Celestron Big Year - 5 May 2016: Studying-up for Warblerstock
May 4, 2016
As all good birders - and perhaps even some of the bad ones - well know, not all birding takes place out in the field, or for that matter even while looking at living wild birds. A fair amount of time also needs to be spent with one's nose in a book, studying the field marks of the various species, learning about their habits, absorbing their life histories, and committing to memory all the other little bits of information that makes it possible for them to be more easily recognized while afield.
This past week I've been doing precisely this - and with good reason. Celestron is exhibiting at the Biggest Week in American Birding, which means that I'll be right in the middle of the "warbler capital of the world" during spring migration. However as a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest, the "great American warbler-free zone," these over-caffeinated, exquisitely colored little birds are not what you could call my strong suit.
Thus I've been assiduously working my way through Tom Stephenson's and Scott Whittle's The Warbler Guide from Princeton University Press in order that when I'm out on the famous boardwalk through the Magee Marsh where the warblers in all their breeding finery decorate the foliage like Christmas tree ornaments, I'll be much better prepared to identify them without needing to be endlessly putting down my Granite 7x33mm bins and picking up my field guide.
Cheers and good birding to you,
Other articles of John's Big Year: