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FWS Announces $5.6 Million in Conservation Grants
Imperiled species will benefit from a total of $5.6 million in grants for 16 projects in 12 states through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's competitive State Wildlife Grants program, it was announced July 17.

Arizona High County Hummingbird Festival July 26
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is hosting its 11th annual High Country Hummingbird Festival on Saturday, July 26 at Sipe Wildlife Area near Springerville/Eagar.
Southern Illinois Hummingbird Festival Aug. 2
Trail of Tears State Forest will be the site of this year's official Southern Illinois Hummingbird Festival scheduled for Saturday, August 2, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

Spanish Legislation Increases Marine-Protected Areas
BirdLife International reports Spain has officially established 39 new marine 'Special Protection Areas for Birds' (SPAs), designated under the European Birds Directive, offering protection to seabirds at sea, complementing the existing network of sites on land.
Duck Stamp

Office Support Coordinator, Montana Audubon
Montana Audubon is currently seeking a full-time Office Support Coordinator for its Helena office. Deadline for applications is Aug. 11.

Group: Transportation Bill Vital for NWR System
The National Wildlife Refuge Association reports the reauthorization of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) program, also known as the Transportation Bill, is one of its legislative priorities for fiscal year 2015.

Researchers Hope to Gain Sage-Grouse Data From Feathers
This spring, a research team began collecting feathers from more than 7,000 leks spread across 11 Western states and two Canadian provinces, hoping the genetic information will improve knowledge of sage-grouse genetics, which are not well understood across the bird's 259,000 square-mile range.

Black Oystercatcher Nest Observed in SF Bay
On June 23, Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary shorebird survey volunteers observed two Black Oystercatcher chicks in a nest on Aramburu Island, an Audubon California restoration site in San Francisco Bay.

Namesake of the S. American Inca Empire
Inca Terns occupy part of the same habitat ruled by the ancient Inca Empire in South America and are best known by their dashing white mustaches, found on both male and female birds.

Delaware Beach Reopens After Piping Plovers Fledged
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control reports the last of this year's newly hatched piping plover chicks at Gordons Pond have fledged and are flying well, permitting the reopening of the oceanside beach at Cape Henlopen State Park.
15 Peregrines Banded in SE Michigan
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reports it has banded 15 peregrine falcon chicks in the Southeast Region this spring, an area extending from the Ohio border to the Thumb.
Lead Bullet Ban Implementation Meeting in Fresno Aug. 12
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop Tuesday, August 12 to discuss the implementation of the upcoming statewide lead bullet ban at the Department of General Services Building in Fresno.

Online Toolkit Facilitates Improved Sustainability for Nature Reserves
An online toolkit designed to improve sustainability for bird and other nature reserves is now available at no cost, following a development process led by American Bird Conservancy (ABC).

Raptor Migration Observer, Bozeman, Mont.
Montana Audubon is seeking a Raptor Migration Observer to conduct the 24th consecutive count season for the Bridger Mountain Raptor Migration Monitoring Project, near Bozeman, Mont., Sept. 1 - Nov. 5, 2014.
Michigan Audubon Volunteers Help Revitalize Local Bird Sanctuary
This spring, Michigan Audubon volunteers logged 146 hours working to improve habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs and people, removing more than 1,000 pounds of invasive plant species from Capital City Bird Sanctuary.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery

Birding Wire subscriber Debra Fischer of Fitchburg, Wis. used her Sony Cybershot to photograph this handsome Ring-necked Pheasant, partially hidden in the thick July marshland grasses of the 32,000-acre Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge near Mayville, Wis. "We don't get to see too many of these," Debra wrote,"but this guy showed up on the roadside."


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.

Biologists Catch First Glimpse of Condor Chick in Utah
Condor #9 is the mother of the new California condor chick in in Zion National Park. Credit: NPS
Zion National Park - It's official: a pair of California condors are raising a chick in Utah.

For weeks, biologists from several agencies and groups have focused their attention on a rock cavity at Zion National Park. The cavity is 1,000 feet above a remote canyon floor. Inside the cavity, the biologists were hoping a pair of California condors had hatched an egg. Their hopes were realized on June 25 when a condor chick made its first appearance on the edge of the nest. This chick is the offspring of first-time nesting parents. The occasion is particularly momentous because the results of first-time nesters often fail.

"This is the first documented occurrence of California condors raising a chick in Utah," says Eddie Feltes, condor project manager with The Peregrine Fund. "This is great news. This pair of condors-and their newly-hatched chick-could be a major step toward California condors reestablishing themselves in southern Utah."

Keith Day, regional wildlife biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says the chick won't try to fly until November or December. "California condors take about six months to fledge," he says. "Their fledging period is the longest of any bird in North America." Day says the parents will spend the next year raising the chick. "California condors typically produce one chick every other year," he says, "so they probably won't nest again until the early months of 2016."

Fred Armstrong, chief of resource management and research with Zion National Park, says that many people are wondering where the nest site is located.

"Unfortunately," he says, "we can't provide that information because these birds are protected under the Endangered Species Act." According to Armstrong, "Our top priorities are to allow the chick to grow and develop in a natural environment without significant human influence, keep it safe, and to protect park resources in the area where the chick is located."

Those who are curious to see what the chick might look like should visit the condor camera at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park at http://www.sandiegozooglobal.org/video/condor_cam. The zoo had a condor hatch in their rearing facility within days of this wild-born condor.

How biologists found the nest

The Peregrine Fund biologists found the nest by following radio and Global Positioning System signals from transmitters mounted on each of the chick's parents. They started keeping a close eye on the birds after the pair exhibited nesting behavior this past spring.

Biologists and the condor recovery program partner agencies got really excited when the birds started displaying behavior that indicated they were incubating an egg. The excitement grew even more when the pair showed signs they were tending a chick. On June 25, the chick made its first appearance on the edge of the nest.

"It was only a matter of time before the birds started nesting in Utah," says Chris Parish, condor field project supervisor with The Peregrine Fund. "There is great habitat in Utah. It didn't take long for the condors to find it."

Working cooperatively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service, The Peregrine Fund has taken the lead on reintroducing and restoring this federally endangered species in northern Arizona and southern Utah.

For more information on the California condor recovery program, please visit www.peregrinefund.org/projects/california-condor, or www.facebook.com/CondorCliffs

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.

July 25 - July 26
Feliciana Hummingbird Festival
St. Francisville, La.
July 26
Shawnee Audubon Hummingbird Festival
Pope County, Ill.
July 26
High Country Hummingbird Festival
Sipe Wildlife Area, Eager, Ariz.
Aug. 1 - Aug. 3
Sedona Hummingbird Festival
Sedona Red Rock High School, Sedona, Ariz.
Aug. 2
Southern Illinois Hummingbird Festival
Trail of Tears State Forest, Jonesboro, Ill.
Aug. 7
Aug. 13 - Aug. 17
Aug. 23
Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival
Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, Tenn.
Aug. 23
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens Hummingbird Festival
Louisville, Ky
Aug. 23
Apprentice Falconry Workshop
Campus Center for Wildlife Education, Raleigh, NC
Aug. 23 - Aug. 25
New River Hummingbird Festival
Hawks Nest State Park, Fayette County, WV
Aug. 28 - Sept. 1
Colorado Field Ornithologists Convention
Sterling, Colo.
Sept. 12 - Sept. 15
Yampa Valley Crane Festival
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Sept. 13 - Sept. 21
Festival of Hawks
Amherstburg, Ont. (Canada)
Sept. 13 - Sept. 23
Detroit Audubon Society 75th Anniversary Dinner
Detroit Yacht Club's Fountain Room, Belle Isle, Mich.
Sept. 18 - Sept. 21
HummerBird Celebration
Rockport, Tex.
Sept. 19 - Sept. 22
Cape Cod Bird Festival
Cape Cod, Mass.
Sept. 20
Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza Open House
Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Lake Jackson, Tex.
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