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Summer Birding Tips

Summer is a busy season. Many people travel. Families find summer adventures for kids of all ages. Nature is bursting with activity. And the nature lover is in paradise!

The American Birding Association offers some wonderful assistance for traveling birders. A visit to their Web site can help you learn about keeping field notes; find just the right regional field guides; join a membership program that links you with more than 5,000 friendly fellow birders across the country...and find wonderful programs for young folks that might get bored during long lazy summers if they don't have some opportunities to create their own backyard fun.

So here's a run down on summer adventures that are definitely worth checking out:

Online article by John Rakestraw

This article from "Birding" magazine will help you get started with your own field journal:

"Many people can enjoy watching a bird for an extended period of time but then have difficulty describing the bird to others. The first step to taking good field notes is deciding what information to record. The level of detail in your notes will vary, depending on your purposes. If you are merely recording a sighting of a familiar species for your own journal, you will not go into as much detail as you would if you were recording an unknown species or documenting a rarity.

"Listed below are several things to look for when making field notes. Many of these suggestions are covered in greater detail in "How to Document Rare Birds" by Donna Dittmann and Greg Lasley in the June 1992 Birding.

Start with your first impression of the bird. Terms such as "chunky" or "slender" can help to quickly narrow down the list of possible species.

A bird's size can be a very important key to making an identification, but do not try to estimate a bird's length. Most estimates are amazingly inaccurate and are therefore of little value. Instead, compare the size of the bird to something nearby such as another bird or an object that can later be measured. Describing a bird as "the same size as nearby goldfinches" or "notably larger than adjacent Killdeer" provides a concrete size reference."

This article gives many more suggestions.


ABA Volunteer Directory

Consider your birding activities during the past year. Are you satisfied with what you achieved? Are you ready to apply your field identification skills and commit some time as a volunteer in a bird-conservation or bird-education project? If your answer is yes, you hold in your hands the perfect tool to get started. Contained in these pages are 650 volunteer opportunities for birders many of which require more than one volunteer. Opportunities for Birders represents a massive effort by ABA staff and volunteers to solicit, collect, and edit these volunteer opportunities from throughout North America and beyond. This directory also represents a great collective effort by those from whom the projects originate to send us details in the form that we need them. So, on a personal note, I hope that you find a project within these pages that will help you to expand your birding horizons during 1999. If you do, we would be pleased to hear from you.



Looking for short term jobs, long term career positions, Summer Jobs, US Jobs, International Jobs....? Check out this very robust Link List:

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