Thursday, October 27, 2011

Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona

Do you have the brand new edition of Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona?  If you plan on visiting Arizona anytime soon, you should!  I began birding more seriously in 2007, the same year I bought the 7th edition pictured below (center).  I've used and abused it so much, the cover recently came off!  Don't worry, the cover of the new edition looks very thick and durable in comparison.  And it was printed locally on recycled paper using 100% new wind energy, very cool.   
8th edition (2011), 7th edition (2007), and 4th edition (1995)
This book was first published by the Tucson Audubon Society in 1979.  My dad always referred to it as his Davis and Russell guide, the original coauthors.  It led us on many birding adventures.

The new edition contains directions and birding information to over 150 birding locations, including 15 new ones.  My favorite features, the annotated list of species and the seasonal bar graphs, have also been updated.  They reveal the status, distribution, abundance, and habitat preferences to the 514 species recorded in the region.

The bar graphs have definitely helped me become a better birder.  One example of this occurred earlier this month.  I knew that if I was lucky, I might find a rare Clay-colored Sparrow with other Spizella sparrows in late summer/early fall.  After a month of searching my neighborhood patch, I found one in a flock of Chipping Sparrows!  If I hadn't known what to look for, I might have overlooked it.

This book is a must-have if you live in Arizona or plan on birding here soon.  Get your copy from Tucson Audubon's online nature shop.

Special thanks to the Tucson Audubon Society for providing me with a review copy of their awesome book!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bird Man Walking

Did you know that Brad Storey and his trusty Siberian Husky are walking across America for birds?  Yep.  Brad and his dog, Xena, began their journey last month on Jekyll Island, Georgia.  His goal is to raise money for the National Audubon's Important Bird Areas (IBAs) Program.  He has already traveled over 300 miles on foot and is currently somewhere west of Montgomery, AL.  His final destination?  San Diego, California.  That's over 2,300 miles!  They will be stopping at local Audubon chapters and Important Bird Areas along the way.  You can support them by joining them for a portion of their journey or by making a donation to the Audubon's IBA Program.  If you live along the route, check with your local Audubon chapter to see if they'll be passing through.  Also be sure to follow Brad and Xena on their Facebook page and on the Bird Man Walking blog.  Good luck Brad and Xena!!!

photo courtesy T. Anderson