Out There With the Birds

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Join Bill Thompson, III, and Ben Lizdas from Bird Watcher's Digest for their light-hearted and humorous podcast, Out There With the Birds, where they discuss the latest news, trends, and anecdotes about wild birds and the bird watchers who enjoy them. Listen in to find out just how wonderful and weird the world of birding can be when you're Out There With the Birds.

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Join Bill Thompson, III, and Ben Lizdas from Bird Watcher’s Digest for their light-hearted and humorous podcast, Out There With the Birds, where they discuss the latest news, trends, and anecdotes about wild birds and the bird watchers who enjoy them. Listen in to find out just how wonderful and weird the world of birding can be when you’re Out There With the Birds.
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-10-25 21:44
last episode published
2019-10-25 10:00
publication frequency
17.6 days
Bird Watcher's Digest author  
Bird Watcher's Digest owner  
Number of Episodes
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Episode 61: British Invasion Series: An Interview with Jim Lawrence

Episode #61 continues our "British Invasion Series," which features a series of interviews that BWD Director Wendy Clark conducted at the 2019 British Birdfair in the UK. The British Birdfair is one of the largest gatherings of bird watchers and conser...
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Episode 60: Introducing the British Invasion Series! An Interview with John Cox

The British are coming! The British are coming! Well... British TWITCHERS, that is! Welcome to our "British Invasion" podcast series featuring birding artists, conservationists, authors, and renowned birders from across the pond. In today's podcast, ho...
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Episode 59: An Interview with Jason Ward

Host Wendy Clark interviews Jason Ward, a birder and social activist who grew up in the Bronx and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also the host of the popular web series "Birds of North America," which can be found on Topic.com’s YouTube channel a...
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Episode 58: Julie Zickefoose and Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay

In this episode of OTWTB, host Dawn Hewitt interviews author, artist, and naturalist Julie Zickefoose. As a wildlife rehabilitator, Julie often takes in orphaned and injured birds to nurse back to health. One such charge was a sick and starved baby blu...
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Episode 56: Introducing Two New Hosts: Wendy Clark and Dawn Hewitt, Part I

The winds of change are gusting through Bird Watcher's Digest. Two new hosts join Alvaro and Raymond on our OTWTB podcast: BWD publisher Wendy Clark and BWD editor Dawn Hewitt! In this two-part episode, Wendy and Dawn discuss the recent changes that ha...
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Episode 57: Introducing Two New Hosts: Wendy Clark and Dawn Hewitt, Part II

Two new hosts join Alvaro and Raymond on our OTWTB podcast: BWD publisher Wendy Clark and BWD editor Dawn Hewitt! In the second part of this two-part episode, they discuss Wendy’s introduction to birding with the sighting of a rare bird at the 2009 Mid...
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Episode 55: Big Events and Big News

Expect big news in this episode of Out There with the Birds! Ben reflects on highlights from the New River Birding and Nature Festival in Fayetteville, West Virginia, an event that was near and dear to Bill Thompson, III. The area is the "Warbler Capit...
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Episode 54: An Interview with Bill Thompson, III, Part II

In part 2 of Ben's interview with BT3, published posthumously, Bill talks about his love of travel as a way of connecting with nature and people, as well as who some of his birding mentors were. Bill also talks about his love of music, what it means to...
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Episode 53: An Interview with Bill Thompson, III, Part I

This is part one of an exclusive two-part interview with Bill Thompson, III, long-time co-host of Out There With The Birds. On March 25th, Bill passed away at the age of 57 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Shortly before his passing, Ben to...
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Episode 52: Traveling Birds and Birders

Alvaro recounts tales from Japan, including fish eagles, fish owls, and talking toilets. Also, the guys discuss the Chilean/Argentinian divide, and geography's impact on both bird distribution and human culture. The topic turns to the true Zen nature o...
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Episode 50: The Wild World of Bird Behavior

Ben and Alvaro discuss bird behavior in winter and how big birds, little birds, and vagrant birds cope with temperature extremes. Some birds fly away from the weather while others become zombie birds, preying on their fellow feathered friends! It's loo...
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Episode 51: Travel Tips and the Intrigue of Corvids

Alvaro warns against getting creative when packing for a birding trip. Also, blue jays, green jays, brown jays, and gray jays are all part of the intriguing family of corvids. What makes these birds so inquisitive and social? Find out on Out There with...
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Episode 49: Life is Full of Unexpected Turns

Episode 49 is a special two-part episode of OTWTB. Bill and Ben have a heartfelt discussion about why 2019 is going to be a different kind of year for the podcast, and why it will be the "Year of the Big Sit" for Bill. Ben then welcomes Alvaro Jaramill...
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Episode 48: Back in My Own Backyard

Ben gives LeBron-like advice for buying binoculars for kids or beginning birders, explains the visual difference between roof- and Porro-prism binoculars, and updates us on his last backyard bird sighting: a red-breasted nuthatch. Bill talks about a ru...
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Episode 47: Holiday Memories Good and Bad

Favorite holiday gifts given and received is a major topic of this episode and among those gifts mentioned are a hockey stick, a mink coat, ten-speed bikes, and a vintage saucepan. Ben's nightmare Christmas Bird Count experience and Bill's Disney World...
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Episode 46: The Birder in Winter (Wears Silk Long Johns, Apparently)

Back to the North from points further south, the fellows chat throughout a winter-themed episode about such topics as suet feeding, birding in Texas and Colombia, weather and birds, winter clothing, acclimatization, fogging optics, and Ben's new-found ...
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Episode 45: Ben's Backyard Bird Feeding Tutorial

With the guys poised to head off to far-flung birding destinations, Ben asks Bill for advice on his backyard bird feeding efforts. Bill, who is the Guy Fieri of Bird Feeding, dishes the knowledge on mixed seed, suet, peanuts, and the best foods for fee...
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Episode 44: Hooray for Bird Clubs and Feasts of Birdin'!

The boys connected via the Interweb to chat about the importance of bird clubs, favorite Feasts of Birdin' (eateries) near birding hotspots, the upcoming (potential) winter finch invasion, and Ben's latest life bird (and head cold). Bill shares his new...
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Episode 43: Live from Cape May, New Jersey!

The birding dudes cover a smorgasbord of topics here, including a recap of the recent American Birding Expo, birding during migration, upcoming festivals, The Big Sit™, and tips for your optics upgrade. They also celebrate, in the briefest possible way...
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Episode 42: Tips for Enhanced Birding Enjoyment

Ben and Bill share a baker's dozen tips for enhancing your birding enjoyment, including where and when to go, what to wear, eat, carry, think, hear, and do, and lots more. If you're willing to take advice from these two guys, then you deserve all the j...
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Episode 41: Live from the 2018 British Birdwatching Fair

The lads are on the loose at the world-famous British Birdwatching Fair where they're seeing old friends, quaffing a few pints, promoting the American Birding Expo, Bird Watcher's Digest, and helping to translate between American English and English En...
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Episode 18: Birding the Borders

The guys talk about birding along borders and why it's often so good. They also discuss how the proposed border wall in South Texas is a horrible thing for birds and nature and will ruin a great birding site. They talk about their best border birding a...
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Episode 40: Summer Fun & Games

Summer activities--both recent and upcoming--are the focus of this episode's discussion between Bill and Ben. They brag about their super-smart daughters and wonder how the apples could fall so far from the tree. They chat about Ben's upcoming canoe tr...
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Episode 39: Live From Outdoor Retailer

Ben and Bill take a break during the Outdoor Retailer show in Denver, Colorado to talk about the products, trends, and environmental awareness they found at this major event for retail stores. Like Johnny Appleseed, they planted the seeds of birding aw...
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Episode 38: The Stoke is High!

The stoke is high for Ben and Bill's upcoming trips to Man Camp (People Camp) in West Virginia and to Colorado for the Outdoor Retailer Show. In this episode, their Zugunruhe has them all over the place topicwise, including fledglings at feeders, highe...
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Episode 37: Go West Old Men!

Recorded live in three parts during the recent Bird Watcher's Digest Reader Rendezvous trip to northern Colorado, this episode features lots of voices. Bill and Ben welcome special guest Clay Taylor of Swarovski Optik to talk about birding optics and h...
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Episode 36: Seek and Ye Shall Find (Or Maybe Not)

The gents talk via Skype about their personal fitness regimens, post-spring bird action, appreciating nesting birds, a booby in Maine, jinx birds for 2018, the upcoming Colorado Reader Rendezvous, legalized marijuana and the implications for bird feedi...
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Episode 35: From Alaska to Maine and Everything in Between

Ben is back from Alaska and is headed to Maine for birding festivals. The guys chat about their upcoming travels, the advantages of spotting scopes and when to carry them, carbon-fiber tripods, missed birds and bonus birds, and the joy of having kids s...
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Episode 34: Live at New River, Spring 2018

Recorded outside in the bucolic setting at Opossum Creek Retreat during the New River Birding and Nature Festival in Fayetteville, West Virginia, this episode finds the boys talking about this spring's slow migration, the amazing birder/naturalist Mark...
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Episode 33: Spring Birding Festivals Overview

This episode is a crazy quilt of topics including an overview of spring birding festivals, a review of the guys' travel plans, the technological challenges of list keeping, the humor of Al Batt, Audubon's Elephant Folio, loud rock concerts, choosing th...
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Episode 32: Meet the LeBron James of Birding Optics

Back in the USA, the boys are excited about waterfowl watching season. Ben talks about his bout with Duck Eye and how the Swarovski BTX scope cured him. Bill talks about #TamronTuesday and the opening day of the new baseball season. They also chat abou...
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Episode 31: Live from Pico Bonito, Honduras

Los dos pajareros recorded this episode in two segments from the porch of their rustic accommodation at The Lodge at Pico Bonito. In part one they chat about the wonders of birding in the tropics. In part two they discuss the proposed closing of the Pi...
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Episode 30: All Hail the Timberdoodle

Spring birds and birding are on the minds of the lads in this episode. Bill waxes rhapsodic about seeing a timberdoodle and shares some tips for getting ready for spring migration. Ben is preparing for a XC skiing race and bragging about closing the ga...
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Episode 29: A Winter Birding Postcard from Florida

Fresh from the Space Coast Birding Festival, Bill and Ben welcome special guest Clay Taylor from Swarovski Optik to talk about his start in the bird biz, birding festivals, bird photography, and why Corpus Christi, Texas, is the continent's birdiest ci...
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Episode 28: Bill and Ben's Global Big Year Challenge

Bill and Ben launch their OTWTB Global Big Year Challenge to see which of them can see the most birds in 2018. They discuss the Polar Bear Club, favorite birding gear for travel, high-end compact binoculars, the wonders of Merino wool, and they welcome...
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Episode 27: Happy New Birding Year!

The lads gab about a huge array of topics, including their first birds of the year, their birding resolutions, planning the (bird) garden, gearing up for 2018 birding events, seeking the chalk-dusted barley hopper, and some wildly disparate music recom...
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Episode 26: Winter Birding Rocks SO Hard!

As they pass the quarter-century mark for episodes, the fellas sit inside on a snowy day and chat about winter birding, the recent Rock & Roll Reader Rendezvous in Cleveland, Jen Brumfield's record-setting county Big Year, the treasures held by the...
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Episode 25: Live From Whipple, Ohio

Ben and Bill recorded this episode while sitting outside in southeastern Ohio. They chat about Ben's recent experiences at the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Texas, and the upcoming events at the Space Coast Birding Festival in Florida. Nemesis ...
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Episode 24: Oh the People, Birds, and Cheeses We'll Meet!

Just returned from yet another trip to Costa Rica, Ben spares a few minutes from his travels to chat with Bill about umbrellabirds, sunbitterns, pearl kites, U.S. birder demographics, birder types, the joys of guiding casual novice birders, and the tim...
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Episode 23: Have You Ever "Ben" to Costa Rica?

Ben Lizdas has been to Costa Rica twice this fall (lucky dog). In this episode he talks with some of his fellow participants in the Costa Rica Birding Challenge about birding in the tropics, birding competitions, ecolodges, and the wonders of Costa Ric...
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Episode 22: Big Sits, Big Years, and Big Ducks

Through the magic of Skype the fellas hold down a conversation about rare birds, The Big Sit!, big sit strategy and rules, big years, world big years, and birding competitions. They also dip into the ornithological literature for a sidebar about male d...
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Episode 21: Live From the American Birding Expo

The boys have a chinwag while walking the aisles of the 2017 American Birding Expo, near Philadelphia, PA. They stop to speak with friends from Chile, Australia, Uganda, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania about a variety of birding-related topics, includ...
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Episode 20: Hurricanes, Birds, and People

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Ivan, Gloria, and others dominate the boys' conversation in this episode. They discuss the impact of severe storms on people, birds, and birding as well as the possible extinction of birds such as the Cozumel thrasher and the B...
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Episode 19: Live From the Lord Nelson Pub

The lads pause for a post-BirdFair beer and chat in the back garden of the Lord Nelson pub in charming Oakham, England. They touch on a plethora of topics, including English beer, customs, currency, conservation ethos, and English as a second English l...
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Episode 17: Smart, Social Birds and Things That Can Kill You

Are we humans really on top of the food chain? Recent research and stories from the field may tell us we're not. The two Birding Bs talk about smart birds (ravens), soulful birds (jays and hawks), voracious insects, the smell of a herd of elk in heat, ...
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Episode 16: Birds As Symbols

The guys talk about the many ways birds are symbolic for humans. From the U.S. national symbol (the bald eagle) to a fight over the Oregon state bird, to wise owls, canaries in coal mines, beer labels, and bird tattoos, the guys cover topics like a sle...
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Episode 15: Birds and Music

Ben & Bill talk about the connections between birding and music, and how music lovers are good at birding by ear; famous birders; the new book Good Birders STILL Don’t Wear White; and how cowbirds learn their own song. Bill’s “The Song in My Head” ...
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Episode 14: Live From Hog Island, Maine

The boys continue their discussion from the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine, chatting about seeing Atlantic puffins and other coastal birds and how birding gives you a sense of place. They also talk about two notes sent in by listeners, one about the ...
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Episode 13: Spring Migration Report

Bill and Ben discuss the weird spring migration of 2017, and Ben interviews two bird migration experts: Greg Neise of the American Birding Association, and Dr. David LaPuma of Cape May Bird Observatory. Many birders agree that 2017's spring migration w...
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Episode 12: Live From New River

The boys recorded this one sitting on the back porch at Opossum Creek Retreat in Fayetteville, West Virginia, following the fabulous New River Birding & Nature Festival. This episode features an interview with Debbie Sturdivant Jordan of Holbrook T...
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