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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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  1. Peter Audrain

    Wing loading information

    That's fascinating, about trying to achieve slow flight. I have the impression that a fair number of fast-flapping seabirds also make pretty hard landings, like your doves! Plowing messily into the water. High wing loading and the overall difficulty of slowing down might be part of the reason...
  2. Peter Audrain

    Night vision equipment for mortals

    Yes, it's amazing how well adapted they are. (Incidentally, I wonder why human camouflage looks nothing at all like birds'—we've reinvented the wheel repeatedly with this, it seems.) It's also amazing how much evolutionary convergence there has been between them and Northern Harriers—the females...
  3. Peter Audrain

    Night vision equipment for mortals

    How fun is that! Something to think about this summer, for sure. I've found a meadow with multiple Short-eared Owls hunting around, starting a little before sunset—they're partly diurnal—and sometimes expressing their unhappiness with the Northern Harriers still flying around from the day...
  4. Peter Audrain

    Night vision equipment for mortals

    Yes—that may be what the sample images posted by the company suggest, too. The images nonetheless look all right, at least in theory, for locating birds you wouldn't otherwise see, like owls. If anyone else owns and has used devices in this family, perhaps we'll learn the extent to which theory...
  5. Peter Audrain

    Cheap/Budget Superzoom Options?

    I've found the EVF helpful when photographing birds in flight that are flying over the water. However, when the target is just somewhere in the sky, 'unmoored' from anything visually obvious—like the surface of the sea, or a line of trees—and is flying more erratically, I expect a 'miss,' as...
  6. Peter Audrain

    Night vision equipment for mortals

    Me too. (And having just clicked around the web on this topic, I might also wonder if anyone has used or formed well-informed opinions about the FLIR Scout TK. It seems to be the cheapest option, at $500, in the overall category of the Pulsar Helion—or at least to have been the cheapest option...
  7. Peter Audrain

    Wing loading information

    The gist seems to be that airspeeds vary a lot less than wing loading varies—the range of airspeeds is 'compressed'—because other things affect the speed of birds' flight, too. One such thing is their wings' aspect ratio: as wing load increases, wings tend to become deeper, from leading to...
  8. Peter Audrain

    Wing loading information

    Yes! The Earl L. Poole article is in jmepler's direct link to the University of Minnesota site for ornithological P.D.F.s.
  9. Peter Audrain

    Wing loading information

    As often happens, posting a question made me look into it again myself, and I've just found: Earl L. Poole, “Weights and Wing Areas in North American Birds,” Auk 55:3 (July 1938): 511–517, which has figures for 143 species and was pretty much what I had in mind, except for being 80 years old...
  10. Peter Audrain

    Wing loading information

    Does anyone know of a good source for wing-loading data on all of the bird species commonly seen in North America? I've come to understand how much wing-loading figures can suggest about flight styles and speed. I'd love to be able to go to a single list, webpage, or book to look up reliable...
  11. Peter Audrain

    Night vision equipment for mortals

    I'm considering getting a pair of 56mm binoculars, to be my 'night vision' equipment for owling. I read about thermal imaging, and it seems as if it is very much still awaiting its cost-to-quality revolution. And I found the world of regular night vision equipment very confusing, as well as...
  12. Peter Audrain

    Cheap/Budget Superzoom Options?

    Yep! I got a little leather MegaGear snap-case for it, and I carry it in a pocket of my jacket. It's a bit thick—or bulgey—but neither large nor heavy, and it fits in my pocket fine. (I am now thinking about getting an 'ever-ready' case, too, to carry it around my neck beside my binoculars. But...
  13. Peter Audrain

    Canon's new 14x32 IS

    So glad to hear from someone who is trying out both the 12- and 14-power Canons! What are your thoughts about ease of view with the 12x32's vs. the 14x32's? I think many armchair Canon IS fanciers would like as much power as they think they can get away with, and it sounds as if the IS has no...
  14. Peter Audrain

    Cheap/Budget Superzoom Options?

    I did lots of research, until I was practically tired of the whole subject, and ended up getting an Adorama Demo 'Like New' Panasonic Lumix ZS70 (TZ90) for about $265. I think it's $350 new. It has the best autofocus this side of phase detection, and I'm very happy with it, for whatever that's...
  15. Peter Audrain

    Sales advice

    It sounds like it might be most sensible to separate the eyepiece from the body and offer both individually. I'll see what he thinks about selling other eyepieces. He hasn't given up on amateur astronomy with his reflector, and I know that was one of the attractions of the Pentax (the...
  16. Peter Audrain

    Canon's new 14x32 IS

    I'd love to read a review by someone comparing back and forth between the new 12x and 14x models. All of this seems exciting, though. They sound pretty great, and prices are plunging.
  17. Peter Audrain

    Sales advice

    Is there an eyepiece that would be most typical with a PF80ED? He has a jumbled bunch of eyepieces—this is the one he prefers, since it gives a super-wide field of view at roughly 30x—and maybe the people's favorite is one of them. EDIT: I guess you're saying zooms are what America wants. He is...
  18. Peter Audrain

    Sales advice

    No, it only works through Apple's iOS Messages app. Although if you do have an iPhone, it's insanely, seamlessly convenient. I'll research PayPal's different services and how they work. Thanks!
  19. Peter Audrain

    Sales advice

    Thanks for the guideline! Are there any preferred specific pictures or descriptors of condition that it helps to include? And if you have a sense for this, how do most people handle payment? (In particular, is Apple Pay a thing in this context? I can imagine countless complications with most...
  20. Peter Audrain

    Sales advice

    I won't be able to take pictures till I go back there and am helping him put them online (three states separate us).
  21. Peter Audrain

    Sales advice

    My father has lost mobility and is interested in selling his Pentax PF-80ED 80mm straight-through spotting scope and SMC XW14 1.25" eyepiece, in order to trade down to something, like IS binoculars, better suited to his current birding lifestyle. Where do you think he would do best to sell...
  22. Peter Audrain

    Hello from Belfast

    Hey Norman! I wish I'd had a chance to bird when I was in Ulster, years ago. As the world has learned from HBO, it's truly a breathtaking place to be outdoors. Welcome.
  23. Peter Audrain

    Speculum on female Common Eider

    Thanks so much—it's great to see those closer-up photos, to hear that other people have seen this vary, too, and to hear the speculation about the bars' relation to age. I'm thinking now that it could be related to feather wear—more than posture, which was my first guess—and so would help to...
  24. Peter Audrain

    Speculum on female Common Eider

    In late December, at the outlet of Scarborough Marsh into the ocean, at Scarborough, Maine, I saw several male and female Common Eiders among Common Loons, Common Mergansers, Long-tailed Ducks, White-winged Scoters, and Black Scoters. All of the swimming female Common Eiders had two very...
  25. Peter Audrain

    Olympus 8x42 Pro

    Yes, thanks so much. The overall experience of using the EXWP-I's is good enough that I have been eager to see Olympus get back in the market with something new and credible, and curious about what they'd be like. I'll look out for a pair to try in person after the holidays!
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