Our 79th episode of OutBirding is now available to subscribers: The White-naped Swifts of Cuernavaca, Mexico with Micah Riegner.
White-naped Swifts, the largest of the New World swifts, inhabit the rugged mountains of West Mexico. Like many other swift species, their lives are closely tied to waterfalls where they roost and nest. In this episode, Micah Riegner takes us to a roost site in the middle of downtown Cuernavaca and awaits the evening arrival of these magnificent birds.
We just published a new episode of OutBirding: Audio Recording Storytelling. Here's a short trailer that might give you an idea of the episode (actually, maybe not this time!).
For this episode of OutBirding, we draw on our collective Field Guides history of field audio recording to bring you some stories and unusual bird sounds from around the world. Doug Gochfeld, Jesse Fagan, Micah Riegner, Dan Lane, Tom Johnson, and Bret Whitney each picked out an interesting recording from their respective audio libraries to share here, along with a bit of back story. Tune in for this collaborative storytelling episode!
This trailer offers a first look at our new episode.
This week, OutBirding takes you "wet-on-wet" with renowned bird artist and Field Guides tour guide Dan Lane. From an amorphous background right through to his masterpiece, Dan shares with us his techniques for drawing birds and putting pigment to paper in his transparent watercolor and gouache painting of a Rufous-browed Peppershrike, which is featured in the current (2021) Field Guides calendar. It’s a fascinating process that Dan makes accessible to all.
This trailer offers a first look at our new episode, Natural History and Future of Thick-billed Parrot.
Join OutBirding team Bret Whitney and Micah Riegner on a quest for the Endangered Thick-billed Parrot in the magnificent coniferous forests and canyons of the Sierra Madre in northwestern Mexico. In the field with researchers from the Mexican NGO OVIS – Organización Vida Silvestre -- we’ll visit the largest breeding colony of the Thick-billed Parrot and share the researchers' most recent insights, some as yet unpublished, on the population trend of this now highly Endangered species. We’ll also learn of the most critical threats to the Thick-billed Parrot throughout its annual cycle, and its prospects for the future.
Our short trailer gives you an overview of this two-part conversation - this week, we are publishing the conclusion, Part 2.
The Thick-billed Parrot is a globally Endangered species inhabiting the Sierra Madre Occidental of northwestern Mexico. The northernmost nesting population is only a few hours’ drive south of the US border, and the parrots used to occur regularly in some of the “sky island” mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. To gain historical perspective on the first ecological studies of Thick-billed Parrots in the Sierra Madre and also the saga of the US population, Bret Whitney, Micah Riegner, and Rose Ann Rowlett invited some of the early researchers to give their first-hand accounts of these little-known chapters in North American ornithology. This episode, which is Part 2 of a two-part series, highlights the USFWS effort to reestablish a population of Thick-billed Parrots in Southeast Arizona.
This trailer gives you a short overview of the full 20-minute episode.
Among Mexico’s most emblematic — yet also enigmatic — species of birds is the Eared Quetzal. OutBirding team Micah Riegner and Bret Whitney aimed to change that by launching a trip into the Sierra Madre Occidental of Chihuahua to document, for the first time on film or video, many of the basic life-history attributes of Eared Quetzals. The imagery they brought back from those high-elevation, mixed-conifer forests is nothing short of spectacular, and marks a significant leap forward in our knowledge of this highly distinctive, beautiful bird.
This episode is dedicated to our beloved friend Ned Brinkley who passed away on November 22nd, 2020 while birding in Ecuador. Words cannot express our sense of loss for someone who was an integral part of Field Guides. We mourn for Ned, for his family and loved ones, and for the gaping hole this leaves in the fabric of the birding community into...
This short trailer sets the table for our two-part discussion of Thick-billed Parrot history. We published Part 1 this week; Part 2 will follow a few weeks from now.
The Thick-billed Parrot is a globally Endangered species inhabiting the Sierra Madre Occidental of northwestern Mexico. The northernmost nesting population is only a few hours’ drive south of the US border, and the parrots used to occur regularly in some of the “sky island” mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. To gain historical perspective on the first ecological studies of Thick-billed Parrots in the Sierra Madre and also the saga of the US population, Bret Whitney, Micah Riegner, and Rose Ann Rowlett invited some of the early researchers to give their first-hand accounts of these little-known chapters in North American ornithology.
Watch this trailer for a taste of this week's OutBirding offerings:
Camp Kitchen: Chicken Mole in Chihuahua, Mexico
On their expedition to Chihuahua, Mexico, Micah Riegner and Bret Whitney cooked up some chicken mole while studying Eared Quetzals and Thick-billed Parrots. In this episode, Micah shares his technique for delicious "field mole" and also offers a preview of upcoming episodes featuring the quetzals and parrots of the Sierra Madre.
Bonus Birds: Painted Buntings in the Texas Hill Country
Though he spends much of his year in Brazil, Bret Whitney is intimately acquainted with the birds of the Texas Hill Country. In this bonus video, Bret carefully takes us close to a Painted Bunting nest for a neat study of the breeding biology of this lovely songbird.
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