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Announcing: Free BirdsEye App for Android
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and eBird announce that the eBird-based BirdsEye app is now available for Android -- and it's free!

Kansas Birders Tally Encounters With Winged Friends This Holiday
Birders of all skill levels will spend the next few weeks during organized bird counts recording sightings of resident and migratory birds in an effort to compile as much data as possible about Kansas' winged species.
'Tis The Season for Alaska's Christmas Bird Count
From Ketchikan to Nome, every year Alaskans bundle up and gather together to celebrate the holiday season by braving the elements for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.
Westport Conn. Annual CBC Dec. 21th
The Westport CBC Christmas Bird Count is conducted during a 24-hour period (rain, sleet, snow, or shine) from midnight to midnight, Sunday, December 21th, 2014.
CBC in The Land of Enchantment
For many people in New Mexico, the Christmas Bird Count has become a holiday tradition in which generations of bird lovers can engage in hands-on science.

Online Auction Benefits Kirtland's Warbler Conservation
Huron Pines and the Kirtland's Warbler Initiative are hosting an online auction to benefit the Kirtland's Warbler, with items including an original watercolor painting by Julie Zickefoose and a Kirtland's Warbler Tour Experience.

First-Ever World Digiscopers Meeting in Titusville, Fla. Jan. 20 - 24
SWAROVSKI OPTIK NORTH AMERICA, a subsidiary of the Austrian-based company, and the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival, announce the first-ever World Digiscopers Meeting to be held in Titusville, Fla. Jan. 20-24, 2015.

Quad Cities Is a Winter Resort for Eagles
Each year from mid-December through February, the Quad Cities area - located on the Mississippi River and comprised of the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois - serves as host to a large number of bald eagles making their annual southern migration from Canada to the unfrozen waters of the river.

N.J. Audubon Responds to Red Knot Listing Under ESA
New Jersey Audubon has long addressed issues related to the decline of the Red Knot and other shorebirds, and believes its listing as a threatened species un the ESA is a critical step toward the long-term protection and recovery of the species.
Duck Stamp
Virginia to Play Critical Role in Red Knot ESA Listing
In a press conference held on December 9th, 2014, Service Director Dan Ashe announced the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate the rufa subspecies of the red knot as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

'For The Birds' Programs at W. Va.'s North Bend State Park
Bird lovers and other winter outdoors enthusiasts are invited to flock to the 2015 Winter Wonder Weekend at North Bend State Park Jan. 16-18. The theme for this annual event is "For the Birds" and will feature bird-related programs, crafts and activities.
"State of Eagles in Utah' Presentation Dec. 18
The State of Utah Eagles is a free, public presentation by HawkWatch International, a partner in the Utah Eagle Working Group, will take place on the campus of Westminster University in Salt Lake City.
Registration Underway for 1st GFBWT Festival
The first annual Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail's Chipola Feather Fest will take place Apr. 24-25 in the beautiful Florida Panhandle.

Reserves Established to Protect Brazil's Araripe Manakin
The first-ever bird reserves have been created for the critically endangered Araripe Manakin, a six-inch bird only discovered in 1996 that numbers fewer than 800 individuals and survives in the smallest of areas - 11 square miles - in northeastern Brazil.

Job Post: Mammal Program Field Coordinator
Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) seeks an experienced field biologist to join its Mammal Program. Applicants must have experience with mist netting, telemetry, and acoustic monitoring of North American bats.

Congressional Riders Affect Sage Grouse Protections
A leading bird conservation group, American Bird Conservancy (ABC),contends that two recent Congressional actions will thwart west-wide efforts to protect iconic grouse species, the Greater and Gunnison Sage-Grouse.
Increase for NWR System in Omnibus Spending Bill
The House and Senate finally came to agreement this week on an omnibus-spending package that will fund the vast majority of federal government programs until the end of September, the remainder of FY 2015. reports the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA).

Enjoy Winter Activities at a National Wildlife Refuge
Make the season bright at a national wildlife refuge near yo and check out some of the free, family-friendly holiday-season activities that wildlife refuges will host through the New Year.
National Wildlife Refuges Announce Fee-Free Days for 2015
Get outside and enjoy some of the country's most magical places and best birding - America's national wildlife refuges will offer free admission for seven days in 2015.

National Wildlife Refuge Association Annual Report Available
The National Wildlife Refuge Association's 2014 Annual Report highlights accomplishments from the last fiscal year.

Rehabbed Snowy Owl Released at Maryland State Park
Wildlife experts from DNR, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, and Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research released a rehabilitated female snowy owl on the beaches of Assateague State Park on December 11.

Mapping the "Big Bang" of Bird Evolution
The first round of analyses from a four-year project led by The Avian Phylogenomics Consortium suggests some remarkable new ideas about bird evolution and supports conclusions about long-debated relationships.

Spectacular Colors: The Gilt-edged Tanager of Brazil
This eye-catching tanager is found only in Brazil and is part of the genus Tangara, which includes some of the most spectacularly colored birds in South America, including the Green-headed Tanager.

Ultralight-led Whooping Cranes Complete Fall Migration
St Marks, Florida: Early the morning of Dec. 11, seven young whooping cranes following two ultralight aircraft during a two-month migration landed at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge where they will spend the winter.

ABA'S 2015 Young Birder Summer Camps
The American Birding Association (ABA) is pleased to announce its lineup for the 2015 Young Birder Summer Camps - Camp Colorado in the Rocky Mountains and Camp Avocet in coastal Delaware.
Scholarships Available for Hog Island Audubon Summer Programs
Full and partial scholarships to attend Hog Island Audubon summer programs in Maine may be available from your local Audubon chapter, bird club, school or other sponsoring institution.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery

Cheryl Giantsios, a Birding Wire reader from Orlando, Fla., writes that she was recently involved in "a bit of a rescue" of this weary juvenile Northern Gannet she found struggling on the surf in Melborne, Fla. "We were told because they are deep-dive eaters, they normally spend most of their lives about 20-30 miles offshore, so the ones found on the beach tend to be exhausted and emaciated. They need to be fed, get some rest and then can be released. The good news is ... this bird should be fine in a few days!" While Cheryl apologized for the quality of the photos she sent taken with her smartphone, we thought this one was quite worthy of publication.


Do you have a favorite photo you'd like to share with thousands of Birding Wire readers? Send an electronic image, along with the species, location, date, additional details and technical data to birdingwire@gmail.com.

Allen's Hummingbird Named Audubon California's 2014 'Bird of the Year'
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - One of California's most beloved birds this week was named the 2014 Audubon California Bird of the Year. The Allen's Hummingbird - which lives exclusively along the Pacific Coast from Mexico to Oregon - received the designation after totaling nearly 30 percent of votes cast during an online poll this fall.

The Allen's Hummingbird migrates between wintering grounds in Mexico and breeding ground in California and southern Oregon, though some birds will stay in the Golden State year-round. The Allen's Hummingbird prefers coastal areas with trees and shrubs, and is commonly seen taking nectar from flowers. It is also a popular visitor to backyard feeders.

"Every one of the nominated birds is a great California bird, but I'm not surprised to see the Allen's Hummingbird come out on top," said Brigid McCormack, executive director of Audubon California. "Everybody loves hummingbirds. It's so small and delicate, but also remarkably hardy."

An adult Allen's Hummingbird is about 3.5 inches long, with a wingspan of about 4 inches. It has an iridescent red throat and a shiny green back, and it weighs about the same as three or four paperclips.

While the Allen's Hummingbird is not considered to be of conservation concern, Audubon researchers fear that could change in the coming years as development and non-native plants continue to chip away at its coastal habitat. Global warming is also predicted to have an impact on the Allen's Hummingbird. By 2080, the species could lose up to 90 percent of its breeding range, forcing it to find more hospitable areas elsewhere. To those who love watching the Allen's Hummingbird at their feeder, this could be a big loss.

More than 8,800 votes were cast in this year's Bird of the Year poll. The Allen's Hummingbird finished with 29.4 percent of the vote. The Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo came in second place with 23.2 percent, followed closely by the Brown Pelican at 23 percent.

"Every species nominated was a focus of our conservation work over the last year," said McCormack. "Our hope is that the attention this award brings to the Allen's Hummingbird will help raise awareness of the conservation needs of all birds throughout the state. We encourage everyone to go outside or look out their window for the Allen's Hummingbird. It is a state treasure."

Audubon California is building a better future for California by bringing people together to appreciate, enjoy and protect our spectacular outdoor treasures. With more than 150,000 members and supporters in California, and an affiliated 48 local Audubon chapters, Audubon California is a field program of the National Audubon Society. More information is available at www.ca.audubon.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. Please contact editor J.R. Absher at birdingwire@gmail.com for complete information.

Jan. 8 - Jan. 11
Jan. 10 - Jan. 11
Missouri Eagle Days
Springfield Conservation Nature Center, Springfield, Mo.
Jan. 15 - Jan. 19
Jan. 17
Nebraska "Flying WILD" Educator Workshop
Pioneer Park Nature Center, Lincoln, Neb.
Jan. 17 - Jan. 18
Missouri Eagle Days
Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, St. Louis, Mo.
Jan. 21 - Jan. 25
Jan. 24
Nebraska "Flying WILD" Educator Workshop
Wildcat Hills Nature Center, Gering, Neb.
Jan. 24 - Jan. 25
Missouri Eagle Days
Lock and Dam 24, Clarksville, Mo.
Feb. 6 - Feb. 8
Birds of a Feather Fest
Palm Coast, Fla.
Feb. 20 - Feb. 22
Bird Watcher's Digest Reader Rendezvous
Birding Basics and Beyond, Titusville, Florida
Feb. 21
Orlando Wetlands Festival
Orlando Wetlands Park, Orlando, Fla.
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