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

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Bird Photography Weekly #144

May 29, 2011
Article in: Bird Photography Weekly

Join in now on the 144th edition of Bird Photography Weekly!!

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Biggest Week in American Birding – Banding Demonstrations

May 28, 2011
Article in: Young Birders

A wonderful thing about the Biggest Week in American Birding is that it is geared towards the utter love and education of birds…for ALL ages and skill levels.

The bird banding demonstration that Ken Keffer did with help from some Ohio Young Birders Club members is a great example of this. A new birder could see birds up close and learn about the banding process. An expert could get some great close-up photo-ops or a few identification details. Ken Keffer is an amazing education director and always captivates a crowd!

Ken Keffer discussing sparrow identification and bird banding
Bird Banding Demonstration

Ken Keffer, the fabulous Kim Kaufman and all the people who volunteer make this a superstar event! I seriously hope it becomes a permanent annual shindig. They work their tails off to bring the birds and education to life! !THANK YOU!

My theory is that if you show people the birds, they will love them…and if they love the birds they will want to protect them! :) Dakota really had a great time helping out at the banding demonstration.

Dakota showing a White-crowned Sparrow
Dakota - Banding Demonstration

Dakota - Banding Demonstration

Robert showing an American Goldfinch
Bird Banding Demonstration - Robert

Ken takes a bite from a Red-winged Blackbird in the name of education
Bird Banding

The Black Swamp Bird Observatory does incredible migratory bird research (which is why it is so important that the wind turbine placement in sensitive bird areas be thoroughly researched!) and offer many opportunities for learning about bird banding in the spring and fall.

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Phriday Photo – Rose-breasted Grosebeak

May 27, 2011
Article in: Photography

Rose-breasted Grosbeak at Magee Marsh
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Photo by Dakota

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Wordless Wednesday – Trumpeter Swan

May 25, 2011
Article in: Photography

Photo by DakotaTrumpeter Swan

Check out this week’s WORDLESS WEDNESDAY!

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Catching New Birder Excitement

May 23, 2011
Article in: Take Kids Birding

During the Biggest Week in American Birding, Dakota and I had the opportunity to take two brand new birders out for the first time. Our friends Brit and Kris (ages 14 and 12) decided to tag along for a day of extreme birding.

Dakota and Kris posing for a birder shot
Young Birders

We took off around 6am. Our first stop was the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in northwest Ohio. We went inside to check out the see-out-but-not-in window. It is decked out with outdoor speakers, birdfeeders and of course, the bird magnet: a moving water source. White-crowned Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles were all over the place, lifers for both girls. (They had seen blackbirds before, but never really SAW them.) As they watched, a Baltimore landed right in front of their faces and they gave me a look that was utterly PRICELESS.

Baltimore Oriole making an appearance outside the BSBO
Baltimore Oriole

Sometimes I forget how amazing the common birds are and this was a sweet reminder. The girls were more than ready to find some birds in the field after the oriole sighting. I am not sure what amazed them more…the number of other birders or the close-up of a Prothonotary Warbler!

First-time birders don’t always get this lucky!
Prothonotary Warbler

After the boardwalk we walked the beach along Lake Erie and then birded over at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge and finally hit the boardwalk again until we were ready to drop.

Brit and Kris each netted over 55 LIFE BIRDS and caught a serious birding bug. They have been pouring over bird books and asking questions since returning…this is how it starts folks! :)

Watching Yellow-rumped Warblers and Yellow Warblers
Young Birders

A Few New Birder Highlights
1. Favorite bird of BOTH – the Balitmore Oriole – and they were everywhere!
2. Female Bald Eagle on her nest (a quest bird for Brit)!
3. Close-up of a Palm Warbler though a passer-by did not understand our excitement (boo! hiss!)
4. Red-winged Blackbirds!!!
5. Awesome views of a Northern Parula
6. Finding beach glass and a poor dead Double-crested Cormorant on the beach
7. An interesting birder with sound recording equipment…he had no shoes on!
8. Great Egrets, lots and lots of Great Egrets!!
9. Riding on the trunk (slowly) through the Ottawa NWR auto tour (shh!)
10. Eastern Screech-Owl close-up through a spotting scope.

Brit’s happy face sums up the day
New Birder

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Bird Photography Weekly #143

May 22, 2011
Article in: Bird Photography Weekly

Join in now on the 143rd edition of Bird Photography Weekly!!

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Hot Sauce Harry’s – Burning Tongues for Conservation

May 20, 2011
Article in: Bird Conservation

Hot Sauce Harry’s has a HOT product for birders who like a little fire on their food. Part of the proceeds from these hot sauces, called the Federal Duck Stamp Wildlife Commemorative Hot Sauce Series goes to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.


2003 Federal Duck Stamp HABANERO Flask Hot Sauce

On the label:
Hot Sauce Harry’s is proud to present the Federal Duck Stamp Wildlife Commemorative Hot Sauce Series.
Partial proceeds from this Collector’s Edition Hot Sauce are deposited into the Migratory Bird Conservations Fund and are used by the US Fish & Wildlife Service to acquire wetland habitat for migratory North American waterfowl. Stamp design licensed under the authority of the US Fish and Wildlife Service which remains the property of the US Government.
Since 1934, more than $500 million from Duck Stamp purchases has gone to purchase more than 5 million acres of habitat, putting the land into the National Wildlife Refuge System, ensuring the land will be protected and available for all generations to come.

I think we might try this on our Birdfreak Bison Bacon Cheeseburger .

Kudos to Hot Sauce Harry’s for helping the refuges grow!


2005 Federal Duck Stamp CAYENNE Flask Hot Sauce

A 6.6 oz. bottle of these sauces will run you $6.95 ($5.95 if you buy over 12). Taste test review coming soon!

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Phriday Photo – Good Reason to Buy a Duck Stamp

May 20, 2011
Article in: Bird Conservation

Did you know that 98% of every dollar spent goes DIRECTLY to habitat for birds? We’ve posted about it before. It doesn’t just help ducks and it doesn’t just help hunters. It helps the National Wildlife Refuges and protects a LOT of wildlife.

Conservation for ME – Northern Parula
Northern Parula

Since 1934, the sales of Federal Duck Stamps have generated more than $750 million, which has been used to help purchase or lease over 5.3 million acres of waterfowl habitat in the U.S. These lands are now protected in the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System.

We hope most birders don’t hate hunters. We respect them for all the money they spend and the fact that most care about the environment also. Let’s work together to save our birds.

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