Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from BINAC!!!

We're sweating it out in the hot summer sun, while most of our readers are freezing their arses off!

Hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

And we know what we want for Christmas:

Umm, we want the chick, not Dee Snider!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Kevin Dubrow R.I.P.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Missing Link!!!

Now we remember why we hate the Wisconsin Humane Society so much. They support free-roaming feral cat colonies!


And, in a massive stroke of luck, we have finally been able to link the WHS/Mango debacle with the Jim Stevenson trial:

Don't shoot my pussy!!!

At some point, we envision holding a fundraiser to buy Jim Stevenson a plane ticket to Milwaukee, but that is only a long-range plan.

Since Jim Stevenson has also seen an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, this story is now the Holy Trinity of bird blogging!!!

What the *FUCK* is the Wisconsin Humane Society doing???

OK, now that Jim Stevenson has been freed (through no help from us, we sort of abandoned him, but we'll take credit anyway), the Mango is next on our list.

We were checking out some updated versions of stories on the Mango's birdnapping and found some bizarre quotes from our Moron of the Week, Scott Diehl:

"The Wisconsin Humane Society has rehabilitated baby mockingbirds from Texas and infant ground doves from Florida that ultimately were returned to their home states..."

Where, exactly, did the WHS get an "infant ground dove" from? And baby mockingbirds from "Texas"? What kind of mockingbird would have to be released in Texas? You certainly wouldn't have to release a Northern Mocker that far south. (And please don't fucking tell us Blue Mockingbird, because if the WHS is releasing Blue Mockingbirds in Texas, they have got a lot of 'splaining to do.)

According to some comments floating out there at various places on the 'net (including Sheri Williamson's blog), the WHS has also in the past captured Rufous Hummingbirds.

What the fuck are they doing up there in Wisconsin? Seriously, has the WHS really been capturing multiple vagrants over the past few years? Under what permit were they capturing Rufous Hummingbirds? Because those are clearly protected by the MBTA, right?

Still no response from the Wisconsin DNR.

And no response from the gutless wonders at the Wisconsin Humane Society. They seem to have "lawyered up."

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Welcome to the Big House!

Free at last, free at last!

Jim Stevenson has been set free!!!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jim Stevenson's fate in the hands of the jury!!!


Speaking of being held in captivity...

...apparently Jim Stevenson is on trial right now in Galveston. He might get two years for doing something that isn't even illegal!!!

But, honestly, we're going to see a Jacana tomorrow, so we don't really care!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Letter to the Wisconsin DNR regarding the Green-breasted Mango

Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 19:55:15 -0800 (PST)

From: birdingisnotacrime@yahoo.com

Subject: Tip on wild bird capture

To: LE.Hotline@dnr.state.wi.us
CC: lawreception@illinois.gov

Dear Wisconsin DNR:

We wish to make an anonymous tip regarding an illegal capture of a migratory wild bird.

Sometime on or before November 7, 2007, representatives of the Wisconsin Humane Society illegally captured a healthy and wild bird, specifically a Green-breasted Mango that had been safely living near Beloit for at least several weeks.

We submit that this capture was performed without the proper federal permit, in violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Regardless of the position taken by the Humane Society, Green-breasted Mango fits all of the statutory requirements for protection by the MBTA, and is therefore protected by federal law.

We also submit that the capture violated Wisconsin state law. We assume that you are well-versed in Wisconsin law regarding wildlife rehabbers. For your convenience, we have included the relevant statutory section below. In brief, Wisconsin law specifically provides that a "wildlife rehabilitation license does not authorize the capture, receipt, possession, traansportation, or transfer of wildlife for any purpose other than wildlife rehabilitation." Since this bird was, as the Humane Society has admitted, completely healthy, was never rehabilitated, and was in fact recently used in conjunction with a prearranged "media opportunity," its capture was "for [a] purpose other than wildlife rehabilitation," and the Society's capture, possession, transportation, and transfer of the bird was in violation of Wisconsin law.

The bird has now been transported across states lines to the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois. We also ask that you consult with the Illinois DNR to inform them of this situation.

We trust that you will take your duty to investigate crimes involving wildlife seriously and will investigate this matter promptly. The illegal capture of the Green-breasted Mango should be treated no differently than the taking or poaching of any other wild animal that is prohibited by law. To allow the Society to evade legal liability based on their argument that it was "helping" the bird by capturing it was set a terrible precedent, and could be used by any poacher to justify their actions as being in the "best interests" of wildlife. The DNR has a duty to enforce the law uniformly, and to treat this unlawful capture in the same manner it would treat any other illegal capture of a wild animal.

We are also copying the Illinois DNR to inform them of this potential violation of Wisconsin law, and to inform them that the subject bird has now been transported into Illinois.

The text of the relevant Wisconsin law is as follows:

NR 19.72 General wildlife rehabilitation provisions.1) The title to all wildlife and their offspring heldunder a wildlife rehabilitation license remains under the jurisdiction of the department as described in s. 169.02, Stats., and may not be sold, traded or bartered without the consent of the department.2) The department may restrict wildlife rehabilitation of specific wildlife species, either statewide or in certain geographic areas to control the spread of disease, to protect public health or to prevent harmful environmental impacts.(3) The department may restrict wildlife species authorized for rehabilitation based on the facilities and qualifications of the applicant or licensee.(4) A wildlife rehabilitation license does not authorize the capture, receipt, possession, transportation or transfer of wildlife for any purpose other than wildlife rehabilitation.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Why the Wisconsin Humane Society's Illegal Seizure of the Green-Breasted Mango is Important

It is simply amazing that the Wisconsin "Humane" Society is turning the illegal capture of this hummingbird into a media frenzy.

Maybe one of the esteemed journalists present at this circus could have taken the time to ask Scott Diehl under what legal authority he captured the bird?

Because, you see, the precedent has now been set. According the the Wisconsin Humane Society, any healthy bird can now be taken from the wild without a permit as long as it's not on the "approved" list of species that are covered by the MBTA.

We're gonna go find us a Blue Bunting or a Bahama Mockingbird to shoot because according to Scott Diehl, that's not illegal! How about capturing a Roadside Hawk? Anybody want a Fan-Tailed Warbler for a pet? How about your own Thick-Billed Vireo?

We, as birders, cannot let them get away with this. It strikes at the very core of why we bird, and while this might seem harsh with respect to this particular bird, it will *save* more birds in the long run if we respect the MBTA instead of trying to avoid it using a technicality.

Wisconsin Humane Society, are you out there? Do you have a response?

Most importantly, do you have a lawyer?

We do.

P.S. If this bird is shipped across state lines to the Brookfield Zoo that could be construed as a RICO violation...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

OK, we're bored, so here is an entertaining post from TEXBirds about Jim Stevenson being banned

-----Original Message-----From: Birding discussion list for Texas [mailto:[log in to unmask]] OnBehalf Of B SmithSent: Monday, September 24, 2007 2:52 PMTo: [log in to unmask]Subject: [TEXBIRDS] TEXBIRDS]

Jim Stephenson's disappearance---> Texbird help file http://www.texbirds.org <---

While people are discussing their attitudes about Texbirds, there'ssomething I'd like to say about a topic that I have been learning somethingabout. It is the matter of Jim Stephenson being banned from Texbirds for'threatening' Susan Schaezler. Maybe other people are scared of either Mr.Sarkozi or Ms. Schaezler, and afraid to speak up, but I think this needs tobe said.

I have spoken to Jim at length, verified his claims, and whilereceiving no pressure to place this on Texbirds from him, when my postoffice box gets invaded by her poison, it's time to speak up. Jim seems tohave adopted a disturbingly ambivalent attitude about this, and says hisassistant posts relevant GOS information. What doesn't get posted, though,is his occasional commentaries on Texas birds.

This whole mess began on what was apparently an otherwise great Alaskantrip, with problems with Susan Schaezler. I don't want to go into that, butshe came away from the trip claiming to have dental work required.Participants tell me there was no cause for this, she brought a tooth repairkit with her, and they feel any dental issues likely preceded the trip. ThatJim had four cracked ribs (as she reported to Texbirds without hispermission), it seems unlikely his driving hit too many bumps, andparticipants certainly deny he did. According to Jim, she wanted to make a claim against their carinsurance in Alaska, but he didn't wish to be complicit in insurance fraud.Upon making that decision, Susan did what she has done before; make personaland professional attacks. Jim pointed this one out to

A quick Google of her willreveal a sad past of such attacks. I discovered several attacks she made against Jim on Texbirds, of whichMr. Sarkozi seemed oblivious. Worse, she began sending 'adjusted' clippingsabout him out of newspapers to many people who knew him, often under thealias of "Alex Jones." She is also feeding any dirt she can find on him tothe prosecutor in the infamous cat case we are not supposed to discuss. Butwhen I received a letter from her, that made it my business.

How did she have my address you ask? While Jim was taking Alaskaparticipants on long walks, Susan always stayed behind, and apparently shedownloaded all GOS addresses from his laptop to hers! She hasn't even deniedit! Isn't that illegal??

While her July attacks were going on, Jim called a lady he saw listedon Google named Merl Jeffcoat, who has a positive relationship with Susan.He saw some bird he felt was worth reporting to Texbirds, and mentioned thathe had been talking to her. That was his last Texbird post. Susan claimedto Mr. Sarkozi that Merl was an adversary, which threatened her, and Mr.Sarkozi took Susan's word for it and banned Jim. The truth is, SS and Merlare now FRIENDS, so all this threatening stuff is a lot of crud.

With all the attacks Susan made against Jim, and with how subtly Jimfinally responded, I think David kicked the wrong person off Texbirds.

For myself, I have had enough of Texbirds. Jim's suggestion on a GOSfield trip actually got me on in the first place, and I don't want to be apart of it anymore.

B SmithHouston

Wisconsin Humane Society Illegally Captures Our Mango!

Well, it took a few minutes, but the shit has hit the proverbial fan regarding the capture of the healthy and wild Green-Breasted Mango in Wisconsin. Check out HumNet for the most well-informed discussion you will see on this issue.

We note that the Wisconsin Humane Society has violated state and probably federal law by capturing this hummer. First, the capture likely violates the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Some people have noted that the GB Mango is "not protected" by the MBTA, but it is the statute -- not the accompanying regulations -- that govern what is or is not protected by the MBTA.

Second, the following Wisconsin law governs the capture of wild animals, including birds:

NR 19.72 General wildlife rehabilitation provisions.

1) The title to all wildlife and their offspring held
under a wildlife rehabilitation license remains under the jurisdiction of the department as described in s. 169.02, Stats., and may not be sold, traded or bartered without the consent of the department.

2) The department may restrict wildlife rehabilitation of specific wildlife species, either statewide or in certain geographic areas to control the spread of disease, to protect public health or to prevent harmful environmental impacts.

(3) The department may restrict wildlife species authorized for rehabilitation based on the facilities and qualifications of the applicant or licensee.

(4) A wildlife rehabilitation license does not authorize the capture, receipt, possession, transportation or transfer of wildlife for any purpose other than wildlife rehabilitation.
Part (4) is the important part here. That section means that a person CANNOT capture a bird for any purpose other than wildlife rehabilitation. Since this bird was not sick and not injured, it was not in need of rehabilitation, and could not legally be captured. The statute does not allow someone to capture and hold a healthy bird because they thought that, at some uncertain point in the future, the bird *might* need rehabilitation.
Hummingbirds are not pets, no matter how far out of range they may be. We know that at least some out-of-range hummers return to their "wrong" wintering grounds in consecutive years.
The Wisconsin Humane Society had no legal right to take a healthy bird out of the wild.
The Wisconsin Humane Society should be prosecuted, and we hope that someone brings this matter to the attention of the Wisconsin DNR.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Guess who's back?


Oh, c'mon, you know who he is, find the link for yourself!!!

Stop, Thief!!!

Who stole our Mango?


Subject: mango updateFrom: "Mike Ramsden" Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2007 09:22:53 -0600
The Beloit Mango has been rescued from the wild and is currently under the
care of a licensed rehabilitator. Reports are that it is eating and doing
well. I suspect that it will be transferred to the Brookfield Zoo in
Chicago when it is able. If I receive any new information I will be sure
and pass it along.

Mike Ramsden
Beloit, Rock County
We think a rant is on the way. We're just curious, can anyone send us a copy of the permit under which this Mango was captured?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dick Hollins IBWO Diary Day Seven: Dick's Demands

Dear Diary:

First, let me illustrate again why all birders are morons and don't care about conservation. I don't have any evidence on the conservation part, but I do have some on the moron part. Please read the idiotic comments below by someone named "Mike Collins." I don't know who that clown is, but he's not Mike Collins.

And just to clear up another point, *I* am not Mike Collins. I am Dick Hollins. Mike and Dick are not the same name. Neither are Collins and Hollins. Just because two names sound alike doesn't mean those people are the same person. Do idiot birders confuse Dick Cheney with Gerald McRaney? Chuck Norris with Buck Rogers? Tony Blair with the Blair Witch Project? Barack Osama with Obama bin Laden? Or Bill Clinton with Nelson Mandela? I don't think so. Stupid, stupid birders.

I don't even know Mike Collins, although I do know a Tom Collins fairly well, I usually see him just before I go out searching for Ivorybills. And yes, they are called "Ivorybills" (another idiotic comment posted below, by an idiot who thinks you "gradumate" from college--well, you can go fornicamate yourself, too) at Yale, I don't really give a rat's ass what they call them at Cornell or some pile of steaming crap university like LSU or Auburn.

Where was I. Yes, explaining why everyone else is stupid am I am not. That idiot birder/janitor who has been bothering me, Gary Graves, has somehow gotten himself appointed to a position of power in the Ivorybill Working Groiup. What a joke.

Now that jerk Sibley is at it again. His ruthless and destructive campaign of fear and intimidation is obviously having its intended effect. I have now been banned from BirdChat! Sibley, I know you're reading my diary. So read this: I give up. You win. I have been silenced by the enemies of conservation and those guys in Europe that protect the religious stuff that the guy that wrote the book with Tom Hanks with bad hair wrote about.

Hear me now, birders: I know stupid when I see it. You are stupid and I will no longer enable your (or Sibley's) stupidity. I am done. Hundreds of birders have asked for information on how to find Ivorybills over the past few years. I will no longer give out that information to birders. I will only give out Ivorybill locations to legitimate Ivorybill researchers such as Mary Scott, Mary Scott's bird whisperer, William Smith, and that guy who is also searching for Bigfoot. And possibly Jim Stevenson, if he agrees to shoot a few more cats.

I will be happy to offer this information again to even the dumbest birders if the following demands are met:

1) Gary Graves resigns from his position as janitor at the Smithsonian;

2) David Sibley agrees to retire from his "bird guide" hobby, and the Library of Congress, Borders, and Barnes & Noble agree to burn all copies of Sibley's books that are currently in print;

3) A public apology is made to me, and to Yale, by Cornell, LSU, and the entire "birding community;

4) Popular Mechanics fires the current corrupt editorial staff and publishes all of my original Ivorybill research -- unedited -- and puts a photo of me on the cover; and

5) I get a new car, a new kayak, and a portable jet-pack to assist in my Ivorybill research.

These are my demands. Meet them or you will not have Dick Hollins to push around anymore.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stealing from the best.

OK, we are going to steal a story we first saw on another blog, but at least we're stealing from quality blogs. The linked story about a wild Flamingo from the Yucatan meeting up with an escapee Flamingo from Kansas in Louisiana is pretty amazing:

Stolen from Sibley


Oops, that didn't make sense, we posted the wrong link. Here is the real flamingo story. Forget about us posting the LOS link, we're just too lazy.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wow--Another Midwest Frigatebird (Wisconsin)

Well, you can't blame this one on a hurricane. Where the hell are these birds coming from, and why?


The link doesn't seem to want to hyperlink, so just cut-and-paste.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dick Hollins IBWO Diary: Day Six--Dick's Friend Finds a Nest!!!

Dear Diary:

I cannot withold my joy, because the world's foremost Ivorybill researcher. ny only equal in this field, is about to announce that he has found an Ivorybill nest. Yes, that's right, my colleague William Smith has reincarnated his web site and has a added a section (details to be added soon, I am sure of it!) on an Ivorybill nest.

Check it out: http://billismad.tripod.com/index.html

Your friend,


Monday, October 15, 2007

Dick Hollins IBWO Diary: Day Five

Dear Diary:

First, I would like to thank bonsaibirder for his fine comment. We need more Japanese birders who are concerned about saving the Ivorybill. And to answer his question, yes, I do spend much of my time looking a A-Holes. I have closely inspected some very nice A-Holes, and I would post the photos, but for some reason my government Internet access won't allow those sort of photos online.

I don't have very much time today, as I am using some chewing gum to fix a leak in my canoe. All of that heavy chewing has aggravated my pelvis injury.

I do want to make a few comments about the biased reporting and scientific fraud being perpetrated by Popular Mechanics Magazine. As you know, PM has refused to publish my scientific research on the Ivorybill. This is utterly amazing, as my scientific credentials are beyond dispute. Whenever anyone disputes my scientific credentials, I remind them of my degree from Yale, and of my experience working for the federal government. In my federal government job, I deal with, literally, hundreds of scientific journals every day, including some of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world. While most postal employees cannot even read and just look at the magazines with the dirty pictures, I can read, and have therefore read many journal covers over my 40-year postal career. I even opened one once, but couldn't get past the second page.

Anyway, I talked to the editor of Popular Mechanics last week, and that fraud told me that my evidence was not worthy of his little magazine. Like I would even want to publish my ground-breaking research in a mgazine of such ill-repute. Still, his comments illustrate why I find birders, scientists, government officials, and editors, to be pathetic.

Again, I ask, who is this Sibley guy anyway? What qualifies him to be an expert in bird identification? That clown has been sitting on his haunches in his Ivory Tower drawing pretty pictures of birds he has never seen while I have been busting my hump -- on a government salary, no less -- in Oyster Swamp. Apparently Sibley and his buddies Cheney and Rumsfeld have convinced Popular Mechanics to bury my research. What is his agenda? Is he diverting conservation funds to his private oil-drilling platform off the coast of Massachuestts? I would like to see Sibley spend three months in the swamp and break his pelvis and wrestle crocs and disarm Navy Seals and then see if he can still draw his pretty little pictures. Only then will he have the right to criticize me.

I have written a song that explains how I feel about Sibley, I call it "Night Man," and Mr. BINAC has been nice enough to add it to his blog. The song is performed by Charlie Kelly, singer and keyboardist for my favorite band, Chemical Toilet. Look carefully and you will see me do a cameo at minute :40, I'm the guy with the long hair and green hat.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dick Hollins IBWO Diary: Day 4

Dear Diary:

My pelvis is already healing. Most people would need weeks or even months for a broken pelvis to heal, but I went to Yale and have a high tolerance for pain. The only downside is that I now may be sterile, but that's a small price to pay for saving a species from the brink of extinction.

I want to make a statement about some of the comments that have been made in response to my prior diary entries. First, only an idiot spends their time talking about birds on the Internet. I don't waste my time like others do on pointless endeavors such as that. Second, what kind of person writes anonymous posts on the Internet? To this person calling himself "Mike Hendrickson" I only have one word: You're an idiot. Why don't you post under your real name? Do you think my Dick's Diary is funny? Do you think the destruction of a noble species by the ornithological community is funny? Neither are funny. What I write is not intended for your petty amusement, it is intended only for serious researchers. If you have not seen an Ivorybill, you are an idiot and cannot possibly understand what I am talking about, and you are not welcome here.

To Cybertrash: You are welcome. Thank you for the clarification, and I apologize for your misunderstanding. I have been off of my medication since I injured my pelvis, and I just haven't been thinking straight lately. There are so few resources available to save the Ivorybill ($27 million is paltry compared to what NASA spends every year) that we should not be fighting amongst ourselves. I accept your apology.

Back to the matter at hand: My conversation with Geoff Hill. As you know, Hill is an ornithologist/birder with some ability. While I have mocked most of the ornithological and birding community, I respect Geoff, as he is not like most of the ornithological/birding community. He actually believes me, so he must be pretty smart. I know he's at Auburn now, but I believe it's possible he might have done his undergraduate work at Yale.

Here is what Geoff said to me: "Dick, you have the best evidence that I have seen for the continued existence of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Better than those boobs at Cornell, and better than our paltry efforts here in the Częstochowa." I know he was sincere, because when he used the words "best" and "evidence" he made "finger quotes" around both of those words. He also winked at the end of his endorsement. Geoff also said something to the effect that my evidence was simply unebilevable (I hear that word a lot!), and that he knew that no one else could ever reach my level of achievement.

Until next time, keep thinking of Dick!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dick Hollins IBWO Diary: Day 3

Dear Diary:

I think most birders can't possibly comprehend how difficult it is to find Ivorybills here in the Oyster Swamp where I am doing most of my searching.

Today I broke my pelvis. You can't imagine how hard it is to paddle a 45-foot kayak with a broken pelvis. I fixed a rudimentary cast around my pelvis with those plastic rings from a six-pack and some Scotch tape. I had to swim the last few miles back to base camp, but I was able to convince a "friendly" 12-foot Croc to give me a ride back. I also now have a new pair of boots.

The incident where I broke my pelvis occurred right as I got a glimpse of an Ivorybill. I didn't see it very well, as I was drunk and had my eyes closed, but it had the right overall color and wing beat. It had to have been an Ivorybill. This is the 7th sighting I have had this year in my "Red Zone." The Ivorybill came closer and appeared to actually be a very large mosquito, which landed in my pelvis region. Fearing West Nile disease, I took my paddle and swatted the IBWO/mosquito, thereby breaking my pelvis in the process. I took a DNA swab to compare with the DNA samples I got from that janitor at the Smithsonian.

On the way back I also ran into a team of 12 Navy Seals who were napalming the swamp. I disarmed them with my binocular strap and told them that I had a degree from Yale, and that the Oyster Swamp was *my* swamp and they should leave it the hell alone. After they cried a bit, they agreed to deploy to Iraq instead of dealing with me again. There's a lesson in there for you, David Sibley, if you're smart enough to understand it.

My next entry will feature highlights of what Geoff Hill said directly to me about my "alleged" sightings. Only an idiot would call them "alleged." I am not an idiot, therefore my sightings cannot be "alleged."

Until next time, please keep thinking of how hard it is for Dick here in the swamps.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dick Hollins IBWO Diary: Day Two

Dear Diary:

I continue to be amazed at how ignorant and childish the entire "birding community" can be. We can save a species here and all they're concerned about is posting snarky (that's a big Yale word, I graduated from Yale, you know) comments on stupid Internet blogs. A good example of this childishness is the ignorant and childish comment posted by Cyberthrash in response to Day 1 of my Diary. Well, the best way to deal with a pouting child is to ignore them, so that is what I am going to do.

Cyberthrash, how could you? Your sarcasm is not appreciated. Did you think I was not smart enough to catch that? Well, think again. A Yale-trained sociologist knows sarcasm when he sees it. I thought you were my friend. How many times did we share our dreams of the IBWO while having a latte at that little coffee shop? And you are willing to throw that all away, and for what? Did Popular Mechanics offer to promote your stupid little web site in exchange for you slandering me? Does Tom Nelson (that guy is such a jerk!) have some sort of photos of you in a compromising position? Why have you forsaken me?

Et tu, Judas?

In my next Diary entry, I will get back to the matter at hand: saving the Ivorybill -- and, by proxy, the entire world -- from ignorance and destruction.

Interesting IBWO interview

Can't emnbed it, but here is an interesting video with John Ruthven about the IBWO search: http://youtube.com/watch?v=WNW-VCfPFn4

Bags full of droppings, eh?

Ivory-Billed Searcher's Blog: Day One

*Note:* We here at BINAC are pleased to present a special guest blogger, Dick Hollins.

Dick is the world's second most-accomplished IBWO researcher. Every now and then Dick will let us into his world by providing us with *exclusive* entries from his IBWO Search Diary. Here is his first entry for the 2007-08 season:

Dear Diary:
Today was another tough day in the swamp. I know that everybody doubted that I could find an Ivorybill in a one-acre swamp next to the parking lot of a Wal-Mart in Missouri, but that's because everyone is an idiot except for me. Remember, I have an undergraduate degree from Yale in sociology, and although I couldn't get into Yale for grad school, I did receive my doctorate in Russian from Cleveland State. You can't possibly understand how smart that makes me, largely because you are so stupid.
I have now seen Ivorybills in fourteen states and two Canadian provinces. Today I was speaking with Gary Graves, who is a janitor at the Smithsonian, and he agrees that it is unbelievable that I am the only person to have seen Ivorybills in fourteen states. He kept on saying that it was unbelievable. At least someone realizes how important my research is to the survival of the species--the human species, that is.
It continues to amaze me how stupid birders are. Except for me, of course, I consider myself to be more of a savant than a birder. I guess the more precise term would be a non-idiot savant, if there is such a thing.
In my next entry I hope to talk more about why Popular Mechanics will not publish my research. They are such idiots. It is a conspiracy of immense proportions. If you're lucky, I might also expose David Sibley for the fraud that he is. That guy is so stupid and knows next-to-nothing about bird identification.
I am also working on a digital camera that can be attached to a dragonfly. More on that in my next entry.
Good Searching,
Dick Hollins

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Merlin Invasion!!!

The Hawk Watch at Illinois Beach State Park (IBSP) had over *700* Merlins in a single day this week. That seems like a number that could almost never be topped...does anyone know what the single-day record for Merlins is in the Midwest, or east of the Mississippi?

And we might have some new Ivory-billed news here in a day or two, straight from the mouth of one of the more vocal searchers.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Oooh, this is good stuff!!!

Geoff Hill just updated his web site and is basically retracting the stuff he said about Jeff Sanders' Ivory-billed Woodpecker "sighting" in the 1960's, and about all of Jeff's other sightings that were discredited back in that same time period.

There is a lot more to this story than that, but many of the persons involved -- except for Jeff -- are dead now, so his side of the story is the one that will be told. Wonder if he threatened to sue Hill or something? Somebody please ask Joel Greenberg what he thinks of all of this!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Coolest plane ever, as seen at IAH.

And not just "cool" because the plane had satellite television onboard.
Check out the tail:

Yeah, that's right: a big-ass Snowy Owl on the tail.

Too bad Frontier can't fly us to Okinawa.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Act quickly to help BINAC save the environment now!!!

We have recently been made aware of a serious threat to the environment that has been caused by birders. Yes, we said *caused* by birders. You see, these silly birders are actually driving in cars to see the Mango that has been hanging out in Beloit. They are thereby using scarce fossil fuels and killing the environment and helping Halliburton and possibly dooming the Eskimo Curlew *and* the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. There is only one way to stop this madness: We must kill the Mango!

It is the *right* thing to do. This Mango is causing thousands of thousands of dollars to be spent on unnecessary things like gasoline and Wisconsin cheese. The earth is warming as we speak, we're in a war on terror, Britney Spears is now fat, and the Mango is the symbol of all that is wrong with America.

Kill the Mango!

Kill the Mango!!

Kill the Mango!!!

OK, we're just killing. (Er, we meant kidding, but we typed killing, which is actually pretty funny. ) Seriously, don't kill the Mango. But there's blood on your hands if you go see it. Everyone who wants to go see the Mango should not go see it and should instead drive to WalMart. We had two urges to see it today, and two trips to the Wall solved that fix pretty quickly. Problem solved.

Kill the Mango or go to Wal-Mart. This enviro-political stuff is easy. We expect to be appointed to a post at the United Nations soon.

Seriously, don't really kill the Mango, you capitalist SUV-driving birding bastards.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

"Montrose Musings" Death Notice

According to recent e-mail correspondence, long-time Chicago area birder Jim Landing passed away recently. We have a rule here at BINAC that we do no speak ill of the dead -- a rule that has come into play several times over the past few years.

So we'll just post the message that was sent in its entirety:

A Noted and Much Beloved Chicago Birder Has Died
I wish there was a way of broadcasting this news to only those birders who knew, and truly appreciated and cared about Jim Landing, who's now been happily reunited with his beloved dog, Bull. But unfortunately, in order to get the word out to those birders who loved Jim, I must also inform those who maligned him. He died at 9:45 pm on Monday September 3rd, and his remains have been cremated. As per his wishes, there will be no ceremony. Should anybody wish to share personal comments or stories, his son Alan can be contacted at A.Landing@comcast.net
I never would have become half the birder I became, nor seen a quarter of the birds I did, were it not for my association with Jim Landing. But that was only a small part of it. He was also a wonderful friend and companion during the many years we shared. I know he will be sorely missed by many.
I had just walked in the door of my apartment when I received the call from his son Alan at approximately 11 o'clock Monday night. I was in the process of turning on lights, etc., when I noticed that a carved wooden Buddha statue had been knocked over onto its side, which was really strange, I thought as I righted it, as that's never happened before and it's located in a spot where I can't imagine it being disturbed. Then as I turned to open a window it suddenly hit me--That Buddha had been given to me some five or six weeks ago as a gift from Jim!
For as long as I knew him (we met at the bird sanctuary in 1982), that statue had sat on the floor of his apartment to keep a door from swinging shut. I KNEW then that Jim had stopped by to say "hey". "Good for you, Jim," I said aloud, "You found your way home (I told you so!) then you found your way here--Give Bull a pat on the head for me!" Who knows, maybe it was Bull's wagging tail that knocked that statue over. All I'm certain of is that it was no mere accident or coincidence that these events occurred at the same time. Jim never really quite believed in an afterlife. For some time now I'd been telling him, "You'll see. One of these days you'll get there and say, By God, Kosh was right!" I believe that's exactly what happened. He discovered I WAS right, and just stopped by to let me know.
We had good times, Jim. The years I spent with you were some of the best of my life. May you live in Eternal Peace and Happiness, with Bull back at your side. I love you both always.
To Sue, or whoever runs this list--feel free to ban me from IBET. I have absolutely no intention of ever posting another word on it anyway.
OK, we don't have a rule that shields people who are still alive---wasn't that sort-of a bizarre eulogy/obituary/whatever you wanna call it?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Fisherman murdered at Montrose

Read all about it here.

Monday, September 03, 2007

New IBWO poll.

We've been a bit surprised at the (relative) lack of discussion on the IBWO lately, especially in light of some of the bombshell news that has hit over the last few weeks. So we'll break our self-imposed "IBWO embargo" for a few days, and we'll kick things off with a new poll, on the right.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


August can be a slow time for rarities in certain parts of the country, but there are some great "mega" birds for the ABA area right now, including Fan-Tailed Warbler in Texas, and an apparent JABIRU in Mississippi!!!

Rick Wright's blog has a photo of the Jabiru and also mentions a Brown Hawk-Owl that was apparently seen in Alaska this week. Check Surfbirds N.A. Stop Press for a really --and we don't like to use this word much-- cute photo of the owl.

Monday, August 27, 2007

New blog on the block.

Well, it looks like there's a new bird blogger on the block...none than David Sibley.

Should be an interesting blog to follow.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Will the real Fishcrow please stand up?!?!?!

Wait, Fishcrow took down all of the anti-Cornell rants from his web page!

Who is this new Fishcrow, and what have they done to our beloved old Fishcrow?

Did Cornell take out Fishcrow? Maybe David Sibley? Or even Geoff Hill? Is Fishcrow now taking some sort of anti-ranting medication?

This is not a trivial matter. This battle is not just about the joy and sheer bliss we receive from reading Mr. Crow's thoughts before breakfast each and every day.

This is about the First Amendment. This is about academic freedom, and the scientific method. Important scientific work such as this must not be allowed to be intimidated. We're talking about saving a species here, for goodness sake. We cannot allow one of our top birders and bird conservationists to be silenced or censored. Or censured, either.

Was New Coke better than the old original Coke?


Were the two new Duke cousins they brought in for a couple of shows better than the original Bo and Luke Duke?


Was the new, smaller-breasted Pamela Anderson better than the old, larger-breasted version?

Again, no!

Is the new Fishcrow better than the old ranting Fishcrow?

Hell no!!!

So for the sake of science...

..for the sake of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker...

...and for the sake of humanity...





Or we can just check Google for the cached pages.

But really, we just want our old Fishcrow back!!!


*Whew* this looks like a false alarm...most of Mr. Crow's musings are back, just in a slightly different format.

You had us worried there for a minute, Mr. Fishcrow!

BINAC 2008 World Tour!!!

Folks, we have a very exciting announcement to make. The biggest tour since David Lee Roth was still in Van Halen. (Hey, they should get back together!) It's the

BINAC 2008 World Tour!!!

And, by participating in the poll at the right, you can choose where we will go in 2008!

This will be similar to the Van Halen reunion, except we're birders, not musicians, and we won't be replacing anyone with a 16 year-old fat kid named after Beethoven or someone.

Now, you may think that the poll is something we won't pay attention to, but you'd be WRONG. We will respect whatever choice the people make.

You might notice that one of the choices is Okinawa. Why Okinawa? Well, someone we know is scared of snakes, and we want to see how he will react every time we jump from behind the car and yell "Look out--Habu!!!" (Remember how, on the A-Team, they had to immobilize B.A. every time they went anywhere because he was afraid of flying? It's just like that, except without the mohawk and gold chains, and change the fear of flying to a fear into a fear of snakes.) We also here that there are a few Japanese WWII soldiers still wandering around, and we'd like to chat with them, or have some sake with them, or something like that.

So vote away.

Can we forget about chasing those gulls away now?

OK, now that the Shitty of Chicago has spent tens of thousands of dollars chasing gulls off of our "pristine" beaches, it rained. And in Chicago, when it rains, shit happens. From the Tribune:

Rain forces water district to open locks, sending sewage into lake
By Michael Hawthorne Tribune staff reporter
7:49 PM CDT, August 23, 2007

The deluge of rain today forced the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to open locks on the North Shore Channel in Wilmette, allowing millions of gallons of raw and partially treated sewage to flow into Lake Michigan.
Yes, they City is spending our tax dollars on trained bird-chasing Border Collies when our friends at the MWRD are dumping millions - yes, that's right, millions -- of gallons of raw sewage into the lake. So much for discouraging people to use bottled water. M. Miller, wherever you are, you called this one.
Have fun at the beach this weekend!
BINAC out.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Midwest Frigatebird Alert!

Here is a very interesting post to IN-BIRD from one of Indiana's most knowledgeable birders, Ken Brock:

FRIGATEBIRD (SEABIRD) ALERT. Tom Skilling, Chicago's crack meteorologist, has drawn parallels between hurricane Gilbert (1988) and hurricane Dean (currently approaching Cancun). Gilbert went ashore on 17 September and, according to Skilling, remnants of the storm reached Lake Michigan on 20 September. During the interval 25 September to 4 October a number of Frigatebirds (perhaps a half-dozen) were seen across the Midwest (Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Indiana).

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Good news!!!

The Wilson's Plover has stuck around for almost a week, just about everyone who has tried has seen it, and no one has been shot, robbed, or killed*! This will be a first state record, there have been a few other reports but we don't think that any of those were ever formally accepted by the IORC. It isn't too often that a chaseable first state record shows up and sticks around for so long, but hey, we're not complaining!!!

And passerine migration is starting up as well--we just saw our first window-kill of the "fall" this morning in front of our building, Common Nighthawks should be moving through right about now, and things will start to really get hopping soon.

*That we know of!!!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wilson's Plover at Rainbow Beach--Birding *discovers* a Crime???!!!

Mega-news: A Wilson's Plover was seen today at Rainbow Beach. The first e-mail on the bird was sent out at about 9:10 am. Apparently the bird was first spotted on Wednesday but was not confirmed until today. Once the word got out, the bird was seen well for most of the day, and was last seen flying away from the beach over a breakwater shortly before 4:00 pm.

Mega-scary news from the Chicago Tribune:

Body found on SE Side beach
By Jeremy Gorner Tribune staff reporter
7:45 PM CDT, August 4, 2007

An 18-year-old man was found fatally shot this morning at a Southeast Side beach, Chicago police said. According to a preliminary report from police, the death was being investigated as a homicide. An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday. The body of the victim, whom authorities would not identity pending family notification, was found at about 9:20 a.m. at Rainbow Park and Beach, in the 2800 block of East 76th Street. He was shot in the head behind an ear.
"He was just lying there when police came, so it's just a true mystery," said Chicago Police Officer JoAnn Taylor. Calumet Area detectives were investigating.

OK, so we know that Rainbow Beach is, let's put it this way, a good place to go birding with a few friends. Large mean-looking armed friends. But it has gotten much better over the past few years, so that fact that a rare bird was reported at 9:10 and a dead body was reported at 9:20 is pretty disconcerting. Did a birder find the body? Was a birder the body? Did a birder kill someone who tried to flush the Wilson's Plover? C'mon, somebody must have seen some police cars or something, right? Anyone know exactly what happened out there today?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

91 Willets and *poof* they're Gone!!!

Yesterday a long-time Chicago birder posted that there were 91 Willets -- yes, 91 Willets -- on Montrose Beach. As he was watching the flock of Willets, a dog owner and his mutt went into the protected area (which is off-limits to dogs) and flushed the entire flock.

Now, 91 Willets is probably a lot of Willets for just about anywhere in the U.S., but in Chicago, it's simply incredible. We've been birding for a long time and in our collective lifetimes we haven't seen a total of 91 Willets in Chicago, much less in one single flock. So this sighting is a big deal, and it was ruined -- again -- by a stupid, inconsiderate, and law-breaking dog owner.

We realize that for a lot of our readers it might seem unusual that we spend so much time on certain issues...dogs on the beach, addling of goose eggs, chasing gulls with Border Collies...but in an urban environment, that's what we have to work with. There is really no shorebird habitat (apart from the Calumet area) in Chicago except for these heavily trafficked beaches, and these beaches are absolutely critical stopover habitat for things like Willets.

So let's tie things together...the idiots at the City of Chicago are supposedly paying outside contractors upwards of $45,ooo to use dogs to chase gulls off of Chicago beaches including Montrose Beach. The City, in its infinite wisdom, instead of keeping its stupid decisions to itself, decides to heavily publicize this effort on the local media.

Let's imagine that a big flock of Willets lands on Montrose Beach. To the average non-birder they probably don't look any different from a flock of Ring-billed Gulls, especially at a distance and without binoculars.

So is anyone really surprised when a stupid dog owner sees nothing wrong with unleashing his mongrel on the flock of 91 Willets? Is the City of Chicago going to spend $45,000 to see that this doesn't happen again? And how can they enforce the dog-ban on that part of Montrose Beach when they're actually hiring companies to run dogs a few feet away on the rest of the beach? Doesn't the City realize the messages they are sending to the public at large -- that it's OK to have your pets chase away all of those dirty birds on the beach?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Just messing around practicing some embedding...


Poison covering...oh never mind, just watch it:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Where have all the good birding blogs gone?

It dawned on us that we just recently passed the two-year anniversary of this blog. And while we still don't post as much new material as we should, the fact that we've survived for two years based on gossip, insults, rumor, innuendo, and partial nudity, with an interesting birding tale thrown in now and then, is pretty amazing. It also got us thinking about some of the great birding blogs that gave us the idea to start a blog, and how so many of those blogs have fallen by the wayside. But instead of writing obituaries for those blogs, we're moving forward, and we'll be updating our links to give some newer blogs a bit of exposure.

One good example is the Long Island Birder, also known as Brent B., who has been a long-time reader and contributor here. We may still owe Brent some free Starbucks cards or something from our Mr. Guppy contest. His blog is only like a day old, and it already looks better than ours! So he sucks, but you should still check it out.

Another new blog is the Drinking Bird. Or is it *The* Drinking Bird, in which case we would call it the The Drinking Bird Blog. (You might think we had been drinking when we wrote this post.)

Now, both of these blogs might totally suck, you never know, but we think they'll probably both be pretty cool, so at least give them a chance and check them out.

We also stumbled across The Birding Couple, which has been around for some time, but we didn't check them out until lately.

Finally, there's John Mariani's Swampblog from the Great State of Tejas, which has been around longer than we have. You might know John from some of the IBWO stuff he has commented on but his blog covers a lot more ground than that. Not sure why we've never linked to him before, probably just our innate laziness.

And new blog-guys, our advice to you is: 1) Don't be link whores--if you write good shit, people will find it pretty quickly; 2) If you have something to say, say it, and say it *now*-- we have tons of stuff we wanted to talk about but just got lazy and those ideas sort of drifted away; and 3) This is related to #2, but is important enough for its own number: the best way to build and keep readers is to make sure that you post regularly. Don't worry about feedback or links or whatever...just keep posting every day or at least every week and things will start to happen.

Are Ralph Lauren and L'Oreal killing Piping Plovers?

Probably not, but hey, any time we can accuse Ralph Lauren of killing something, we're entertained.



July 12, 2007 -- Is Ralph Lauren to blame for the disappearance of three piping plover families?
The federally protected birds - in danger of extinction because they insist on building their nests on busy beaches - went missing last month after cosmetics giant L'Oréal choppered 18 fashion editors to the Hamptons to launch its Ralph Lauren men's cologne and entertained them with rides along the surf in a fleet of Land Rovers.

While East Hampton canceled its July Fourth fireworks for the second year in a row so the plovers wouldn't be disturbed, L'Oréal put up a tent at the end of Napeague Lane in Amagansett. As the pampered fashionistas sipped champagne, devoured lobster and took joy rides in the four-wheelers, the gentle plovers were freaking out, according to Latisha Coy, a staffer with the town's Natural Resources Dept.

Coy told the East Hampton Star that, during the event, she witnessed one stressed-out plover hovering over Lauren's tent, which she claimed was improperly covering an area where the birds find nesting material. "There were eight Land Rovers east and west, shooting past . . . We were shocked and stepped in front of the vehicles to try to stop them." she said. "They were spitting up sand when they were turning around."

Coy, who claims the vehicles were speeding at more than 30 mph, said she spotted six pairs of plovers on the day of the event, but only three pairs the next day.
Francis Bock, clerk of the East Hampton Town Trustees, told the paper he's seeking subpoenas to quiz witnesses and wants the Fish & Wildlife Service to consider hitting L'Oréal with a fine of up to $200,000.

Serge Jureidini, president of L'Oréal USA's designer fragrance division, told us, "We abided by all regulations and permits. We absolutely did not harass the birds."

Fish & Wildlife rep Terri Edwards said her agency is "aware of the situation, but by policy we cannot confirm or deny the existence of a criminal investigation."

Not everybody loves the plovers. Advertising legend Jerry Della Femina said, "East Hampton is the only place in the country that can't celebrate the Fourth of July because of these dumb little birds. It would be just as easy to pick them up and move them to another part of the beach."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Night Parrot sighting suppressed???

Not sure how we missed this, but apparently there was a decapitated Night Parrot found in Australia last year but the find was not publicized for several months. Too late for any competent birders to do a thorough follow-up. Maybe Cornell was heading that search, too?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Must have been a slow news day...

...check out this story from the Chicago Tribune. Apparently Mayor Daley is doing such a great jon getting rid of our breeding birds the a nesting Red-winged Blackbird is big news. I hope the folks at the Shedd know more about fish than theyknow about birds. Hey, maybe the City can pay Wild Goose Chase, Inc. $45,ooo to train dogs to chase blackbirds away!

Dive-bombing bird targets Shedd
Tribune staff report
Published July 6, 2007, 10:18 AM CDT

A redwing blackbird is conducting dive-bombing runs near the Shedd Aquarium, but officials there insist there is no danger to the public.Museum officials say the bird likely is doing just what nature intended: defending a nest with hatchlings, according to WGN-Ch. 9 and CLTV.

Fortunately for the public, "it is in a low-traffic area," said Shedd spokesman Roger Germann. "There's no threat to the general public—it's off to one side."But the territory the bird has claimed is directly over a door used by staffers for special events. But, "we don't usually use that door," Germann said.
Employees have noticed the bird over the last couple of weeks, as migratory birds make their way through Chicago."It should be gone pretty soon when the fledglings start flying and continue their migration," Germann said.There have been no injuries.

Brown-chested Martin in in Illinois

Oh yeah, we almost forget, but we even heard about it in Norway...there was a Brown-chested Martin seen in Illinois recently by a reliable observer, but it was not re-found.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

With apologies to Corey Hart...

...we do wear our sunglasses at night. At least, when we're north of the Arctic Circle in summer we do. We're a bit wired after a fantastic but grueling 12-hour drive from the North Cape. It's one o'clock in the morning, but with the jets taking off at the nearby airport, the constant chatter of those *&*%$! magpies, and the fact that it's bright and sunny out, we will take this opportunity to blog instead of sleep.

Peace and Solitude at the North Cape

We have always wanted to visit the North Cape -- or Nordkappe, as the t-shirts say -- to see the northernmost point in mainland Europe. The brochures and guide books describe it as a remote and desolate place of great beauty. The beauty of the Cape and surrounding areas is undeniable:
And there is some great history here, too, as some of the most important naval battles of WWII took place in the waters off of the Cape. There is also a bar, a chapel, and the iconic sculpture that graces thousands of postcards and coffee mugs:

Of course, the brochures are a *bit* misleading. The Cape isn't really the northernmost point in mainland Europe. Hell, it's not even in mainland Europe, it's on an island. And even if it weren't on an island, the big cliff next door (pictured above) is really further north. And about that peace and solitude. We wanted to see the Midnight Sun at the North Cape to ring in the 4th of July BINAC-style. A few other people apparently had the same idea. We were worried when the lobby got a bit crowded:

And we were told there would be some campers, but we were thinking a couple of tents, not something like this:
And the tour buses nearly pushed us over the edge:
But the final straw? The final straw was when the QE2 arrived:

(OK, that's not the QE2, it's a different cruise ship, but the QE2 was actually there a bit earlier in the day. Really.)

Peace and solitude? Sure, with several thousand of your closest friends! We decided to split and enjoy the Midnight Sun our way--with a little birding.

We didn't see much, but at the stroke of midnight, we had our own view of the North Cape and the Midnight Sun from a distance, and we had it all to ourselves. (With the exception of one Finnish guy in a tent, but we'll just forget about him.)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

BINAC in Bergen, Bags in Boston

The headline says it all. We feel like we've died and gone to the Big IKEA in the sky. Here are a few pictures from Bergen, Norway:

And here are two shots from the train ride from Oslo to Bergen:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Due to a technical fault, we are unable to serve this blog today.

We saw a rather amusing and slightly disturbing sign at the Manchester UK airport this morning: "Due to a technical fault, we are unable to serve beef today." The sign was at Burger King, meaning that this Burger King location is apparently no longer serving burgers. We suggested a new name of "Chicken King" to evade any false advertising claims, but the cashier didn't seem too interested.

Speaking of technical faults, our ClustrMap is all screwed up, but at least that makes it easier to see our hits from Mongolia.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

European Readers Beware!!!!

BINAC may be coming to your town soon!!!

We spent most of the last few weeks in Florida and Louisiana, but now we're off on a grand (read: shitty but expensive) tour of places where they speak better English than most of our neighbors here in Chicago.

And Birdchick, we're headed your way soon as well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

America's Birdiest City Results!!!

Here they are:

Hello to all ABC/C contestants,
The results are in and have been counted for the 2007 America's Birdiest City/County competition, which had 19 entrants. I want to congratulate everyone who participated and helped keep this competition going. I would like to especially thank Phil Pryde for having the insight and inspiration to start this contest. He realized there was a niche to be filled in the birding world for a contest that can be competitive without being bogged down with formalities. It's also a great pr / marketing tool as everyone already knows.
I would also like to thank everyone for having patience with me in my first year as coordinator. Before I announce the winners I would like to mention that in the case of dividing the country between east and west I used a map of the migration flyways, with Atlantic and Mississippi flyways being east and Central and Pacific flyways being west. I hope this has not put anyone in a different category than you had previously been in. Now, let's get down to business....
Here are this year's winners:
Large Coastal City:Corpus Christi TX- 240
Small Coastal City:Dauphin Island AL- 203
Large Inland City:San Antonio TX- 179
Small Inland City:Duluth MN- 162
Inland County East:St. Louis County MN- 198
Inland County West:Kern County CA- 235
Coastal County Atlantic Coast:Washington County ME- 160
Coastal County Gulf Coast:Nueces County TX- 254
Coastal County Pacific Coast:Los Angeles County CA- 272
Congratulations again to everyone. I hope you all had fun and will participate again next year. We are planning to put the complete results on the Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries web site, so check with them soon.
Until then,Good Birding!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The sound you hear is the other shoe dropping...

Well, we've been holding our fire a bit on the City of Chicago's gull extermination plans, waiting to see what the City's real motives were, but our unilateral cease-fire ends today. Because today, the City -- sneaky liars that they are -- gave us poor citizens an insight into why they're so intent on destroying the existing gull colonies: They want to build new harbors and piers for cruise ships. Check out the Tribune story at http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-harbor13jun13,1,4845074.story?coll=chi-news-hed (registration may be required). Make sure you check out the drawings of the new harbors.

Apparently the current "Dime Pier," located just south of Navy Pier, which hosts a decent-sized colony of Ring-billed Gulls, will be the site of a new harbor for "larger boats and transient boaters." The wheels were set into motion in May when the City swapped land with the Park District.

So let's see here, the Park District announces in late April that because the bad stinky gulls are polluting Chicago's pristine beaches, they are implementing an extensive plan to destroy those colonies to "improve water quality". Then a week or two later, they quietly acquire the land where the gull colony is located, and a few weeks after that, they announce that they will be building a fancy new harbor there. Clever bastards! You see how the City operates? Blah blah blah we want to protect the environment blah blah blah make our water cleaner blah blah blah how do you like our fancy new harbor for out-of-towners? And many of the suckers in the press and in the "birding community" fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

But we didn't.

Friday, June 01, 2007

And the winner is...

The polls for the BINAC Girl of the Week will close tonight at midnight Chicago time.

So, in that great Chicago tradition, stuff the ballot box until then.

UPDATE: OK, so last night as of midnight there was a tie, so the voting will be extended to 11:00 pm Chicago time tonight. (There can only be *one* BINAC Girl of the Week at the same time!!!)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

SE US Nightjar Survey

A bit of old news, but still an important study:


The Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary would like to invite Florida birders and conservationists to participate in the Southeastern Nightjar Survey Network. The network is a group of conservation minded citizens working together to improve our understanding on the population trends of Whip-poor-wills and Chuck-will's Widows by conducting standardized population surveys.

The Whip-poor-will and Chuck-will's Widow are two of the most enigmatic birds in North America. Very little is known on basic aspects of their biology, habitat use, and population status due to their cryptically nocturnal lifestyle.

In recent years, conservationists and the general public have come to share a general sense that populations of these two Nightjars are declining dramatically. However, prior to this program, there was no widespread or long-term monitoring strategy to gather vital population information. Gaining an understanding on the precise magnitude and scale of population changes are critical if we are to plot a course for conservation.

The Southeastern Nightjar Survey is a new monitoring strategy designed to collect and analyze data annually on the population distribution and trends of Nightjars throughout the southeastern United States. Nightjar survey routes are distributed across ten states including; Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Nightjar Surveys are standardized counts conducted along census routes at night. Observers count all Nightjars seen or heard for a six-minute period at each of 10 stops along the route. The entire survey will not take much more than one hour to complete. We have designed a series of routes in each state based on the existing BBS but also have provided methods for interested participants to create their own route.

The success of this program relies entirely on volunteer participation. Please consider adopting a Nightjar Survey Route in your area. See the Southeastern Nightjar Survey Network webpages at http://ccb-wm.org for more details on how to participate.

If the 2007 survey window is approaching too quickly for you to commit this year, consider adopting a route for 2008 now.

Michael Wilson
Research Biologist
Center for Conservation Biology
Email: mdwils@wm.edu

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Dear Neighboring Cheeseheads;

We, the humble birders of of the superior State of Illinois, have completed our viewing of the REDDISH EGRET, and in the spirit of giving, we are now sending that REDDISH EGRET to you. It has now left the Botanic Gardens is now on its way north, having already made one stop along the northern Illinois lakefront.

In return, we simply ask that you reciprocate the favor, by sending us one of your Great Gray Owls this winter.

Please signal your acceptance of the terms of this proposal by sighting said REDDISH EGRET within the next 72 hours.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.


The Benevolent People of the State of Illinois

P.S. Since we do not totally trust you Cheeseheads to keep up your end of the bargain, we are keeping our Botanic Gardens REDDISH EGRET, and instead are sending you our spare REDDISH EGRET that we only use in case of emergencies. Or maybe we'll send you the Botanic Gardens bird. We really haven't decided yet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rarities: Reddish Egret, plus ???

Quick post: Some great rarities have shown up over the past few days, including a Reddish Egret at the Botanic Gardens in the Chicago suburbs. Hopefully we will be able to see that bird later this week.

In the meantime, we are soliciting opinions on the flycatcher that was seen at Lincoln Park's South Pond earlier today. Photos are on Surfbirds N.A. Stop Press:


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Migration-related Weather Report

Great day (12+ hours) of birding today. Up again early tomorrow. The weather/wind prediction for tonight is very interesting, as posted below (can't really be bothered with getting the formatting perfect right now). Continued W/SW winds changing to N/NW winds right about 3 am. Picture the Chicago lakefront as a line running roughly from north to south. Strong SW winds push migrants up against the lakefront. Those birds will be slowed or put down by the N/NW winds overnight. That's a pretty good recipe for a fallout tomorrow morning, probably depending on how strong the SW winds are, when the winds shift, and how hard the winds blow out of the N/NW. The tricky thing is the fallout could be right along the lakefront, or it could be pretty far inland, depending on when the winds change. Might be a nice night to go up on the rooftops or keep an eye on the NEXRAD radar.

Or, of course, it could be nothing.

That's why birders get up so early in the morning!!!

11:57 pm--we just got back down from our roof deck (about 45 stories high, it has been closed for renovations the last couple of weeks) and it is pretty slow up there. Only a bird or two per minutes, the winds seem to have already shifted, and the clouds and rain are almost here already. The birds that took flight early tonight might have some problems, but it doesn't sound like a big flight. Again, who knows what will be here in the morning, that's why we're going to bed soon.

Partly Cloudy65°F
From SW 11 mph

Partly Cloudy63°F
From SW 11 mph

Mostly Cloudy61°F
From WSW 10 mph

Mostly Cloudy60°F
From WSW 10 mph

Mostly Cloudy58°F
From W 9 mph

Isolated T-Storms56°F
From WNW 8 mph

Isolated T-Storms55°F
From NW 7 mph

Isolated T-Storms54°F

Sunrise 5:26 am

Isolated T-Storms54°F
From N 9 mph

Isolated T-Storms55°F
From N 10 mph

Isolated T-Storms56°F
From NNE 11 mph

Friday, May 18, 2007

BINAC Under Siege!!! !!! !!!

We will not be silenced!!!

Stay tuned for the fireworks. If we don't pass out during our back-to-back Big Days this weekend, of course.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sure Got Cold After the Rain Fell.

Well, the nice weather that had been hanging around Chicago was replaced by a fairly nasty cold front. We went from 90 degrees in some places to overnight lows in the 40s. We ended up with a very wet Ovenbird in our front yard, and the birding has been decent right in the neighborhood. We're up to 37 species for our yard list. We even added a new "garage bird" -- a Northern Waterthrush that was running around in our parking garage at about 5:00 on Sunday morning.

Things have stabilized a bit and there have still been a decent number of birds around this week, especially in light of the north winds. We tend to think that these have been lingering birds that were forced lower to the ground because of the weather, as opposed to new migrants that experienced a bit of a fallout, but there's really no way to be sure.

Anyway, this weekend could be gangbusters. Almost all of the warblers we have been seeing are still adult males. Flycatchers aren't really in yet, and we're not seeing to many of the later-arriving warblers yet, either. That means we probably have at least two really good weeks of migration left, and with a relatively early Memorial Day this year, that could be a really great three-day weekend. The weather is going to warm up and it looks like either Saturday or Monday will be the top day of the year.

Overall, most of the people we talk to seem to think that this has been a pretty nice spring migration so far, although it has been really variable depending on how far you are from the lakefront. The key point is that there are still a lot of birds left to be seen. There were still some nice numbers of migrants in Florida this week, so the best is yet to come.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Narcs, "Outlaw Birds," and "Lawyer Birding"

We know that birding competitions like the World Series of Birding and the Great Texas Birding Classic (or whatever they call it) need to have some rules to ensure a level playing field, but this is just ridiculous:


Not only do they needlessly prohibit teams from calling bird in using tapes, take a look at Part 7. When you're in the field, you're supposed to invoke a waiver of Rule 7.a for "outlaw birds." Hey, that's lawyer-birding!

And look at Parts 12 and 13. A call of fowl? Written protests? Banning violators for one year? Oh man, it says "thank you" to NJ Audubon, so these must be the rules they use for the World Series of Birding or something.

Look, we're all for honesty and fair play, but this is birding, not the federal court system. If you see someone cheating, you're supposed to talk about them behind their backs, mock all of their undocumented sightings, and say "I bet *that* won't be refound" every time they report a rarity, not narc them out by filing a written protest.

A little birdie told us to not worry about those tagged gulls.

There is nothing birders like more than knowing where a bird they are looking at came from, and knowing where that bird will go after it leaves their area. That's why birders are so interested in banding, ringing, tagging, etc.

Right now a lot of banded and tagged gulls are turning up in the Chicago area, and of course, local birders are seeing these gulls and wondering who they should report them to.

Well, not everyone working on this anti-gull project is happy about the City's plan to reduce the gull population, and one of these unhappy folks -- we'll call him/her our "little birdie" -- knows the real scoop, and they're singing like a canary.

Let's just say that the City doesn't care who sees tagged gulls, or where those gulls are headed. You see, our little birdie sings, the City is tagging these gulls for two reasons, and neither of them have to do with where these gulls are dispersing to.

First, the City is using the tagged birds to determine the effect of their gull depradation efforts in the city. While they spend our hard-earned taxpayers dollars coating gull eggs with corn oil, they want to know if those gulls are laying a second clutch.

The second reason these gulls are being tagged is a bit more insidious: the tagging of the gulls in and of itself is an effort by the City to reduce the breeding population of gulls. Color-tagged gulls, according to some data, are less likely to breed than untagged gulls. So, in a way, the colored tags are not just being used to track the effects of the City's gull control efforts -- they *are* a part of the City's gull control efforts. Bet they didn't mention that at the fancy "migratory bird" press conference at Montrose on Saturday.

Sing, little birdie, sing, and warble us another song!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Birds being killed by wildfire smoke?

You may have read this story already, but it smells a bit funny to us. First, there are clearly some mistakes in the story, as there is no way smoke from fires up in the Panhandle or near Georgia is affecting birds in Miami-Dade. If those birds are being affected by smoke, it's likely smoke from nearer fires in Collier County or elsewhere in Central/South Florida.

Second, we'd like to see support for the claim that this smoke is toxic to birds. What is described in the article sounds a lot like your standard window-kill event; perhaps the smoke is affecting the birds' ability to migrate (by, for example, blocking out the stars at night), but to say that the smoke is affecting their lungs...that sound a bit more far-fetched. The video here appears to have a still of birds grounded near some mirrored glass, but there doesn't appear to be any video of birds actually hitting glass: http://www.local6.com/news/13312859/detail.html Anyway, here is the story, you can draw your own conclusions:

*UPDATE*: Here is a link to a video that makes a bit more sense, and doesn't mention "toxic smoke." Check out the chiropractor who has donated his services to the birds!!!


And here is the original "birds inhaling toxic smoke" story:

Birds Dropping From Sky, Flying Into Buildings After Exposure To Smoke
Vets: Toxins In Smoke Are Poisonous To Birds
POSTED: 7:40 am EDT May 14, 2007
UPDATED: 7:51 am EDT May 14, 2007
Hundreds of birds from as far south as Miami are falling from the sky or flying head-first into buildings and dying after being exposed to smoke from wildfires blanketing parts of Florida, according to a report.

Veterinarians said the birds have very sensitive lungs and the toxins in the smoke are poison to them, Local 6 reported Monday.

Video showed birds slamming head-first into buildings and glass in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

"I hear them (hitting glass) all day long," a business owner said. "It is horrible."
Residents in the counties have called wildlife centers to report the dead birds, the report said.
"Something is draining the life out of (an injured bird)," a man said after finding a bird that fell from the sky. "And it seems to be a slow process, which is pretty brutal."
Officials said smoke from the wildfires in Florida disorients the birds and causes them to fly into windows, according to a WSVN report. The birds are dying from either the impact of the crash or suffering from head and neck injuries.

Wildfires started about a month ago in southeast Georgia and have spread into Florida. More than 300,000 acres have burned in both states. The wildfire that raced through the Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia and into Florida was started by lightning more than a week ago.

By Sunday night, it had burned 102,500 acres in Florida and was 30 percent contained. Georgia reported 41 wildfires in the state covering 267,136 acres.

Officials were also fighting a series of other, smaller fires throughout the state.
The fire burning in southeast Georgia and Florida started May 5 in the middle of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. It took just six days to grow larger than another wildfire that has burned nearly 121,000 acres of Georgia forest and swampland over more than three weeks. The smaller fire was started by a tree falling on a power line.

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and Georgia's Steven C. Foster State Park inside it remained closed. Haze from the fires has traveled as far south as the Miami area, about 340 miles away.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Do *Not* Read This Blog!!!

OK, sometimes when we disappear for a while, we come back with some lame excuse like we were working really hard, or travelling too much, or had to watch too much television. This time we don't have a lame excuse, we have a great one -- we've been out birding!!!

So here is some advice that you will probably never see on those other birding blogs: Stop reading this blog and get outside and go birding! If you live just about anywhere in North America, the only reason you should be reading or commenting on this blog during daylight hours right now is if you have a broken leg or you're at work. If you don't, you should be out birding! We don't care if it's slow right now, slow birding is better than no birding. (Hey, a new slogan!)

If you want to stop by at night, or before sunrise, that's fine, but we will be very disappointed if you're reading during the day!!! Unless, as we mentioned, you're a sap who is stuck working this week like we are. A lot of Chicago-area birders take a week or two off from work right about this time every year to bird locally...do people still do that in other places, too?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Please tell us that we are not the only ones who are annoyed (again!)...

Just got back from our little trip, perfectly timed to miss goodies back in the Chicago area such as Townsend's Warbler, Mississippi Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, and who knows what else.

So we were catching up on our e-mail, checking the latest messages from our local listserve, when we found a couple more difficult identification problems posed by some newbie birders. Not this again. In the last week, different birders have posted photos of the following "mystery birds" that they could not identify: male Bobolink; male Common Yellowthroat; female House Sparrow; and, yes, wait for it, male Mallard. Seriously.

We love new birders, and we try to help them all we can, but c'mon, you are a complete and total moron if you can't identify a male Bobolink perched in the middle of a meadow. There's nothing *even close to that* that isn't a Bobolink in your bird book, not even in that cheapie field guide to North American birds we saw a few years that was produced in China. Just taking pictures of random birds and then asking other people to identify them while sitting in front of the computer is *not* birding. It's not even birdwatching. It's a waste of time, and it is extremely annoying. If you've got your Sibley's or Peterson's in front of you, or even an old Golden Guide, and you can't identify a male Mallard, there's no hope. Just give up and donate your equipment to Birder's Exchange.

The problem (besides the fact that you don't learn anything when other people identify your birds for you) is that these kind of pointless questions are driving a lot of experienced birders away from reading and posting to their local or state listserves. There are probably eight bird clubs in the Chicago area, and probably every single one of them has a field trip somewhere this weekend.

So if you're a new birder, turn off the computer, leave your camera at home, and GET OFF YOUR ASS and start identifying birds WHILE YOU ARE IN THE FIELD instead of while you're in front of the computer.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sunday was slow...

...slower than, well, something that is really really slow.

The worst part of the day was the almost complete lack of access anywhere along the lakefront. More on that in our next rant.

In the meantime, we have decided to try another spot this weekend where migration might be a bit more advanced than it is in Chicago right now.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

We learned a lesson today/tomorrow will be a BETTER day!!!

We have been waiting to write about what we have been seeing around town over the past few days, but the birding has been SLOW. We spent most of the day downtown or on the lakefront and while there were a few different birds around, both overall numbers and species counts were extremely low. The reports we've gotten from elsewhere in the city have been pretty similar. The most exciting thing we saw today was a small group of homeless people in the alley behind the YMCA yelling and cheering. We stopped to take a look and were nearly blinded by two more homeless people having sex in the alley.

Memo to BINAC: Next time, don't look!!!

We had a Northern Waterthrush on the lawn at our building on Tuesday, and had crippling looks at a first-year male Hooded Warbler later that day on the softball fields nearby. The bird was incredibly tame, following us around, even begging us for food. Does that happen in other places? Very cool.

Tomorrow is the day we're pinning all of our hopes on, The weather is supposed to warm up to 80 degrees or more,the warm air flowing into Chicago on very strong SSW winds overnight. If that weather pattern holds, the NEXRAD radar should be light up tonight all over the Midwest, and conditions should be ripe for a very nice migration tomorrow morning. Still a bit early here for huge numbers of tanagers, grosbeaks, etc., but we will probably get the first massive sparrow movement tomorrow morning, along with a good number of warblers and a generally strong overall movement of birds.

During spring migration, we like to spend one day of each weekend in the 'burbs, and one day along the lakefront, but we're going to break that rule tomorrow and stick close to the lake. When the weekend is as nice as this, you have to get to places on the north lakefront (Montrose, Lincoln Park Bird Sanctuary, etc.) early and then work your way south before the northern areas get flooded with people, cars, boats, airplanes, whatever.

The anticipation is almost killing us, it will be hard to sleep tonight, let's keep our fingers crossed that tomorrow will be a great birding day.