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Episodes

Introducing Two New Hosts: Wendy Clark and Dawn Hewitt, Part I

6/28/2019
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The winds of change are gusting through Bird Watcher's Digest. Two new hosts join Alvaro and Raymond on our OTWTB podcast: BWD publisher Wendy Clark and BWD editor Dawn Hewitt! In this two-part episode, Wendy and Dawn discuss the recent changes that have taken place at BWD, how they became birders, and much more!

Duration:00:30:02

Episode 55: Big Events and Big News

5/23/2019
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Expect big news in this episode of Out There with the Birds! Ben reflects on highlights from the New River Birding and Nature Festival in Fayetteville, West Virginia, an event that was near and dear to Bill Thompson, III. The area is the "Warbler Capital of the World" and one of the best hot spots on Earth for salamanders! Alvaro discusses the wonders of pelagic birding and provides preliminary results from the 2019 Global Big Day, a 24-hour event in which people around the world bird and...

Duration:00:33:16

Episode 54: An Interview with Bill Thompson, III, Part II

4/22/2019
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In part 2 of Ben's interview with BT3, published posthumously, Bill talks about his love of travel as a way of connecting with nature and people, as well as who some of his birding mentors were. Bill also talks about his love of music, what it means to him, and some of his more memorable birding adventures. Also hear Bill's thoughts on the evolution of birding and why he's hopeful about the next generation shaping the future of bird watching. We end with a recording of Bill singing one of...

Duration:00:38:41

Episode 53: An Interview with Bill Thompson, III, Part I

4/9/2019
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This is part one of an exclusive two-part interview with Bill Thompson, III, long-time co-host of Out There With The Birds. On March 25th, Bill passed away at the age of 57 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Shortly before his passing, Ben took some time to interview Bill about his life as a birder, magazine editor, and musician. In the first episode, Bill talks about his early years as a birder and the beginnings of Bird Watcher's Digest, a magazine founded by his parents, Elsa...

Duration:00:23:07

Episode 52: Traveling Birds and Birders

3/22/2019
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Alvaro recounts tales from Japan, including fish eagles, fish owls, and talking toilets. Also, the guys discuss the Chilean/Argentinian divide, and geography's impact on both bird distribution and human culture. The topic turns to the true Zen nature of birding and how it may challenge some of your bird ID assumptions! All this and more in Episode 52 of Out There With The Birds!

Duration:00:31:38

Episode 51: Travel Tips and the Intrigue of Corvids

3/12/2019
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Alvaro warns against getting creative when packing for a birding trip. Also, blue jays, green jays, brown jays, and gray jays are all part of the intriguing family of corvids. What makes these birds so inquisitive and social? Find out on Out There with the Birds!

Duration:00:22:29

Episode 50: The Wild World of Bird Behavior

2/22/2019
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Ben and Alvaro discuss bird behavior in winter and how big birds, little birds, and vagrant birds cope with temperature extremes. Some birds fly away from the weather while others become zombie birds, preying on their fellow feathered friends! It's looking like spring in Southern California while Alvaro braces for more winter as he discusses an upcoming birding tour in Japan. Grab your chopsticks and get ready to dig into episode 50 of Out There With the Birds!

Duration:00:26:15

Episode 49: Life is Full of Unexpected Turns

2/6/2019
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Episode 49 is a special two-part episode of OTWTB. Bill and Ben have a heartfelt discussion about why 2019 is going to be a different kind of year for the podcast, and why it will be the "Year of the Big Sit" for Bill. Ben then welcomes Alvaro Jaramillo to the show, and we learn a bit more about this international man of mystery. Their conversation topics include the shifting nature of birding tourism and why you don't want to play chess in Antarctica. Hint: It's too cold!

Duration:00:35:21

Episode 48: Back in My Own Backyard

12/27/2018
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Ben gives LeBron-like advice for buying binoculars for kids or beginning birders, explains the visual difference between roof- and Porro-prism binoculars, and updates us on his last backyard bird sighting: a red-breasted nuthatch. Bill talks about a rusty blackbird encounter and how to tell rusties from common grackles. Then the boys welcome Clay Taylor from Swarovski Optik to talk about his amazing backyard in Corpus Christi, Texas, which has become a magnet for birds and butterflies...

Duration:00:28:06

Episode 47: Holiday Memories Good and Bad

12/6/2018
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Favorite holiday gifts given and received is a major topic of this episode and among those gifts mentioned are a hockey stick, a mink coat, ten-speed bikes, and a vintage saucepan. Ben's nightmare Christmas Bird Count experience and Bill's Disney World surprise stories take center stage. Also mentioned are a conspiracy theory about wild birds, a new app that's like Shazam for bird sounds, an update on Ben's hot feeder action, and plans to handicap the results of the OTWTB Global Big Year...

Duration:00:27:51

Episode 46: The Birder in Winter (Wears Silk Long Johns, Apparently)

11/15/2018
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Back to the North from points farther south, the fellows chat throughout a winter-themed episode about such topics as suet feeding, birding in Texas and Colombia, weather and birds, winter clothing, acclimatization, fogging optics, and Ben's new-found love of silk long johns. Bill recounts a traumatic first grade incident involving yellow snow, and his latest musical recommendation is "Sanctify" by St. Paul and the Broken Bones.

Duration:00:33:06

Episode 45: Ben's Backyard Bird Feeding Tutorial

11/1/2018
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With the guys poised to head off to far-flung birding destinations, Ben asks Bill for advice on his backyard bird feeding efforts. Bill, who is the Guy Fieri of Bird Feeding, dishes the knowledge on mixed seed, suet, peanuts, and the best foods for feeding birds. They discuss the never-ending battle with feeder marauding squirrels. Ben also asks Bill if he's ever eaten squirrel. Bill's latest musical recommendation: Brandi Carlile's new album "By the Way, I Forgive You," featuring the...

Duration:00:32:19

Episode 44: Hooray for Bird Clubs and Feasts of Birdin'!

10/16/2018
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The boys connected via the Interweb to chat about the importance of bird clubs, favorite Feasts of Birdin' (eateries) near birding hotspots, the upcoming (potential) winter finch invasion, and Ben's latest life bird (and head cold). Bill shares his newest musical recommendation: the band Phox, from Madison, Wisconsin.

Duration:00:27:38

Episode 43: Live from Cape May, New Jersey!

10/3/2018
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The birding dudes cover a smorgasbord of topics here, including a recap of the recent American Birding Expo, birding during migration, upcoming festivals, The Big Sit™, and tips for your optics upgrade. They also celebrate, in the briefest possible way, Ben's birthday. This episode was recorded in two parts, one via Skype between Wisconsin and Ohio and one in person, live, in Cape May, New Jersey, during the Cape May Reader Rendezvous.

Duration:00:27:50

Episode 42: Tips for Enhanced Birding Enjoyment

9/10/2018
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Ben and Bill share a baker's dozen tips for enhancing your birding enjoyment, including where and when to go, what to wear, eat, carry, think, hear, and do, and lots more. If you're willing to take advice from these two guys, then you deserve all the joy that birding can bring you. They also extend an invitation to listeners to join them on a birding safari to South Africa.

Duration:00:27:02

Episode 41: Live from the 2018 British Birdwatching Fair

8/28/2018
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The likely lads are on the loose at the world-famous British Birdwatching Fair, where they're seeing old friends, quaffing a few pints, promoting the American Birding Expo, Bird Watcher's Digest, and helping to translate between American English and English English. They talk about the beauty and conservation of vultures and flamingos, new birds they've added to the Global Big Year Challenge™, and the long shadow cast by the BBC TV show from the 1950s "Bill and Ben: The Flowerpot Men." All...

Duration:00:22:19

Episode 40: Summer Fun & Games

8/13/2018
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Summer activities--both recent and upcoming--are the focus of this episode's discussion between Bill and Ben. They brag about their super-smart daughters and wonder how the apples could fall so far from the tree. They chat about Ben's upcoming canoe trip, the new issue of BWD, upcoming Reader Rendezvous, and about Bill's recent (amazing) baseball catch on national TV. Bill shares a music recommendation: American treasure John Prine.

Duration:00:26:50

Episode 39: Live From Outdoor Retailer

7/31/2018
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Ben and Bill take a break during the Outdoor Retailer show in Denver, Colorado to talk about the products, trends, and environmental awareness they found at this major event for retail stores. Like Johnny Appleseed, they planted the seeds of birding awareness among the many cool folks and companies they encountered. And there was free beer. Birding tip: It's time to look for southbound shorebirds, swallows, martins, and nighthawks.

Duration:00:26:11

Episode 38: The Stoke is High!

7/17/2018
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The stoke is high for Ben and Bill's upcoming trips to Man Camp (People Camp) in West Virginia and to Colorado for the Outdoor Retailer Show. In this episode, their Zugunruhe has them all over the place topicwise, including fledglings at feeders, higher hummer numbers, famous Birding Expo keynote speakers, the new Duck Stamp, and the demise of the Porro prism binocular (according to the LeBron James of Birding Optics). Bill's music recommendation is TroubleFunk, out of Washington DC.

Duration:00:22:33

Episode 37: Go West, Old Men!

6/29/2018
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Recorded live in three parts during the recent Bird Watcher's Digest Reader Rendezvous trip to northern Colorado, this episode features lots of voices. Bill and Ben welcome special guest Clay Taylor of Swarovski Optik to talk about birding optics and his most recent life bird. BWD's own Emily Jones joins in as do many of the Rendezvous participants, to talk about favorite birds, life birds, good food, Pawnee Grasslands, and the ever-majestic Rocky Mountain National Park. Oh, and, in case you...

Duration:00:36:08