Schwingen im Sonnenuntergang

Angola ist ein Staat im südwestlichen Afrika, oberhalb von Namibia. Er ist knapp drei mal so groß wie Deutschland, bei nur 24 Millionen Einwohner. Viele verbinden mit dem Land einen verheerenden Bürgerkrieg und das Problem der Landminen. Obwohl seit Anfang 2000 damit Schluss ist, hat es noch viele Probleme, wie Kriminalität, ethnische Spannungen, Korruption und extrem hohe Preise für Urlauber, die zudem noch ein Visum benötigen, das nicht an der Grenze ausgestellt werden kann.

Quarter of a million seabirds

Since 15th August this year two Leica APO Televid 82 field scopes have been scanning the sea at Peniche, Portugal. They are part of the Peniche Seabird Count, a project initiated by Professor Johan Elmberg from Kristianstad University, Swedish birder and author Erik Hirschfeld and local birder Helder Cardoso.

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…

Magic over the Islands

Each fall season for the past few years, hawk counters at the Florida Keys Hawkwatch have broken their own world record for the most Peregrine Falcons tallied at a single migration monitoring site in a season. Recent Peregrine Falcons totals @ FKH 2012 – 3,836 Peregrine Falcons tallied 2013 – 4,010 Peregrine Falcons tallied 2014 – 4,216 Peregrine Falcons tallied 2015 – ???? As of October 7th, 2015, however the FKH count had lagged FAR behind recent years’ totals with only 948 Peregrines tallied (nearly 2,000 behind previous years total by the same date 10/7). I spoke with Rafael Galvez, Director of FKH, artist/author/guide…

Pounding Hearts and Beating Wings: Cape May Migration Madness

Cool morning temperatures and crisp organic scents saturate the forest floor while lush blankets of red, yellow and gold adorn the treetops; autumn has fallen across North America. The chaos and excitement of breeding season is over. Young birds are learning the ins and outs of functioning on their own while their parents adjust to being empty nesters once again. The days grow shorter and the air crisper while migratory birds scramble to fill their fat reserves in preparation for their long journeys ahead. The first of many cold fronts to come passes over, creating favorable winds and triggering ancient…

World Record in Hand

The Date – September 16th, 2015, the place – the Thattekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala, India. You can see the rain drops clinging to the branches and leaves in the image above. Definitely not Noah’s most technically perfect image he’s shared, but likely the one that was shared the most! On a soggy, drizzly day, Noah lifted his trusty Leica 10×42 Ultravid HD-Plus binoculars as he has tens of thousands of times this year and saw these Sri Lanka Frogmouths. In a private email Noah shared the images above & below and wrote: “This afternoon, with a crowd of local birders…

Migration Magic in the Land of Milk and Honey-buzzards

May 3, 2015. I stand at my station in the Eilat Mountains, overlooking the Gulf of Aqaba, at the north end of the Red Sea. Stretching away to southwest, the mountains of Israel seamlessly give way to the mountains of Egypt, the boundary only recognizable thanks to the hand of man: the large, re-enforced border fence, interlaced with jagged barbed wire, threatening any foolish soul who would approach from either side. To the east, across the Gulf, loom the red mountains of Jordan’s Edom Range. South of these, through the morning haze that often hangs over the sea, we can…

“An incredible thing to experience”

Roland Digby is an expert aviculturist. His skill at breeding and rearing birds has helped return cirl buntings and Eurasian cranes to parts of southern England. He’s spent long periods working in remote parts of the world including the Madagascar highlands, where he helped set up breeding facilities for the world’s rarest bird – the Madagascar pochard – and the Russian Far East, where he runs a headstarting programme for chicks of the Critically Endangered spoon-billed sandpiper. This is what he reports from Chukotka in the Russian Far East. Over the last few weeks I’ve been surveying spoon-billed sandpipers as…

One Gal, Three Guys and Five-striped Sparrows: Chasing Birds with Noah Strycker

Have you ever seen a Five-striped Sparrow? It’s a Mexican species that just makes its way into the United States in a few spots in southeastern Arizona. The phrase “death march” often accompany a description of an attempt to find Five-striped Sparrow in Arizona. The roads require high clearance and sometimes four-wheel drive. Flat tires are not uncommon, nor are encounters with Border Patrol agents, as the spot is just north of the international boundary with Mexico. Let’s just say that looking for Five-striped Sparrow in Arizona can be a bit of an adventure. Back in 2006 Michael O’Brien, Louise…

Feathers Over Freeport

Now in its 9th year (see previous post LINK), the Bradbury Mountain Spring Hawkwatch in Pownal, Maine attracts an average of over 1200 visitors annually. Furthermore, many times that number visit the summit throughout our two month season and briefly chat with the Official Counter or read our count board and display. Of those 1200+ folks, many have never heard of, or at least never visited, a “hawkwatch” before, as the culture of hawkwatching in Northern New England isn’t as ingrained in the birding culture or as widespread as in such places as Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. For my…