“Since the 1960s, the Wood Thrush population is estimated to have fallen by 62 percent, from 13 million to about 5 million. This bird faces threats to its forest habitat on both its breeding grounds in eastern North America and on wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America.”—
“La Sorte and his colleagues did no field work at all to arrive at their results; instead, they analyzed the sightings of thousands of bird watchers who contribute to an online checklist program called eBird, run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Using some 2.3 million records from 2007–2011, the researchers calculated an average location for each species on each day of the year. Though the resulting measurements of speed and direction are coarser than for individuals tracked by satellite, they represent major shifts by thousands or millions of birds that would be impossible for any one scientist or bird watcher to detect on their own.”—
“Chick loss to intruder loons has always been a major source of “natural” mortality. There are indications that intruder loons are having more impacts on nesting success and chick survivorship as the population continues to grow, but it is difficult to quantify.”—
“One day as I checked on them, an adult loon and then a second adult came around the island. As they swam closer, I could see two little chicks bobbing between them. The family swam on, staying close to each other, relocating to a nearby cove where they would raise their chicks. They made it against the odds.”—Loons: Symbol of the Northern Wilderness by Jane Oglivie as posted on New England Photography Guild’s website.
“The thrush is an icon of our New England woods, but it’s disappearing right before our eyes,” Mollie Matteson, a conservation advocate at the Center’s Northeast office, said in a statement released to the press. “This songbird needs Endangered Species Act protection to stand a chance in the face of climate change.”—
“Reaching into the bag, Streby gingerly pulled out a tiny nestling. Not yet golden, it had dark-olive plumage with faint yellow wingbars. The baby golden-wing squirmed and peeped in Streby’s hand as he flipped it on its back and gently threaded a pair of minuscule elastic bands around its delicate little legs. He was outfitting the bird with a nano-sized radio transmitter backpack.”—A Golden Plan for a Turnaround - Spring 2013 Living Bird
“Weather like this can generate spectacular birding. Fallout conditions occur when warm air from the south or southwest meets colder air to the north. The collision can produce fog, rain, and swirling winds – weather you might not consider suitable for birdwatching. But these conditions can cause countless birds – migrating north on tailwinds – to drop from migration and into view.”—
Join me this Saturday for my one and only bird walk this spring at the University of Vermont’s Horticulture Farm! The Friends of the Horticulture Farm have invited me there this Saturday, from 8 - 11am to lead a bird walk through orchards, woods and fields. We’ll focus on both the birds and talk a bit about birdscaping so you can make your backyard a haven for songbirds. Space is limited and there is a fee.
“A new study from scientists at Boise State University in Idaho shows that even species considered “tolerant” of human activity may be adversely impacted by human disturbance; Kestrels nesting in close proximity to roads and developed areas had elevated stress hormones and high rates of nest abandonment. The apparently favorable location, then, becomes an ecological trap.”—
Funding Available for Golden-winged Warbler Habitat
Photo by: Christian Artuso, Golden-winged Warbler Working Group
Vermont Natural Resource Conservation Service is targeting grown-up fields and pastures to be managed to benefit the golden-winged warbler. This small migratory bird is declining across it’s range (northeastern US and adjoining parts of Canada) and is therefore a regional species of concern. Golden-winged warblers are part of a group of birds called “shrubland birds” that require thickets of shrubs and woody cover interspersed with grassy and herbaceous openings. A mixture of short and tall shrubs, scattered trees and herbaceous openings are ideal. This habitat can often be found on old fields or lightly grazed pastures on farms in the Champlain Valley; this region is also the primary range of the bird in the state. Funding is available for southwestern Chittenden County, western Addison County and northwestern Rutland County to help create preferred habitat conditions. Contact your local USDA Service Center for more information. Applications will be accepted until May 7th, 2013.
“People who care about birds can change the world,” said Audubon chief scientist Gary Langham. “That’s why this year’s record-setting global participation is so exciting. Technology has made it possible for people everywhere to unite around a shared love of birds and a commitment to protecting them.”—
“We cannot know the nature of Vermont, the health of woodlands, wetlands and other wild places, without knowing the status of our birds,” said Rosalind Renfrew, Vermont Center for Ecostudies biologist. “This atlas will be essential reading for any Vermont conservationist.”—
“There is virtue in slowing down, staying put. Birders with limited physical mobility know this well. Here’s a map for them. These are Vermont birding sites with access for folks who might use a cane, walker or wheelchair”—The Vermont Independence Birding Map
“Determining the exact location of a crow nest is a difficult task, as this normally conspicuous bird becomes quite secretive when building and maintaining its nursery. It is in early April, when adults are seen transporting nesting material, that a person may be able to determine where a family will be setting up housekeeping for the coming season.”—
Join the Island Gardeners and me Tuesday, April 9th at 7 pm at the Folsom School in South Hero as I’ll present Birdscaping: Creating a Backyard Haven for Birds. I’ll be sharing a number of tips on assessing your yard for bird friendly plants, shrubs and trees. I’ll also get you thinking about the three key things needed in every backyard for birds. See you there!
“With a petite body shape, a stylish hint of yellow on its wings and tail, and a drawn-out, single syllable call that sounds more like an insect than a bird, the pine siskin never fails to add a touch of charm to its surroundings.”—