Birdwatching 101: To Twitch or Not to Twitch

by Maia Tanedo What is “twitching”?In birding lingo, twitching does not refer to the muscular spasm or convulsive body movement. Rather it is a British slang term for a dedicated pursuit to see a specific bird. Usually, these subjects of birders twitching trips are rarities, uncommon sightings, and even once in a lifetime birds seemingly…

Birdwatching 101: Bird Plumage

by Djop Tabaranza Among the representatives of the animal kingdom, birds are the only group which have feathers.  Feathers are specialized skin covers that are collectively known as “plumage.”  The term “plumage” was derived from the Latin “pluma” which means feathers and refers to the bird’s collective feather covering, including its colors and patterns.  During…

Birdwatching 101: What’s In a Name?

Text and photos by Maia Tanedo For this issue, I’d like to share an article I wrote for my personal blog featuring some scientific names of birds I’ve encountered. I’m a teacher by profession and the world of ornithology and the “technicality” of taxonomy was an interesting but mysterious field when I started out birding.…