Recently I sat down for a long, fun chat with Mardi Dickinson of BirdCallsRadio. We talked about everything from hummingbirds (of course) and field guides to birding in Arizona and my favorite tropical destinations to making polymer clay jewelry and translating Mayan glyphs.
The episode is now available for your listening pleasure. Click the photo to go to the episode’s Web page and listen via your browser or subscribe and listen via iTunes.
The migration map from hummingbirds.net through March 2012.
The same time period on the eBird map.
The best way to follow the spring migration of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds is the map at hummingbirds.net, but if you also follow eBird you might notice that sightings posted there tend to lag a bit behind. This annual discrepancy became a full-blown controversy in 2012, when sightings reported to hummingbirds.net galloped far ahead not only of eBird but of any similar period since 1996, the year hummingbirds.net creator Lanny Chambers began tracking Ruby-throated spring migration.
The reasons behind the 2012 discrepancy had more to do with different birding styles than with that spring’s odd weather or the birds themselves. To clear the air and build a bridge between the mainstream birding and hummingbird specialist communities, I wrote an analysis for the May 2014 issue of the American Birding Association‘s Birder’s Guide to Conservation and Community. Whether you’re not yet a member of ABA or missed that issue of the Birder’s Guide, you can read “Parallel Universes” for free right here (page 46).
Thanks to Birder’s Guide editor Michael Retter and all the hardworking folks who make ABA such a great organization, and to Lanny Chambers and his dedicated network of hummingbird watchers.