Monday, June 13, 2011

How many of these bird species are on your life list?

According to Richard Crossley, well-known photographer and author of the new book The "Crossley ID Guide: Eastern Birds," published by Princeton University Press,now is an excellent time to help assist your youngsters in getting reconnected with nature by becoming amateur birders (a term that used to be called "bird watchers.")

Crossley hopes his new bird guide will further engage the nearly 50 million Americans who consider themselves birders, and help new audiences, especially children, discover a passion for birding.

He opines that children are natural birders: they can easily learn the birding basics.

Size, shape, behavior, probability and color patterns come together to create one memorable image leading to that "Aha moment," Crossley says.

"Then, they’re hooked,” Crossley says.

“Birding is one of the most accessible and affordable ways to help kids and adults connect with and explore the natural world," he says. "The book provides a better tool for them to be successful when they get outside.”

Crossley suggests that among the easiest birds to spot now and through the summer are:
• Indigo Bunting.
• American Redstart.
• Yellow Warbler.
• Common Yellowthroat.
• Common Loon.
• Wood Duck.
. Double-crested Cormorant.
• Wilson's Storm Petrel (for boaters).
• Spotted Sandpiper.
• Chuck Wills-Widow.

As far as my own Biders' Life List is concerned, I know that at least nineof these species are on it.

The only one I have a question about is the Wilson's storm petrel, probably because that is a species that migrates great distances but only along the nation's two coastlines.

But, hey, nine out of 10 ain't bad.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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