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Birdwatching, in my experience, is akin to playing Name That Tune while staring at the pages of Where’s Waldo. To memorize the coloring, calls, beak shapes, and wingbeats of hundreds of different species, many of which are smaller than an iPhone, requires a level of interest that borders on obsession. Calling birders nerds is convenient if you like rhymes, but their devotion to learning about and keeping track of their avian friends actually helps scientists learn about the ecosystems birds visit on a regular basis. As part of its Nat Geo Nights series, National Geographic’s Grosvenor Auditorium will welcome bird aficionados of different stripes to discuss their passion for creatures who have the ability to circumnavigate the globe every year. Music for the evening comes from Ben Mirin, the host of Wild Beats on National Geographic Kids and National Geographic WILD, who will remix the chirps and songs of birds into something resembling sound art. Read more>>> The event begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Gilbert H. Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M St. NW. $20. (202) 857-7700. nationalgeographic.org/dc. (Caroline Jones)


The James Beard Award semifinalists were announced this morning. Celebrate D.C.’s rising culinary scene by trying one of them for dinner tonight. Casual Chinese and Korean restaurant ChiKo on Barracks Row received a nod for best new restaurant. If you can’t make it in, they deliver through Caviar. Maydan is a semifinalist in the same category. Swing by to sample their myriad dips and condiments with warm pita and kebabs cooked over an open fire. Finally, Daniela Moreira from Timber Pizza Co. got some love as a rising star chef of the year. Try one of her pies at the Petworth pizza joint. (Laura Hayes)


D.C. rock band Black Dog Prowl performs at Black Cat. 7:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $10.

Author Tayari Jones talks about An American Marriage, her fourth novel, which chronicles a complicated love story and serves as an examination of how the country’s justice system impacts African-American lives, at Politics and Prose. 7 p.m. at 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free.

Jazz group Sarah Hughes Quartet performs at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Read more in our Spring Arts and Entertainment Guide5 p.m. at 8th and F streets NW. Free.

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