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Best of This Birding Life: The Early Days of Bird Watcher's Digest

6/4/2019
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As you may know, our beloved TBL host Bill Thompson, III, died on March 25, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. What you may not know is that Bill's mother, Bird Watcher's Digest founding publisher Elsa Thompson, died in a fire in her home in Marietta, Ohio, on May 25. We know you share our grief in losing these two wonderful people who have contributed so much to the world of birding. In honor of BT3 and Elsa, we're re-airing this episode from 2013, when Bill interviewed Elsa...

Duration:00:37:34

Best of This Birding Life: Music and Birds: Jonathan Meiberg of Shearwater

5/14/2019
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Originally recorded in 2010, this episode of TBL features host Bill Thompson, III, interviewing Jonathan Meiberg, a birder and leader of the indie-rock band Shearwater. Both a musician and a bird watcher, Jonathan Meiberg sparked on music at an early age, but he did not catch the birding bug until his college years, while on a visit to the Falkland Islands. In this episode Bill and Jonathan discuss a range of topics including songwriting, bird behavior, life birds, and the vagaries of...

Duration:00:25:44

Best of This Birding Life: The Birding Life of Greg Miller

4/18/2019
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In this popular episode from 2011, TBL host Bill Thompson, III, interviewed Greg Miller, an Ohio birder who served as inspiration for the character played by actor Jack Black in the feature film The Big Year. In this episode, Greg tells the story of his own birding life.

Duration:01:02:47

Episode 88: Jim McCormac: A Man for All Seasons

3/6/2019
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Bill interviews Ohio birding legend Jim McCormac about his lifelong fascination with nature, his career preserving special places and creatures in Ohio, and his many other accomplishments. Jim is the author of several books; he guides birding and photo tours; and he is one of the few people to see both a red-cockaded woodpecker and a Bachman's sparrow in Ohio! Listen to the banter of these two old friends.

Duration:00:40:37

Best of This Birding Life: Adventure at Rapi Nui with Alvaro Jaramillo

2/14/2019
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TBL host Bill Thompson, III, will be away from the BWD home nest for a while. We hope soon to resume new episodes of the podcast we all know and love, but in the interim, we're taking a trip down memory lane and replaying some of the most popular episodes. In this episode from 2007, tropical birding expert Alvaro Jaramillo recounts a side trip to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), which became one of the best experiences of his birding life.

Duration:00:10:15

Best of This Birding Life: Snowy Owl Invasion with Scott Weidensaul

1/17/2019
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TBL host Bill Thompson, III, will be away from the BWD home nest for a while. We hope soon to resume new episodes of the podcast we all know and love, but in the interim, we're taking a trip down memory lane and replaying some of the most popular episodes. In this episode from December 2017, owl expert Scott Weidensaul joins Bill for a discussion of the winter's invasion of snowy owls from the Arctic. Through Project SNOWstorm (co-founded by Scott), a volunteer field research program...

Duration:00:56:27

Episode 87: Melissa Groo: Wildlife Biographer

12/11/2018
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Melissa Groo joins Bill to talk about her life and the late start she got to her amazing career as a “wildlife biographer.” Though she is most famous for her captivating bird and wildlife photographs, Melissa strives to convey more than that, capturing the personality, soul, and essence of her subjects in hopes of inspiring empathy from humankind for the plight of the natural world.

Duration:00:32:50

Episode 86: Juan the Guan and Other Birding Stories

11/26/2018
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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.

Duration:00:24:48

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

10/18/2018
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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.

Duration:00:32:13

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

9/12/2018
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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.

Duration:00:24:59

Episode 83: Tom Stephenson and BirdGenie

8/15/2018
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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.

Duration:00:21:39

Episode 82: Birding in Colombia Part 2: Camarones

7/16/2018
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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...

Duration:00:38:28

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

6/20/2018
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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.

Duration:00:20:50

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

5/8/2018
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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.

Duration:00:14:27

Episode 79: Meet the California Young Birders Club

4/18/2018
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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.

Duration:00:36:46

Episode 78: James Adams and the Closing of Pico Bonito

3/21/2018
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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.

Duration:00:22:00

Episode 77: Point and Shoot Photography

2/20/2018
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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.

Duration:00:26:27

Episode 76: Noah Strycker's World Big Year

1/24/2018
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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.

Duration:00:28:58

Episode 75: Snowy Owl Invasion with Scott Weidensaul

12/27/2017
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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.

Duration:00:33:28

Episode 74: Birding Taiwan

11/30/2017
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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...

Duration:00:37:28