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BellaOnline's Birding Editor


September 9 2013 Birding Newsletter

Here is the latest article from the Birding Site at Bellaonline:

“Spotted Owls – S.O.S.” - Spotted Owls are increasingly under attack (even and especially from their purported protectors). They need our help quickly.




Killing Barred Owls. Who will do this? What it will amount to is a select few government employees and private “contractors” who will have the pleasure to go out playing in the woods all day- at our (taxpayer) enormous expense.

The following is adapted from an anonymous post on "The Oregonian’s" blog:


As this is a firearms job, [it] will start me as a GS-9 [that is a base annual pay of 50,000.00, plus generous federal benefits].

As a Government employee I will work 40 hrs [a week] plus overtime...My work day begins at the Fish and Wildlife office as I use their vehicle, and for safety reasons I work with a partner. [That is double the pay; more, if my partner is a supervisor who will be paid at his higher GS level]. I am not permitted to work alone so if I or my partner [is] not at work, we do “paper [work]” in the office.

I will have 13 [paid] holidays, weekends [off], 4 [paid] training days, 10 days [paid] vacation plus 10 days [paid] sick leave per year. That leaves me 224 work days. [Based on the Barred Owl hunting experiences of the current permit holders] I think [we] can [kill] about 40 of these critters a year.

Depending on the weather in the area I am assigned, I may not get 224 work days in the field due to heavy rains, flash floods in streams, [restricted] hiking in some areas, and even forest fires. If we run into OR-7 [aka Journey, the wandering grey wolf] then we can’t even work in the area [so] as not to disturb another ESA [Endangered Species Act] project. We’ll also have to avoid flora areas that are off-limits because of ESA listings.

Great idea. My federal career and government retirement await this job.




The American Birding Association (ABA) has announced the debut of their brand new magazine, “Birder’s Guide”. While a print copy is mailed to ABA members, everyone else will have access to the issues FREE ONLINE. It may be downloaded, printed out, or browsed on the screen.

The 68-page first issue (August 2013) focuses on Travel: in-depth articles on birding hotspots in Louisiana, Colombia, and New Brunswick, and a feature article on the 20 Best Birds in Asia. There is an excellent directory of current Pelagic (open oceans or seas) tours available, and a comprehensive article on everything you could possibly need to know about foreign traveling with your birding gear.

This magazine is full of useful information. No fluff here. Not overly burdened with advertisements. Highly recommended. And, did I mention that it is FREE?





Did you watch last week’s first episode of PBS’ Nature series, Earthflight?

This Wednesday, September 11, 2013, at 8:00PM EST, the continent of AFRICA will be the star:

”Fly and arrow-dive with cape gannets among sharks, dolphins, whales and the great sardine run. Soar with fish eagles, flamingos, kelp gulls and vultures to see the most animal-packed continent with fresh eyes.”



FREE – “A Birder’s Guide to LOUISIANA”

Also published by the ABA, and available as a free pdf online http://www.atchafalaya.org/userfiles/Guide%20Final%208-15-13.pdf, or as a hardcover http://www.amazon.com/Birders-Guide-Louisiana-Birdfinding-Guides/dp/1878788434/, this is truly an incredible treasure featuring every possible nook and cranny of Louisiana’s vast ‘bird reserves’. Over 250 pages of birds, descriptions, maps, routes, tips, links, ecosystems, and ending with several appendices on Louisiana mammals, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies.


NEW ZEALAND is asking for help on the bird conservation front. A non-native species from Asia, the red-vented bulbul http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/pests/red-vented-bulbul, is wreaking havoc with country’s native birds and with agricultural crops. Pugnacious birds, they have been nicknamed “Angry Birds” after the computer game by the same name. At present, the government does not know how many there are, nor where they are all located.

Perhaps a wandering ornithologist or two, or visiting birders, might be interested in helping this country out?




You might be interested in this article about Pishing. What it is and a brief discussion of the ethics surrounding an increasingly problematic birding method:http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art181216.asp


Please visit http://www.bellaonline.com/site/Birding for even more great content about Birding. There are four previous companion articles to the one named above that may be of interest to you: “Killing Barred Owls – The Big Lie”, “Killing Barred Owls – Who Are the Players?”, "Killing Barred Owls" and "Barred Owl Debacle".


To participate in online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Birding located here: http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=1

You will find quite a bit more information on the Barred/Spotted owl issue in these forums.

I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I appreciate your feedback- whether we agree or not!

Please feel free to pass this message along.

Warmest regards,

Carrie McLaughlin, Birding Editor

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