Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
|Merlin / Photo by Bill Thompson (USFWS)|
- About 103 Spoon-billed Sandpipers were recorded recently in China at a site north of the Yangtze Estuary. The site was only recently discovered to be an important shorebird staging area and is currently not protected.
- The West Nile Virus has done so well in North America because it mutated to be spread more easily by the local mosquitos and found a reservoir among American Robins.
- A new study on how woodpeckers avoid brain injury argues woodpeckers' brains are protected by the looping shape of their hyoid bones, a lower mandible longer than the upper mandible, and a spongy bone structure to distribute the force of the blows.
- One unexpected effect of oil exploration in the Arctic is that predators use the infrastructure for dens and nesting and then use that as a base to prey on the nests of migratory birds. The rise in predation has particularly hurt Laplan Longspurs and phalaropes.
- Conservationists are trying to remove the house mouse population from Farallon Islands because the mice are causing Burrowing Owls to stay longer on the islands through the fall and winter, which in turn puts stress on Ashy Storm-Petrels.
- Tests on Bald Eagle eggs show that the species has benefited greatly from the regulation of dioxin discharged in paper mill wastewater.
- Two birders are competing to set the new big year record in New Jersey.
- Duke Farms is restoring a 500-acre wetland to provide more suitable habitat for marsh birds, especially the Northern Harrier.
- A scientist tells of sampling bird populations at Yanaba Island in Papua New Guinea.
- Sibley Guides: Does technology make birders lazy?
- The Drinking Bird: Birder Jargon Project: Along came a Sparrow
- Round Robin: See the Only Known Images of the Lost Imperial Woodpecker [Video]
- Greg Miller: Who’s The Best Birder In The World?
- The Nemesis Bird: Photo Study: Yellow-rumped Warbler
- Extinction Countdown: Please Don’t Feed the Endangered Eagles?
- A new study has officially linked white-nose syndrome in bats to the fungus Geomyces destructans and demonstrated that bats can pass the fungus to each other. The finding opens a way forward for combating the disease, perhaps through a vaccine. There is some evidence that the fungus originated in Europe and spread to North America, where bats had not evolved resistance to the fungus.
- The federal government has designated 140 square miles of critical habitat for endangered black abalone snails along the Pacific coast of California. Their numbers crashed during the 1980s due to disease.
- The Obama administration wants to impose a 20-year ban on new mining claims around the Grand Canyon.
- The Condit Dam on Washington's White Salmon River became the second-largest dam to be removed to restore fish passage. The dam blocked the annual migrations of salmon, steelhead, and Pacific lamprey for spawning.
- A new study confirms interbreeding between the eastern population of coyotes and wolves in the Great Lakes region. The study also showed that coyotes colonized the east via two routes: one around the Great Lakes and the other through southern states. The coyotes in Northern Virginia followed the northern route.
- Poachers killed the last living Vietnamese rhinoceros, a subspecies of the Javan rhinoceros.
- There are fewer American martens in California than in the past, which may be linked to a reduction in suitable forest habitat.
- Here are the results of another environmental photography contest.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
|Banded shorebirds at Cedar Key, Florida|
The oystercatcher is an especially easy bird to survey during fall migration due to its distinct features. Not only do they stand apart from other shorebird species with their unique orange bill and striking coloration, but color bands help us determine individuals as well. Banding efforts have been underway in New Jersey since 2004 in order to give insight to researchers regarding theOystercatchers banded in each state covered by the project are given a different color band. If you happen to spot a color-banded oystercatcher, you can report the observation to the American Oystercatcher Working Group.
oystercatcher’s breeding habits, pair behavior, and migration patterns. About 300 oystercatchers have been banded in New Jersey to date, including a significant percentage of the state’s estimated 400 breeding pairs.
Adult oystercatchers are captured every year during their breeding season using a trap called a noose carpet. This flat trap, which is covered in noose knots, is partially buried under the sand near the oystercatcher’s nest. A wooden decoy is placed in the middle of the trap. When the breeding pair catches sight of the decoy imposter, they approach it to defend their territory and get caught in the trap. Once trapped, researchers place two orange bands with a two letter/digit code, denoting that they were caught in New Jersey, and one silver U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service band on their legs. They also take a variety of body measurements and obtain a DNA sample from a feather for further research. Chicks are also banded a few weeks after hatching and before they are able to fly.
The process of banding oystercatchers, while time consuming, has taught us many important things. Among many other findings, banded birds have helped us confirm that oystercatchers are long living, and exhibit strong site fidelity and pair bonds. Individual color bands have also shown us their migration route, as well as how long they stay at their migration stopover sites and wintering grounds.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
|Oscar Lake in the Northwest Territories|
©D. Langhorst, Ducks Unlimited
|Major flyways coming out of Canada's boreal forest|
©Boreal Songbird Initiative
- In the Hudson and James Bay Lowlands, forests were flooded as part of hydroelectric projects. The area provides breeding habitat for 28 waterfowl, 21 other waterbirds, and 19 shorebird species. Hydroelectric energy is clean in the sense that it does not produce carbon emissions, but it comes with the cost of lost breeding grounds for birds and contaminated fishing areas for native inhabitants.
- At the Peace-Athabasca Delta, tar sands mining is reducing water quality, and flows have dropped. The delta is recognized as a global IBA and a significant wetland under the Ramsar Convention. It is home to 215 bird species, including the endangered Whooping Crane, which breeds in Wood Buffalo National Park. The delta itself is protected, but the waters flowing into the delta are not, and those upstream activities threaten the productivity of the wetlands downstream.
- Logging activity in the Lake Superior Watershed is reducing biodiversity and removing important food sources for the millions of birds that live there. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake on earth and drains over 49,000 square miles, much of which lies in the boreal forest. Bird species that breed in this watershed include several that depend on spruce budworm outbreaks, which are reduced when timber companies spray with pesticides.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
a film canister as a flash diffuser. You can read more about the technique at the link. I like the results so far. Using the film canister allowed for a brighter image, with a sharper look because of the faster shutter speed, and very few harsh reflections from the flash.
Monday, October 24, 2011
The juvenile bird was trapped Saturday evening at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. It was immediately transported to the wildlife center where specialists stayed late to receive it, Dmytryk said.According to the report, the nail dropped out while the hawk was being taken to the wildlife center. The bird is currently alive and recovering.
WildRescue had been notified of the injured bird nearly a week ago and had tried to trap it several times last week without success.
But observers got close enough to the bird to see the nail extending from its cheek through the front of its head. They said the hawk appeared to be in pain.
Dmytryk's group had been using a trap called a bal-chatri, a trap made of wire mesh, to try to catch the injured hawk.
There is a reward for information about the shooting since it is a federal crime to kill or injure birds without a take permit (or a hunting license in the case of game birds). I think it is terrible that someone would injure the hawk (deliberately or not) and then leave it without trying to get help for it. Fortunately, the hawk appeared to be able to hunt and eat, but it could easily have been otherwise. These are wild birds and deserve to be treated humanely and with respect.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
|Rufous Hummingbird / Photo by Dave Menke (USFWS)|
- A genetic study has resolved the evolutionary relationships of the entire family of Hawaiian honeycreepers. There were originally more than 55 species of honeycreepers, some of which were from widely different lineages. Honeycreepers evolved from Eurasian rosefinches, which arrived in the Hawaiian Islands from Asia, whereas most Hawaiian birds evolved from North American ancestors.
- Peru is issuing stamps featuring the country's endangered birds.
- A recent study found that birds that follow army ant colonies can remember information about the ants' location and activity from one day to the next. This helps them follow colonies with high levels of activity while avoiding less active colonies.
- A video crew recorded an Adelie Penguin stealing stones from its neighbor's nest. You can see the full video here.
- A captive breeding program is being undertaken to increase the numbers of Spoon-billed Sandpipers in the wild.
- 10,000 Birds: Slowing down Chimney Swifts
- The Nemesis Bird: Tennessee Warbler vs. Orange-crowned Warbler
- The Drinking Bird: The Big Year and birder affirmation
- Birding New Jersey and the World: Cento: What Hollywood Tells Us
- ABA Blog: Telephoto-Macro?!?
- Round Robin: 10 Great Books on Birds: A Big Year Reading List
- Urban Dragon Hunters: Aeshna ID: Canada versus Green-striped
- Bug Girl's Blog: Lost Bumblebees of Denmark
- Myrmecos: Portrait of a jumping spider
- Net Results: Poison ivy: Breakfast of champions
- An entomologist at Rutgers University is studying the shapes and functions of dragonfly genitals, particularly in family Libellulidae (skimmers).
- A study of co-evolution found that orchids need orchid bees more than the bees need the orchids since orchid bees gather pollen from multiple sources.
- Scientists in Bolivia are monitoring jaguars via camera traps.
- Wolves may be gradually returning to the Northeast, so environmentalists hope to maintain federal endangered species protections for the eastern population to assist the recovery. (via 10,000 Birds)
- Scientists have been tracking narwhals by satellite. The tracking program is designed to discover how these unusual whales are responding to changes in their environment.
- Some male spiders are able to avoid being eaten during courtship by massaging the back of the female with their palps and a special thread.
- A writer for The Guardian wonders what makes autumn feel special.
- Yet another independent evaluation of the evidence concluded that the climate is warming.
- The drought across the southern U.S. is expected to continue this winter thanks to La Niña.
- A recent study found more humpback whales in the North Pacific than at any time in the recent past.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Here is a bit more about the winning photograph:
Daniel Beltra, who hails from Spain, entered an exceptional portfolio of pictures entitled The Price of Oil into the WPY's photojournalist category, which he also won. Most were aerial shots of the Gulf of Mexico slick and the desperate efforts made following the blow-out to clean up the mess; but it is the pelican portrait that stands out.Here is the website for the competition and gallery of winners, including a collection of images by Daniel Beltrá.
The birds are seen clustered in a box at a rescue facility in Fort Jackson, Louisiana. At that moment, the animals had just gone through the first stage of cleaning, which involved spraying them with a light oil to break up the heavy crude trapped in their feathers. The resulting smelly, mucky residue dripped from the birds' plumage on to a white sheet.
"The problem with birds is that as soon as they get dirty, they try to clean themselves, which means they swallow a lot of oil. By November 2010, I think they had recovered over 6,000 dead birds," Daniel said.
"There was a closed door on the box. Every so often it would be opened and a bird would be taken out to be cleaned properly. I had a 35mm lens and when that door was opened, I would look in and grab three or four shots. The intent was not to disturb them any more than was necessary."
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
- Winged Migration
- The Birds
- The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
- The Birdman of Alcatraz
- March of the Penguins
- Surf's Up
- Fly Away Home
- Chicken Run
- A Dispatch from Reuters
- The Raven
- Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'hoole
Monday, October 17, 2011
Birding has long had a competitive side, which is most evident in the completion of big years. Compiling a long life list has an element of competitiveness, but it requires steady effort over many years to rise to the top. A big year, on the other hand, requires an intense effort over a single year, often to the exclusion of other activities. A big year birder is competing against previous records, personal milestones, and any other birders that might be doing a big year in the same year. It requires both visits to regular hotspots and chases for individual rarities, some of which may occur at unexpected sites.
A big year is the attempt to see as many species as possible within a defined area during a single calendar year. The geographic area for a big year can be large or small. It could be done at a city, county, state, or national level. It could be restricted by means of transportation, as BIGBY birders do. For North American birders, the most prestigious big years are those that cover the entire ABA Area, which includes the mainland United States and Canada, plus a handful of nearby islands and pelagic zones.
It would be hard to imagine a better year than 1998 to break a big year record. Airfares were relatively cheap, and security was not as tight as it is now, making it possible to make more last minute flights. More importantly, a powerful El Niño created unusual weather patterns in and around North America. These weather patterns pulled many vagrant species from Asia into Alaska and from Mexico and Central America into the southwestern U.S. Other birds showed up in odd places too, like a Xantus's Hummingbird in British Columbia. Because of the high degree of vagrancy that year, it will be very difficult for future birders to break the record set that year.
This book is a good introduction to the competitive side of birding for anyone new to the subject. For that reason, it does not surprise me that The Big Year appealed to filmmakers. Obmascik does not assume much knowledge about either birds or the history of birdwatching as a hobby. He spends a chapter on the development of birdwatching, starting with Audubon and continuing through Peterson and Fisher's first North American big year up to the years before Komito, Levantin, and Miller each decided to attempt a big year in 1998. There are some inaccuracies in this account. In particular, Obmascik overstates the role played by Peterson's 1934 edition of A Field Guide to the Birds. However, the historical account is informative on the whole and provides the necessary context for someone new to birding to understand what Komito, Levantin, and Miller were trying to accomplish.
If you are a birder, chances are that you already know who finished in first place that year and how many species he saw. If not, there are a few places during the narrative where the outcome seems in doubt. Either way, the narrative is engaging and dramatic. In addition to telling a compelling story, Obmascik offers colorful descriptions of the places, birds, and situations the birders encountered during the big year. Consider this description of the Brownsville Municipal Landfill, home to a vagrant crow:
Nobody besides the crow liked going there. To say it stunk did injustice to the word stunk. It reeked. It rotted. It marinated decades of throwaway table scraps in the fecund humidity of the Rio Grande Valley and then roasted it under the South Texas sun. It smelled so bad it made grown men cry.The version I read for this review was a special edition of The Big Year published in conjunction with the movie version that was provided to me by the publisher. This edition has a promotional photo for the movie on the cover. The paper and binding feel rather cheap and flimsy. This was the first time I read The Big Year, so I do not know how it compares physically to older editions. The movie opened in theaters this weekend; here is the trailer.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I mentioned this already, but it really deserves its own post. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin are developing an app to identify recorded snippets of birdsong:
An app like this was bound to come along sooner or later, and however well it works, it is likely to change birding. If its use becomes widespread among birders, more birders will be able to identify birds by sound. Will this tool be accepted by the birding community? Will identifications by app count the same as identifications by ear or sight? Will the ABA adjust its listing guidelines in light of the new app? These things will all need to be worked out once the app becomes publicly available.
For more than a year, Berres (and his graduate students, of course) have been testing and improving the fruit of that inspiration: WeBIRD, the Wisconsin Electronic Bird Identification Resource Database.
Photo: Jeff Miller
Like music-identification apps Shazam and MusicID, WeBIRD allows anyone with a smartphone and a mysterious bird nearby to record the bird’s call, submit it wirelessly to a server and (after a few seconds) receive a positive ID on the species of bird tweeting away within earshot.
“I am amazed at how good it is,” says Berres, who has also used WeBIRD to identify grasshopper species by their clicking calls and frogs by their croaks. “In fact, not only can WeBIRD tell you which species you’re hearing, it’s good enough to identify individual birds from their song.”
For birders, the former qualifies as a reason to rejoice. For researchers, the latter could change the nature of field studies. For the birds, WeBIRD — which hopes to make available to the public in time for the spring migration in 2012 — could be a lifesaver....
Accurate automated analysis of recorded songs could help researchers track the comings and goings of flocks and individuals. Instead of sending students and scientists out into the wild to collect data — collection that could be hindered by variations in hearing, fatigue, biting insects and the very presence of a human being — a research team could venture out periodically to collect recordings of research plots and analyze the results with WeBIRD.
To place a bird call with its species is a chore far more complicated than the music-matching apps....
“When a bird sings, the song itself may have varying amplitudes and frequencies,” Berres says. “It can also speed up a little bit, slow down a little bit. They may throw in a note here or take out a note there.”
Birds also differ their calls throughout the day. And a bird of a particular species on UW–Madison’s lakeside campus may develop an accent of sorts, distinct from birds of the same species living just a few miles away at the UW Arboretum.
The WeBIRD algorithm dices bird calls into time-ordered chunks of frequency and energy, using data-organization techniques more often applied by geneticists to jumbled bits of DNA geneticists to “align temporally misaligned data, working around a lot of the variation,” Berres said.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
|An oiled White-capped Albatross (Forest & Bird)|
Many seabirds are currently breeding on offshore islands in the Bay of Plenty and nearby regions and any impact on the parent birds will also affect their chicks. These seabirds breed in burrows so any birds with oil on their feathers could carry that oil into their nests and harm their chicks as well. If the parent birds have swallowed oil, both they and any chicks they feed are likely to die or be harmed, and the chicks of parents that die will starve.
Karen Baird said it was important that experts should get out to the breeding colonies to check on the harm occurring there. Among the dead birds recorded so far are 178 Common Diving-petrels Pelecanoides urinatrix, 114 Fluttering Shearwaters Puffinus gavia, 68 Buller’s Shearwaters Puffinus bulleri and 13 Little Penguins Eudyptula minor, along with smaller numbers of albatrosses and other species of petrel....
Eleven oiled Little Penguins were taken to the Oiled Wildlife Response Unit in Mount Maunganui overnight and five New Zealand Dotterels Charadrius obscurus had been removed from areas threatened by oil pollution at Matakana Island, Maketu and Pukehina.
Friday, October 14, 2011
|Roseate Spoonbills / Photo by Jonathan Milak (USFWS)|
- An ornithologist is working on a smartphone app that will identify recorded birdsong to species.
- There is a significant oil spill underway in New Zealand from a cargo ship that ran aground and is threatening to break up. At least 350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil have spilled from the ship so far. Some seabirds are in danger from the spill; here is an article on how rescuers clean penguins. Here are more images from the spill.
- Two endangered Whooping Cranes were shot and killed in Louisiana.
- Thanks to color banding, there is now a record of a Piping Plover staying unusually long at a breeding site after a failed nesting attempt.
- Round Robin: 10 Great Books on Birds: A Big Year Reading List
- BirdWatching Field of View: A 'theoretical birder' describes the art and science of photographing 50 birds' nests
- Bug Girl's Blog: Bed bugs, the CDC, and insecticides
- Laelaps: The Giant, Prehistoric Squid That Ate Common Sense
- Birding is Fun!: Blue Circler
- Coffee and Conservation: Research: Borer-eating warblers may need nearby forests
- The Drinking Bird: Birder Jargon Project: Pish off
- The global of supply of coffee is threatened by climate change, which is changing rainfall patterns and encouraging pest infestations in coffee-growing regions.
- Polar bears are being harmed by the environmental toxins that accumulate in the polar region.
- Scientists are considering ways in which North American forests might absorb more carbon in the future.
- Australia is implementing carbon pricing in the face of a major public relations campaign against the policy. Carbon pricing will take effect next July.
- Environmental groups are suing the Obama administration over its refusal to implement the EPA's new ozone rules.
- Worldwide meat consumption jumped 20% in the last decade, with effects on land use and greenhouse gas emissions.
- A few recent articles made attempts to define and quantify "green jobs."
- A British expedition is attempting to explore Antarctica's Lake Ellsworth, which lies underneath a thick sheet of ice, in hopes of gaining clues about past climates and life forms that can survive extreme conditions.
- Here is a gallery of snail images.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 09, 2011
|Whooping Cranes / USFWS Photo|
There are 10 cranes in the 2011 flock, five male and five female. This year, the birds were trained how to follow the ultralight planes at a new site, the White River Marsh State Wildlife Area, which is southeast of Necedah, Wis., where earlier flocks have been trained.Half of the cranes will spend the winter at St. Mark's NWR, and the other half will winter at Chassahowitzka NWR. Currently there are 96 Whooping Cranes in the eastern migratory population and about 400 overall in the wild.
The endangered birds are part of an effort by the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership, a consortium of government and private agencies from Canada and the United States that works to ensure the crane's survival.
Before the whoopers are born, the sound of ultralight aircraft is played near the eggs. After they are born, the birds are fed and cared for by people dressed in whooping crane costumes carrying whooping crane puppets. No one ever speaks near the birds to prevent them from bonding with humans.
The birds imprint on the ultralights and their costumed pilots, and are trained to follow the aircraft to learn how to migrate.
The program is designed to create a second migratory flock of whoopers in the event members of the only existing wild migrating flock, which flies from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, get sick or die off. The goal is to have 125 individual birds, including 25 breeding pairs, in the Eastern Migratory flock.
Once the birds finish their southern migration, they fly north on their own in the spring. The first year of the program, 2001, was also the migration that took the least amount of time, only 48 days. The longest migration was 97 days in 2007. The length of the trip depends on weather conditions. For the safety of the pilots and their precious charges, they only fly in favorable weather.
You can follow updates about the journey on the Operation Migration website.
Saturday, October 08, 2011
While many butterflies are already past their flight periods, some are still flying in good numbers. There are, of course, Monarchs that have been migrating through in a steady stream. However, they are not the only ones present.
Friday, October 07, 2011
|Le Conte's Sparrow / Photo by Alex Galt (USFWS)|
- One of the authors of the Golden Guide, Bertel Bruun, died this week. Bruun was noteworthy for designing the Golden Guide's page layout, with text and plates on facing pages instead of having the text and plates separated (as in the earlier Peterson guides). His design set the standard for subsequent field guides.
- A proposed wind farm in Washington state is drawing criticism over its potential effects on endangered Northern Spotted Owls.
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering MacGillivray's Seaside Sparrow, Florida Sandhill Crane, and Black Rail in its review of the endangered status of hundreds of southeastern wetland species.
- When Nazca Boobies are bullied as chicks, they often grow up to bully other baby boobies.
- Here are some photos of Hyacinth Macaws.
- Tetrapod Zoology: Hoatzins are no longer exclusively South American and once crossed an ocean
- 10,000 Birds: Dark Deeds
- The Skeptical Moth: Key to the Lepidoptera of Canada
- March of the Fossil Penguins: A Map for Our Tour of the Penguin Skeleton
- Laelaps: Evolutionary Treasures Locked in the Teeth of Early Whales
- Bourbon, Bastards and Birds: "Meh." - Obama and the Endangered Species Act
- Bird Ecology Study Group: Red-crowned Crane dancing during an earthquake
- Compound Eye: Nikon Announces Winners of 2011 Small World Competition
- Beetles in the Bush: Crossidius coralinus fulgidus
- The Brownstone Birding Blog: "Birding Jargon"
- The Nemesis Bird: What’s Your Favorite Warbler?
- History of Geology: September 30, 1861: The First Feather
- The Birdist: A Birder's Apprehension to The Big Year
- This summer, Arctic sea ice reached its second-lowest minimum extent; the record low was in 2007. Lower summer sea ice minimums have some consequences. Cargo ships can use the opened Northwest Passage to travel between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The Obama administration is opening more of the Arctic to drilling. Meanwhile, walruses have to pull out and rest on land instead of sea ice.
- The EPA released a preliminary plan for restoring ecosystems around the Gulf of Mexico. Among other things, the plan calls for adjusting flood control and navigation projects by the Army Corps of Engineers to make them compatible with wetland restoration. It emphasizes improving water quality, particularly reducing the Gulf's dead zone, and the need for monitoring more species in the Gulf.
- Climate scientists are reporting the first ever Arctic ozone hole, which formed over the Arctic last winter.
- The loss of forests to drought, fire, and invasive pests is removing a crucial carbon sink and local climate protector.
- German scientists have published a Distribution Atlas of Butterflies in Europe.
- A warm autumn has brought many southerly moth species to Britain.
- Camera traps have found mountain lions in Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. A different mountain lion was killed by poachers in the western Santa Monica Mountains.
- The conditions are right for the Northeast to have particularly colorful fall foliage this year.
- Volunteers are working on removing invasive weeds such as Spanish broom from Angeles National Forest.
Thursday, October 06, 2011
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
The new checklist includes all of the bird species recorded in the 48 contiguous United States, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, which is over 900 bird species. The species are listed on even-numbered pages (the left page) and species are depicted on the facing odd-numbered pages (right page). The English names for birds do not follow those listed by a single taxonomic authority. Instead Arlott states in the introduction that "I have headlined the English names that I believe are those used by most birders in the field." This means that sometimes older names are given, and other times the name used among British birders is given instead of the name favored by the American Ornithological Union. In some of these cases, an alternative name is listed in parentheses, so this should not cause much confusion. Each entry also contains the bird's scientific name. The scientific names listed do not reflect the recent reorganization of the wood warbler family, which was formally announced after the book went to press.
While Birds of North America and Greenland is visually attractive, it is difficult to identify a use case for this checklist. North America is already very well covered with field guides. Arlott's guide does not have much of a size advantage over the Kaufman guide, a basic guide that covers the same area as Arlott's. Sibley's regional guides (east, west) are also only slightly larger and provide thorough coverage (including multiple plumages) of the birds in their areas, as does the National Geographic guide. One advantage Arlott's checklist does have is that it covers Greenland, which is often not covered in field guides for North America but whose checklist includes some species that could end up as vagrants in North America. However, I am not sure that is enough of an advantage to warrant carrying it instead of other guides to the same area. Perhaps a visitor to North America could get some use out of this book, but a visiting birder (or a North American birder traveling around the continent) would be better served by an existing full-fledged field guide.