"Just over halfway through the year, a man named John Weigel spotted a Buller’s shearwater in California on July 16, making him the holder of the record for most bird species seen in North America in a calendar year: 750. But two days later, Olaf Danielson [world record nude birder] of South Dakota saw his 750th bird of 2016, a red-faced cormorant in Alaska. Now the men are in a fierce competition...." (previous bigyears)
"I asked Ralph Eldridge if he would share some of the migrating-songbird photos he has taken as a lighthouse keeper. [We] were slack-jaw amazed by the sight of so many types of songbirds together. The birds were exhausted and in desperate need of rest after flying for untold hours and miles on their journey from wintering grounds as far south as the Caribbean and South America."
"I had heard about this film through various channels off and on through the years. It had gotten to the point where it was almost apocryphal in my mind.... Nobody knew where it was, nobody had ever seen it, but I was aware it existed. It was like the holy grail." said Wayne Petersen, director of the Massachusetts Important Bird Areas program for Mass. Audubon on the archival footage of the extinct heath hen discovered, restored and premiering at the Mass Audubon Birders Meeting this month. [more inside]
In 1998 three birders--Sandy Komito, Al Levantin and Greg Miller--had their big year attempt chronicled in 2004 in a book of the same name by Mark Obmascik. Due to a few fortuitous circumstances including some spectacular fallout on Attu, a remote Alaskan Island, Komito's 1998 record of 745 species has never been surpassed. Their friendly yearlong rivalry is being documented further in a motion picture featuring Owen Wilson, Steve Martin and Jack Black coming out later this year. [more inside]
"[Irruption] is the term birders use to describe an unusual mass movement of birds into an area. But even that big word fails to capture what happened last winter when thousands of owls descended on northern Minnesota." [more inside]