An Alberta Big Day

Last month in mid-June, two virtual birding friends, Dan Arndt of the Birds Calgary blog and David Pugh of A Calgary Birder, set off to do an Alberta Big Day, starting at Cold Lake and heading south to finish at Waterton National Park. Last week, Dan published a post about their adventures, which I thought you might like to read.

Dan and Dave left Calgary on Thursday, June 13th, and I got to meet them on the day before the actual Big Day, on Friday the 14th (there’s a picture of the three of us over at Dan’s blog, in my front yard). The Big Day was June 15th, and as Dan writes,

Our list of possible birds for the Big Day was around 267. Our goal was to break 200. While that seemed a bit high for our first attempt, we figured if the weather was good and we stayed on schedule, we’d be able to easily crest 150, and 200 seemed reasonable with the significant distance we were covering and the huge variety of biomes we’d be exploring.

Read Dan’s entire post to see how they did, and also to see all of Dan’s wonderful photos. He’s an amazing photographer, and always includes camera settings and information, which I find very helpful.

Birding News #20

:: Birders in Fredericton, New Brunswick are excited by the large numbers of large numbers of Chimney Swifts in the area

:: The endangered Hawaiian Hawks have been found injured on Big Island

:: A story from The New Yorker about how birds talk

:: In some places, bumblebees steal bird nests, using their “buzz” to scare away the birds.

:: Arctic Terns breeding in the Netherlands migrate to their wintering in Antarctica, by way of New Zealand!

:: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has released its Master Set of 4,938 downloadable bird songs, a project that has taken 80 years to complete.

:: Many Atlantic Puffins are dying of starvation because of what scientists think is a shifting fish population and the rise of the ocean’s temperature.

:: The Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station in Toronto banded its 2,500th bird for the Spring season earlier this week! And here is a story from CBC about the research station.

:: 48 birders were rescued from a sinking ship while on a pelagic trip in England

:: Tree Swallows are getting lots of help in Pointe-Claire, Quebec

Great posts in birding blogs this week:

:: From Linda at Photo Feathers: American Woodcocks at The Biggest Week

:: From Timothy at Backyard Chirper: Birder vs. Birdwatcher: What’s in a Name?

:: From Mia at On The Wing Photography: Bubble, Bubble, Oil is Trouble

:: From Sharon at Birdchick: Biggest Week 2013

:: From Pat, beat writer for Birding is Fun: Whoo Says It’s Too Close

:: From Greg, guest writer for Birds CalgaryFrank Lake Ibis Colony Destroyed?

:: From David at A Calgary Birder: Magic Moments with a Nest Box (full disclosure — I have a photo and get a mention in the post…)

:: My friend Marcel’s Baillie Birdathon results — featuring spudnuts!

Birding News #17

:: A hiker fell 1,000 feet to her death in the Pyrenees Mountain range and within 40 minutes Griffon Vultures ate her remains

:: The American Birding Association has launched “Birder’s Marketplace“!

:: A statewide survey last month showed that numbers of nesting Bald Eagles in Massachusetts have increased after the species was reintroduced between 1982 and 1988

:: Birds in Britain are benefitting from climate change because of milder winters and longer nesting seasons, but there are other considerable disadvantages

:: More disadvantages to climate change — birds in Scotland such as the Eurasian Dotterel, Snow Bunting, and the Rock Ptarmigan, could become extinct by the end of the century because climate change, experts warn

:: Earlier this week Common Loons were grounded in Wisconsin after late spring storms

:: Even though California Condors are endangered, private companies will not be prosecuted if their wind turbines accidentally kill a condor

Great posts in birding blogs this week:

:: From David at a Calgary Birder: Mega-Rarity Purple Sandpiper at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary 

:: From Nicholas at Hipster Birders: Thrushed with Excitement in Forsyth Park!

:: From Nancy, co-owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Saratoga Springs, NY, who blogs at The Zen Birdfeeder: 5 Tip to Attract Orioles into your Yard

:: From Tim, beat writer for Birding is Fun: Vermilion Flycatcher — A True Beauty 

:: From John at Two Birders and BinocularsHow to Attract More Warblers to Your Backyard

:: From Josh at Ontario Birds and Herps: Point Pelee — May 11

Birding News #14

:: The results from the 2013 Great Backyard Bird Count are out

:: Feral cats in Hawaii are killing endangered Hawaiian Petrels

:: Vets at the Oregon Zoo assisted the hatching of an endangered California Condor

:: More than 12,000 Eared Grebes crashed landed in Utah earlier this week

:: An article from Yukon News about the declining population numbers of the American Kestrel

Great posts in birding blogs this week:

:: From Dan at Nature Observances: Tree Swallow Study

:: From Sharon, beat writer for 10,000 Birds: When is Baiting Birds OK?

:: From Mia at On the Wing Photography: Shades of Blue — Wildflowers, Birds, Sky, and Sea

:: From Larry at The Brownstone Birding Blog: 10 Things On My Spring Birding To-Do List

:: From David at  A Calgary Birder: The Last Duck

:: From Kathy at Still Life With a BirderFerruginous Hawk

:: From Sharon at BirdchickThe latest Birdchick podcast

Birding News #10

:: Rare Bird Alert in Canada: A Common Chaffinch (Code 4) has been found in Corner Brook, Newfoundland

:: Are birds able to avoid becoming roadkill?

:: Is finding an owl in the basement a sign of Spring?

:: Many species are now making a comeback after thousands of rats invaded a southern California island 10 years ago

:: Birdseye Smartphone Apps is having a photo contest

:: Buzzfeed on the problem of maintaining privacy for birds in a digital age: “Putting out an owl alert to a listserve of local birders would be like tipping off the paparazzi that Lindsay Lohan is leaving a nightclub with no underwear.”

Great posts in birding blogs this week:

:: From Alex at Nemesis Bird: Photo Study: Gray Jay at Algonquin Provincial Park

:: From David at A Calgary Birder: Weekend at Bluetail’s

:: From Rob, beat writer, at Birding Is Fun: An Unexpected Saw-Whet 

:: From Mia at On the Wing PhotographyLoggerhead Shrikes they are MIA

:: From Ken at Rosyfinch Ramblings: A Knot in Tigertail