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WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2016
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Welcome to The Birding Wire
Some of you are receiving The Birding Wire for the first time this week, and we hope you like what you see. It is a digital news service devoted to birding and news of interest to the birding community distributed every Wednesday to your personal electronic device of choice. If you would rather not receive The Birding Wire, you may opt out of the service at any time. If you represent a non-profit birding or conservation organization with news items or press releases you'd like to share with thousands of Birding Wire readers every week, just submit your material by Tuesday afternoon for inclusion in each Wednesday's edition to birdingwire@gmail.com. If you have any questions, you may contact editor J.R. Absher at the same email address.

APPS
Connecticut Audubon Mobile App for Stream Monitoring
The Connecticut Audubon Society has launched a new mobile app designed to help Connecticut residents – especially youngsters – evaluate the health of their local streams by finding and identifying the creatures that live in them.

CANADA
British Columbia's First Breeding Bird Atlas Published
Results from the first-ever complete survey of birds across the whole province of British Columbia have just been released, and are now available for free online. The British Columbia Breeding Bird Atlas is already helping to identify and protect critical habitats for Species at Risk, and improve conditions for birds on industrial lands.

CITIZEN SCIENCE
Thousands of Trailcams to Document Wisconsin Wildlife
May 17 marked the official start of Snapshot Wisconsin, an unprecedented effort to capture in space and time the deer, bears, elk, coyotes, bobcats, badgers and any other wild animal that lumbers, hops, lopes or slithers across the Badger state. A collaboration of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), NASA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Snapshot Wisconsin aims to provide one of the richest and most comprehensive caches of wildlife data for any spot on our planet.

DESTINATIONS
Bird-Study Trip to Cuba in November
As Paul Baicich reports in the May edition of Great Birding Projects, changes in U.S.-Cuba relations are occurring almost daily, and along with cruises and fishing excursions being initiated are birding study trips and research activities.

EVENTS
Ray Brown's Talkin' Birds Live at L.L. Bean Birding Festival
Come join the audience for Ray Brown's Talkin' Birds radio show on Sunday, May 29, live at the 2nd annual L.L. Bean Birding Festival in Freeport, Maine.

INTERNATIONAL
Species Rediscovered in Brazil After 75-year Disappearance
In one of the most extraordinary stories in Brazilian conservation, a group of researchers have announced the discovery of the Blue-eyed Ground-dove, last documented in 1941 and believed extinct.

LEGISLATION
Puerto Rican Refuge Land Transfer Removed From Debt Deal
A provision to allow the Secretary of the Interior to convey portions of the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico as part of a debt-relief package was stripped from the bill after local and national conservation and Hispanic groups sharply opposed the deal, the National Wildlife Refuge Association reported this week.

ONLINE
Search for Global Bird, Wildlife Tours With Blue Sky Wildlife
Blue Sky Wildlife has recently launched a new website that offers wildlife enthusiasts a new way to search for wildlife tours and ecotourism experiences from a global collection, ranging from birds to butterflies and mammals to wildflowers.

OPTICS
Hummingbird ED Micro Spotting Scopes
For those who want high quality optics and extremely compact size Celestron presents the Hummingbird ED - the world's first "Micro" spotting scope.

RADIO
BirdCallsRadio Reboots
It's back! BirdCallsRadio worldwide announces the reboot of the show with host Mardi Welch Dickinson, bringing exciting guests including birders, artists, educators, authors, scientists, and organizations to interested listeners through the restart of the show.

RECOGNITION
Audubon Luncheon Celebrate Women in Conservation Leadership
The National Audubon Society celebrated the legacy of female leadership in conservation May 17 by presenting three conservation champions with the Rachel Carson Award at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

RESTORATION
Bayou Platte Waterbird Rookery Restoration Project Completed
Thanks to a grant from the Shell Marine Habitat Program through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has completed restoration of the Bayou Platte Waterbird Rookery at Marsh Island Refuge.

SCIENCE
Audubon: One-third of Wintering Bird Populations Declined Since 1966
A new study by the National Audubon Society published May 24 indicates wintering bird populations in Florida, Hawaii, and the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana are rapidly declining, while population increases are strongest in the Northeast, boreal forest and tundra regions.
Study: Habitat Quality Drives Birds' Reproductive Success
Five songbird species in California's oak woodlands each seek out a different habitat to maximize their reproductive success, according to new research in The Auk: Ornithological Advances.

SPECIES
Southwestern Specialty: Broad-billed Hummingbird
Primarily a Mexican species, The attractive Broad-billed Hummingbird's breeding range barely reaches the U.S. Southwest, where it shares riparian habitat with the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, and Elf Owl.
Kestrel Chick Banding to Gain Knowledge About Species' Decline
The Peregrine Fund and Boise State University scientists have been working together to monitor regional American Kestrel populations in an effort to better understand the reason for this species' decline across much of North America.

STATES
Breeding Bird Surveys in Montana - Birders Needed
Members of the Montana bird conservation community are currently recruiting observers to survey vacant Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) routes in the state.
Michigan Park Offering Holiday Programs
From a chance to see live hawks and owls close at hand to a bear den visit and a hunt for Lake Superior agates, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is offering great fun and educational opportunities during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Protect Endangered Piping Plovers on NH Beaches
The public is being asked to help protect endangered birds on the beaches this holiday weekend and beyond, as the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department reports there are seven pairs of piping plovers nesting along the sandy shores of Hampton and Seabrook.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery


If photo submissions from Birding Wire readers are any indication, it most certainly was a big week for Scarlet Tanager sightings in upstate New York. At last count, we had received nine photos of the brilliant and eye-catching male of the species originating from The Empire State. Gene McGary of Woodstock, who submitted this photo taken in his yard May 17, reports he has observed a breeding pair in his area for the past five years. Camera stats: Canon EOS 7D, with a Canon EF 500mm lens, f 5.6, ISO 3200 @1/1600 sec.

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Birding Wire readers, if you have a favorite or interesting bird and nature photograph, we urge you to share it with thousands of our subscribers. Please send submissions to birdingwire@gmail.com, and be sure to include details about the location, species and technical data.

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New Report: The State of North America's Birds 2016
One-third of North American bird species need urgent conservation action

Ottawa, Canada, and Washington, D.C.— (NABCI) just released The State of North America's Birds 2016, the first comprehensive report assessing the conservation status of all bird species that occur in Canada, the continental United States and Mexico. NABCI was created by Canada, the United States and Mexico as a tri-national commitment to protect birds and their habitats.

"This report will allow us to base conservation actions on the best available science on the status of birds and their habitats in North America," said Environment and Climate Change Canada Minister Catherine McKenna. "It is an unprecedented continental analysis, drawing on the efforts of tens of thousands of citizen-scientists from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico."

This report shows that more than one third of all North American bird species need urgent conservation action and calls for a renewed, continent-wide commitment to saving our shared birds and their habitats. Healthy environments for birds also provide benefits to other wildlife and people, such as clean air and water, flood and erosion control, and coastal resilience. When bird populations struggle, our natural resources are stressed.

Birds in ocean and tropical forest habitats are in crisis. More than half of the bird species in these ecosystems are on the Watch List, which designates species that are most at risk of extinction without significant action. Small and declining populations, small ranges, and severe threats to their habitats threaten species in these two habitats; for example, ocean pollution and invasive species on islands are problematic for ocean birds, while deforestation is a major challenge for tropical forest birds. Steep population declines also threaten birds in coastal, aridland, and grassland habitats. In particular, long-distance migratory shorebirds and species that migrate from the Great Plains of Canada and the U.S. to Mexico's Chihuahua grasslands have lost, on average, almost 70 per cent of their continental populations since 1970.

Despite the many challenges faced by North American birds, this report also shows that conservation works. Waterfowl and other waterbirds are doing well, thanks in part to effective investment in conservation of wetlands through programs like the Duck Stamp, which allows hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts to contribute funding to purchase and protect wetland habitat, and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, a tri-country initiative to coordinate waterfowl protection efforts. Continued investment in wetlands conservation is needed to ensure that waterbirds will continue to thrive- and ensure that clean water exists for all species, including humans.

The report evaluates the conservation status of all native North American bird species across all major habitats—nine key ecosystems. It is based on the first-ever conservation vulnerability assessment for all 1,154 native bird species that occur in Canada, the continental U.S., and Mexico, and reflects a collaboration between experts from all three countries. The overall conservation status of each species takes into account its population trend, population size, extent of breeding and nonbreeding ranges, and severity of threats to populations. Methodology information, the complete assessment database, animated maps and other resources are available at www.stateofthebirds.org.

"This report is a superb demonstration of the power of birds, and the growing power of citizen science. Tens of thousands of Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans contributed bird sightings to help produce an unprecedented continent-wide assessment of North America's birds," added Dr. John W. Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. "Because birds are sensitive barometers of environmental health, I encourage leaders across our three nations, in both government and industry, to consider the findings in this report, which is based on the best available science about our bird populations. Across the continent, it is the will of the people that these species and their habitats be conserved for the future."

The State of North America's Birds report is being released during the Centennial year of the Migratory Bird Treaty, an agreement between the United States and Canada that promised collaborative conservation to protect the migratory birds of North America. In 1936, twenty years after the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty, Mexico, and the U.S. committed to a similar treaty, connecting all of North America in its efforts to protect our shared species. This report reflects a groundbreaking collaboration to evaluate bird populations across the continent. It calls for a renewed commitment to continental bird conservation agreements to keep our shared birds safe and healthy for the next 100 years.

Download the full report.

- Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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June 2 - June 5
Acadia Birding Festival
Bar Harbor, Maine
June 2 - June 5
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Yakutat Bay, Alaska
June 3 - June 4
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