This Birding Life-logo

This Birding Life

Travel >

More Information


Episode 86:Juan the Guan and Other Birding Stories

During a recent trip to South America, Bill collected stories from six of his fellow travelers and shares them here. Included are stories about Juan the Guan, a treacherous journey to Noir Island, a bear story, and three stories about how birds can change the course of our lives.


Episode 85: Cape A-May-Zing: A Visit to Cape May, New Jersey

Join host Bill Thompson, III, on his recent birding tour of renowned hotspot Cape May, New Jersey, where he interviews Tom Reed, Mark Garland, and Dr. David LaPuma, expert migration counters from the Cape May Bird Observatory. Along the way he visits the Avalon Seawatch, the Cape May Point Hawk Watch, and South Cape May Meadows talking about migrating seabirds, raptors, songbirds, and monarch butterflies.


Episode 84: A Birder's Guide to Murder, with JR Ripley

Author JR Ripley chats with Bill about his recent birder-murder mystery novel A Birder's Guide to Murder, set at the American Birding Expo. The book is part of the Bird Lover's Mystery series published by Kensington, in which the heroine, Amy, solves murders, while simultaneously running her specialty retail birding store. JR, whose real name is Glenn Eric Meganck, also writes novels in other genres under other pen names, is a professional musician, and is kinda into zombies, too.


Episode 83: Tom Stephenson and BirdGenie

Tom Stephenson is the creator of BirdGenie, an app that recognizes bird songs recorded on your cellphone. Bill interviews Tom about his fascination with sound and sound technology, the cross-over between musicians and birders, and how the BirdGenie app came to be. This interview was conducted outdoors during the New River Birding Festival in West Virginia in May 2018.


Episode 82: Birding in Colombia Part 2: Camarones

In part 2 of Birding in Columbia, TBL host Bill Thompson, III, travels to the Caribbean lowlands near Camarones to visit additional sites along the Northern Colombia Birding Trail. We hear from three different Colombian guides as well as three of Bill's travel companions about the wonders (and challenges) of birding in Colombia. The origin of the vermilion cardinal's colorful plumage is explained by the mythology of the Wayuu People. And we hear the full and tragic birding origin story from...


Episode 81: Birding in Colombia Part 1: Santa Marta Mountains

In Part 1 of Birding in Colombia, Bill joins a group of avid birders in the Santa Marta region of northern Colombia to explore the Northern Colombia Birding Trail. Besides amazing birding and lots of endemics, he encounters a new generation of excellent local birding guides poised to accommodate an influx of ecotourists to this newly opened birding destination.


Episode 80: Erik Bruhnke, the World's Happiest Birdman

During his recent trip to Honduras, TBL host Bill Thompson, III, interviewed naturalist, photographer, and birding guide Erik Bruhnke. Their conversation covers Erik's start as a birder, his favorite birding spots, his love of lifers and beer, his hatred of mylar balloons, his Zen of Birding philosophy, and his favorite “swear” words.


Episode 79: Meet the California Young Birders Club

Host Bill Thompson, III, interviews Elisa, Cayenne, BJ, and Ryan, founding members of the California Young Birders Club. These young adults share their birding origin stories, discuss what it's like to be a birder among their peers, the advantages of technology, and their plans for the future.


Episode 78: James Adams and the Closing of Pico Bonito

Host Bill Thompson, III, interviews James Adams, co-manager of the Lodge and Spa at Pico Bonito in Honduras, about the recent news that the lodge's owners plan to close it down. Pico Bonito is one of the finest ecolodges in the Americas--if not the world--so there are many people who are hoping the lodge can re-open under new ownership.


Episode 77: Point and Shoot Photography

Host Bill Thompson, III, talks with Stephen Ingraham, author of "Point and Shoot Nature Photography," about the explosive popularity of small, super-zoom cameras. Steve has decades of experience as a photographer and has fully embraced today's digital technology. His self-published book is a how-to guide for those who want to take high quality bird and nature images without the daunting cost of a full-sized digital SLR camera.


Episode 76: Noah Strycker's World Big Year

Bill talks with Noah Strycker, self-described birdman and adventurer, who was the first person ever to see more than 6,000 bird species in a single, worldwide birding Big Year. Noah is the author of “Birding Without Borders,” which recounts his 2015 World Big Year.


Episode 75: Snowy Owl Invasion with Scott Weidensaul

Owl expert Scott Weidensaul joins Bill for a discussion of this winter's invasion of snowy owls from the Arctic. Through Project SNOWstorm (co-founded by Scott), a volunteer field research program studying these magnificent, mostly white owls, we are learning a great deal about their behavior, population dynamics, natural history, and how they interact with us humans, and vice versa. Scott also shares his tips for watching a snowy owl respectfully, without disturbing it.


Episode 74: Birding Taiwan

Bill's recent birding trip to Taiwan is the subject of this episode. Taiwan is an island off the coast of China, with a large number of endemic and near-endemic bird species. While it is a modern country, heavily influenced by mainland China and Japan, much of Taiwan is wild, heavily forested, with large, protected areas set aside for birds and wildlife. In addition, the culture of Taiwan is quite bird-centric, and its people are fascinated by their country's bird life. In this episode, Bill...


Episode 73: More Birding Stories

Host Bill Thompson, III, recently traveled to Taiwan. Four of his travel companions tell fascinating stories about their birding adventures from around the world. Ranging from light-hearted to downright life-threatening, these tales are worth a listen. Topics include: discovering a new bird species, schmoozing your way to an exit-row airline seat, getting rescued in the desert, and avoiding capture by the guerillas when birding.


Episode 72: An Interview with ABA President Jeff Gordon

Bill chats with ABA President Jeff Gordon about his start as a birder, new and young birder outreach, ghillie suits, The Big Year movie, swirlies, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook communities, the search for the ivory-billed woodpecker, and the early days of the modern birding era.


Episode 71: Catherine Hamilton, Bird Artist for Conservation

Bill interviews artist Catherine Hamilton about her evolution as a bird artist, what inspires her art, her favorite subject matter, her field sketching abilities, and her dedication to supporting bird conservation projects.


Episode 70: Ian Harding and Odd Birds

Bill chats with actor/birder Ian Harding, star of the television show “Pretty Little Liars,” about his new book “Odd Birds.” In the book, Ian writes about everything from Hollywood stardom and chasing the rare California condor to the allure of Juliette Binoche. This Hollywood teen idol is not only a true birder, he's also wonderfully down-to-earth. Episode 70 also features Ian reading from “Odd Birds.”


Episode 69: Three Fabulous Birding Festivals

Bill chats with the organizers of three successful--and very different--annual birding festivals in the U.S.: the Acadia Birding Festival in Maine, the New River Birding & Nature Festival in West Virginia, and the San Diego Bird Festival in California. Learn what's special about each festival and why birders choose to attend them.


Episode 68: Jan Pierson and Field Guides

Bill enjoys a wide-ranging interview with Jan Pierson, one of the founders of Field Guides Birding Tours. Topics range from Jan's late and unexpected start as a birder to the collaborative ownership of Field Guides to favorite birding destinations and fantasy birding companions--and a lot more.


Episode 67: Katie Fallon, Vulture Evangelinst

Host Bill Thompson, III, interviews author/naturalist Katie Fallon about her latest book “Vulture” and about her deep fascination with these carrion-eating, much-misunderstood birds.