American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is urging beachgoers to be mindful of the many nesting birds that will be tending to young birds and perhaps a few remaining eggs as vacationers head to the seashore in coming weeks.
Some good advice from Paul Baicich at the Birding Community E-Bulletin: Before you visit a birding hotspot, do some homework and know what to expect.
Discovering the beauty and diversity of nature, and capturing and sharing priceless moments: these are the aims of the 8th "Digiscoper of the Year" competition, which was announced June 2 by SWAROVSKI OPTIK.
The recent actions of six farmers, with help from conservationists at USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Audubon California, resulted in saving more than 65,000 rare Tricolored Blackbirds.
DON & LILLIAN STOKES
With the Summer Solstice in just a few days, Don and Lillian Stokes, the country's best-known birding author & photographer duo, offer advice for keeping your backyard birds cool and comfy during the hot months.
A wide array of public events hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners will be held around the nation to mark National Pollinator Week June 17-23. Activities will highlight pollinator species and focus on their crucial importance to other wildlife, plants and people.
The Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation (CSF) reports that through the dedicated efforts of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC), H.B. 1206, the "Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2013" passed the House on June 3 under suspension of the rules.
NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES
About 650,000 students and teachers each year visit national wildlife refuges as model outdoor classrooms for lifelong learning - often with the help of volunteers and Friends organizations.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources announces the grand opening of Salamonie Lake's Raptor Center, on Sunday, June 23, at Salamonie Interpretive Center.
Nikon Corporation announces that total production of NIKKOR lenses for Nikon interchangeable lens cameras reached eighty million in mid June 2013. In addition, the NIKKOR camera lens celebrates its 80th anniversary since the first lens was introduced in 1933.
A trio of live raptor programs originally planned for Bald Eagle Awareness Days in February will instead take place weekend of June 21-23 at three different South Dakota locations.
A four-day-old endangered American oystercatcher chick that hatched on June 8 on the "wrong side" of Route 1 near the Indian River Inlet Bridge was safely relocated along with its parents to the bayside of Delaware Seashore State Park last week.
A new scientific study on the Endangered Hawaiian Petrel has documented a dramatic and unprecedented shift in foraging habits that indicate links to industrial fishing in the Pacific.
What can 30 years of research and monitoring on Maine seabirds teach us? That the marine environment is changing. That ocean birds may be failing to adapt. And more.
The Birding Wire Photo Gallery
This mature Reddish Egret stalking the waters of South Padre Island, Tex. was photographed by noted outdoors communicator Jim Foster on March 4, 2013. Foster has authored two books on Texas birding locations and has amassed more than 70,000 bird images in his long career. Technical: This image was taken with a Canon 7D with a Canon 2.8 400 mm lens and shot 1/500 @ f/8, ISO 200.
Foster may be contacted via email at email@example.com
and his website is www.jimfosteroutdoorsphoto.com
. Jim Foster Outdoors, P.O. Box 1027, Salmon, ID 83467.
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 and other pertinent information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Birds and Birders Find a Welcome Refuge at Monocacy National Battlefield
By Nick Lund, Manager, Landscape Conservation Program, National Parks Conservation Association
It's been nearly 150 years since the clash that transformed some gentle fields in northern Maryland to the hallowed status of Civil War battlefields. More than 2,000 men were wounded or lost their lives during the Battle of Monocacy, where Union troops were able to delay a Confederate march to Washington just long enough for the city to adequately prepare itself to weather the attack.
National Park Service photo
Though the cannons that fired during "The Battle That Saved Washington" have long since been silenced, the battlefield is anything but quiet. The 1,647 acres of pasture, riverbank, and ridgeline set aside to commemorate the battle are also a natural oasis, providing important habitat for wildlife in an otherwise densely developed part of the state. NPCA's Birding the Battlefields program works to raise awareness of the natural aspects of historic national parks, and earlier this month I led a bird walk at Monocacy to share what the park had to offer.
The group met at Worthington Farm, near the site where Confederate cavalry forded the Monocacy River during the battle to flank the Union position. Several of the participants were longtime residents of the area, but none had visited this site before, and they marveled at how beautiful it was. The tree-lined fields were alive with birds in the midst of their nesting duties. Baltimore orioles shuttled food back and forth to unseen nests, and a gorgeous male scarlet tanager scanned the surroundings from a treetop.
Most interesting to the gathered birders were the near-constant rattles of rare grasshopper sparrows from the fields (I think their call sounds like the Price is Right theme song, but no one else really agreed). These little birds breed in grassy fields that are hard to find in the Mid-Atlantic, but are common on protected battlefields.
We walked the Ford Loop Trail from Worthington Farm down along the bank of the Monocacy. The trail is lush and fragrant, lined with head-high cow parsnip plants, and provides great bird habitat. Acadian flycatchers called sharply nearby, and a beautiful male black-and-white warbler perched casually on a tree trunk. One of our most satisfying discoveries was a yellow-billed cuckoo-far more often heard than seen-perched in full view. In all, we saw 47 different bird species, from field-loving varieties like the indigo bunting to deep-woods birds like the pileated woodpecker to water birds, including the majestic great blue heron. The participants were excited not only to have learned more about the important history that took place in their region, but to find new and beautiful natural areas to explore as well.
After the thrill of seeing so many birds in a single day, it's sad to mention a new threat to the animals-and people-in this area. Park officials have been fighting a proposal to build a trash-burning incinerator on the opposite bank of the Monocacy River, just yards away from the battlefield boundary. NPCA is working to oppose the ill-conceived plan. You can take action to help protect Monocacy's birds, and learn more about our Birding the Battlefields program.
Author's note: The comment period on our action to speak out against the incinerator at Monocacy recently closed-we regret any confusion. Rest assured, NPCA will stay on top of the issue and let our supporters know about new opportunities to speak out on this important issue.
Learn more about Birding and Battlefields at: http://www.npca.org/protecting-our-parks/wildlife-habitat/birding-the-battlefield.html
June 19 - June 22
BirdLife World Congress
University of Minnesota Raptor Center program
Dakota Prairie Playhouse, Madison, SD
University of Minnesota Raptor Center program
Pierre Chamber of Commerce Building, Pierre, SD
Grand Opening, Salamonie Lake Raptor Center
Live raptor program
Game, Fish & Parks Outdoor Campus, Sioux Falls, SD
Aug. 2 - Aug. 4
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