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Liam last won the day on March 13

Liam had the most liked content!

About Liam

  • Birthday 11/30/1995

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    Corpus Christi, Texas

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  1. This year has been exceptional for birding for me (probably why you haven't seen me on here as much 😁). As of 6/8 I have: 262 species in Nueces County 307 species in Texas 311 species in the ABA area 443 species in the World I'm hoping to break 500 for the second year in a row.
  2. Yep, that was my first time birding with Derek! He was thrilled that I found him some new birds for his Port Aransas lists. Plus the Red-necked Phalaropes that I picked out of a group of Wilson's were a real rarity. He's a cool guy and a very accomplished birder. Didn't know he was a fellow reviewer!
  3. I don't see any real reason to bird Galveston instead of the Lower Texas Coast (LTC). All the migrants that the Upper Texas Coast (UTC) gets in spring migration you can also get in similar quantities and diversity on the LTC and the LTC has many more unique species. If you are planning on just visiting one region of Texas, visit the LTC (including the Rio Grand Valley). The RGV Birding Festival in November is great, but the number of birders can be suffocating. I enjoy it because I always end up rubbing elbows with "celebrity birders." But if you're just in it for the birds, birding on your own is just as good. The targets in the RGV are easy enough to find that you don't really need to go with a group. Hiring a guide might be ideal if you want to maximize your birding there (you can hire me! πŸ˜„). As for time of year, November is when the RGVBF is hosted because winter is when rarities tend to show up. For example in the last couple of winters we've had Crimson-collared Grosbeak, Golden-crowned Warbler, Bat Falcon, Social Flycatcher, etc. show up in winter. However, for your first trip to the RGV, I'd recommend spring because it's so much easier to find the common targets like Groove-billed Ani, Verdin, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, etc. Mid to late April is great down here because many of the breeding birds have returned and are singing, but there's still bucket loads of migrants passing through. Me and some colleagues did a big day on April 30th and were on track to break 200 species for the day (but got stuck in the mud on Old Port Isabel Rd for 4 hours). If you hit up the right spots and learn the bird calls/songs, you can get dozens of lifers without having to leave the Rio Grande Valley (South Padre Island to Laredo). Personally, I'd recommend flying into Harlingen, birding a few days in the lower RGV, spending a day in the western RGV (SalineΓ±o up to Laredo, including Santa Margarita Ranch for the Brown Jays) and then driving up into the hill country for birds like Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped, Bell's, and Hutton's Vireos, Rufous-crowned Sparrow, etc. and then flying out of San Antonio. I'd be happy to provide a detailed itinerary recommendation and would love to join you at some point if that's something you'd be interested in.
  4. Hi Aashay. You could call me a wildlife biologist but I'm more of an avian conservation ecologist, which is just about the same thing. I'll start by saying that a lot of young wildlife enthusiasts fall into the trap (myself included) that being a wildlife biologist is what they want to do with their career because they love wildlife, but don't really have an idea of what the field is actually like. I often times wish that I had earned a degree in something more lucrative so that I could actually afford my birding hobby (and stuff like idk rent and insurance and food). I love being in the field and working with birds, but I think I'd rather birding be on my own terms. There are two main paths (with a lot of overlap) for wildlife biologists: academia and field work. Academia is competitive, takes a lot of schooling, and completely eats up all of your time. It pays a little better, but you have to have an incredible amount of knowledge and skills. Publications are your bread and butter, so your writing has to be top-tier scientific-level. You have to read through and memorize insane amounts of literature (i.e., scientific journal articles). You are required to be an expert on statistics (statistical modeling) and coding/script and are expected to have interpretive ability on the next level. Your success and often times your livelihood is contingent on grants, so grant writing and budgeting are necessary. And it's cut-throat. There are other scientists out there who will actively try to destroy your career because you're competing for a grant. There's so much to juggle and absolutely no room for mistakes. Your peers will point out any error in your work. You get barely any time in the field so you don't end up seeing birds that much at all, you just read and write about them. And all this for $60k-80k a year? 8+ years of school (and tens of thousands in student debt) and working myself to death? No thanks. I'd rather sit on my ask doing basically nothing in an office 4 days a week as a web developer and earn 6 figures. I'd have time to go birding on the weekends and take destination vacations every holiday. Field work is much simpler. Field biologists spend most of their time collecting data for the academics described above. It can be brutal - working long hours in terrible conditions (heat, cold, bugs, poison ivy, rough terrain, muddy roads, dense forests, etc.), but all that's expected of you is to collect quality data. You have to be capable and willing to deal with bad conditions, work insane hours with few breaks, and get paid next to nothing (like, $30k a year, max). You get to see some amazing places and fantastic wildlife, and make really close friends, but there's not much stability for field biologists. You don't get things like health insurance, paid time off, etc. Housing is often provided, but it usually sucks. Your friends are transient so you don't get to "settle down" and up-end your life every time the next gig comes up. The exception to this is consulting/contracting, where you are part of a company that informs corporations and other companies or landowners if their operations violate any environmental policy. The company may pay you $45-50k a year (maybe higher in California) and you get benefits and PTO and all that, but then you essentially are working for big industry (e.g., oil) which has its own set of ethical dilemmas. What is nice is seeing the science making a difference. When you see the work you've done get published and lead to changes in policy or help some conservation efforts, it makes it feel worth it. After undergrad, I did one season of field work, then got my masters. Now I work as a Research Specialist, as kind of a lab coordinator. I help with some field work, do some publication/grant writing, and oversee purchasing and logistics for our lab operations. So it's a mix of academic and field work. I still get to go birding on the weekends, but only get paid $50k so I can't really afford destination vacations. So my recommendation is if you are interested in being a wildlife biologist, consider everything that it entails. If you want to be a wildlife biologist because you want to be a scientist or field tech, go for it. If you want to be a wildlife biologist because you are a birder, maybe consider a different field. Right now, inflation is astronomical while corporations are seeing record profits, housing and auto prices are skyrocketing, and the average income for wildlife biologists is stagnant. If you're a birder, maybe start a career in something that will take care of you and your future family and still financially support your hobby. You can still help birds with your career and make a livable wage, though. We need voices for wildlife in so many other fields - law, communications, software, construction, education, etc. Even business and finance. For example, jobs currently available at the International Crane Foundation are the following: Outreach Biologist Grant Officer Gift Shop Associate Program Finance and Administrative Officer HR Generalist Veterinarian Itern And here's a selection of jobs available for The Nature Conservancy: Senior Attorney Investment Analyst Policy Advisor Development Coordinator Director of Communications And a selection of staff positions at the American Bird Conservancy: Finance, policy, communications and marketing, development, diversity, engagement, etc. We need birders and wildlife enthusiasts in all these fields to make a difference in conservation, so don't think that wildlife biology is the only route for you.
  5. It's a female Blackpoll Warbler. Note the shorter bill and incomplete eye arcs.
  6. birdie πŸ¦… #319: πŸŸ©β¬›β¬›β¬›β¬›β¬›
  7. birdie πŸ¦… #315: πŸŸ©β¬›β¬›β¬›β¬›β¬› https://birdiegame.net/
  8. Is today's bird not misidentified??
  9. As a Texan who deals with NECO vs DCCO ID every day, I'd say that I don't see anything that jumps out as NECO, based on facial pattern, tail length, and bill size. The NECO you're looking for is fortunately a very well demarcated adult NECO (juv birds can be tougher to differentiate from DCCO): https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/545799571
  10. Given the resolution, it'd be hard to tell if there was a shadow blocking the forehead or if a white forehead would blend in with the background.
  11. I agree - first bird is certainly a Cave Swallow with that buffy throat. Unfortunately, I can't make out enough detail in the other photos to say either way.
  12. Sorry for all the posts, I wasn't sure if WB allowed a bunch of links in a single post (like the good old days). Anyway, I have more, I just haven't uploaded them to eBird yet so stay tuned πŸ˜„
  13. 426. Olive Sparrow: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/171598381 427. Plain Chachalaca: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/87420191 428. Spotted Owl: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/60534371 429. Yellow-eyed Junco: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/61798381 430. Zone-tailed Hawk: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/154790321 431. Buff-collared Nightjar: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/60535491 432. Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/413912281 433. Tropical Parula: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/171601831 434. Yellow-green Vireo: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/169880571 435. Brown Jay: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/544413791
  14. 416. Gray Vireo: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/452639901 417. Great Kiskadee: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/403742921 418. Greater Pewee: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/104703041 419. Green Jay: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/162358021 420. Hepatic Tanager: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/452639971 421. Kirtland's Warbler: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/389984431 422. Limpkin: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/169879691 423. Long-billed Thrasher: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/403742021 424. Mexican Jay: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/452637901 425. Mexican Whip-poor-will: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/61798601
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