Road Trip 2016: Reporters' dispatches from the field on tech's role in the global refugee crisis. Road Trip 2015: CNET hunts for innovation outside the Silicon Valley bubble. Apps, camera gear and online services make it easy to join in the chase, enjoy the outdoors and spot more birds than your rivals. This is part of our Road Trip 2017 summer series "The Smartest Stuff," about how innovators are thinking up new ways to make you — and the world around you — smarter. I'm walking through a strip of forest with Noah Strycker, with miles of Ohio marshland to the south, Lake Erie to the north and hundreds of birds twittering all around. Strycker, a professional "bird nerd," is so good at identifying birds that he needs only to hear their songs to name them: yellow warbler, blue-headed vireo, sandhill crane, bluejay, tree swallow, warbling vireo, Baltimore oriole, American robin.
The amber-hued objective lens at the business end of Canon's massive 600mm supertelephoto lens is large to gather as much light as possible, But even a lens this size — it's about 2 feet long with its protective lens hood attached — can't magnify tiny or distant birds as much as a photographer would like, It invariably attracts stares from curious passerby, With a big telephoto lens, you can photograph easily spooked birds, such as this barn swallow starry night by vincent van gogh iphone case perching atop some concertina wire near the San Francisco Bay in Palo Alto, California..
Thousands of birders descend upon a half-mile boardwalk to see warblers each May in northern Ohio's Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. The warblers migrate north but stop at Magee Marsh to rest up before crossing Lake Erie. Even with apps and digital cameras making birding easier, binoculars remain a nearly universal birding tool. Connecticut birder Tim Thompson keeps track of birds in a notebook, but then logs the species on the eBird service so other birders can benefit from his sightings. Planning a trip? The eBird service tells you which weeks to travel if you want to see birds in a particular region. It's also useful for figuring out what's near your own home if you're getting started.
Bird photographers can't get enough telephoto reach, but the best lenses are extremely expensive and heavy, Four photographers here are using Canon's smaller 100-400mm zoom lens, I photographed this common murre with a huge 600mm lens that magnifies subjects but makes it harder to frame the shot from the heaving deck of a ship, This murre just caught a starry night by vincent van gogh iphone case fish in the Pacific Ocean west of San Francisco, Keith Barnes, a South African living in Taiwan, carries a massive 500mm Canon supertelephoto lens and Leica Ultravid binoculars, The birding expert works for Tropical Birding, which runs 120 bird tours a year for avian enthusiasts..
It's never too young to start birding, and binoculars remain nearly universally used among birders. Lots of US birders are retireees, but there are plenty of younger ones, too. This teenager at the Biggest Week in American Birding event had better camera equipment than most adults and knew his bird IDs. Thousands of birders submitted bird sighting data to eBird during its Global Big Day in May. A ruddy turnstone looks for tasty tidbits among the rocks on the shore of Lake Erie in northern Ohio. The bird got its name from the way it flips stones over to find food. CNET's Stephen Shankland photographed this with a Canon 7D Mark II SLR, 100-400mm lens all the way out to 400mm, and a 1.4x teleconverter — a relatively portable and affordable camera setup.
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