the urge to conserve it.

klausVirtua Gallery – A Photographic Journal – Klaus, a Graphic and Web Designer, has a great photoblog called Virtua Gallery that is full of inspiring photography. From birds and sky to frogs and lakes, it is well worth a daily check.

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Phriday Photo – Spotted Towhee Lifer

January 30, 2009
Article in: Photography

We were thrilled to hear about a Spotted Towhee hanging around in an open barn in the county next to ours. Since this is out of the range of this cool bird, it made us doubly happy to get a chance to photograph. Triply happy that it was a lifer!

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee

Spotted Towhee

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White-naped Raven: An Example of Bird-of-Mouth

January 29, 2009
Article in: Bird Conservation

bird-of-mouth: spreading information about birds, birding, and bird conservation through various forms of media.

bird-of-mouth marketing: using marketing tools/methods to increase the speed and reach of information about birds, birding, and bird conservation.

We coined these terms based off the well known marketing terms “word-of-mouth” and “word-of-mouth marketing” because spreading thoughts, ideas, and stories about birds is what birders are great at doing. There are thousands of amazing facts, fun anecdotes, and conservation success stories to share. As birders, we have a lot of great tools at our hands to get the bird-of-mouth to spread faster.

White-naped Raven

We witnessed a good example of how bird-of-mouth can be used with the World Bird Sanctuary’s use of a White-naped Raven to increase donations. This extremely intelligent bird would take money and put it in the donation box, creating a delight to the crowd, a topic to tell others about, and a great deal of greenbacks in the coffers.

White-naped Raven

White-naped Raven

White-naped Raven

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World Bird Sanctuary Live Raptor Show – Starved Rock State Park

January 28, 2009
Article in: Birding

This is the third time we’ve watched the World Bird Sanctuary’s live raptor show at the Illinois Audubon Society’s Bald Eagle Weekend, but this was by far the best for photography.

First up was probably our favorite raptor in the world, the Harris’s Hawk. This is Sheldon and he flew over the crowd’s heads, causing an eruption of “oohs” and “ahhs”.

Harris's Hawk

Harris's Hawk

Next up was Turk, the Turkey Vulture. Some people call these fine birds “ugly” and “gross”. They do a lot for the ecosystem by cleaning up dead animals. We think they are just plain cool.
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Illinois Audubon Society Bald Eagle Weekend 2009

January 27, 2009
Article in: Birding

This past Saturday we volunteered to work the booth for our local bird club, North Central Illinois Ornithological Society at the annual Illinois Audubon Society Bald Eagle Weekend. This is a recap of what went down. We’ll have some more detailed information in upcoming posts!

Illinois Audubon Society Bald Eagle Weekend

Our booth was centrally located in the large gathering room at the Starved Rock State Park lodge, strategically positioned near the entryway to the meeting room where the live birds of prey show was held. Every two hours, lines would form and crowds would gather. But it wasn’t our bird club that was drawing all the attention; it was Barbara Williams’ taxidermy booth that snagged nearly every passerby.

Taxidermy Crowd
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Bird Photography Weekly #22

January 26, 2009
Article in: Bird Photography Weekly

Bird Photography Weekly #21 is complete so join in on the action of the 22nd edition.

Make sure to check out Nature Photography & Art!
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Phriday Photo – Brown Creeper Closeup

January 23, 2009
Article in: Photography

Brown Creepers are a bit of a pain to photograph. They mock the camera with perfect camouflage and just when you have them in focus, they let out a shrill sound and zip to another hiding spot.
Brown Creeper

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How to Add Custom Code Above the Comments In Thesis

January 22, 2009
Article in: Product Reviews

Thesis is the easy to use, highly functional WordPress coding framework that runs Birdfreak.com. This is a simple way to add custom code in a place where there is no hook designated for it: right before the comments begin. This tutorial is for Thesis Version 1.3.3. and will allow you to customize similar to what is visible at copyblogger.

UPDATE: Thanks to Rick Beckman, Thesis coding expert, we finally figured out a more efficient way to do this. Please see below ☟ (Add your own styling and commentary as you see fit.)

Insert the following code into your custom_functions.php file:

function thesis_advert_post() { ?>
<?php
if (is_single()) { ?>
<?php echo "<div id=\"thesis-ad\"><h3>Birdfreak.com Runs on Thesis</h3>
<p>&ltimg class=\"rightframe\" src=\"http://birdfreak.com/thesis-screenshot.png\" width=\"200\" />Thesis is the world's best <a href=\"http://www.wordpress.org\">WordPress</a> theme whether you are just beginning a blog or running a fully featured online publishing business. With its amazing ability to customize and the groundbreaking use of hooks to arrange content, even non-code geeks can easily get on board.</p>
</div>"; }
?>
<?php
}
add_action('thesis_hook_after_post', 'thesis_advert_post');

Check out our complete review of Thesis and you’ll soon know why it is the best WordPress theme out there.

Using a program such as Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 (we use CS3), open up the file called comments.php. At the beginning of the file paste the following code:
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