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American Birding Podcast

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The American Birding Podcast brings together staff and friends of the American Birding Association as we talk about birds, birding, travel and conservation in North America and beyond. Join host Nate Swick every other Thursday for news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.

The American Birding Podcast brings together staff and friends of the American Birding Association as we talk about birds, birding, travel and conservation in North America and beyond. Join host Nate Swick every other Thursday for news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.
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The American Birding Podcast brings together staff and friends of the American Birding Association as we talk about birds, birding, travel and conservation in North America and beyond. Join host Nate Swick every other Thursday for news and happenings, recent rarities, guests from around the birding world, and features of interest to every birder.




02-16: Birding while Black with Drew Lanham

One of the issues that the birding community has been reckoning with for the last several years is our relative lack of diversity, at least in terms of black and brown faces in the field, and how we can encourage a broader coalition of nature enthusiasts to join us and to share the joy of birding. It's an issue that Dr. Drew Lanham has given a great deal of thought. Lanham is a distinguished professor of wildlife ecology at Clemson University, he sits on the boards of both National Audubon...


02-15: Birding Without Tears 2: Birding & Kids with Bryony Angell

When Birding editor Ted Floyd and host Nate Swick did their first Birding Without Tears episode a few weeks ago they were called to the carpet by the fact that we were only telling half of the story. Ted and Nate are both birding dads and our experiences are similar but not exactly like, those of birding moms, and there's no better time to revisit this topic than during our Nesting Season Appeal anyway! To help tell the rest of the story, Nate is joined by Seattle-based writer Bryony...


02-14: A Life in Raptors with Jerry Liguori

Hawk-watchers are easily the most established sub-groups within th birding community, and the hawk-watching community in North America is close-knit and passionate. One of its undisputed authorities is Jerry Liguori of Salt Lake City, Utah, the author of Hawks at a Distance and Hawks from Every Angle and the co-author of many more. He is the 2017 recipient of the ABA’s Robert Ridgway Award for publications in field ornithology and his articles have appeared many times in ABA’s Birding...


02-13: Voices from The Biggest Week- Women and ABA Big Years

For decades, the ABA Big Year has been a man's game, but in the last few years that has changed, with more women than ever tackling the grueling endeavor in a number of creative and personally enriching ways. This year's Biggest Week in American Birding featured a panel discussion that included five women who have taken on Big Years: Laura Keene of Ohio, who did an ABA Big Year in 2016 which, along with three other birders, broke the previous record and set a new standard for a...


02-12: 2018 Splits and Lumps with Nick Block

Another year, another trip around the world of bird taxonomy courtesy of the American Ornithological Society’s classification committee. That group of bird scientists informs the field guides and lists we birders use every day and they are once again making those decisions presently. As we have before, we lean again on Dr. Nick Block, professor of Biology at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts and Secretary of the ABA’s Recording Standards and Ethics Committee, He joins host Nate...


02-11: Birding is My Favorite Video Game with Rosemary Mosco

If you’re a naturalist or a nature lover on social media chances are you have come across Bird & Moon, an exceptionally fun series of webcomics filled with colorful and endearing and accurate nature themes. Bird & Moon is the creation of New England-based artist and writer Rosemary Mosco. Her new book, Birding is my Favorite Video Game, is a collection of many of her most viral creations and a lot more. Rosemary joins host Nate Swick to talk birds, video games, science communication, and...


02-10: Birding Without Tears- Stories and Secrets of Birding With Kids

It's natural for birding parents to want to share their passion with their children. Birding with kids often brings additional complications, but also additional pleasures, and opportunities to appreciate birding in different and delightful ways. Both Birding magazine editor Ted Floyd and host Nate Swick are veterans of birding with children, with a few decades of experience between them, and they lay out the struggles and strategies of taking kids into the field for parents, grandparents,...


02-09: At the Champions of the Flyway with the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears

The Champions of the Flyway is one the world's premiere birding events, a combination bird race/conservation fundraiser held annually in southern Israel that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help stop illegal bird poaching around the Mediterranean. While North American teams have participated in the event before, this was the first year that ABA helped sponsor a team, the ABA-Leica Subadult Wheatears, consisting of college-aged birders who all have connections to ABA young...


02-08: eBird's Global Big Day with Ian Davies & Kyle Horton

Spring is right around the corner. And if you're going to be birding, you might as well be eBirding. You should definitely be eBirding on May 5, eBird’s annual Global Big Day. Last year birders recorded more than 6600 species from 160 different countries on one day. eBird’s Project Coordinator Ian Davies joins host Nate Swick to talk about the Global Big Day initiative. Also, radar ornithologist Kyle Horton talks about Cornell’s Birdcast project, which recently launched live migration...


02-07: Tales of Urban Birding with Jen Brumfield

Few birders in North American have taken on the mantle of urban birding like Cleveland native Jen Brumfield. Her Cuyahoga County Big Years are the stuff of legend, not only for their high totals but for the passion she throws into birding her hometown and getting others excited about the birdlife and birding opportunities there. Guest host and Chicago native Greg Neise who has his own long history birding in urban areas, steps in for Nate Swick to talk to Jen about her Big Years, her...


02-06: Winter Birding in Review with Mike Hudson & Tom Reed

For birders interested in Status & Distribution, that is the wheres and whys of birding, the ABA’s quarterly journal, North American Birds, has always been a much anticipated part of the ornithological canon. After a year or so in stasis, North American Birds is back under the charge of editors Mike Hudson of Baltimore, Maryland, and Tom Reed of Cape May, New Jersey. The much-anticipated volume 70 came out earlier this year. Mike and Tom join me with me now for what I hope will be a...


02-05: The Joy of Birdfeeding with Jim Carpenter

Jim Carpenter opened the very first Wild Birds Unlimited store near his home in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1981. At the time it was one of very few bird specific retail outlets in the country, and since then, Wild Birds Unlimited has grown to include more than 300 stores across the US and Canada. His new book, The Joy of Birdfeeding, The Essential Guide to Attracting and Feeding our Backyard Birds, was published late last year. Jim joins host Nate Swick to talk about how Wild Birds...


02-04: Big Year Reflections with Yve Morrell

In 2017, Florida birder Yve Morrell did what many of us dream of doing--she took an entire year off for birding all around the continent. Her 2017 Big Year ended in December with 813 (+4 provisional species), a total that will likely place her 3rd all time. Yve joins host Nate Swick to talk about her Big Year, including the strategy of including Hawaii, unexpected struggles, and reflections on a year spent among the birds and birders of the US and Canada. Also, the ABA-Leica Subadult...


02-03: More than Birds with Jody Allair & Frank Izaguirre

One of the major birding trends of the 21 Century has been a move away from a sole interest in birds. This is facilitated by an ever increasing library of field guides to various taxa, smartphone apps that make it easier than ever to identify and catalog the things we see, and a general nature aesthetic that has become a bigger part of how we interact with the natural world. In this episode host Nate Swick welcomes two birders who have whole-heartedly thrown themselves into this new...


02-02: The Nomadic Nature of Snow Buntings with Emily McKinnon

It’s the time of year when Arctic birds are moving south into the populated parts of the continent, and citizen scientists are there to meet them, trap them, and use cutting edge technology to track their movements. It’s a testament to our interest in nomadic tundra birds that that could apply to a couple different projects, but this time around we are talking about Snow Buntings and the Canadian Snow Bunting Network. Dr. Emily McKinnon is a researcher at the University of Manitoba in...


02-01: 2018 Bird of the Year Artist Doug Pratt

When we chose Iiwi as the 2018 Bird of the Year, there was really only one person we could ask to do the artwork. H. Douglas Pratt is a bird artist, author, and researcher, currently based in Raleigh, North Carolina, whose work has been featured in the National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America, among other works, and he wrote wrote and illustrated The Field Guide to Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. Doug spoke with host Nate Swick about the cover art he created for...


01-26: The Christmas Bird Count-stravaganza Episode

It's Christmas Bird Count season, and in this episode of the American Birding Podcast we bring you past guests and ABA friends and staff sharing their own CBC stories. We have tales of found birds, of missed birds, of fun and fellowship and legacies involving this longest-running citizen science initiative in North America. Hear stories from host Nate Swick, Greg Neise, Jody Allair, Scott Somershoe, Noah Strycker, and Jeff and Liz Gordon. If you're still looking for a holiday gift for...


01-25: What's in a Common Name?

What is in a bird common name? It’s a question that many of us might not think about immediately, but there’s a lot going on in those lists we are so familiar with. Capitalization, honorifics, patronyms, how names are assigned, how they’re changed. The names are an important part of how we interact with birds around us, though perhaps the least considered. Birding editor Ted Floyd joins host Nate Swick to talk about it in a wide-ranging discussion. Also, it's Snowy Owl season, and that...


01-24: Best Bird Books of 2017 with Donna Schulman

We all love bird books and 2017 was a good year for them with a number of exciting titles seeing publication this year. As we reach the end of the year it's a good time to look back at the ones we loved, and 10,000 Birds book reviewer Donna Schulman joins host Nate Swick to talk about our favorites. Donna and Nate each share our Top 5, including field guides, family specific guides, and narratives from well-known authors and publishers. Find those lists here! Also, the new ABA Checklist is...


01-23: Birding Without Borders with Noah Strycker

Before 2015, a 365 day round the world Big Year had never been attempted. The playing field was intimidating, the perceived cost was daunting, and the logistics were demanding. But in 2015 Noah Strycker tossed all that aside, tackling an ambitious year of birding that took him to all 7 continents and saw him finish with a list of over 6,000 species - well more than half of the world’s species - and an amazing collection of experiences and stories. His recently published memoir detailing his...