Birding in your back yard and around the world. 
Become the local bird guru! 

October 2015
Project FeederWatch: We Need Your Help
Embrace the Winter! Count Feeder Birds for Science!

Project FeederWatch is a wonderful opportunity for you to help the birds as well as the scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Just put up a bird feeder, count your birds and enter your data.

FeederWatchers periodically count the birds they see at their feeders from November through early April and send their counts to Project FeederWatch. FeederWatch data help scientists track broadscale movements of winter bird populations and long-term trends in bird distribution and abundance.
Bird Tours Around the World
Rockjumper Tours
South African birding - and much more

Ask any birder who has seen over 2,000 species about their favorite bird tour companies. They will almost certainly mention the U.S. "Big Three" - Field Guides, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and Wings.

But I have been hearing a lot of rave reviews recently about a South African company named Rockjumper. Their energetic and motivated tour leaders offer 250 birding tours to over 100 destinations world-wide. They can show you some fascinating birds... like this Himalayan Monal (one of my all-time favorites from Bhutan) or this Blue-breasted Bee-eater from Uganda.

[Hint: To prepare for an overseas birding trip I found that creating my own quizzes on the birds I am likely to see is extremely helpful and much better than thumbing through a field guide! After I identified an obscure Honeyeater in Australia, one tour guide said to me "Someone has done his homework!" To easily make your own quizzes use Thayer's Guide to Birds of North America version 7 for Windows.]
Himalayan Monal
Blue-breasted Bee-eater
Which Birds Have You Seen?
Birders Diary
The best listing and record-keeping tool available

If your sightings records are scribbled somewhere in the back of a field guide or in a computer spreadsheet you built five years ago, then it is time to get organized! By FAR the best way to do this is with a computer program called Birder's Diary. You can download a copy and try it for free for 30 days.

This amazing program is easy to use, yet has some exciting features for those who want more. Many taxonomic lists are available for birds, of course, but there are also lists you can download for butterflies, trees, mammals and much more.

If you are using a program like Avisys or BirdBase (both went out of business this summer), you can get Birder's Diary and easily convert your sightings.There is a built-in tool for converting your Avisys or BirdBase sightings to Birder's Diary. This software is for Windows computers, but it runs on Mac computers when run within Boot Camp, VMware or Parallels.(Mac users might also consider Bird Brain 7)

Limited Time: Save 20% on Birder's Diary. Enter the special code BDTBS1015 when ordering at Birder's Diary.

Say What ???  
Dr. Language Person's Guide to Bird Name Pronunciations
Finally... the correct answers!

I just ran across an amazing (and hysterical) article on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site and I wanted to share it with you. It was written by Kevin McGowan a few years ago. Click Here to Read Article.

Kevin has a long and distinguished career with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, developed the web site All About Birds, teaches the Home Study Course in Bird Biology and was a member of "The Sapsuckers" who won the World Series of Birding competition in 2002.

If you liked this free newsletter be sure to forward a copy to your friends so they can enjoy it too.
Pete Thayer and the WildBirds Newsletter Team

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