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American Birding Podcast

Updated 6 days ago

Science
Nature
Leisure
Hobbies
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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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

161 Ratings
Average Ratings
145
8
4
1
3

Good Host

By Big Man Restless - Oct 05 2019
Read more
Good interviews, good info. Good jokes. ....ok jokes........maybe.

My go to birding podcast!

By Lolalover22 - May 15 2019
Read more
Everything birding from rare bird alert highlights to entertaining big year birding stories!

iTunes Ratings

161 Ratings
Average Ratings
145
8
4
1
3

Good Host

By Big Man Restless - Oct 05 2019
Read more
Good interviews, good info. Good jokes. ....ok jokes........maybe.

My go to birding podcast!

By Lolalover22 - May 15 2019
Read more
Everything birding from rare bird alert highlights to entertaining big year birding stories!

Listen to:

Cover image of American Birding Podcast

American Birding Podcast

Updated 6 days ago

Read more

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.

Rank #1: 01-02: The Big Big Year Episode

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2016 was an exceptional year for ABA Area Big Year birders, with four individuals all breaking the record in one year! Nate Swick talks with all four - Christian Hagenlocher, Laura Keene, Olaf Danielson, and John Weigel - about their experiences and insights in a jam-packed episode.  Nate also has a conversation with previous record-holder Neil Hayward, whose book, Lost Among the Birds, was published in 2016. Thanks to Naturalist Journeys for sponsoring this episode!

Jan 26 2017

45mins

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Rank #2: 03-02: eBird's Spectacular Status & Trends with Tom Auer

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Cornell’s eBird has been around for 16 years now, and 2019 finds it as ingrained in the birding community, especially in North America, as it’s ever been. More users than ever plugging more data than ever into the project, which in turn facilitates a ton of great information that informs research, conservation, and everyday birding. In the last few weeks of 2018, eBird launched a new status and trend database, an incredibly detailed spatial and temporal information on bird populations, combining eBird data with NASA data that takes into account land cover and topography. Cornell's Tom Auer is the Geographic Information Science (GIS) Developer charged with creating these maps, and he joins host Nate Swick to talk about them. 

Also, Fantasy Birding and a little on McCown's Longspur and the question of who bird common names are for. 

Thanks to Rockjumper Birding Tours for sponsoring this episode of the podcast. Come join the ABA in Colombia this summer!

Jan 24 2019

33mins

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Rank #3: 01-20: How Photography has Changed Birding

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There is arguably no technological shift that has changed birding more in the last decade or so than the proliferation of cameras. Taking photos and sharing photos has become synonymous with birding for many and it’s hard to remember time now when that wasn’t the case. In this episode, host Nate Swick talks broadly about photography in the birding world with a couple American Birding Podcast regulars, webmaster Greg Neise and Birding magazine editor Ted Floyd. We discuss records committees, social media, and whether this change is good for birding on the whole.

Also, birds and bird conservationists in the Caribbean are hurting following the passage of two major hurricanes. Our friends at Wildside Nature Tours give you an opportunity to help.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Oct 05 2017

35mins

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Rank #4: 03-17: Birding the Rock

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Located in the northeast corner of the ABA Area, the island of Newfoundland is known for its incredible rarity pedigree. But there's far more to this beautiful place than European vagrants. The city of St. John's is a gateway to unbelievable nature experiences, from seabird colonies containing thousands upon thousands of charismatic Atlantic Puffins and Northern Gannets, to the sight of dozens of whales feeding near shore, to caribou and ptarmigan on the southernmost tundra on the continent. Last month, host Nate Swick had the good fortune to explore part of it with Birding editor Ted Floyd, Birds of North America host Jason Ward, and The Birdist Nick Lund. 

Led by the inimitable Jared Clarke of Bird the Rock tours, they covered the birding hotspots of the Avalon Peninsula, including Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, Cape St. Mary's, and Cape Race among others, finding amazing birds and generally having an amazing time. Come along with them on this week's episode.  Also, updates on the proposed south Texas border wall and a way for you to make your voice heard

Aug 22 2019

30mins

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Rank #5: 01-06: The Field Guide to Bird Sounds with Nathan Pieplow

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Nathan Pieplow's new Field Guide is a departure from the traditional book of bird images. It depicts images of bird sounds as spectrograms, showcasing the diversity of vocalizations in North America. Nathan joins Nate Swick to talk about his new book, the Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America, and the need for birders to establish a common vocabulary for bird sounds.

Also Greg Neise and Ted Floyd check back in during the waning days of winter to talk snowbird diversity. Juncos are one of the most fascinating groups of birds on the continent and now is a great time to appreciate them. Plus, the ABA is excited about the new book Good Birders Still Don't Wear WhiteJoin now and you could win a copy! If you are interested in sponsoring an episode of this podcast, and reaching the thousands of birders who listen to is, please be in touch with John Lowry at jlowry@aba.org

Mar 23 2017

31mins

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Rank #6: 01-23: Birding Without Borders with Noah Strycker

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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 exceptional year is called Birding without Borders: An Obsession, A Quest, and the Biggest Year in the World. In this episode, Noah joins host Nate Swick to talk about his big year, his book, and what he learned at the end of it all.

Also, Birding editor Ted Floyd and webmaster Greg Neise are back to talk about winter finches, specifically crossbills. This winter looks like it is going to be a good one for the fascinating little finches.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Nov 16 2017

36mins

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Rank #7: 02-05: The Joy of Birdfeeding with Jim Carpenter

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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 Unlimited came to be, and what he thinks are the most important things people should know about feeding birds.

Also, Greg Neise and Ted Floyd are back to talk about the most magical sounds of spring, duck songs. Or rather, the things that ducks do that aren't quacks.

If you think the yellow Northern Cardinal was great, check out this yellow Scarlet Tanager! Come birding with yours truly in Cuba this fall!

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Mar 08 2018

40mins

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Rank #8: 02-14: A Life in Raptors with Jerry Liguori

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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 magazine. Jerry joins host Nate Swick to talk about the magic of watching hawks, his diagnosis with ALS, and what birders need to know about hawk-watching. 

Thanks to our episode sponsor, Land, Sea, and Sky. Since 1940, the optics experts at Land Sea & Sky to purchase just the right pair of binoculars for their birding adventures. This shop has hundreds of binoculars and spotting scopes in stock, an industry-leading 90 day return policy, and experienced staff to lend you a helping hand.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple PodcastsStitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jul 12 2018

28mins

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Rank #9: 02-08: eBird's Global Big Day with Ian Davies & Kyle Horton

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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 5th, 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 maps, an amazing tool to help birders maximize their opportunities to see great birds this spring. 

Nate is back in the driver's seat to talk about warbler obsession, Florida birding, and birds at airports.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Apr 19 2018

32mins

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Rank #10: 03-07: On Crow Culture with Kaeli Swift

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Dr. Kaeli Swift knows crows. And she's watched them do some pretty extraordinary things. In fact all corvids-the family that includes crows, jays, magpies, and others-have a well deserved reputation for intelligence and fascinating social behaviors. Dr. Swift's research has provided insights into how crows interact with us, with their dead, and with each other. She joins host Nate Swick from Denali National Park where she is working with Canada Jays to talk about corvid culture and cognition. 

Also, Fantasy Birding makes the big time! Sort of. And some thoughts on the passing of a giant of modern birding

Thanks to the Grays Harbor Shorebird Festival for their support of the American Birding Podcast.

Apr 04 2019

33mins

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Rank #11: 03-19: Birding to Change the World with Trish O'Kane

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All birders intuitively understand the value of birding, even if we're not so great as a community as expressing that value. Birding as a means for personal growth, and coming to grips with the changing world around us is an important part of why we enjoy this hobby. It's certainly a fascinating topic with a lot of rich veins to mine. It's something that Dr. Trish O'Kane of the University of Vermont's Rubenstein School of the Environment and Natural Resources has thought a lot about. Her piece Of Fledglings and Freshmen was published recently in The New York Times, and she joins host Nate Swick to talk about her program "Birding to Change the World" and how birding can be a salve in this age of environmental anxiety.

Also, the most metal birds, and a few outstanding questions from a recent What's This Bird Live Q&A session.

Sep 19 2019

38mins

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Rank #12: 03-15: Where Expertise Falls Short

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What does it mean to be an "expert" birder? And do the skills that make one an expert necessarily translate to the skills that are most in demand when it comes to promoting the birding community in a positive way? Birding editor Ted Floyd joins host Nate Swick to talk about expertise in birding and the many ways in which it manifests in the birding world, and why the very birders who are so forward-thinking when it comes to field ornithology can sometimes be their own worst enemy when it comes to prompting the "cause" of birding.

Also, Nate reflects on a trip to Newfoundland and commiserates about what he lost.  

Thanks to Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens Birding Festival for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast!

Jul 25 2019

39mins

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Rank #13: 02-03: More than Birds with Jody Allair & Frank Izaguirre

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One of the major birding trends of the 21st 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 reality. Jody Allair is researcher and environmental educator with Bird Studies Canada at Long Point, Ontario, and Frank Izaguirre is a writer and naturalist, currently in Morgantown, West Virginia. His Tools of the Trade article, All the Wonders of the World: iNaturalist and Birding is featured in the latest issue of the ABA’s Birding magazine.

Jody and Frank share a ton of great resources for birders looking to expand their nature knowledge at The ABA Blog.

Also in this episode, opinions on the proposal to change the name of Gray Jay to Canada Jay. You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Feb 08 2018

31mins

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Rank #14: 01-03: Cornell's Merlin App with Drew Weber

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With the ambitious and impressive Merlin app, Cornell Lab of Ornithology will identify your mystery bird photos! Project Manager Drew Weber joins Nate Swick to talk about how it works and what kind of applications this program has for every birder and birdwatcher. Plus we discuss potential ornithological taxonomic changes coming down the pike, and Nate shares your Ruddy Turnstone stories as we continue to celebrate the 2017 Bird of the Year. Thanks to Song Bird Coffee for sponsoring this episode! Song Bird Coffee is the gold-standard for shade-grown, environmentally friendly coffee.

Feb 09 2017

29mins

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Rank #15: 01-24: Best Bird Books of 2017 with Donna Schulman

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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 out and it includes Hawaiian birds. Nate talks about why that's exciting and one, completely arbitrary reason why it's not.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Nov 30 2017

31mins

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Rank #16: 02-04: Big Year Reflections with Yve Morrell

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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 Wheatears are heading to the Champions of the Flyway competition in Israel next month to bird and raise money to support Birdlife International's efforts to stop illegal bird hunting and trapping around the Mediterranean. They talk about why they felt like this is an important issue, the responsibilities of young birders to the conservation movement, and what they are looking forward to. You can help them along the way by donating to Birdlife International in their name. Also, Happy Great Backyard Bird Count and congratulations to the ABAs's 2018 Young Birders of the Year!

Thanks to Land, Sea, and Sky for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast. Land, Sea, and Sky offers great selection and unparalleled customer service for birders seeking the perfect optics.

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Feb 22 2018

32mins

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Rank #17: 02-07: Tales of Urban Birding with Jen Brumfield

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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 favorite local patches, and what she loves about birding in the city. Birding editor Ted Floyd shares a commentary about his favorite urban bird.

Interested in joining the ABA in a trip to Thailand with Tropical Birding in 2019? Get more information here!

You can help us out by participating on our listener demographic survey here.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Apr 05 2018

27mins

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Rank #18: 01-17: The Secret Life of Rails with Auriel Fournier

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Rails are a mysterious and enigmatic family, often requiring and rewarding effort. Researcher Auriel Fournier knows that more than most, and her work with rails in Missouri has shed some light on how these birds migrate and how they use the landscape when they do. Auriel joins me to talk Rallidae and STEM outreach for women.

Also, Greg Neise and Birding editor Ted Floyd are back to discuss the much-maligned House Sparrow. Or, at least, to discuss their remarkable molt.

Some other things mentioned in this episode include ABA President Jeff Gordon's Facebook Live posts from the Protect Santa Ana Protest March, and the Dead Birds Facebook group.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Aug 24 2017

33mins

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Rank #19: 03-11: Birds and Board Games with Elizabeth Hargrave

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What do birding and board games have in common? More than you’d expect! Birder and game designer Elizabeth Hargrave has made it a mission to bring these two things together and her bird-themed game Wingspan, released earlier this year to great reviews, does just that. Wingspan has been covered by the New York Times, Smithsonian, and Science magazine among other places and has managed to elicit interest at a time when enthusiasm among the general public for both birding and board games are at an all-time high. She joins host Nate Swick to talk about both.  Also, Birding editor Ted Floyd shares some thoughts about an extraordinary Western Tanager phenomenon. 

You can find the American Birding Podcast listener survey that I talk about in the episode here!

Thanks to Zeiss Sports Optics for sponsoring this episode of the American Birding Podcast.

May 30 2019

36mins

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Rank #20: 02-02: The Nomadic Nature of Snow Buntings with Emily McKinnon

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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 Winnipeg and the administrator of this project, she talks with host Nate Swick about about the fascinating things they've discovered about these consummate winter birds.

Also mentioned in this episode, A Jonathan Franzen essay on the Year of the Bird from National Geographic and a New York Times essay on owl politics.

You can also help us out by filling out our advertising survey. Thanks in advance. And be sure to help support the ABA-Leica Young Birders Team participating in the Champions of the Flyway!

Thanks to episode sponsor, the Port Aransas Whooping Crane Festival on the Gulf Coast in Texas. Experience the last naturally-occurring population of North America’s largest bird at its traditional winter home.

Subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Google Play, and please leave a rating or a review if you are so inclined! We appreciate it!

Jan 25 2018

29mins

Play