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Wednesday, September 29, 2021


The Cover


by Lillian Stokes and Matthew A. Young

The complete guide to North America’s finches, including a special section on Hawaiian Finches. A publishing first! Coming to you in 2024, published by Little, Brown and Company a division of Hachette Publishing.

From finch fanatics to fledgling finch fans, from goldfinches to crossbills, Stokes Guide to the Finches of the United States and Canada finally gives birders and some of America’s favorite birds their due–a guide to all things finch! 

This authoritative guide will include beautiful photos; creative essays; detailed identification information on each finch species' plumages, subspecies, and voice; the latest range maps; complete information on all aspects of the lives of North American finches; rare and vagrant species of finches; special section on Hawaiian finches, the honeycreepers, one of the most endangered groups of finches; the latest scientific studies; extensive information on finch irruptions, conservation, research, feeding and attracting finches and much more. Authoritative, fun, and accessible, this guide will appeal to novice through advanced birders and capture the spirit and personality of this amazing group of birds. Stay tuned for exciting updates!

Lillian Q. Stokes is an award-winning author and nature photographer who coauthored 35 Stokes Guides on birds and nature, including Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, which have sold about 6 million copies. She was the host and producer of the first PBS national birding tv shows. Lillian was captivated by Red Crossbills which she studied during the legendary 2020-2021 finch superflight, and she was moved to tell their story and the story of their finch relatives. 

Matthew A. Young is a nationally recognized finch and Red Crossbill expert and founder and president of the Finch Research Network. Matt got hooked on Red Crossbills as a young birder at Yellowstone Falls when Red Crossbills descended over him. He’s worked in the social work field with special needs adolescents for almost 10 years and worked at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology across 15+ years, where he was an Audio Engineer on several audio guides and Merlin packs. He’s written finch species accounts for breeding bird atlases and Birds of the World and has published several papers about the Red Crossbill vocal complex. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Winter Finch Forecast Goes Live, Sunday, Sept. 26th


Remember the historic finch superflight of 2020-2021, in which all 8 species of irruptive finches left the boreal, and millions of birders experienced this, including many of you? Well, big finch happenings are coming soon. The Winter Finch Forecast comes out this Sunday, Sept. 26th and you can listen to it live at 2 pm as Tyler Hoar and Matthew Young discuss the forecast on Badgerland Birding go here
If you check the reminder box they will send you a notice.
The 8 irruptive finch species were, Pine Grosbeak (shown here in my photo) Red Crossbill, White-winged Crossbill, Common Redpoll, Hoary Redpoll, Pine Siskin, Purple Finch, Evening Grosbeak.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Finches are Coming, the Winter Finch Forecast is Out Sept. 26th!


The finches are coming! Which ones, when, and how many? Stay tuned because the famous Winter Finch Forecast will tell you soon, it comes out Sunday, Sept. 26th. Get notified by subscribing here, on the Finch Research Network site.

Gone Hawkwatching, It's Prime Time for Raptors


Gone hawkwatching. At Pack Monadnock Raptor Migration Observatory now and have seen over 1,000 raptors - big kettles of broadwings plus eagles, Ospreys, harrier, sharpies, redtails. More keep coming. It’s a good day.
Update, as of Sept. 22, 2021, 6,793 raptors were seen at Pack during the month of Sept.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Learn Hawks, Get 20% discount off Cornell's Bird Academy Hawk ID Course Now!


Hawk migration is starting, can you ID them? Get ready by taking this special Cornell Bird Academy course and get all the raptors at your fingertips! 

Click link Better Birder: Hawk and Raptor Identification and get a 20% discount! Use this BAStokes21 code at check out to receive the discount. One use per customer.

This comprehensive self-paced course covers all 34 species found in the continental U.S. and Canada, with Dr. Kevin McGowan as your friendly guide.

  • * Discover raptor diversity—from vultures and eagles to falcons      
  • * Learn ID shortcuts with Kevin's Keys to ID videos and diagrams
  • * Build field skills with the powerful SnapID practice tool

  • Note: just type the code into the coupon code box in the cart at checkout, and don’t forget to click ‘apply’! You’ll see the lower price reflected in the “Cart Totals” box before clicking “Proceed to Checkout.”  

Or, use the same discount code BAStokes21 for any other of the Cornell Bird Academy Courses
Sign up here,

Gardening for Birds

Warbler Identification

Nature Journaling and Field Sketching

Bird Photography with Melissa Groo

How to Identify Bird Song

Feeder Birds: Identification and Behavior

Comprehensive Bird Biology

Bird Behavior

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

American Goldfinch Nest and Birding Serendipity Magic!


Me and Ignacio
Phil and Ignacio
American Goldfinch female on nest
Male goldfinch feeding female
Nesting habitat American Goldfinches

Ok, sometimes birding is just serendipity magic. I am studying American Goldfinches (more on that later) and wanted to see a nest. So Phil Brown (NH Audubon awesome birder) was birding with Ignacio Oreamuno (Costa Rican bird guide who owns a bird-friendly coffee plantation, was drinking coffee and wearing Stokes DLS binoculars) and a goldfinch flies right in front of them and goes to a nest. Phil texts me. I fly over there, and we have a great time watching Mrs. Goldfinch incubating. Female American Goldfinches sit on the nest almost continuously until the nestlings are about 4 days old and she is fed regurgitated seeds by the male. That's about 24,480 minutes of sitting!! Breeding is a highly cooperative venture between the male and the female; she protects the nest by continuously sitting, he provides all the food to her and nestlings. After day 4, the nestlings are fed by both parents. Oh, and did I mention an Olive-sided Flycatcher showed up and distracted us? Serendipity? Or meant to be?
Note: All nest photos were taken at a distance with a long telephoto superzoom camera at 2000 mm. Nikon P950. It is highly important not to disturb nests.

Friday, September 03, 2021

Gardening For Finches, Leave the Seeds!!


Gardening for finches – plant it and they will come! American Goldfinches love the seeds of composite flowers like these Purple Coneflowers. Provide a finch feast by resisting the urge to "tidy up" your garden and leave the seed heads of flowers. The new crop of crabapples will feed Pine Grosbeaks this fall and winter. Plant varieties of crabapple that keep their fruits through winter. Prairiefire (Malus x 'Prairiefire') is a good choice. Your reward? Your garden becomes a magnet of beauty and uplift to your spirit in seeing these beautiful finches.