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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Blog Disclosure

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: February, 2010

T-Shirt Tuesday: 3x Fuertes

Posted on February 23rd, 2010 in Art, Museum, T-Shirt Tuesday

This weeks featured t-shirts are in honor of a current exhibit at the New York State Museum: Birds of New York and the Paintings of Louis Agassiz Fuertes. According to the website of the museum:

This exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the publication of Birds of New York, one of the most popular books issued in the State Museum’s history. The exhibition features dozens of original watercolors made for the book by famed bird artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes, as well as the first edition of Birds of New York, a portfolio of prints, and specimens from the Museum’s ornithology collection.

Fuertes was an ornithologist and artist, active from about 1894 until his death in 1927. He illustrated over 60 books and hundreds of articles. The exhibition at the New York State Museum honors the 100th anniversary of Elon Howard Eaton’s Birds of New York, which was illustrated by Fuertes.

This week’s highlighted t-shirts feature art by Louis Agassiz Fuertes: Meadowlark; Rose-breasted Grosbeak; and Great Horned Owl.

T-Shirt Tuesday: Birding Flu

Posted on February 16th, 2010 in T-Shirt Tuesday

This week’s highlighted shirt might make your friends look twice. Swine flu has been in the news lately, but bird flu was a bigger concern in recent years. This t-shirt design reads I’ve Got a Bad Case of Birding Flu. If you take care, it just might be contagious.

T-Shirt Tuesday: Birding Freak

Posted on February 9th, 2010 in T-Shirt Tuesday

This week’s highlighted shirt uses distressed-style typewriter text to say the wearer is a Birding Freak. For only the most obsessed of birders.

Birding Freak Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Book Review: The Beak of the Finch

Posted on February 6th, 2010 in Book Review, Books

The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner. First published 1994.

I’ll admit I hadn’t heard of The Beak of the Finch when I picked it up at the Unclaimed Baggage shop in Alabama. Arthur had pointed it out to me; he knew I was looking for bird-related natural history books, and judging from the cover, The Beak of the Finch looked like something I would like to read. As it sat on my bookshelf waiting for its turn to be read, I started to hear birding acquaintances recommend this book as a must-read. Now that I’ve finished reading it, I can agree completely. The Beak of the Finch is a must-read.

The Beak of the Finch was first published in 1994, and it won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction. The book explains several concepts in the study of evolution, while following the landmark work done on Galapagos Island finches by Peter and Rosemary Grant. The Grants began their work on Daphne Major in the 1970’s and through their long-term study of the finches, as well as the research of others, natural selection is known to work at a pace never dreamed of by Charles Darwin himself. The beaks of the Galapagos finches tell just a part of the incredible tale of evolution as it is understood and as it is being studied today.

Theories in topics like hybridization, natural selection and speciation are explained by relating diverse studies on fruit flies, guppies, moths, and much more. Each study is fascinating and they all fit into the bigger picture of evolution.

The Beak of the Finch is an engaging book and a must-read for anyone interested in understanding evolution. I give The Beak of the Finch 5 Goldfinches out of 5.

T-Shirt Tuesday: Dharma Initiative Birder

Posted on February 2nd, 2010 in T-Shirt Tuesday

Even if you’re not a fan, you probably know that tonight is the final season premiere of Lost on ABC. Few shows have had more hype, especially in recent years. This week’s highlighted design is based on the fictional Dharma Initiative from Lost. On the show, the black and white octagonal logos represent different stations on the Island, as well as personnel functions. This design, Dharma Initiative Birder, was made for the Island’s ornithology team and comes with the label “Avian Behavior Scientist.” The icon for this function is a silhouetted crested bird and a pair of binoculars. Shown here on a Value T-Shirt ($15), this original birder pop culture design is available on a wide variety of different apparel styles and other gift items. Click here to see them all.

Dharma Initiative Birder T-Shirt

Bird blog & online contests for February 2010

Posted on February 1st, 2010 in Contest

Here’s a list of current (as of February 1st) blog & online contests by birders, for birders, and/or offering bird- or birder-themed prizes. Click on the links to learn more, check eligibility, and enter to win! If you are running a contest or know of something that should be added to this list, please let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an email. This is a monthly post appearing on the first Monday of every month. I will add any updates I find during the month as a comment on this post. If you’d like to stay updated, you can subscribe to the comment RSS feed for this post.


The blog spearmint baby is giving away a personalized bird pendant necklace from the shop Polkadot Magpie. Contest open until February 1st; see blog post for details.

Duncraft is hosting a caption contest on Facebook. Post the winning caption and win at $10 Duncraft Gift Coupon. A winner will be picked on February 5th. New caption contests start each Monday.

Enter to win a $250 Duncraft shopping spree. Submit your entry by 30 April 2010. Details at Duncraft’s Backyard Birding Blog.

Ornithologist and author Glen Chilton is offering a $10,000 reward for finding a previously unknown sample of a Labrador Duck. See Dr. Chilton’s website for all the details. Ends September 1st 2010. Send your claim to

ONGOING CONTESTS of interest to birders

10,000 Birds has recently introduced their Conservation Club, a great way to raise money for bird conservation causes. Members of the club are eligible to enter giveaways offering prizes from Conservation Club sponsors. There’s usually one or more giveaways going on at any one time. This is a fantastic initiative by 10,000 Birds and as a proud member of the Conservation Club I invite you to sign up too.

Each month the Birds & Blooms website runs the Where’s Webster? contest. Find Webster the duck on the website and enter to win. Prizes vary and the contest runs month to month.

The Eagle Optics Email Contest is ongoing for anyone subscribed to their newsletter. A new winner is chosen every month. Click here for details.

Birder’s Lounge runs a monthly ID Challenge. Contestants play for their favorite bird/nature/conservation charity. The prize is a $10 donation to the winning charity, in the winner’s name. (Thanks to Amber for the details!)