First At-sea Images of Ainley’s Storm-Petrel – but who cares?

Leica team member Steve Howell is back recently from a ten-day pelagic trip off northwest Mexico, where he saw plenty of ‘Leach’s Storm-Petrels’ – including the enigmatic Ainley’s Storm-Petrel, endemic as a breeder to Mexico’s Guadalupe Island (about 170 miles west of the Baja California Peninsula), described as new to science as recently as 1980, and never before photographed at sea! Here’s the story…   Ainley’s Storm-Petrel? Huh, what’s that? OK, here’s a synopsis of taxonomy to put the story in context. (Don’t worry, it’s short!) In 1980, marine scientist David Ainley described the winter-breeding ‘Leach’s Storm-Petrels’ on Mexico’s Guadalupe…

DEC
2015
26

Big Year home stretch, for Noah!

It was July 2014 when I first heard about Noah Strycker’s ambitious plan to see 5,000 different bird species in a single year and have to admit I skeptically thought, “Hmmm… that’s pretty ambitious!” He posted the same publicly on October 2014, and I know for a fact that others thought the same, some even publicly suggesting it wasn’t possible when they first heard about the effort. I mean it’s an impossible undertaking, unfathomable really. Especially considering the highest totals ever posted by similar efforts were 4,341 (The Biggest Twitch) in 2008, and prior to that 3,662. To think anyone could…

Wild Night Life in Honduras

So after great anticipation our entire crew finally arrived at the Lodge at Pico Bonito just as sun was setting. We were eager to explore but the birds had all retired for the night and we still needed to get checked in and make our way to our cabins. With rum punch in hand, we sat at a large table set up in the registration area and quickly registered and got the keys to our respective cabins. Some took advantage of massage services to ease away the long travel (particularly our guests from the far side of the Atlantic Ocean), while…

Endemism in a Disappearing Rainforest

The Atlantic Forest of Brazil is simply ridiculous. Located in the southeastern portion of the country, it is characterized by lush montane and coastal rainforest and is sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and several other unique Brazilian ecoregions such as caatinga, cerrado and pampa. This isolation meant one particular outcome: lots of birds and lots of endemism. Roughly 150 endemic bird species, actually. The extent of the Atlantic Forest used to be massive. Today, about 10% of it remains intact; the rest of it has been lost to agriculture and city centers such as São Paulo and Rio de Janiero.…

DEC
2015
07

An Urban Safari

Deyrolle is a scientific and educational institution which exists since 1831. Temple of observation of Nature, reference in the field of taxidermy and entomology, Deyrolle is also a unique Cabinet of Curiosities whose exceptional collections inspire artists, collectors and visitors from all around the world. It is in this spirit of adventure, searching and observing our world, that Deyrolle chose Leica as a partner to give the possibility to its customers to buy the best tools to do so. Why? Because the observation of Nature in details is the first step towards the knowledge and respect of our Earth. It…

DEC
2015
02

“Cleverly designed neoprene-system”

Leica raises the bar with the new generation of the 42 mm models in the Trinovid HD family. Thanks to the new optics, Trinovid HD binoculars guarantee an exceptionally bright and clear view, pin-sharp resolution, superb colour fidelity and perfect contrast.

Dual Citizens: South Florida’s and Brazil’s Shared Avifauna

As a native of South Florida, making the transition to living temporarily and birding in Brazil was in some ways easier than say, moving here from the Midwest. For one, I am fairly accustomed with Latin American culture having grown up in Miami, a city where the vast majority is Hispanic. By Alex Harper.

NOV
2015
19

Une balade islandaise

Isolée au milieu de l’Atlantique Nord aux confins du cercle polaire arctique, telle une sentinelle face aux dépressions météorologiques du Grand Nord, une île volcanique jeune de 20 millions d’années offre un territoire où ornithologie rime avec soleil de minuit !

Bird Mentor: Advanced Skills for Beginning Birders

Leica Interview with Kristi Dranginis I first met Kristi two years ago during the predawn hour at our bird banding station along the Animas River in Colorado. I remember she was sipping a fragrant homemade chai while we waited for the rest of the crew to arrive. We exchanged small talk and quickly realized each other’s love for birds. Once the bird banding got hoppin’ Kristi and I had a chance to do a few net runs together where she shared something that piqued my curiosity. She told me that she was in the midst of creating a course for…

Camaraderie through Cotingas

Experiences are often the most enjoyable when shared with other people. Here at the Cristalino Private Reserve in the Brazilian Amazon, residential guides and visitors are joined by the birds, where over 600 species have been recorded. As a guide at Cristalino, I am fortunate to be amongst species such as Spangled Cotingas, several species of macaws, Paradise Jacamars and a variety of tanagers day in and day out. As with any job or routine, it can be easy to normalize experiences that one does daily.   It is impossible to become jaded here, however, normalized as my daily sightings…