Two years ago last month (October) the movie, The Big Year, was released. I personally have seen the movie 24 times since then. Of course I really liked the movie. I am biased though. I got to proofread the script and I got to be on the movie set as a Bird Consultant. What a surreal experience! It still seems like a dream. Like it never truly happened. A Hollywood movie with A-List stars (Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson) was the last thing I would have expected from my Big Year in 1998. So many things had to happen to make this a reality. I often wondered “Why me?” Most folks reserve that for bad experiences. But I soon realized it really wasn't about me. It was waaay bigger! What is it? There is a new wave of popularity in birding. And I am privileged to be riding along with this one! And I can't help believing that we are only beginning to scratch the surface of what is about to be! I am full of hope for our future!
Recently someone asked me how many times I've spoken. Great question. I was curious myself. My friend, Erica Rusk, compiled a list of all the places I've been in the last two years. She has been keeping my calendar for me these last two years. Thank you, Erica! Here is a map I put together with Erica's list and a website called Batchgeo.
Thank you everyone! It has been wonderful traveling all over America (and Canada, too) talking about a contest I didn't win and signing books I didn't write!
Yep. I’m behind on my target list for Panama. I’m behind with my blogging. I’m behind at work. I’m behind with half a dozen other projects. Sigh. It happens. What’s hollering the loudest? Panama, of course. It still seems just like a dream. But it’s only just 2 months away! I am writing tonight because there’s been some shuffling on the roster and there are now 6 spaces available. I know it is a last minute proposition but this is a great opportunity. The trip is with Wildside Nature Tours and is January 18-25, 2014. Full info can be found here.
Are you afraid you will be sleeping in mosquito nets? Roughing it without electricity? Eating canned food? Haha. Check out this short video from the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Maybe you are afraid I will push you to build your bird list at a relentless pace? Relax. We will get to see tons of birds and enjoy them, too! And wowzers! Have you seen any of the fabulous butterflies in Panama? Check out a few of these pics! And don’t forget the fantastic flowers! Pretty awesome, eh?
Did you know you can use U.S. dollars in Panama? And we are only gonna stay in one spot–no need to pack up your bags and move around every couple days. The hikes will be relatively easy–so easy, in fact, that I can do it. Here is a longer YouTube video (unofficial) of the lodge and surrounding grounds.
Ok. I’m done for the evening. Sweet dreams (it’s brisk tonight in Ohio as the temperature is slated to drop below freezing). Just imagine how cold it will be in January. Now replace that with a warm, tropical breeze and a comfy hammock.
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory celebrated its 25th anniversary on October 5, 2013. A nice crowd showed up for the event. Above, folks gathered to hear some guy talk about being a bird consultant for a Hollywood movie, The Big Year, and his experiences meeting Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson.
We had a good turn out for a very chilly early morning bird walk. This is a phone-scoped picture of the morning sun beginning to light up a very distant Long's Peak. It was taken handheld with my iPhone through my Swarovski ATX 80 telescope at 25x.
An American Kestrel posed long enough for everyone to get a scope view and fortunately, long enough for me to capture a quick phone-scoped picture (same set up as above).
And as all my readers know by now, I love visiting local restaurants and trying out new dishes. This is a “regular” sized bowl of Pho (noodle soup) at a Vietnamese restaurant in Brighton, Colorado. It was gargantuan! I didn't even make a significant dent in this Goliath-sized bowl of soup. I think it must be half a gallon. Haha. Check out that quarter beside the glass of water for a size reference! The portion I ate was delicious, too.
Wow! What is not to like about aspens in the fall? I am here in Colorado for Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory’s BBQ with the Birds tomorrow, October 5, 2013. Check out the RMBO website for more information. And of course, if you are in the area why not come and join me for the day’s festivities!
Greetings from Nebraska! I’m en route to Brighton, CO for the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory’s BBQ with the Birds on October 5, 2013. I just had a great weekend at Pt. Pelee with the Ontario Field Ornithologists. More on that in another blog.
Previously I posted 2014 Target Birds 1-10 & 11-20 & 21-30. Today we will look at 31-40. These represent the most commonly reported birds in Panama in late January in eBird. I am using what eBird refers to as Frequency of Checklists. This is a number that uses the total number of checklists that have a particular species checked divided by the total number of checklists submitted. It is the percent of checklists that have reported this species. eBird data was accessed on 8/26/2013 to retrieve this list. Late January? Yes. This is to coincide with Wildside Nature Tours trip Panama Canal Zone and Pipeline Road Birding with Greg Miller, January 18-25. Ready for those target birds? Here we go:
Most Frequently Reported Birds in Panama for late January #31-40
Previously I posted 2014 Target Birds 1-10 & 11-20. Today we will look at 21-30. These represent the most commonly reported birds in Panama in late January in eBird. I am using what eBird refers to as Frequency of Checklists. This is a number that uses the total number of checklists that have a particular species checked divided by the total number of checklists submitted. It is the percent of checklists that have reported this species. eBird data was accessed on 8/26/2013 to retrieve this list. Late January? Yes. This is to coincide with Wildside Nature Tours trip Panama Canal Zone and Pipeline Road Birding with Greg Miller, January 18-25. Ready for those target birds? Here we go:
Most Frequently Reported Birds in Panama for late January #21-30
Ha! I’m going to be touring a fair portion of the U.S. over the next 9 weeks. Here is my line up. Why don’t you consider joining me at one or more of these fine events! You can click on any of the logos below to get more information.
Yes. I have got the Tropics on my mind. I’m already thinking about cold weather and winter and that white stuff on the ground. And if you live in the Great Lakes Region like I do you already know that late January can be wicked cold. In fact, the third week of January is often one of the coldest periods of the year. The deep freeze of winter temperatures bare their teeth in January. This is part of the genius of the timing of the 2014 Panama Canal Zone and Pipeline Road Birding with Greg Miller coordinated by Wildside Nature Tours. The dates in 2014 are January 18-25. Perfect. And did I mention the birds? OH. MY. GOSH.
Broad-billed Motmot. Panama. Photo by Kevin Loughlin
Woo-hoo! It’s back to birding on the this birding blog. I have a busy upcoming fall with events here in Ohio, Ontario, Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. Check out my calendar (you can access it by clicking on the Calendar tab above or by clicking here). Today I have Panama on my mind. Yup. January 18-25, 2014 with Wildside Nature Tours! Check out the details for Panama Canal Zone and Pipeline Road Birding with Greg Miller!
Did you know that is only about 21 weeks away? I know you are thinking to yourself “That’s a long time–waaay into next year”. And being completely bored with summer you are probably thinking of innovative ways to use up all your extra time. Haha. I am speaking in jest, of course. Reality for most folks is “When will I get a breathing moment to do anything for myself?”
Magnificent Frigatebird near Tampa FL March 2013. Photo by Greg Miller
Long-tailed Sylph. Ecuador. Photo by Kevin Loughlin, Wildside Nature Tours
Wow! Check out this Long-tailed Sylph! What a stunning creature!
I will be co-leading this trip with Edison Buenaño of Wildside Nature Tours . I met Edison this year at Biggest Week in American Birding. I’m sure many of you also met him. He has a delightfully bright personality and is a keen birder. The tour dates for this trip are August 10-25, 2013. The tour covers a number of fabulous birding areas in Northern Ecuador and the high Andes Mountains. We will also bird in humid rainforests and the Amazon Basin. It will be an exciting itinerary with a wild diversity of birds!
Crimson-mantled WoodpeckerEcuador. Photo by Kevin Loughlin, Wildside Nature Tours. .
And this Crimson-mantled Woodpecker. Jaw-dropping.