- Bird Log – despite the annoying bugs it was the most recommended birding App
- National Geographic Birds – sixth edition
- Google Maps
- Sibley Guide to Birds of North America
- Birds Eye
- Voxer – which enables you to transform your smart phone into a walkie talkie
- Weather Network
- Wifi Finder
- Topo Maps Canada – this App enables the user to download content for offline use
- Larkwire – great bird song learning App
Noteworthy suggestions included: Navionics, Band Codes, Gas Buddy, GPS Tracker, Breeding Bird Atlas App (Android only) and Leafsnap.
Collated by Jody Allair.
Anous rated top birding app.
Anous brothers Ross Wood and Stu Mackenzie along with companions Matt Slaymaker and Teresa Montras hit up the Niagara River December 2, 2012. Despite pouring rain throughout the day they managed to observe 10 species of gull including 2 adult Black-headed Gulls, and a Black Vulture – see http://anous.org/avian-oddities-interested-birds-rarities-and-more/ for a picture. Other checklists from the day can be observed here – http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S12209402 and here http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S12209458 .
On November 15 Matt Slaymaker and Stu Mackenzie visited the Tip Research Station of the Long Point Point Bird Observatory at Long Point, Ontario. Just before departing, Matt observed the tail-end of a strange dove as it dissapeared into a group of Red Cedars. Matt and Stu immediately relocated the bird and took a number of photos. This is the sixth record for Long Point. The photo is posted on our Avian Oddities page – http://anous.org/avian-oddities-interested-birds-rarities-and-more/
Anous Ontario Team: John Brett, Stu Mackenzie, Jody Allair, Christian Friis.
Anous broke three BIG DAY records this past spring: Ontario, Alberta, and Canada. Big Days are the ultimate birding competition, in which birders use all their skills and endurance to find as many species as possible in a single calendar day. On May 26, Anous took the form of the Long Point Bird Observatory “Cygnus Crusaders” found an incredible 204 species – beating the previous Ontario Big Day record of 200 species set in 1999. The following week on June 4, the “Cypress Hills” team tallied a whopping 226 species, a new Alberta Big Day record. This total also broke the Canadian record of 218 species set in Alberta in 2011. Both of these Big Day outings were combined with Bird Studies Canada’s fundraising efforts. Visit the Baillie Birdathon website to sponsor the Cygnus Crusaders or the Cypress Hills and receive a complete summary of their efforts.
You can read summaries of all Anous BIG DAYS in our BIG DAY archives – http://anous.org/anous-big-days-2/
Science 16 March 2012:
Vol. 335 no. 6074 pp. 1285-1286
News of the Week
Northern Black Swift Mystery Solved
After years of unconfirmed reports and false sightings in Mexico and Central America, scientists now know where the northern black swift (Cypseloides niger borealis) goes each winter. These elusive birds wing their way from the misty waterfalls of their breeding range in western North America to wait out the winter in the lowland rainforests of the Brazilian Amazon. Jason Beason of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and his team fitted little backpacks containing geolocator tags to four birds from two breeding colonies in Colorado. The 1.5-gram packs recorded light levels over 1 year; the scientists successfully retrieved data from three of the tags and, using standard astronomical equations, converted those data to latitude and longitude to figure out where these birds disappeared to every fall. The scientists plan to tag birds from other breeding colonies throughout their range to see whether they all head to Brazil or if they go elsewhere.
The weekend before last, I had a chance to head out early for some late winter mountain birding. My main target was a shot at White-tailed Ptarmigan at a drive-able location at Bow Lake in Banff National Park. During winter the ptarmigan come down from higher elevations to feed on willow buds and take shelter. After a snowfall is the best time to find them because you can concentrate your efforts around fresh tracks. Not being properly equipped with snowshoes I knew I would be limited to scanning and scoping if I wanted a chance at finding this well camouflaged species. Eventually I did locate a couple and saw many more tracks. Can you spot the WTPT?
I made a brief stop at Harvie Heights near Canmore and the town of Exshaw on the return ride. There were a couple Clark’s Nutcrackers and Pine Grosbeaks as well as all three chickadees at Harvie and Exshaw was quiet with only 4 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches, one of which was a “Hepburn’s”. I also stopped at a known wintering location of a Northern Hawk Owl but after driving the roads where it was recently observed I turned up blanks. I decided to spend a little extra time scanning the tree tops and eventually found a suspicious blob a long distance away. The following is an un-cropped image of the blob with a 400mm f/5.6 which after scoping/zooming in you can turn into the silhouette of a Northern Hawk Owl.
The last notable bird of the day was a distant dark blob on top of a post just west of Cochrane. It somehow seemed a little larger than a Common Raven so I pulled over and scoped it. Turns out it was a good idea. Golden Eagle!
Although sometimes it takes a little more effort, scanning can really pay off. I often find it is surprising how far a bird can be and still be identifiable.
The official blog of Anous© Birding Syndicate. This is a channel where you can find posts on all things birds. Members of the syndicate share birding related information on everything from trip reports, to product reviews, to general birding tips and tricks. Check out the trip archives to see how Anous© members on any given trip can influence each other to push the limits of endurance and sound judgement in pursuit of seeing it all. Learn more about the birding equivalent of extreme sports – Big Days. We hope you enjoy our travels. On behalf of Anous©, welcome to THE NODDY!