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Group: Birds Should be Part of California Drought Policy
Citing a new drought operations plan released April 9 by the California Department of Water Resources, Central Valley refuges and the millions of migratory birds they support will be particularly hard hit, according to Audubon California.

Yard Made Bird-Friendly for Earth Day
In celebration of Earth Day, Audubon North Carolina and Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County have partnered to transform the yard of one local family with Audubon's Bird-Friendly Communities initiative.

Service Learning Opportunity for Seabird Conservation on the Maine Coast
Take an active part in helping to restore Maine seabirds by joining pioneering researcher Dr. Stephen Kress and other Project Puffin biologists with National Audubon Society's internationally renowned Seabird Restoration Program on the Maine Coast.

New "eBird Festival" Elevates Bird Conservation in the Pacific Northwest
Klamath Bird Observatory's inaugural Mountain Bird Festival in Ashland, Oregon in late May will use eBird to to track the birds seen on the field trips offered during the events, including Great Gray Owl, White-headed Woodpecker, Lewis's Woodpecker, Hermit Warbler, Dusky Flycatcher, and Calliope Hummingbird.
Duck Stamp

Celebrate 'Maygration' in Cape May
The month of May is Cape May County, New Jersey's most active spring month for bird migration. During the entire month of May, the New Jersey Audubon (NJA) and the Cape May Bird Observatory (CMBO) will host bird walks, boat trips, workshops and fun celebrations.
Birding Day in SE Nebraska May 14
The public is invited to join the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for the Southeast District Birding Day on May 14 at the Nebraska Eastern Saline Wetlands in northern Lancaster County.
Wings Across The Big Sky Festival June 6 - 8
Co-hosted by Montana Audubon and Sacajawea Audubon Society, registration is underway for the the 2014 Wings Across the Big Sky in the spectacular Gallatin Valley.

Two, 8-Week Opportunities With Bedford (NY) Audubon
The Bedford Audubon Society will have two paid opportunities in conservation this summer, one in the Leon Levy Native Garden, the other with the society's Monitoring Avian Productivity & Survivorship (MAPS) research team.

Miles City, Mont. Eagle Camera is Online
A camera operated by Montana Fish, wildlife and Park providing 24-hour live feed footage of nesting bald eagles in Miles City officially went live April 10.

Friends and Partners on the Hill for Public Witness Day
The National Wildlife Refuge Association reports that the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, hosted "Public Witness Day" on Apr. 11, where two members of Friends of Refuges groups, and one rancher were among those who testified in support of increased funding for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Meopta Introduces the MeoPro® HD Binocular Series
Meopta USA introduces the new MeoPro HD binocular series - the next generation MeoPro binocular line featuring advanced fluoride HD optics and is available in 8x32, 10x32, 8x42 and 10x42 models.
The New MeoPro® HD 80 Spotting Scope
Designed to meet a lower price point than Meopta's European-made MeoStar S2 82mm spotting scope, the the new MeoPro HD 80 has an angled body and integrated 20-60x eyepiece and features an 80mm fluoride objective lens and MeoBright ion-assisted multi-coatings for outstanding performance in low-light conditions.

Mass Audubon Annual "Picture This" Photo Contest Under Way
Mass Audubon invites photographers of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to enter its statewide photo contest, "Picture This: Your Great Outdoors," and connect with nature while portraying the beauty of the Bay State.

Zeiss 'Signs of Spring' Conquest HD Photo Contest
In celebration of spring, the Carl Zeiss Birding US Facebook page is holding a contest to see your best images of "Signs of Spring" at www.facebook.com/zeissbirdingus.

Audubon Minnesota Recognized for Golden Eagle Program
The US Forest Service's Wings Across the Americas program recently honored the Eastern Golden Eagle Working group, of which Audubon Minnesota is a proud member, with its Research and Management Partnership Award.

Fancy Flycatcher: Streamer-Tailed Tyrant
This large flycatcher is a resident of wet South American grasslands and is named for its long, deeply forked tail, which plays a role in courtship. A pair will perch facing each other, bobbing up and down and fanning their tails while calling continuously.

History for Louisiana's Wild Whooping Cranes: Eggs!
The foremost crane experts in North America heard encouraging news for Louisiana's experimental whooping crane population this week when a report of eggs produced by a mating pair was announced at the 13th North American Crane Workshop in Lafayette.
Migratory Birds Arriving in Wisconsin
Wisconsin's parade of migratory birds - although a little behind schedule due to cold spring temperatures - is starting to arrive and an April 22 live online chat with state birding experts will help people get ready for the big month ahead.

Key Migration Corridor Continues as Target of Wind Industry
In an April 4 letter, the Washington, D.C.-based American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and the Ohio-based Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), voiced concerns about the new proposal to develop wind energy in a key U.S. bird migration corridor on Lake Erie.
Jewell Announces Mitigation Strategy For Public Lands Energy Development
The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) last week announced a new strategy to avoid and mitigate the impact of alternative energy projects on federal lands intended to benefit imperiled species such as the Greater Sage-Grouse.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery

Prolific outdoor writer and photographer Jim Foster provided this week's gallery photo of a Black-headed grosbeak in Idaho taken with a Canon EOS 20D, Canon 300mm, 100 ISO, f/6.3 at 1/320. Jim's most recent book, Texas Birding Trails, is available at http://jimfosteroutdoorsphoto.com/. He may be contacted via email at jimf06@gmail.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.

After Service, Army Veteran Finds Fulfillment With Condor Program
BOISE, Idaho - Toby Mogavero wasn't sure what direction his life would take before enlisting in the U.S. Army. Now, with his military service behind him, he is well on his way to his dream job of conserving the Patagonia landscape, a region in southern Argentina and Chile filled with towering mountains, huge glaciers, and amazing wildlife.

For nearly six months, Toby Mogavero has volunteered with the support of a national veterans group, The Mission Continues, in The Peregrine Fund's captive condor breeding program at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho.
To reach that goal, Mogavero is gaining valuable hands-on experience with critically endangered California Condors, a close cousin of the Andean Condor, one of the icons of Patagonia. For nearly six months, Mogavero has volunteered with the support of a national veterans group, The Mission Continues, in The Peregrine Fund's captive condor breeding program at the World Center for Birds of Prey. Home to the world's largest captive flock of California Condors, the facility produces up to 20 young birds each year for release to the wild in Arizona, Utah, and California.

The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit that empowers veterans to serve their country in new ways after leaving the military. Through the fellowship program, post-9/11 veterans volunteer for six months at a nonprofit organization of their choice. As Fellows, they also complete a curriculum designed to propel them into their next phase of life, whether employment or higher education.

"The primary goal is to empower veterans to continue their service to their country and communities and help people to better themselves," Mogavero said. "It's an opportunity to get exposure to a nonprofit that actually pertains to real-life experience."

While applying for a Mission Continues Fellowship, Mogavero decided to select The Peregrine Fund as his volunteer site when he toured the World Center for Birds of Prey with visiting family members last summer. He now spends 20 hours a week observing the condors' behaviors and assisting with their care.

"We saw the bird demonstration and immediately I asked if I could do a fellowship here. I love birds and volunteer work," said Mogavero, who was one of 83 selected for a fellowship from 1,000 applicants. "I am very grateful for the opportunity to work here."

A native of New York, Mogavero, 35, was a self-described ski bum before joining the Army. Since his discharge in 2008, he met and married his wife, Stacy, become the father of a 10-month-old son, and earned a bachelor's degree from Boise State University in environmental science. In May, he will begin work on a master's degree in environmental management.

Mogavero first became fascinated with Andean Condors in Patagonia, where he has lived off and on for 20 years. He learned to speak Spanish, worked as a mountaineering guide in the ice fields of northern Patagonia, and bought property there. Eventually, Mogavero hopes to apply his education to addressing the region's environmental and conservation issues.

Marti Jenkins, who directs The Peregrine Fund's condor breeding operation, has enjoyed watching Mogavero's burgeoning interest in birds grow over the last several months.

"He has really embraced the opportunity to be here," Jenkins said. "He is constantly learning, reading everything he can get his hands on about birds. This has awakened a strong interest in him."

An extra set of hands and eyes is always welcome in the nonprofit's complex condor breeding operation, Jenkins said. Mogavero is a careful observer of the birds, freeing up the rest of the small staff to attend to other duties. Communication skills he developed in the military have served him well in this job where attention to detail is critical, she said.

Jim Robbins, specialist for the Mission Continues Fellowship Program, said the organization awards fellowships to veterans who are passionate about serving their community.

Robbins talks with Mogavero every few weeks to gauge his progress at meeting personal and professional goals and to make certain that he is aware of the resources available for a successful transition to post-military life.

"One of the things I like best about Toby is that he has realized how important service is to him and that it's going to be a part of his life forever," Robbins said.

- Provided by The Peregrine Fund http://www.peregrinefund.org/
More information on The Mission Continues: https://www.missioncontinues.org


If your company, agency or organization is involved in the business of birding, we invite you to consider The Birding Wire for advertising or Corporate Membership as you finalize your budget for the coming year. Please contact editor J.R. Absher at birdingwire@gmail.com for complete information.

Apr. 16 - Apr. 22
Apr. 22 - Apr. 27
Apr. 23 - Apr. 30
Apr. 24 - Apr. 27
Delmarva Birding Weekend
Worchester County, Md.
Apr. 24 - Apr. 27
Apr. 25 - Apr. 26
2014 Bioblitz
Pine Island Audubon Sanctuary, Corolla NC
Apr. 25 - Apr. 27
May 2
Peregrine Falcon Program
Harpers Ferry Community Center, Harpers Ferry, Iowa
May 2 - May 4
Prairies & Piney Woods Birdfest
Selah Ranch, Mount Vernon, Tex.
May 2 - May 4
Weekend of Birding
Queen Anne's County, Md.
May 10
NJ Audubon World Series of Birding
Cape May Bird Observatory, Cape May, NJ
May 10
21st Annual Hummingbird Festival
Starsmore Discovery Center, Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 10
May 10
NJ Audubon's 31st Annual World Series of Birding
Bernardsville, NJ
May 11
Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Birdathon/Bandathon
Honey Creek Nature Preserve
May 14
Nebraska Game and Parks SE Birding Day
Nebraska Eastern Saline Wetlands, Lancaster County
May 15 - May 17
May 15 - May 18
Tawas Point Birding Festival
Iosco County, Mich.
May 15 - May 18
Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Convention
The Barn Restaurant, Prairie du Chien, Wis.
May 15 - May 18
Wisconsin Society for Ornithology Convention
The Barn Restaurant, Prairie du Chien, Wis.
May 16 - May 18
May 30 - June 1
June 6 - June 8
Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology Annual Meeting
University of Pittsburgh, Bradford, Pa.
June 6 - June 8
Pennsylvania Society for Ornithology Annual Meeting
University of Pittsburgh, Bradford, Pa.
July 8 - July 14
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