Word On The Street At The ABA

Above is a beautiful Bullock's oriole we saw on a field trip in Vivian Park yesterday. See, Non Birding Bill, they aren't all brown and gray out here. So, here are some of the topics birders are discussing at the American Birding Association Convention in Utah:

Falcons are more closely related to parrots than other raptors??

Yes! That is the word on the street here at the ABA Convention and on the birding listservs and blogs. There's an article about at the Chicago Tribune and Grrl Scientist has a bit more detail here in her blog.

So, what does this mean to you? Your field guide orders are going to change. But aren't they always changing anyway. I still get confused seeing waterfowl up front instead of loons and grebes.

The other interesting deal going down is that a man attending the convention has scanned in his National Geographic Field Guide and placed it on his iTouch! He said that it took him three weeks and he showed me how he can zoom in on the illustrations and you can easily view the text. He also used the Thayer Software for birding and has all the North American bird calls to go along with it. Now, because it's proprietary to National Geo, he can't sell it, but he has offered to mail a disk of the scanned guide to anyone who wants it--for FREE! He doesn't want money and he just seems to enjoy getting a good guide on an iTouch.

I was going to blog out loud to National Geographic and say: "Yo, dudes, why aren't you doing this--getting a good field guide onto an iPod, iTouch, or iPhone? You did such a fun job with the Palm Pilot thing." And when I checked email yesterday, I got this in my Inbox:

Introducing National Geographic Handheld Birds Online

Now all of the power in National Geographic Handheld Birds™ is available Online! Access Handheld Birds™ from any full-featured web browser on a computer or mobile device such as the iPhone. With the new online features Handheld Birds™ is a must-have for any bird enthusiast!

Here are just some of the new Online features:

-Compare species side-by-side
-Search on multiple selections for criteria
-Search with new “family” criteria
-Add notes to checklists and individual species observations
-Manage your checklists and lifelists
-Set date ranges for checklists for a single day or over months
-Order species in checklists by name, taxonomic order, and count
-Download checklists to your desktop or store them online
-Set personal preferences
-Manage up to 100 checklists at a time

For a limited time only, you can get a full 1-year subscription to Handheld Birds Online for only $25. That’s a 50% savings off the regular price!

This now makes it compatible with an iPhone or iTouch when you are online.

Techno Birding is getting interesting folks.