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Cover image of This Birding Life (Enhanced)

This Birding Life (Enhanced)

This Birding Life: Enhanced Podcast. This Birding Life is a podcast from the folks at Bird Watcher’s Digest. And like the magazine’s content, the topics covered by This Birding Life range far and wide, from the backyard to the tropics, from bird feeding to bird chasing, from authors reading from their books to birders talking about their “spark” bird. This Birding Life is guaranteed to make you think, laugh, and want to spend more time out there with the birds. It’s all about this wonderful hobby we share: watching and enjoying wild birds. Welcome to This Birding Life!

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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

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 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.

43mins

17 Jan 2019

Rank #1

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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.

40mins

27 Dec 2017

Rank #2

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Episode 46: The Voices of Argentina

TBL Host Bill Thompson, III, interviews fellow birders, local guides, and other interesting people whom he encountered on a 10-day birding trip to Argentina.

42mins

11 Jun 2014

Rank #3

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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.

42mins

2 Nov 2017

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Episode 87: Melissa Groo: Wildlife Biographer

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.

40mins

11 Dec 2018

Rank #5

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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.”

46mins

27 Jul 2017

Rank #6

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Episode 42: Jeffrey Kimball and Birders: The Central Park Effect

Host Bill Thompson, III, interviews Jeffrey Kimball, creator of the movie “Birders: The Central Park Effect.”

43mins

29 May 2013

Rank #7

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Episode 9: A Conversation with Kenn Kaufman

Birding all-star Kenn Kaufman talks about his life with birds, his early days as a bird watcher, his latest field guides, the great Roger Tory Peterson, and the future of birding.

28mins

1 Jun 2007

Rank #8

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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.

32mins

20 Feb 2018

Rank #9

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Episode 40: Optics-Buying Advice With Ben Lizdas, Part II

Host Bill Thompson, III, interviews Eagle Optics sales manager Ben Lizdas about prism types, considerations for nature-watching, and much more.

28mins

28 Nov 2012

Rank #10

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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.

29mins

18 Apr 2018

Rank #11

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Episode 13: The Singing Life of Birds

Author Donald Kroodsma discusses the art and science behind listening to bird songs.

26mins

20 Mar 2008

Rank #12

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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.

39mins

18 Oct 2018

Rank #13

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Episode 43: Elsa Thompson and BWD: The Early Days

Host Bill Thompson, III, interviews Bird Watcher’s Digest’s Founding Publisher Elsa Thompson about the early days of the magazine.

47mins

15 Aug 2013

Rank #14

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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.

35mins

24 Jan 2018

Rank #15

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Episode 41: The Past, Present, and Future of Birding Optics

Host Bill Thompson, III, interviews Stephen Ingraham, optics specialist from Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, about technology, photography, the Internet, and how he became known as an optics expert.

37mins

22 Mar 2013

Rank #16

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Episode 10: A Conversation with Lang Elliott

Lang Elliott, the mighty maven of bird sound in North America, talks about his inspiration and renowned work in recording nature sounds.

25mins

20 Jul 2007

Rank #17

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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.

26mins

21 Mar 2018

Rank #18

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Episode 34: The Birding Life of Greg Miller

Greg Miller, an Ohio birder who served as inspiration for one of the characters in “The Big Year”, tell the story of his own birding life.

58mins

18 Nov 2011

Rank #19

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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 interviews his fellow travelers and their Taiwanese birding guide, Chuck, about all facets of Taiwan, including the people, food, culture, weather, and birds of this island country in East Asia. Bill also got to take lots of photos of various statues, signs, and giant things of Taiwan, which he shares at the end of the podcast.

45mins

30 Nov 2017

Rank #20