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: August, 2012

SALE: Latest Bird T-Shirts @ Threadless

Posted on August 30th, 2012 in Pop Culture, Products

Threadless has a super sale going on right now with shirts as low as $9.95. There are always some awesome bird t-shirts in the mix. Here are a few that I haven’t highlighted before.

Tweet is on sale for $9.99. Twitter has naturally always been associated with birds; this cute design has two tweetin’ birds hanging out on a branch together.

Raven ($9.99 on sale) is my favorite of this bunch. Got Ravens on my mind lately… you’ll see why soon. 😉

Those Damn Birds is available on sale shirts ($9.99) and iPhone cases (from $37.50). I like this clever Alfred Hitchcock “The Birds” tribute gag design.

Them Birds ($9.99 on sale) is an awesome Alfred Hitchcock / Angry Birds mashup.

Flamenco (from $9.95 on sale; also iPhone cases) is a lovely artistic watercolor-style design. The super-pink flamingos look great on the lighter pink background.

A few of the Threadless bird shirts I mentioned in previous posts [Favorite Owl T-Shirts and Bird Tees @ Threadless] are available in this sale, too.

Owl Nebula: $12.95 Girly Boat Neck Tee only
Bird Nests: $9.95 Guys Organic Jersey Tee only
Owls Ask Too Many Questions: $9.95 Guys Tee
Field Study 01: from $9.99; several styles
The Incredible Hawk: Threadless Zip Hoody @$24.95
Song Bird: $9.95 Girly styles
The Northern Black-capped Gumchewer: $9.99; Guys & Girly styles
Bird Brain: $9.95 Girly Open Neck Tee only

The sale ends on August 31st at 10AM Central, but since quantities are limited these styles might sell out before the sale is over. If you see something you like, better not wait!

Amazing kestrel wood carving

Posted on August 15th, 2012 in Art, Products, Video

This video shows a beautiful American Kestrel wood carving by artist Lona Hymas-Smith. Click the gear icon to view in HD and then make the clip full screen to see the detail on this amazing work. To learn more about the artist, visit Wood Carvings and Sculptures from Lona Hymas-Smith.

Contest alert: Guess the fledge date!

Posted on August 14th, 2012 in Contest, Giveaway

Guess the fledge date and time of the final Osprey chick at the Hellgate nestcam nest in Cornell’s latest giveaway. Submit your entry here for your chance to win a frameable 5×7 print.

Book Review: How to Be a Better Birder

Posted on August 13th, 2012 in Book Review, Books

How to Be a Better Birder by Derek Lovitch. Published 2012. As reviewed and pictured: softcover, 192 pages.

I haven’t been out birding as much as I would like lately. That means it has been very good time to catch up on my bird reading. What better place to start than this book with its no-nonsense title?

Unfortunately for me, the last weeks have not been my first birding drought. During times like these, I start to feel like I’ve read a lot more about birding than I’ve actually done it. Therefore, a few concepts covered in How to Be a Better Birder were very familiar to me – at least in theory, if not already in practice. The book is divided into nine chapters, covering topics like Birding by Habitat, Birding with a Purpose, and Patch Listing. Lovitch covers all the bases for anyone looking to improve their craft, no matter the personal birding goals.

There’s no denying the wealth of resources available to birders online. This is true of any pastime (or anything at all) today, I suppose, but still it’s refreshing to read a book where the author embraces these sources rather than pretending they don’t exist. Lovitch does a great job of explaining topics using real-world personal examples while offering links to websites for further study. This is perhaps most evident in the chapter which covers Birding and Weather. Here, Lovitch provides detailed instructions on how to use several different online sources to further understand how weather patterns impact bird movements (a topic much too great to be discussed in depth in the book) and how to use modern tools to plan birding outings no matter where one is located.

I was also especially interested in the last chapter in the book, which covered Patch Listing. Patch listing is something I have really come to embrace since moving to Florida last year. This last chapter in the book ties together all of the skills and concepts laid out in the previous chapters, and spells out how they can all be applied to local patch birding to improve a birder’s overall skill.

Lovitch writes in a familiar tone which makes even the most technical topics easy to follow and understand. Each chapter discusses skills that build upon previous concepts, tying everything neatly together in the end. I feel like I learned some new general skills, and I am looking forward to trying out some of the weather/radar and other topics just as soon as I can get out regularly birding again!

I enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to other birders who want to go further in this hobby. I did find a few editorial errors (typos, unclosed parentheses, etc) a bit distracting, for which I am deducting a half star. Therefore, I give How to Be a Better Birder 4.5 Goldfinches out of 5.

Disclosure: This is my own original, honest review of How to Be a Better Birder, a copy of which was provided to me free of charge by the publisher.