One beautiful thing about the bird blogging game is that new blood is always welcome. The alleged A-listers may have the glamorous and, dare I say it, lucrative corners of the blogosphere locked up, but the natural history niche is wide open. The last year has seen a boom in brilliant bird blogs, as the ever-expanding I and the Bird participants list will attest. It’s fitting, then, that one of these new talents, Patrick Belardo of The Hawk Owls’ Nest, is the host of this week’s edition of our beloved blog carnival. Patrick has only been in the bird blogging biz for a few months, but he’s already asserted the knowledge, passion, experience, and insight that makes for a great site. Those fantastic birds and other assorted critters he’s been spotting lately don’t hurt either. So be sure to explore Patrick’s previous posts after you thrill to the fierce IATB World Cup competition that is I and the Bird #26.

The next edition of I and the Bird marks the first anniversary of our happy carnival, a year of collective bird blogging greatness. To mark this milestone, I’m hosting the first themed edition of IATB. To participate, send me a link to a post you’ve written addressing at least one of these three burning questions:

  • Why do you blog?
  • Why do you bird?
  • Why do you blog about birds?

This special edition is intended as a celebration of the amazing aggregate talent encapsulated in our last 26 installments and is therefore only open to previous participants. Also, only posts on why you blog, bird, or blog about birds will be included in this edition. I and the Bird #27 will appear on these pages on July 6, so get those links to me by Tuesday, July 4.

I really hope to hear from each and every one of the nearly 150 contributors from the last year of IATB, but if you don’t find this theme engaging or haven’t participated yet but really want to be a part of this beautiful collaboration, just wait for a couple of weeks. We’re kicking off Year Two in style with Katie of Bogbumper taking the reins of IATB #28 on July 20. If you haven’t hosted yet, be advised that we’ve got a few summer slots still open!

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.