A cut above the rest!
Week 1: So it begins Even though the first waves of Neotropical migrants typically arrive before the calendar changes to the fifth month, most East Coast birders would agree that May is the peak of the excitement. This year, some of my migration highlights came a little early. A few advance bouts of favorable conditions brought Prairie Warblers, Northern Parulas, and more back to the area ahead of schedule. The last days of the month featured a prolonged southwest wind. This “southern slingshot” resulted in a notable northward push of species that normally breed further south than Long Island. I enjoyed repeated encounters with a handsome male Prothonotary Warbler at Hempstead Lake State Park. Many of my friends were fortunate enough to locate regionally uncommon treats like Summer Tanager and Blue Grosbeak.
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Tim’s Tips for Surviving the Birding Doldrums

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Bird Sightings , Birding , Listing , Rarities
Not all months are created equal. Seasonal changes can be a double-edged sword, and the same natural cycles that provide fresh turnover in avian activity can also result in relative droughts when birds seem few and far between. Here in New York, March is consistently the least exciting stretch of the year. With wintering species disappearing and the prospect of spring migrants little more than a distant dream, making it through the doldrums can feel like a bit of a slog. Fear not! Birding is a versatile pastime. There are multiple viable strategies for surviving the dry spell with a smile on your face. This little list, with its early April arrival date, may come too late for readers who are already reveling in the excitement of spring.
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Please enjoy owls responsibly
Bubo scandiacus is a highly evocative species. One of the largest, most striking members of the ever popular owl family, Snowies have a special magic that drives people wild. Wherever these Arctic predators go, excitement bordering on chaos usually follows. I’ve been hooked on Snowy Owls my entire life. I spent my early childhood dragging around a beloved plush Snowy, and my quest to see the real deal in the flesh drove my development into a proper birder. Growing up on Long Island, a popular wintering site for visiting owls, afforded me the opportunity to observe them with more consistency than most admirers who live south of the Canadian border. This most recent season was special. The scale of the irruption and the magnitude of the response in the birding community felt quite different from the historic invasion 4 years ago.
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2017 Holiday Gift Ideas for Birders and Nature Lovers

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Books , Field Guide , Gear
It’s that time of year again, when everyone realizes Christmas is just a few weeks away, and they haven’t bought a gift for the hardest person to buy for on their list…the birder. This year, Nemesis Bird is  featuring a few typical “bird-themed” gifts, and some great birding books that came out in 2017. Our 2017 list also contains some gear choices for people on the go (birders!), and some options for those who may have enough “stuff” but still want to contribute to conservation and research. Be forewarned that most birders have their ideal “set-up” for optics and cameras, so if you are opting for these pricier choices, it is best to either give cash (who doesn’t love cash?) or speak directly with your birder to find out what their heart really desires (spoiler alert, you probably can’t afford it, because neither can we).
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First off, there were far too many “punny” titles for this post (almost none of which I thought up on my own/didn’t steal from an internet meme) – “Children of the Corncrake” – “Jimmy Crake Corn and I don’t care” – “Crexit through the gift shop”…you get the idea. By now, it’s a well known saga involving the Long Island corn crake discovered on November 7th by Ken and Sue Feustel. Part ecological oddity, part traffic and transportation education, and part Shakespearean tragedy, this ABA rarity had it all. I was lucky enough (or silly enough to skip out on work, depending on how you shake it) to see this bird the day after its discovery on Wednesday the 8th. In the company of many other birders from far and wide, I have to say this was one of the better chases I’ve attempted.
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It’s that time of year again…..fireworks, patriotism, awkward outdoor barbecues with people you know from work. But the real highlight of every 4th? The annual NemesisBird 4th of July Birding challenge. It’s really the highlight of America in general – I’d like to think that this prize-less birding contest is now included in some of our country’s most cherished traditions: such as dressing up like Uncle Sam to box a Russian super-villain. James Brown and Apollo Creed know what’s up: Last year, I included Eastern Towhee as the 59th ‘bonus bird’ given its status as one of my study species, one of my favorites, and one of the most American birds I know. But we always keep things fresh here at Nemesis Bird. Sorry Towhee, but you can’t count this year. And enough with my east coast favoritism.
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eBird Explore pages get new, Illustrated Checklist view

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Bird Websites , General News and Info
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Global Big Day is May 13

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Big Days , Birding
Are you taking part in Global Big Day? The Nemesis Birders are scattered around and will be looking for birds along Lake Ontario, coastal Rhode Island and possibly Alaska! Below is the GBD press release. Let us know where you will be in the comments below! A “big day” is a big deal for people who love to watch birds. The term traditionally applies to any effort to identify as many bird species as possible in a single day. The third annual Global Big Day takes place on May 13, 2017. Bird watchers around the world are invited to watch and count birds for any length of time on that day and enter their observations online at eBird.org. “The past two Global Big Days have set back-to-back world records for the most bird species seen in a single day,” says Chris Wood at the Cornell Lab. “During 
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Fighting the Doldrums of Late February Birding

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Birding , General Rant , , ,
Birding is a year-round activity. It’s probably one of the best things about it. But without a doubt there are peaks of activity that ignite the fire in all birders and gets the masses out every morning. Obviously, I’m talking about migration. We all crave it; those warm spring mornings in early May, teaming with melodic songs and endless possibilities. What about those cool afternoons in October, where a wave of drab colored warbles fill every tree in your favorite migrant trap? Migration is a magical time, and in the Northeast, we get it twice a year. Even once migration has ended, there are still some landmark periods on the bird calendar that keep the binoculars to the eyes.
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The Easiest Way to Map Your eBird History #myebirdhistory

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Birding , General News and Info , Tutorial
I was recently introduced to a mapping website that works well with eBird data by a Facebook post by Ted Floyd. Hamstermap.com lets you upload simple latitude/longitude data and display it on a map for quick visualization of all sorts of great things, in this case your personal eBird data. I’ll show you some of the maps I created, and then you can scroll down to see a tutorial on how to make your own eBird History map. Hopefully you’ll give it a try and share it on Facebook or Twitter with tagged with #myebirdhistory for all to see! The first map I created showed my entire eBirding history at the time, although I’ve since added Spain to my map.
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