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Volunteers: Help Monitor Canadian Loons and Lake Health
Do you spend at least one day a month in summer (June-August) on a Canadian lake where loons breed? If so, you could help monitor loons and lake health for Bird Studies Canada's Canadian Lakes Loon Survey.

Four Texans Await Sentencing for Selling Migratory Birds
In San Antonio, four individuals await sentencing after pleading guilty to federal charges related to illegally selling migratory birds announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. and Special Agent in Charge Nicholas Chavez, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Southwest Region.

Memorial Day Beachgoers Reminded to Share the Beach
Memorial Day is here and many are flocking to the coast for a day at the beach. Audubon North Carolina reminds beachgoers to share the beach with nesting and migrating birds during the holiday weekend.

All-star Birding Teams Face Off in Wis. Big Day Competition
Two teams of hotshot Wisconsin birders were set to go head-to-head in a competition to see the most bird species over the same 24-hour period this week—and to raise the most funds for bird protection while doing so during the Great Wisconsin Birdathon Big Day.
Duck Stamp

New Waterfowl Foldout Series From Cornell Lab
A new series of foldout guides from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology makes it easier to identify ducks, geese, loons, grebes, and other types of waterfowl.

Sage-Grouse Documentary Premiers Tonight on PBS
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's film, The Sagebrush Sea, reveals the hidden world of an increasingly rare bird — the Greater Sage-Grouse — at a time when its fate is being decided in state houses, agencies, and courtrooms across the West and in the nation's capital.

Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act Introduced
U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) has introduced the Federal Bird-Safe Buildings Act, a bipartisan, cost-neutral bill that would save birds from needless deaths and injuries when they collide with federal buildings.

National Backyard Bird Feeder Celebrates the Birth of Owlets
Wild Birds Unlimited reports it received approximately 3,200 votes cast to name its Indiana nestcam Barred owls, and the clear winners are "Hoot and Fluff" with just over 1,000 votes.

NJ Audubon Announces Results of the 32nd Annual World Series of Birding
New Jersey Audubon (NJA) has announced the winners of the May 9th 32nd annual World Series of Birding – a competitive "Big Day" for birding and nature enthusiasts in which 79 

teams had up to 24 hours (from midnight to midnight) to count as many bird species as they could identify by sight or sound within the state of New Jersey.
CDFW Scientist Recognized for Work on Sage Grouse
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Senior Environmental Scientist Scott Gardner has received a Special Thanks for Achieving Results (STAR) Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for his extensive work on sage grouse.

Piratic Flycatcher Sighting at Kansas State Park
If Chris Lituma's sighting of a piratic flycatcher in Kansas' Scott State Park is accepted by the ABA, it will be the first recorded for Kansas and the farthest northerly confirmed sighting of the bird.

New Study of Oregon Vesper Sparrow Confirms Small Population
Concerns about the long term fate of the Oregon Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus affinis) have escalated following a recently completed range-wide inventory for the bird led by American Bird Conservancy (ABC), one of the nation's leading bird conservation organizations.
Maui's 'Ākohekohe Helps Pollinate Native Plants With Distinctive Crest
The distinctive, forward-sweeping white crest of Maui's 'Ākohekohe helps pollinate native plants as the bird moves from flower to flower while feeding.

Stretch of Delaware Beach Closed to Safeguard Nesting Piping Plovers
The first piping plover nest of the season at Gordons Pond Beach in Cape Henlopen State Park has been discovered, with the parents-to-be defending their territory, DNREC Wildlife Biologist Matthew Bailey announced. Plover monitors found the nest late last week.
Florida: Protect Coastal Birds this Memorial Day Weekend
This Memorial Day Weekend, Audubon Florida is reminding Floridians to share our beaches and islands with rare and declining species of waterbirds which are currently nesting statewide.
Bobwhite Chicks Reported Before Oklahoma Flooding, Hail
Recent consecutive days of stormy weather, hail and flash flooding across parts of southern Oklahoma could prove to be a setback for early-season quail reproduction.
Iowa Peregrine Falcon Recovery Takes a Big Step
It's a big year for peregrine falcons on the Mississippi River, with a record five additional nesting pairs being reported at Bellevue, Dubuque, Clinton, Muscatine and Keokuk.
'Natural' Peregrine Nest is Georgia's First in 80 Years
For the first time in nearly 80 years, a Peregrine Falcon nest in a natural setting has been spotted in Georgia.
Rodenticide May Have Been Factor in E. Idaho Snow Goose Die Off
While avian cholera was initially suspected in the recent die-off of 2,200 migrating snow geese in Idaho, tests on 24 random carcasses indicated some of the tested birds died from zinc phosphide poisoning, a substance used in rodenticides to control voles and other rodents that damage crops.

Report: More Than 30,000 Wind Turbines Installed in Sensitive Bird Habitat
New research supported by American Bird Conservancy (ABC) shows that more than 30,000 wind turbines have been installed in areas critical to the survival of federally-protected birds in the United States and that more than 50,000 additional turbines are planned for construction in similar areas.

Visit a Bluebird Nestbox With a Child in June
During the entire month of June, The Ohio Bluebird Society is challenging membership to help get 1,000 young people all over the State of Ohio out on the trail to experience firsthand what the Ohio Bluebird Society does to help nature.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery

Bedford, Pa. nature photographer Tim Flanigan traveled to Ohio's Maumee State Park in early May where he found this unusual congregation. "We named this photo of migrating Blue Jays taking advantage of a makeshift feeding situation, 'the breakfast bar,' Tim writes. Technical: Nikon D800 with a Nikkor 600mm lens, F/5.0, ISO 400 @1/400 sec. See more of Tim's work at www.NatureExposure.com and http://timothy-flanigan.fineartamerica.com.

To submit an image for consideration for The Birding Wire Photo Gallery, send your photo, along with an identification, description of the location and date, technical photo data to birdingwire@gmail.com.

First Wild Whoopers of 2015 Hatch in Wisconsin
NECEDAH, WI - The first wild whooping crane chicks have hatched in Wisconsin and are lifting hopes that a record number of Wisconsin nests may yield more chicks this year and increase the chances they'll survive and eventually help build a self-sustaining population of endangered whooping cranes in eastern North America.

A chick hatched on May 3 and at least three more hatched over the Mother's Day weekend, all at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. More chicks are expected to hatch in the coming weeks, potentially adding up to one of the best years given a record 31 nests in Wisconsin this spring, according to reports by researchers using airplanes and ground observations to monitor nests.

"We are cautiously optimistic, knowing that for these young birds, the next few months and years of their life will be perilous," says Heather Ray, Director of Development for Operation Migration. "We hope that greater numbers may increase the likelihood that some of these young whoopers will survive to adulthood and ultimately contribute to a self-sustaining population of this endangered bird."

Whooping cranes were a fixture in North American skies and wetlands for millions of years but verged on extinction in the 1940s due to hunting and habitat loss. To reduce the vulnerability of the remaining flock that migrates between the Texas Gulf Coast and Canada, U.S. and Canadian partners came together to establish a second migratory flock. After an initial failure at an Idaho wildlife refuge in the 90s, the partners chose Wisconsin as the home site.

Through releasing young birds in Wisconsin over the past 14 years, the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership has succeeded in meeting interim numerical goals for the flock - 100 birds - and breeding pairs – 25. Partners also have overcome many of the challenges to a restoration effort that one U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official said was "the wildlife equivalent of putting a man on the moon." Costumed handlers have successfully raised the young birds and taught them to migrate for the first time to Florida behind an ultralight so they learn the route and can return in spring on their own. In more recent years, some of the released birds have followed older birds for their first migration.

The whooping cranes have successfully selected habitat, formed breeding pairs and produced eggs. But they haven't yet become a self-sustaining population. Many of the eggs have failed to hatch, and of those that have hatched, the chicks often haven't survived until the birds are old enough to fly.

"With this effort, we've been able to get farther down the path of building a self-sustaining population than ever before," says Davin Lopez, who coordinates Department of Natural Resources whooping crane efforts. "We're encouraged by what we see so far this year, and we will continue to work with partners to identify and address bottlenecks to achieving our main goal of building a self-sustaining flock."

Lopez says that partners have identified and implemented ways to mitigate nest abandonment by birds chased off their nests by black flies. Also, for unknown reasons, black fly numbers during this year's nesting season are currently well below average, all factors coming together in the potential for more successful nesting.

Researchers will continue to carefully monitor the nests and young in 2015 by plane and on foot. They also will conduct other nesting studies this spring and try to unravel why young hatchlings are not surviving by investigating predators and other direct sources of mortalities at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Lopez says.

What to do if you see a whooping crane
WCEP asks anyone who encounters a whooping crane in the wild to please give them the respect and distance they need. Do not approach birds on foot within 200 yards; remain in your vehicle; do not approach in a vehicle any closer than 100 yards. Also, please remain concealed and do not speak loudly enough that the birds can hear you. Finally, do not trespass on private property in an attempt to view or photograph whooping cranes.

Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership founding members are the International Crane Foundation, Operation Migration, Inc., Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Geological Survey's Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and National Wildlife Health Center, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, and the International Whooping Crane Recovery Team.

Many other flyway states, provinces, private individuals and conservation groups have joined forces with and support WCEP by donating resources, funding and personnel. More than 60 percent of the project's budget comes from private sources in the form of grants, public donations and corporate sponsors.

-Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership (http://www.bringbackthecranes.org)

Apr. 4 - May 31
Alaska Hummingbird Festival
Ketchikan, Alaska
May 20
National Audubon Society Women in Conservation Luncheon
The Plaza, New York, NY
May 28 - May 31
Acadia Bird Festival
Bar Harbor, Maine
May 29 - May 31
Saw-whet Owls and Warblers Weekend
Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis, WV
May 29 - May 31
June 4 - June 7
June 5 - June 7
Bird Watcher's Digest Reader Rendezvous
North Bend State Park, Cairo, WV
June 5 - June 7
Birding Bonanza Weekend
Sandstone, Minn.
June 5 - June 7
June 10 - June 15
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