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May 18: Remembering David Fisher

It’s been almost two years since we lost David Fisher, world birder, co-owner of Sunbird, and tour leader known to many WINGS participants.  David was also the Chairman of the Neotropical Bird Club, working tirelessly in that role for years. Such was his contribution to the NBC that the club has created a Memorial Lecture in David’s name.  The very first David Fisher Memorial Lecture has just taken place and has been recorded for posterity on YouTube.  The lecture is given by Dr. Alex Lees on the subject of bird migration through the Neotropical region and you can view it via this link - it’s a fascinating talk and well worth watching.

David left his estate to be divided between Birdlife International, WWF, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), to whom he also donated his extensive collection of books on ornithology. The RSPB holds one of the largest libraries of bird books in the UK and had reached a point where the collection needed to rehoused in a more modern and accessible facility. Part of David’s legacy to the Society has been used in the building of the new library, which opened last year in the new Avocet building at the Society’s headquarters in Bedfordshire, England, where a plaque has been placed by the entrance acknowledging David’s contribution. Both the plaque and the biannual lecture will be a lasting reminder of someone who was so well-liked and who is so greatly missed.             -- Steve Rooke       

November 7: Susan Myers has a new book out about bird names

Listen to a podcast interview with Susan on the ABA website here.

November 18: Global Birding Event

The Global Birding Event held on 17 October proved to be an amazing success. 32,790 people took part around the world and between them recorded an incredible 7111 species through The combined number of species seen by the WINGS/Sunbird team was 595 and the event as a whole raised in excess of $30,000 for Birdlife International. But perhaps its greatest achievment was pulling together all those birders around the world and it was wonderful to be part of something so big - we are already looking forward to next year’s event. You can read all about the big day and see all the statistics at

If you would like to contribute to Birdlife’s continued work trying to end the senseless trade in wild birds, donations can be made direct to Birdlife International by clicking here.

October 22: Birding & Nature Talks by Rich Hoyer

Rich Hoyer is giving a talk via Zoom on birding in Bolivia at 7:30 PM (Arizona/Mountain Time) on 3 November. Please consider tuning in if you'd enjoy an alternate to U.S. Election Night news. Additionally, a recording of Rich's recent talk for the Arizona Native Plant Society is available here


Plant relationships with birds are not as specific and tightly bound as they are with many insects. Throughout their annual life cycle, birds need cover, water, food, and a place to nest, and there simply aren’t many plants that would supply a bird’s every need. Yet there are still some close and relationships between birds and plants that make it worth knowing your way around both. Rich will discuss a few native species of Arizona plants that will hone your bird-finding skills and perhaps encourage you to create a better home for them in your yard.

Maricopa Audubon:

Few birders think of Bolivia when considering an international birding destination, but that may be only because the country does a poor job in promoting itself as a birding destination. Spectacularly diverse in ecosystems, topography, wildlife, and cultures, this country has the largest bird list for any landlocked country in the world, despite being only about the same size as the Four Corners states together. Were it to regain a bit of its former Pacific coastline, it would have the largest bird list of any country in the world and in any event should be one of the world’s top birding destinations, especially now that it has its own field guide. Rich Hoyer began exploring Bolivia in 2000 as a budding professional leader; two decades and many tours later, he continues to be enthralled by this fascinating country.


May 31: Recent Publication: The Birds of Gambell and St. Lawrence Island

Western Field Ornithologists has recently published Paul Lehman’s book, The Birds of Gambell and St. Lawrence Island. This WFO Special Publication will be a valuable resource for many who visit this island on birding tours. All those with an interest in patterns of vagrancy, Alaskan birds, and eastern Palearctic migrants will want to get their hands on this book. You can purchase the book here. Available in paper or digital versions.

January 2: Just released: American Birding Association’s Field Guide to Birds of Ohio by Ethan Kistler

WINGS leader Ethan Kistler just had released his book, the ABA’s "Field Guide to Birds of Ohio". This is the perfect companion for birders who reside in Ohio or plan to visit, especially for the annual Biggest Week in American Birding festival at Magee Marsh. Filled with gorgeous color images by Brian E. Small, each species account also includes usual information including habitat, voice, identification, and the best locations in the state to find them.

May 30: Just released: Oceanic Birds of the World: A Photo Guide by Steve Howell and Kirk Zufelt

It’s here! Advance copies of Steve Howell and Kirk Zufelt’s ground-breaking (wave-breaking?) new book, Oceanic Birds of the World: A Photo Guide have just reached the US, with the main shipment scheduled to arrive in a month or so. This state-of-the-art photo field guide has been 30+ years in gestation but when finger hit keyboard took “only" 4 years to pull together. Splits include 10 species of Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, 3 Brown Boobies, and much more… For more info see:

February 14: Peterson Guide to Bird Identification—in 12 Steps

Continuing his publishing streak, Steve Howell has teamed up with Brian Sullivan and has produced another must-have book titled "Peterson Guide to Bird Identification—in 12 Steps." Available now on Amazon or your local bookstore.

January 15: Recommended by Rough Guides

WINGS was recommended by in a recent article on birding in the Caribbean. Click on the link to read it!

March 19: New ‘Birds of Chile’ book from WINGS leaders Steve Howell and Fabrice Schmitt just released!

After a few years collaboration, thousands of pictures, and uncountable hours in the field, Steve Howell and Fabrice Schmitt just published their photographic field guide ‘Birds of Chile’. With its pocket size, short texts focused on identification marks, and numerous pictures showing the birds in their habitat, their new book is the perfect tool to identify birds of this part of the world.

Participants of the ongoing cruise ‘Buenos Aires to Santiago’ have been able to test the very first copies of the new book, and it works!

If you too want to use this new field guide with their authors, you can join them on one of their forthcoming Chile tour or cruises!

April 28: Derek Lovitch's newly published guide to birdfinding in Maine

WINGS leader Derek Lovitch is the lead editor of a newly published book titled Birdwatching in Maine: A Site Guide. This is a great new resource for finding birds throughout this beautiful state. The state’s wealth of undeveloped land and its extensive coastline, countless islands, and varied habitat combine to host an impressive diversity of birds at all times of year. Birders travel to Maine from near and far to seek hard-to-find species, from the only Atlantic puffins breeding in the United States on offshore islands to Bicknell’s thrushes high in the mountains.

Derek leads two tours for WINGS to this region of the US; Maine Coast in Fall and Maine and New Hampshire.

February 15: South Africa 2017 pricing reduced!

Our ever-popular tour to South Africa has had a price reduction in 2017. There has never been a better time to go to this amazing country, full of spectacular flower blooms and abundant bird life. Steve Rooke has been leading this tour for over two decades and never tires of visiting one of his favorite countries. Join him in 2017!

Crimson-breasted Shrike

July 22: Two recent books from Susan Myers

Susan Myers has two new publications, a revision of her Birds of Borneo (Helm) and Wildlife of Southeast Asia (Princeton Pocket Guides).  Both are listed on Amazon. 

Susan's comments on the Borneo revision follow: "I'm really thrilled that an updated version of Birds of Borneo has been released. It was a lot of hard work over the last two years or so to get this accomplished; I'm very happy with the result and I hope others will be as well. There's now a new and much more detailed introductory section, the taxonomy has been updated also and various other changes have contributed to what I hope is an even better book than the original."

Congratulations Susan!

April 8: New Borneo Departure

We've added a new Borneo departure, May 11-25, 2017, in anticipation of the appearance of Susan's revised Birds of Borneo due out in the next few months.

November 30: Steve Howell's latest book

Steve Howell's latest book, which hit the streets this month and was coauthored with Brian Sullivan of eBird fame, is a pocket field guide to Offshore Sea Life of the East (= Atlantic) Coast of the US, a companion book to the popular Offshore Sea Life ID Guide for the West Coast, published back in July. The warm-water Gulf Stream bathing the East Coast means a very different marine fauna from that found off the cold-water West Coast, including tropicbirds, gadfly petrels, Whale Shark, False Killer Whales, and lots of flyingfish! In fact, this is the first time flyingfish as you see them at sea have ever been treated by a field guide. Details can be found at

October 30: Gambell radio interview with Gavin Bieber

Listen to WINGS leader Gavin Bieber interviewed about birding in Gambel, Alaska by birder Bob Kissel for his radio spot on WFHB. Hear the interview here.

Join Gavin or Jon Dunn in 2016 for one of our popular tours to this birding hotspot.
Alaska Gambell in Spring
Alaska Gambell in Fall

September 4: Fabrice Schmitt and colleagues discover the nesting site of Markham's Storm-Petrel

The nesting location of Markham's Storm-Petrel has been the middle of the Atacama Desert. You can read the details here.

January 19: James Lidster takes over the WINGS and Sunbird Facebook pages

The brilliant Sunbird leader, James Lidster, also knows his way around facebook, and he's agreed to take on management of both the WINGS and Sunbird facebook pages. He's already introduced new things such as a bird quiz so please stop by from time to time to see what else James has done. A link to our facebook page can be found at the bottom of this webpage.

September 26: Visit WINGS at RGVBF

WINGS will have a strong presence at the upcoming Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Harlingen, Texas in November. Keynote speaker Steve Howell will be leading a seminar titled "Shift Happens: Rare (Vagrant) Birds in North America - Why, Where, and Whence?". This talk is derived from his recently published book, Rare Birds of North America.

Other senior WINGS tour leaders including Jon Dunn and Jake Mohlmann will also be on hand to lead field trips. If you attend, be sure to stop by our booth in the trade show area to meet Erin Olmstead, the newest member of the WINGS office family.

October 27: Baja Mexico update from Steve Howell

Steve Howell has just returned from his annual fall week of birding in Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, where recent hurricanes made the desert lush and green – a spectacular sight. Roads and services were all up and working and the people were friendly as always and happy to welcome visitors. Birds this year? Nothing truly rare, but seeing 18 warbler species and twice as many Red-throated Pipits as Warbling Vireos in a week is always fun! This year ‘bird of the trip’ award went to a fish – and not even a flyingfish! Swimming with a dozen Whale Sharks was definitely the highlight, plus great fresh seafood, and dozens of Costa’s Hummingbirds, Blue-footed Boobies and other Gulf of California species. Ah, Mexico... Of our upcoming Mexico tours San Blas, Colima, and Baja all have at least one space remaining if you want a winter break to sunshine and birds...

Lush Desert, Bahia de los Angeles, BCN, Mexico