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Welcome to my blog! While I'm not a consummate blogger, I hope to make entries now and again on subjects near and dear to my heart. Whether it is something that I found to be an interesting Gee Whiz, or a funny experience from my adventures with Field Guides, this is the place for those...you know, those things.
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Serendipity

Posted Sunday 4th November 2007 at 00:00 by Chris Benesh
Ah, another case of birding serendipity. Yesterday, my email box contained a couple of messages about an odd bird that had been seen on a golf course pond in Casa Grande, Arizona. The first message began like this:

A fellow just called in to TAS and I answered the phone (my mistake) he told me he lives in a motorcoach and tours the country, is a birder with a good sized lifelist.

While playing a round at Casa Grande he spotted a bird he couldn't ID. His description"
...
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So much work, so little time...so let's go birding!
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My Dad

Posted Friday 21st September 2007 at 17:50 by Chris Benesh
Updated Friday 21st September 2007 at 17:52 by Chris Benesh
This post doesn't relate to birds directly, but to the person responsible for getting me interested in birds in my youth. My Dad, Bill, had been a bird watcher as a child as part of his becoming an Eagle Scout. During his mid-forties, he rediscovered his love of birds, with me prodding him to get out and enjoy them like he had done when he was a kid. It made sense too since it was a less labor intensive hobby than crashing and repairing model gliders. Ironically, it was my hiking with him when...
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So much work, so little time...so let's go birding!
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It's Not Black or White: another foray into abnormal pigmentation in birds

Posted Wednesday 12th September 2007 at 23:50 by Chris Benesh
The latest issue of Birding magazine arrived in my mail box today and I was pleasantly surprised to find some interesting reading within. There has been a lot of discussion in various forums about what sort of terminology to employ when talking about abnormally pigmented birds. The terminology has been confusing and inconsistently applied for over a century, so that now there is no consensus as to the definitions of such things as albinism, partial albinism, leucism (not to mention how to pronounce...
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So much work, so little time...so let's go birding!
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Molt terminology got you down?

Posted Saturday 8th September 2007 at 15:11 by Chris Benesh
The topic of bird molt came up in the Bird ID Q&A forum today with respect to a bird that was in first-winter feathering in August. Since molt greatly affects the appearance of birds, it is often an issue when trying to figure out the identity of a specific bird. But there are several different systems of terminology that are employed to describe molt, which can create its own confusion. There were a couple of review papers written for Birding magazine in 2003 that are now available online....
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So much work, so little time...so let's go birding!
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Birding's Next Identification Frontier?

Posted Friday 7th September 2007 at 23:15 by Chris Benesh
One of the under explored frontiers of birding around the world is an appreciation of those birds that are in plumages not illustrated in existing field guides. The majority of these are those briefly held juvenal plumages, which are generally poorly known. Field guide authors and illustrators may chose to ignore them because of space constraints, since they are usually relevant for only a small portion of the year. One thing is true, soon after each new breeding season arrives, the Bird ID Q&A...
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So much work, so little time...so let's go birding!
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