Cavity Nesting Birds of North America and Their Babies!

10,000 Birds

Bufflehead ( Bucephala albeola ) Female at Cavity Entrance photos by Larry Jordan “Some 85 species of North American birds excavate nesting holes, use cavities resulting from decay (natural cavities), or use holes created by other species in dead or deteriorating trees. Now the only falcon that regularly nests in natural cavities is the smallest and most common falcon in North America, the American Kestrel ( Falco sparverius ). Cavity-nesting Birds of North American Forests.

Platte River Sandhill Cranes: Enjoying North America’s Greatest Bird Spectacle

Nature Conservancy - Science

Some cranes will nest as far north as Alaska and Siberia, so they need a lot of calories to make the trip. As Chris Helzer of the Prairie Ecologist blog writes, “For those of us living and working on the Central Platte River in Nebraska, the birds that signify spring’s arrival are much bigger than robins.”. This year’s program includes additional excursions to see prairie chickens on their spring display grounds (known as “leks”) and crane viewing by trolley.


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State of North America’s Birds Report Released to Commemorate Centennial of the First Migratory Bird Treaty

Nature Conservancy - Science

One hundred years ago, North Americans united for birds. protecting birds and other wildlife, connecting all of North America in its efforts to protect our shared species. How Hummingbirds Journey North. In this Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial year, the three countries united once again to produce a “ State of North America’s Birds ” report — a groundbreaking collaboration to evaluate bird populations in habitat types across the continent.

Bison Good, Cattle Bad? A Prairie Ecologist’s Perspective

Nature Conservancy - Science

By Chris Helzer , prairie ecologist. Among some prairie enthusiasts, there seems to be a perception that plains bison are magical creatures that live in complete harmony with the prairie. Cattle, on the other hand, are evil creatures that seek and destroy wildflowers, removing them from prairies forever. They also stomp all over prairies, trampling plants and birds to death and causing cascades of soil erosion and water pollution.

Zumwalt Prairie: Mountain Lions, Mountain Quail & More

Nature Conservancy - Science

A black bear stands amongst the expansive grasslands and canyons of Zumwalt Prairie Preserve. The Zumwalt Prairie of northeastern Oregon is one of those spectacular places where the large herds still roam, where big predators still stalk, where you never know what you might see on a hike. The Zumwalt Prairie is the largest remaining Palouse grassland in North America. You can view more Zumwalt Prairie photos on Flickr.

Back Battle on the Booming Grounds

10,000 Birds

The Greater Prairie Chicken , once common throughout North America, has undergone rapid population decline, mostly due to habitat loss. The tallgrass prairie that once blanketed the Midwest has been almost completely converted to cropland, leaving Tympanuchus cupido painfully vulnerable. The Greater Prairie Chicken’s story seems to be a tragic one, but Timothy Barksdale sees something compelling in it. Birds prairie chickens prairies video

2011 150

Climate Change and the Future of Bison

Nature Conservancy - Science

Due to efforts to restore bison in North America, The Nature Conservancy has been instrumental in helping predict the future of bison. Approximately 500,000 bison and 100 million cattle graze grasslands in North America. That’s where the Conservancy’s work to restore bison across North America has been critical. The climate of Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma is 17°F hotter than at Cross Ranch in North Dakota.

WPAs: America’s Duck Factories

10,000 Birds

The Prairie Pothole Region of the United States—about 100,000 square miles of the northern Great Plains—is characterized by depressions or basins created retreating glaciers. The potholes and associated grasslands create North America’s most productive habitat for breeding waterfowl, making it an area of global significance for Mallards , Northern Pintails , Blue-winged Teals , Gadwalls , Northern Shovelers , and others. Snow Geese over Kulm WMD in North Dakota (USFWS).

Green-tailed Towhee at the Inaugural Mountain Bird Festival

10,000 Birds

Up in Ashland we found them on the outskirts of Howard Prairie Lake. References: 1 Birds of North America Online. I had the pleasure of attending the first Mountain Bird Festival in Ashland Oregon recently and it was great! The Wildlife Conservation Stamp Project was one of the sponsors of the festival which was hosted by the Klamath Bird Observatory. One of the major draws to the festival was viewing the Great Gray Owl, but that is for another post altogether.

2014 197

Blue-winged Teal at Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

10,000 Birds

Blue-winged Teal breed over a large portion of North America but occur irregularly or at low densities in many portions of their range. The highest breeding densities occur in mixed-grass prairie and parklands of north-central U.S. and the prairie provinces of Canada, where the species is often the most abundant breeding duck 1. References: 1 Birds of North America Online.

Introducing Bluebird Man

10,000 Birds

Wild Lens is currently producing a half-hour film about one man’s role in the successful recovery of North America’s bluebirds. Bluebird Man is about Alfred Larson, but you can be one of the film’s heroes by contributing to its production… There is something special about bluebirds, and it isn’t just because the world’s three species are only found in North America. Bluebird nest box near Prairie, Idaho.

2013 190

Birds on Posts or Birding North Dakota

10,000 Birds

If you like birds on posts, if seeing “little brown jobs” posing nicely in the distance as you drive or walk along a dirt road only to have it fly away as you approach makes you deliriously happy, then North Dakota is the place for you. I was on New Jersey Audubon’s Grand North Dakota birding tour this past July, driving along dirt roads through the prairies of western North Dakota. I wanted to see prairie birds and I wanted to experience a new state.

The Rusty Squirrel-Hawk AKA Ferruginous Hawk

10,000 Birds

They inhabit the grasslands, shrub steppes, and deserts of western and central North America. I took a ride up to the Fall River Valley back in October and spotted both morphs in the large grasslands where we also usually see Rough-legged Hawks and Prairie Falcons. They are often seen on the ground since their prey consists mainly of rabbit, prairie dog and, you guessed it, ground squirrel. link] References: 1 Birds of North America Online , 2 Olendorff, R.

2012 145

Swainson’s Hawks in Plumas County

10,000 Birds

Each autumn, nearly the entire breeding population of the Swainson’s Hawk migrates from the temperate zone of North America to wintering areas in South America. During my recent trip I also had the pleasure of spotting Rough-legged Hawks, Prairie Falcons, Northern Harriers and several Ferruginous Hawks ( Buteo regalis ). References: 1 Birds of North America Online.

2014 140

The Warbler Duo of Florida’s Mangroves

10,000 Birds

I always like to see the look of surprise on a visiting birder’s face when I tell them that the Prairie Warblers and Yellow Warblers in southern Florida are restricted to mangrove habitats. Although both species are widespread in North America as breeders in shrubby edge habitats, that is not the case in the southern half of the sunshine state (the more northerly race of Prairie Warbler is an uncommon breeder in the panhandle).

Confounding the Starving Snowy Owl Irruption Theory

10,000 Birds

Many North American birders have, over the last few years, received a rare treat. Scientists studying Snowies wintering on the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada found both younger and older birds whose overall condition was generally pretty healthy, with few signs of starvation and even some weight gain during the winter months. ” It may be too early to speculate about how Snowy this winter may be in North America. Snowy Owl at Breezy Point photographed by Corey.

2016 100

I and the Bird: What is a Vulture?

10,000 Birds

Sure, they may not have the raw power of a Peregrine Falcon or the agility of a Northern Goshawk , but wager there isn’t a birder out there who hasn’t taken a long look at the Turkey Vulture , an incredibly common species across North America, and wondered at the skill it takes to hang, teetering in the air , without flapping for what seems like and probably is hours at a time. Turkey Vulture Wing Tagging – Charlotte Wasylik, Prairie Birder.

2013 185

Solar Eclipse Expedition 2017

Nature Conservancy - Science

Where will you be on August 21, 2017 when the solar eclipse passes through North America? Eclipse 2017 stands out because the path of totality cuts a wide swath through the United States and all of North America will have views of a partial eclipse. Platte River Prairies. Showy evening primrose (Oenothera rhombipetala) in restored prairie at the Derr Tract of Platte River Prairies, Nebraska. Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

2017 67

The Why of Ferrets

10,000 Birds

The species was extinct, a vanished part of the vanishing prairie — and not for the first time. John Bachmann headed west to gather material for Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. Sorry for banging on about black-footed ferrets, but here’s a bit on why this trip was so special to me: Forty years ago the black-footed ferret was a bit more like the Loch Ness Monster than it is today. You couldn’t see it.

2012 187

What is the State Bird of Colorado?

10,000 Birds

Lark Buntings are prairie birds, and breed in open meadow, sagebrush, and plains. Looking at the North American Breeding Survey, their numbers have decreased by 4.8% According to a project run by Colorado State University , “Grassland bird species have experienced the largest population declines of any terrestrial avian group in the past four decades in North America.”

What It Feels Like For a Ferret Watcher

10,000 Birds

Here’s a little sketch of what it’s like out there searching for one of North America’s rarest mammals: She looks like a cross between a Loch Ness Monster/kitten hybrid — a blunt fuzzy head, with small round ears and shining eyes in a black mask, atop a serpentine body equipped with an elongated neck and stubby little dark legs. We watch as she dashes across the short, sparse grass to the next prairie-dog burrow to the left.

2012 168

How to Know the Birds: The Art and Adventure of Birding – A Book Review

10,000 Birds

How to Know the Birds talks about 200 commonly found birds in North America (including one extinct bird, the Passenger Pigeon) in 200 brief essays, each exactly one page long. John Schmitt, who illustrated Raptors of Mexico and Central America amongst many other books and magazine articles. “Get a field guide!” ” That’s what novice birders are told, over and over.

2019 113

What It’s Like to Be a Bird: A Review of the New Sibley Book

10,000 Birds

The emphasis is on everyday birds seen in North America, though some of the more exotic and local species are thrown in for the color and romance of it all–Atlantic Puffin, Roseate Spoonbill, the poor extinct Heath Hen.

2020 219

Polyandry and Polygynandry on the Tundra

10,000 Birds

Promiscuity, where females get no care or resources from males, include lek breeding birds, and has led to some of the most spectacular male displays and plumages through female sexual selection; one needs only look at the stunning birds-of-paradise (Paradiseidae) of New Guinea and Australia, or, closer to home (for us in North America), the lekking displays of Greater Sage Grouse ( Centrocercus urophasianus ) or any of the prairie-chickens ( Tympanuchus ) (Jenni 1974, Schroeder et al.

2012 166

Reintroduction Program Succeeding For Black-Footed Ferret

Eco Friendly Daily

For many decades the black-footed ferret was believed to be extinct in its native habitat of North America. The ferret was released near a prairie dog colony as prairie dogs compose the majority of their diet. Black-footed ferrets dwindled in numbers in the 1900s as the prairie dog population across the country declined. The decline of the prairie dogs have been largely attributed to human actions, such as hunting and poisoning the prairie dogs.

I and the Bird: What is an Ibis?

10,000 Birds

They can be exceptionally rare, with some Asian and African species at high risk of extinction due to the twin scourges of habitat loss and hunting pressure including the gorgeous Crested Ibis of Japan and the impressive Giant Ibis if southeast Asia, or exceedingly common as in the case of the White Ibis if the southeastern North America which is as common as a parking lot bird in some parts of its range as starlings and pigeons.

2013 199

The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors – A Book Review

10,000 Birds

In the past two years, our bookshelves have welcomed Jerry Liguori’s Hawks At A Distance (2011), the second edition of the classic Hawks in Flight (Dunne, Sutton, Sibley; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), and Chris Earley’s updated edition of the excellent regional guide, Hawks and Owls of Eastern North America (2012). Add to that Liguori’s earlier Hawks From Every Angle (2005), the entry from the Peterson Field Guide series, Hawks of North America, second edition , by William S.

Review 202

The Incredible Shrinking Bison, an Unexpected Impact of Climate Change

Nature Conservancy - Science

As the climate warms, bison in North America are likely to shrink , as documented in research published by Joseph Craine and colleagues. Bison Bellows and Bones: Student-Scientists on the Prairie. Two or three major bison migrations once occurred on North America’s grasslands, on a scale that is difficult to comprehend today. Memorial Preserve in South Dakota and the warmer Konza Prairie Biological Station in Kansas.

Aim Small, Bird Small

10,000 Birds

Hundreds of thousands of us have enjoyed the incredible programs and birding opportunities at some of North America’s largest, longest-running birding festivals. If my caller had said “I want to see ducks, or sparrows, or grassland birds&# I would have suggested another event to him—the Potholes & Prairie Birding Festival in Carrington, North Dakota which is held in June each year.

2011 130

The Giving Birders: Are They Out There?

10,000 Birds

Private property holders with prairie/agricultural land can potentially make a big difference in maintaining and recovering populations of many of these charismatic species. Aside from being one of our best-looking birds, Golden-winged Warblers are one of North America’s most imperiled warblers. Mountain Plover and many other grassland birds have populations in steep decline.

2013 153

It’s Raining Blood and Feathers: Catching the Spring Raptor Show

Nature Conservancy - Science

In North America, right now they have nests filled with hungry young. Peregrine falcon in Colorado, United States, North America. But the rodent’s nightmare is a birder’s paradise: Prairie falcons, golden eagles , ferruginous hawks, red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, American kestrels and various owls can all be spotted in a spring outing. A splash of red caught my eye as I strolled across the yard. A wildflower? Not quite.

2017 69

Short-eared Owls: Help Track a Secretive Bird

Nature Conservancy - Science

These nomadic birds range around the world — if you’re in North America, South America, or Eurasia there’s a chance they live near you — but due to their secretive habits and thinly dispersed populations they are rarely seen. A study of citizen science projects like the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) has revealed a range-wide, long-term decline (estimated at a cumulative decline of 67% since 1966 by the BBS).

2016 63

How Do We Love Our Public Lands & Scientists? Let Us Count the Ways

Nature Conservancy - Science

Meet one of the hardest-to-spot critters in North America — the smallest rabbit in the world. . And where’s there’s great habitat, wildlife thrives: pronghorn, white-tailed prairie dog, Wyoming ground squirrel, greater sage grouse and sage thrasher, and yes, even the elusive pygmy rabbit. Many of North America’s rare cacti are found on public lands. Nature unites us. The truth of this statement is clear when visiting public lands in the United States.

2017 88

Birds that Costa Rican Birders Want to See the Most

10,000 Birds

I wonder if birders in North America before European colonization were eager to watch the colors of a singing male Indigo Bunting go from shaded black to shining sapphire blue? From conversations I have had with Tico birders, they would be likewise elated to lay eyes on the fish eagle of North America. Birders from up north are often surprised to hear about the great local desire to see a Cedar Waxwing. Prairie ?

2018 104

The Toxic Waters of the Tar Sands Industry

Sierra Club Compass

North America''s biggest corporations, as the biggest consumers of oil, need to sit up and pay attention. Speaking at the session were Sierra Club''s Future Fleet & Electric Vehicles Initiative Director Gina Coplon-Newfield; Environmental Defence Canada''s National Program Manager Hannah McKinnon; and Sierra Club Canada''s Prairie Chapter Climate & Energy Campaigner Crystal Lameman, who is a member the Beaver Lake Cree Nation directly impacted by the tar sands industry.

Listening to Falcons: The Peregrines of Tom Cade

10,000 Birds

Endangered Species List, giving it free reign to wander and populate North America in ever increasing numbers, including a nest on the ledge of the U.S. At about one mile out he started climbing into the sky and quickly made contact with two prairie falcons that were circling about 500 or more feet altitude. Author Sherrida Woodley thinks deeply about dearly departed birds. such as California Condors and Passenger Pigeons.

2019 175

Torpid Turtles, Tortoises, and Terrapins

Nature Conservancy - Science

I recently took a close look at a North American turtle with an incredible ability to survive through months under ice without food or oxygen, the painted turtle. Ornate box turtle in Osage County of Oklahoma in United States, North America. The box turtle is among the most widespread turtles in North America with subspecies that range across most of the lower 48, including northern states like Maine and Wisconsin.

2017 67

ABA Field Guides to Birds of Colorado and Florida

10,000 Birds

Colorado is written by Ted Floyd, editor of the ABA’s Birding magazine, author of the Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America and over a hundred popular and scientific articles, and active Colorado birder (he is currently on the board of directors of Colorado Field Ornithologists and, I’m sure, a part of many other state and local activities).

10 Field Guides for the Serious Naturalist

Nature Conservancy - Science

I’ve focused on North America for this blog, with guides appropriate for a range of skill levels and interests. It covers all the hummingbirds of the Americas, so it could serve as a guide when going to a hummingbird-rich hotspot like Southeast Arizona or Ecuador. This comprehensive book provides just about any view of the 56 North American warblers that you can imagine. Squirrels of North America. Wildlife of North America: A Naturalist’s Life List.

2015 87

California Quail, The California State Bird: Now Forming Coveys

10,000 Birds

Their main aerial predators are the Cooper’s Hawk and Sharp-shinned Hawk, but they are also taken by Red-tailed Hawks, Northern Harriers, Prairie Falcons and American Kestrels. 2005), Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds , Princeton: Princeton University Press 2 Birds of North America Online a.

Talking Grasslands with Ted Turner

Conservancy Talk

Ted Turner is one of my personal heroes, going back to his 1977 win of the America’s Cup in Newport, Rhode Island, at the helm of the boat Courageous. Of course that America’s Cup is just a minor aside in Ted’s extraordinary list of accomplishments, from transforming cable television to developing the Goodwill Games to ease Cold War tensions to his historic $1 billion gift to the United Nations Foundation.

Mule Deer Migration, Fearless Fish, and Pirate Naturalists

Nature Conservancy - Science

Fossil teeth tell story of feline extinctions in North America. Looks matter: The importance of aesthetics in prairie restoration management. The Prairie Ecologist). Mule deer at Torrey Creek Trailhead, Wind River Range Wyoming. Photo by Scott Copeland. By Marty Downs, Bob Lalasz, Matt Miller, Lisa Feldkamp and Cara Byington of the TNC Science Communications team.

The American Woodcock, And Why We Should Be Cutting More Trees

Nature Conservancy - Science

Nearly every square inch of North America was systematically logged and logged again at a rapid clip. Beaver were once incredibly abundant throughout North America. Young forest nesters: blue grosbeak (MJ Kilpatrick), brown thrasher ( Kenneth Cole Schneider / Flickr CC license), prairie warbler (MJ Kilpatrick) and eastern towhee ( Ellen DeCarlo / Flickr CC license).

2017 71