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: July, 2010

T-Shirt Tuesday: Let’s Go Watch Some Birds!

Posted on July 27th, 2010 in T-Shirt Tuesday

This week’s highlighted shirt is a best-seller (the cheeky ones usually are!). Let’s Go Watch Some Birds features an old advertising illustration of a well-dressed woman holding a pair of small opera glasses. The caption, done in old-style movie poster style, reads “Let’s Go Watch Some Birds, Bitches!”

Let's Go Watch Some Birds! T-Shirt

T-Shirt Tuesday: Two for Twitchers

Posted on July 13th, 2010 in T-Shirt Tuesday

This week’s highlighted shirts are for twitchers. First up is Stalking vs. Twitching, with stylized text reading “You call it stalking I call it twitching.” Next up is Itchin’ to go Twitchin’, also using stylized text. Both designs look great on light or dark apparel and are also available on the usual selection of novelty gift items, too.

Book Review: Going Wild

Posted on July 12th, 2010 in Book Review, Books

Going Wild : Adventures with Birds in the Suburban Wilderness by Robert Winkler. First published 2003.

Robert Winkler’s Going Wild is a collection of essays on the birds and wildlife found close to his Connecticut home. While the essays are well-written, I didn’t find them to be particularly interesting, especially as someone who is not familiar with Winkler’s neck of the woods. None of the essays drew me into the setting and I felt like I was reading a report of the author’s activities rather than a descriptive story about something interesting he found while exploring wild areas close to his home.

A bigger problem I had with Winkler’s book were distractions in the text that kept taking me out of the essays. For example, in an early passage, Winkler writes that anthropomorphism is “distasteful because it, too, denies animals their identity.” But throughout the book the author is guilty of anthropomorphizing birds again and again. In an essay about feeder birds, he describes a White-breasted Nuthatch as patient and deadpan, and tells of the bird’s tenderness and “romantic side” during spring courtship. Later a House Sparrow becomes entangled in one of his feeders, and as the author works to rescue the bird, he notes that “the light in [the bird’s] eye told me he was uninjured, yet he was plainly terrified.” Later, Barred Owls are optimists, and “glad to be alive.”

Several times I was also distracted by shady behavior in which the author engaged. He visits nature reserves or parks outside of regular hours, offering flimsy justification. He also came to realize cats belong indoors a bit late – six years into keeping an outdoor cat. I’m glad he saw the light, but reading about his cat’s 80+ victims didn’t do much to help me empathize with the author.

I’m sure I would have enjoyed this book more had I been familiar with some of the spots where his would-be adventures took place. Unfortunately, the distractions just added to my lack of interest. I give Going Wild 2 Goldfinches out of 5.

Bird blog & online contests for July 2010

Posted on July 5th, 2010 in Contest

Here’s a list of current (as of July 5th) 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.


Enter to win a cute handcrafted Owl Pillow by Cuore from Bee’s Go Buzz. Enter by July 12th; see contest page for details.

Bird on Wire Studio is giving away a cute handcrafted plush Barn Owl. Enter by July 25; see contest page for details.

Two-Fisted Birdwatcher is giving away a blog-branded hoodie. Find this month’s hidden bird to be eligible for the drawing. This monthly giveaway usually ends by the end of the month, so submit your answer before July 31st to be safe! See the contest page for details.

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

Enter to win fabulous prizes in Swarovski’s Digiscoper of the Year 2010 contest. Enter your photo by October 31st. Be sure to read all the details on the contest page.

ONGOING CONTESTS of interest to birders

10,000 Birds’ Conservation Club is 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. Have a look at the current and past giveaways, and then sign up!

Each month WildBird on the Fly runs a First Friday fiction contest. If your 500-word story is chosen, you’ll win a recently-published bird book. Submissions are due before 5 p.m. PST on the first Thursday of the month (so the July contest ended last week). See WildBird on the Fly for all the details.

Duncraft hosts a caption contest on Facebook every week. Become a fan of Duncraft to see each contest posting. Enter to win a $10.00 Duncraft Gift Coupon. New caption contests start each Monday.

WildBird on the Fly periodically gives away books and other prizes with fun, short-notice contests. Follow her blog and her Twitter account @WBeditor to get in on the prize giveaways.

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 and prizes vary. 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!)