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News stories tagged with "birding"

Trail Map. <a href="http://www.indiancreeknaturecenter.us/sites/default/files/trailmap.jpg">View full size map</a>. Map: Indian Creek Nature Center.
Trail Map. View full size map. Map: Indian Creek Nature Center.

A wetland maze in a birder's heaven

The end of August is a special chance to take full advantage of a birder's paradise just a few minutes from Canton. You name it: mergansers, black terns, bitterns, even loons and bald eagles, all make the Upper and Lower Lakes Wildlife Management Area their summer home.

The area is off-limits to people most of the year, so the birds and plant life can thrive undisturbed. But the refuge opens to the public for two weeks each summer, this year starting Saturday, through August 29.

From a canoe, a labyrinth of shifting cattails leads to the open water of Indian Creek, which links the Grasse and Oswagatchie Rivers. David Sommerstein took a tour with a wildlife expert and sent this audio postcard. This story first aired in 2007.  Go to full article
Gary Lee records hundreds of banded birds in his log every year. He recently re-caught a chickadee he had banded in 2009. Photo: David Sommerstein
Gary Lee records hundreds of banded birds in his log every year. He recently re-caught a chickadee he had banded in 2009. Photo: David Sommerstein

Listen: How do you catch and band a chickadee?

The cold doesn't stop a good share of birds from thriving in the North Country, and it's a good time for birders to get to know their local birds... one...you can see them without all those leaves in the way. And two...they probably get to know you, too, through your bird feeders.

Retired New York State Forest Ranger Gary Lee is one of northern New York's expert birders, and he takes it a step further. He spends much of his winters banding birds - chickadees, in particular - at his home in Inlet. A dozen bird feeders are scattered around the yard of his home in Inlet, NY.

Lee stretches what looks like a fine-meshed volleyball net to snag the birds. David Sommerstein stopped by to see bird banding up close and sent this Heard Up North, which first aired in May 2013.  Go to full article
Researchers Rick Grey and Nina Schoch weigh an adult loon. Photo: BRI's Adk Center for Loon Conservation
Researchers Rick Grey and Nina Schoch weigh an adult loon. Photo: BRI's Adk Center for Loon Conservation

Adirondack loon sentinels lack funding this summer

For 15 years, researchers have been keeping an eye on loons in the Adirondacks to make sure their nests stay safe. But a funding shortfall means much of that monitoring may not happen this summer.  Go to full article
Gary Lee records hundreds of banded birds in his log every year. He recently re-caught a chickadee he had banded in 2009. Photo: David Sommerstein
Gary Lee records hundreds of banded birds in his log every year. He recently re-caught a chickadee he had banded in 2009. Photo: David Sommerstein

Heard Up North: What's it sound like to catch and band a chickadee?

Every May for the last 38 years, licensed bird banders have set out nets at the Crown Point Historic Site to document the spring migration. The project has recorded and banded almost 14,000 birds of 97 species since 1976.

Retired New York State Forest Ranger Gary Lee has helped for most of those years. He also spends much of his time banding birds at his home in Inlet. A dozen bird feeders are scattered around the yard. Lee stretches what looks like a fine meshy volleyball net to snag the birds.

David Sommerstein stop by to experience bird banding up close and sent this Heard Up North.  Go to full article
Researchers Rick Grey and Nina Schoch weigh an adult loon. Photo courtesy Biodiversity Research Institute's Center for Loon Conservation
Researchers Rick Grey and Nina Schoch weigh an adult loon. Photo courtesy Biodiversity Research Institute's Center for Loon Conservation

Loons sound alarm on mercury pollution

The Adirondacks' beloved icon, the Common Loon, has left for its winter home on the Atlantic coast.

Loons have enjoyed unprecedented population growth over the last 30 years. They outlived DDT and a time when people used to shoot loons for sport. But a recent study says things could have been even better. This time the culprit is mercury pollution.  Go to full article
Snow geese off Point au Roche on Lake Champlain. Photo: Tom Cohen
Snow geese off Point au Roche on Lake Champlain. Photo: Tom Cohen

Heard Up North: masses of snow geese

Thousands of geese are crowding the North Country's skies, lakes, and cornfields on their way south for the winter. A first-hand listen to Snow Geese massing in one Lake Champlain bay reveals a phenomenal din as the birds are constantly moving, taking off and landing, talking all the time.

They often seem to act in unison, as if they are choreographed. When they do take off they look like a white cloud. That's when the sound explodes.

Jack Downs says you can hear them from a mile away or more. And when they lift off or become agitated, it is deafening.  Go to full article
Bicknell's Thrush. Photo: Larry Master
Bicknell's Thrush. Photo: Larry Master

Endangered status considered for Bicknell's thrush

The Fish and Wildlife Service says a rare songbird that nests atop mountains in the Adirondacks and Green Mountains may need protection as an endangered species. Todd Moe spoke with Long Lake birder Joan Collins, who has been tracking the Bicknell's Thrush for more than a decade. She says biologists are alarmed by the decline in the bird's numbers over the past year.  Go to full article
Birders watch and tally numbers from an Adirondack roadside.
Birders watch and tally numbers from an Adirondack roadside.

Christmas bird watching with a benefit

For the 112th year, volunteer birders are fanning out across the country for the annual birding census this winter. The Christmas Bird Count continues through January 5th.

The all-volunteer effort takes a snapshot of bird populations to monitor their status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere. Data collected during the Christmas Bird Count helps researchers monitor bird behavior and bird conservation. You could call it bird watching with a benefit.

Todd Moe spoke with Long Lake birder Joan Collins, who says the Audubon Society started the Christmas Bird Count in 1900 as an alternative to a Victorian-era holiday hunting tradition of shooting the greatest number of birds.  Go to full article
The great blue heron suffered a shattered wing and leg (Photo:  AWRRC)
The great blue heron suffered a shattered wing and leg (Photo: AWRRC)

Killing of great blue heron sparks outrage, raises questions

Two Adirondack men have been accused of stoning a great blue heron to death. The attack happened last week on the bank of the Ausable River in the town of Jay.

The case has sparked anger and indignation. But wildlife experts say they often see animals wounded or killed by humans. As Brian Mann reports, some are calling for tougher penalties for this type of crime.

Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Mrs. Bowman's 7th grade science classes
Mrs. Bowman's 7th grade science classes

A field trip for future river stewards

Save the River is the only policy advocate on environmental issues on the U.S. side of the St. Lawrence River.

Now they are collaborating with area schools and taking students on field trips to learn from the river first hand. David Sommerstein tagged along with a group of seventh graders from Thousand Islands middle school and has this report.  Go to full article

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