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 #18

:: Rare Bird Alert in Canada: A Purple Sandpiper was found May 9th at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in Calgary, Alberta.

:: Rare Bird Alert in Canada: A Little Egret (Code 4) has been spotted in Fair Haven, Newfoundland.

:: Birds in Egypt are being threatened because hunters are putting out nets to trap the birds for illegal proposes. You can sign a petition here set up by the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union to encourage making the trapping of birds in Egypt illegal.

:: A group of blind birders in Michigan are teaching others about the joys of birding through birding by ear.

:: Bird Studies Canada has a new citizen scientist program for monitoring Barn Swallows as part of NestWatch.

:: The Bahamas National Trust is taking measures to protect crucial wintering habitat for the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler.

:: Bird songs are used in more ways than you might think!

:: An environmental adviser with an Alberta electric utility company has established  Canada’s first Avian Protection Plan, to prevent bird collisions with the power lines.

Great posts in birding blogs this week:

:: From Linda at Photo Feathers: A Canoeing Adventure at The Biggest Week

:: From Dan at Birds Calgary: Wednesday Wings: Chasing Rarities — Purple Sandpiper — First Alberta Record

:: From Larry at Brownstone Birding Blog: Spring Census Mystery Bird Makes Number 100

:: From Tami at CabinGirl: A Curious, and Hungry Chestnut-sided Warbler

:: From Mia at On The Wing Photography: Ospreys of Flaming Gorge

:: A new friend I met at the Snow Goose Chase has just started a bird blog so please head over to his new blog, Bird Boy!

Birding News #11

:: Some facts about migrating birds and their long-distance journeys from Nature Canada

:: Tips for identifying tricky finches

:: Starvation could be the reason hundreds of dead puffins washed ashore on the east coast of the United Kingdom

:: A little bit about the Short-eared Owl, an endangered species in Michigan

:: In New Jersey, the Duke Farms Bald Eagle Camera was attacked by a Red-tailed Hawk. Unfortunately, the hawk didn’t make it out alive: “They finished off the hawk already,” Almendinger said. “They were eating trout yesterday.”

Great posts in birding blogs this week:

:: From Scott, beat writer, at Birding Is Fun: Identifying Waterthrushes

:: From Sharon, beat writer, at Bird Canada: Drilling for “oil” in the nursery

:: From Nate, beat writer at 10,000 Birds: IATB Theme: I Want Robins, Of All Kinds

:: From Laurence, beat writer, at Birding Is Fun: The Empid Enigma: To Catch a Flycatcher

:: From Bill of Bill of the BirdsThey’re Baaaaack

:: From Dan, beat writer for Birds CalgarySunday Showcase: Long-eared Owl