Hunt of the Robin

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For a few days there were flocks of robins in my yard foraging away. I filmed them eating, and I was going to put together a silly little compilation video. When I was editing, I experimented with some music and this what I got. It is a lot more somber than I originally intended, but I hope you get something out of it.

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Send Ethan to Africa

When I was 7 years old I saw an amazing film. A film that would change for the rest of my life. That film was, March of the Penguins. Ever since that moment, I wanted to be a wildlife filmmaker.

You all have seen me post videos here before so this should not be a real surprise to you, but what I have to say next might be.

In South Africa there is a facility that specializes in the making of wildlife documentaries. You immerse yourself in it for an entire month, learning everything for writing to editing. They supply meals, lodging and equipment.

My family can’t afford it with the myriad of expenses that have cropped up lately. If you could find it in your heart to donate a dollar to my campaign if you’ve ever liked something that I wrote. If I taught you something, made you smile, or made you laugh, a dollar is all I ask.

If you can’t please share the link with others who can!

Thank you!

gofund.me/ethanstriptoafrica

How to Win the Youth Birding Competition (Part 3)

This is the final part of a three part series on how to win to Georgia Youth Birding Competition. Elements of this series can be applied to having a successful big day anywhere, but it has been tailored for the state of Georgia.

Buy the book on competitive birding. 

Read Part 1.

Read Part 2.

Part 3:

Understanding Bird Identification

When the mind’s eye rests on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and comprehends them, and functions intelligently; but when it turns to the twilight world of change and decay, it can only form opinions, its vision is confused and its beliefs shifting, and it seems to lack intelligence. -From Plato’s Republic

It is dreary overcast day. Somehow you have been talked into going birding. You spy a bird with an erect posture, red belly, and a black back.   You quickly assume it is an American Robin.

american_robin_6You lift your binoculars to find:

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How could this be? How could a blue bird turn into the black one?  You have learned your first lesson in the fallibility of basic bird identification.

Knowing the parts of the bird is necessary to identifying it. Regardless of the circumstance you may find yourself in. It allows you to understand the whole. You see the big picture. Even if you can’t figure what is, it makes communicating what you saw a lot easier.

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Always use concrete field marks instead “cheats”. For example…

Savannah Sparrow

This is a Savannah Sparrow. It has no yellow on it whatsoever, but it is still a Savannah Sparrow. Its size and light streaking on the breast tell me so. People often use the yellow lorre as a cheat, to identify the bird, but in reality, all of them just don’t have it.