Amy
ABOUT ME - My name is Amy and I'm a birder living in central Florida. On this blog I post book and birding product reviews as well as birder gift ideas and announcements related to my birder gift shop on this site. I also have a personal birding blog called Powered By Birds.

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Unless otherwise stated, all books and other products reviewed on this blog were purchased or independently acquired by the reviewer. Readers who make a purchase by clicking on links in product reviews or featured t-shirt posts (T-Shirt Tuesday) may result in the blogger receiving a commission or referral fee.
Archive: January, 2013

Promo Video: The New Birders

Posted on January 30th, 2013 in Birding App, Products, Video

This short promotional video does a good job of explaining how some birders use birding smartphone apps in the field.

The New Birder from Mitchell Waite on Vimeo.

Contest alert: How to Be a Better Birder

Posted on January 25th, 2013 in Books, Contest, Giveaway

NatureShare is holding a caption contest. Add your best caption to the comments on this photo for your chance to get in the drawing for a copy of Derek Lovitch’s book How to Be a Better Birder. The winner will be randomly selected on 26 January at 10AM EST.

Movie Review: Hoot

Posted on January 9th, 2013 in Movie, Movie Review

Wil Shriner’s Hoot tells the story of three young environmental warriors who band together to save a colony of Burrowing Owls from the bulldozers of development in Florida. Hoot is based upon a young adult novel by Carl Hiassen.

The story revolves around new kid in town Roy as he tries to overcome local bullies and fit in to his new school. Roy befriends classmate Beatrice and her oddball brother Mullet Fingers. The three young adults band together to stop goofball construction foreman Curly (Tim Blake Nelson) from razing a Burrowing Owl colony in favor of a pancake restaurant.

Hoot is a comedy with a serious underlying message of conservation. The kids use some questionable methods to try and save the owl colony (like releasing potentially owl-eating snakes to combat guard dogs) and confrontations between the conservationists and those who would kill the owls range from silly to over-the-top dramatic. Looking over these goofy plot conventions, I enjoyed Hoot for the most part. The owls were cute (of course), the kids were passionate about their cause, and the anti-development message was clear.

The Hoot DVD is full of extras, including short documentaries on costar Jimmy Buffet and the three young stars, backyard habitat and animals in action. The most enjoyable for me was a short piece entitled “Visit an Animal Rescue Center.” Bloopers and deleted scenes are also included in the extras. The DVD has one of the cutest menu navigations I’ve ever seen.

I give Hoot 3.5 Goldfinches out of 5.

Hoot is available for purchase via Amazon. It is also regularly available for immediate trade via SwapADVD.

Contest alert: Edward Lear Owl Print

Posted on January 8th, 2013 in Art, Books, Contest, Giveaway

Submit a comment on this blog post by Audubon Magazine for a chance to win an Eagle Owl print by Edward Lear. Drawing takes place 31 January 2013.

Share your Wingscapes photos!

Posted on January 8th, 2013 in Backyard Birds, Funny, Products

Did you get a new Wingscapes BirdCam for Christmas? Consider sharing your photos with the Wingscapes BirdCam Flickr group. The group is fun to browse, with BirdCammers located all over the world. Your photos can contribute! At one time the creators of the camera kept a life list of all species captured via their product; I’m not sure they still do this, but you never know. Your cam might just capture something that’s never been BirdCammed before!

Common Grackles
Common Grackles enjoying suet balls in Florida: Caught on a Wingscapes BirdCam!

Awesome birder earrings

Posted on January 7th, 2013 in Products

I saw this display of earrings at the Merritt Island NWR visitor center and fell in love. They are designed and produced by a small company called Jabebo.

Jabebo

In each pair of earrings, two different images complement each other. I enlarged a few of them below so you can see what I mean. My pictures don’t really do these intricate designs justice; you can see them all (including other science-themed sets besides birds) at the Jabebo website. My favorites are the American Robin & nest, Mockingbird (seen below), Osprey (seen below), Saw-whet Owl, and the Northern Flicker (yellow-shafted). I would love to see a Barred Owl in their offering!

The earrings are minature images pressed onto a double layer of post-consumer cereal box cardboard. The display cards are made of the same material. You can read more about the process on the Jabebo website.

The earrings are mostly sold at nature centers and wildlife preserves; you can find out where to buy them in your area here.

Contest alert: Birdwatcher Mug

Posted on January 5th, 2013 in Contest, Giveaway

Two-Fisted Birdwatcher is giving away a blog-branded mug. Find this month’s hidden bird (Razorbill) to be eligible for the drawing. This regular giveaway usually ends by the end of the month, so submit your answer before January is over! See the contest page for details.