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A SERVICE OF THE OUTDOOR WIRE DIGITAL NETWORK
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2014
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ANNOUNCEMENTS
Somewhat Abbreviated Wire This Week
Readers may notice somewhat of an shortened Birding Wire this week, due to some internet-provider issues inflicted upon your editor yesterday. We should be back up to full force next week.

CONSERVATION
Montana Governor Signs Executive Order To Conserve Great Sage-Grouse
Montana Audubon and Audubon Rockies are jointly praising the executive order signed last week by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock to help conserve Greater Sage-Grouse and its sagebrush habitat.

COURTS
Audubon NY Secures Temporary Restraining Order Halting Fire Island Project
This week, Erin Crotty, Executive Director of Audubon New York addressed its litigation filed against the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the Fire Island Inlet to Moriches Inlet Stabilization Project (FIMI Project).

EBIRD
Identifying Bay-breasted and Blackpoll Warblers
Two of the most challenging species to separate from each other during fall migration are the Blackpoll and Bay-breasted Warblers - so much so that observed individuals are often referred to by birders as "Baypolls."
Brownells

EVENTS
Witness Release of California Condors in Northern Arizona
The public is invited to observe the release of California condors to the wild in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27.
18th Annual Bridger Raptor Festival Oct. 3-5
The Bridger Raptor Festival, an annual event held in early October in and around Bozeman, Montana, centers around the the largest known Golden Eagle migration in the United States.

MIGRATIONS
Report Whooping Crane Sightings in North Dakota
Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.

NEW PRODUCTS
Exclusive Edition CL Companion Africa Binocular from Swarovski
Made with comfort in mind, the new CL Companion Africa binocular from Swarovski Optik North America uses high-precision optics, excellent light transmission and special coatings that guarantee bright, high-contrast images and true- to-life colors.

PASSENGER PIGEON
The Passenger Pigeon in Ohio
The Ohio Ornithological Society presents a fascinating collection of facts and trivia about the Passenger Pigeon and its Ohio connections.
Duck Stamp

RESEARCH
Study Reveals Why Many Migratory Species Don't Fly Straight
New research reveals that in spring, birds follow areas of new plant growth and in fall, particularly in the western U.S., they stick to higher elevations and head directly southward, making fewer detours along the way for food.
Research Identifies Drivers of Rich Bird Diversity in Neotropics
An international team of researchers is challenging a commonly held view that explains how so many species of birds came to inhabit the Neotropics, an area rich in rain forest that extends from Mexico to the southernmost tip of South America.

SPECIES
Swainson's Hawk Numbers Stable in West
In 1996, American Bird Conservancy spearheaded an international campaign to remove the toxic pesticide monocrotophos from Swainson's Hawk's wintering habitat and to educate Argentinean farmers on safer pest control techniques. Since then, its number have stabilized.

STATES
NC Receives Federal Grant to Conserve Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has received $1.1 million in federal funds to conserve red-cockaded woodpeckers and longleaf pine habitat in the Sandhills region.
Second Year of Osprey Recovery Project Concluded in Illinois
Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) biologists are wrapping up the second summer of a long-term project to re-establish the osprey as a nesting species in the state.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery


This alert Barred owl was photographed in August by Outdoor Wire Digital Network publisher Jim Shepherd at the Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, Tenn., where the recovering raptor was expected to soon be released. Jim used his Canon EOS 7D with a Canon 70-200mm zoom, ISO 400, f/8 at 1/60th sec to capture this rather studio-like portrait.

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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.

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DOE Provides $1.1 Million to Study How Birds Behave Near Wind Turbines


Portland, ME-Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) and collaborators HiDef Aerial Surveying, University of Maine at Orono, and First Wind have received $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to further develop technology to understand how birds and bats avoid wind turbines. The collaboration will refine a stereo-optic, high-definition camera system already under development by HiDef Aerial Surveying. The collaboration will deploy systems with night vision capability in order to track flying animals in three dimensions.

"This is an extraordinary collaboration between technology developers, engineers, wildlife biologists, and wind farm developers who are working together on cutting-edge technology," says Wing Goodale, deputy director of Biodiversity Research Institute. "These camera systems will be able to address the challenge of understanding how birds and bats behave around wind turbines."

The technology will use two ultra high-definition cameras that are offset to create a three dimensional view of a wind turbine, the horizon, and an area surrounding the turbine. In addition to daytime operations, the cameras will use a new, near-infrared technology that will allow the detection of animal movements at night as well as during the day. Stereo camera systems will be deployed at one or more operating wind farms owned by First Wind in the state of Maine. The selection of the preferred test site(s) is still to be determined.

Eagles and bats have been chosen as the focal species for analyzing camera performance for two reasons: researchers would like to better understand how these species respond to and avoid turbines and both species often receive attention during the permitting process for new wind power projects. The team from the University of Maine's Robot Interaction Lab will work on algorithms to support partially automated detection of eagles and bats. This is a key component to reduce the analysis time required due to the huge data sets from the advanced visual sensors.

Developing technology to detect bird and bat avoidance at terrestrial and offshore wind farms will promote a better understanding of the nature of wildlife risks-or lack thereof-at wind farms, and reduce uncertainty about the potential for unintended impacts during operation. In the future, these cameras could provide a reliable method of detecting bird and bat response to offshore wind projects, where it is not possible to conduct traditional wildlife monitoring. At the completion of the project the collaborators will have moved a technology from a prototype to a system that could be used to provide detailed information on how different species are responding to individual turbines in various seasons and weather conditions.

"Advancement of this technology will help us better understand bird and bat behavior near our wind projects," says Dave Cowan, vice president of Environmental Affairs at First Wind. "Bird and bat impacts have been successfully kept to a minimum here in Maine through careful siting and avoidance of high use areas. But, there is more to be learned about how these species behave in the vicinity of a wind farm-for example, how close do they fly, and at what point do they exhibit avoidance behavior? Answering such questions will help wind farms reduce risks to wildlife over the long run."

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The mission of Biodiversity Research Institute is to assess emerging threats to wildlife and ecosystems through collaborative research, and to use scientific findings to advance environmental awareness and inform decision makers. BRI has been researching topics related to wildlife and renewable energy since 2009. Find out more at: http://www.briloon.org


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Sept. 13 - Sept. 21
Festival of Hawks
Amherstburg, Ont. (Canada)
Sept. 13 - Sept. 21
Festival of Birds
Holiday Beach Conservation Area, Amherstberg, Ont.
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
Flying Wild Educator Workshop
Horicon Marsh Education Center, Horicon, Wis.
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.
Sept. 20
Flying Wild Facilitator Workshop
Horicon Marsh Education Center, Horicon, Wis.
Sept. 20 - Sept. 21
Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Assn. Banquet
Lakeside, Ohio
Sept. 23 - Sept. 28
Sept. 25 - Sept. 28
Monterey Bay Birding Festival
Watsonville, Calif.
Sept. 27
Oct. 2 - Oct. 4
Oct. 2 - Oct. 5
Oct. 3 - Oct. 5
Oct. 3 - Oct. 5
18th Annual Bridger Raptor Festival
Bozeman, Mont.
Oct. 10 - Oct. 12
Oct. 11
Cranefest
Bellevue, Mich.
Oct. 24 - Oct. 26
68th Annual Cape May Autumn Birding Festival
Cape May, NJ
Oct. 29 - Nov. 2
Yellow Rails and Rice Festival
Jennings, La.
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