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News stories tagged with "birds"

Originally a cliff-nesting species, pigeons have easily adapted to the man-made cliffs of urban environments. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zayzayem/3620661261/">Michael Zimmer</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Originally a cliff-nesting species, pigeons have easily adapted to the man-made cliffs of urban environments. Photo: Michael Zimmer, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Pigeons and doves

Pigeons and doves, both domestic and feral, are the same species. Today's urban environment mimics their original favored habitat, seaside cliffs in Europe and Asia.

Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss this commonest bird companion in densely settled areas.  Go to full article
Eastern bluebird feeding on winterberry. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nebirdsplus/5355914860/">nebirdsplus</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Eastern bluebird feeding on winterberry. Photo: nebirdsplus, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Adding color to the bleak November garden

At a glance, the November landscape can look mighty bleak. The brilliant display of foliage is replaced by muted washes of brown and purple, still beautiful, but subtly so, with a few touches of yellow in the marshy spots.

The real brights spots left are probably the few fruits that remain, or are just coming into their own. They're nice on the eye, and a vital link in the food chain that supports migrating and winter-resident birds.

Amy Ivy has an eye on trees and plants to add to the backyard landscape in her conversation with Martha Foley this morning.  Go to full article
Hermit thrush. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hermit_thrush_qmnonic.jpg">Matt MacGillivray</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Hermit thrush. Photo: Matt MacGillivray, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Hermit thrush

One of nature's most beautiful singers is the hermit thrush. The opposite of "good children," they are often heard but seldom seen. Martha Foley and Curt Stager talk about this elusive insectivore of northern forests.  Go to full article
Adirondack biologist Nina Schoch bands a Saw-Whet Owl near Lake Placid during fall migration.  Photo:  Costa Boutsikaris.
Adirondack biologist Nina Schoch bands a Saw-Whet Owl near Lake Placid during fall migration. Photo: Costa Boutsikaris.

Fall migration's special rewards

The fall migration is underway, a great time for birders to be outdoors watching the skies and treetops. Todd Moe spoke with Lake Placid bird watcher Larry Master about what he's seeing on his farm: lots of sparrows and finches. It's also a great season for up-close-and-personal views of birds -- Master is hosting a crew of birders busy banding Saw-Whet owls this week.  Go to full article
Northern Flicker (red-shafted variety) feeding young. Photo: Larry Master, used with permission
Northern Flicker (red-shafted variety) feeding young. Photo: Larry Master, used with permission

Natural Selections: Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is one of the most recognizable birds. This distinctly-marked member of the woodpecker family, instead of browsing wood for their food like their relatives, digs for food in the ground. Martha Foley and Curt Stager explore its habits.  Go to full article
Susan Willson and The Gorilla. Photo: Zach Hirsch
Susan Willson and The Gorilla. Photo: Zach Hirsch

Cat collar scholar: SLU biologist examines a new way to curb songbird mortality

Right now in the Canton-Potsdam area, there are about 50 people dressing their cats in technicolored, fluffy, Elizabethan collars. But they're not doing this because they think it's cute, or because they're making the next viral cat video.

The pets and their owners are part of a new study that has big implications for cats and their prey. Zach Hirsch has more.  Go to full article
Common Chaffinch, singing in Munster, France. Photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/33866697@N05/4211692413/">Amy Evenstad</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Common Chaffinch, singing in Munster, France. Photo Amy Evenstad, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: Bird vocabulary

Birds we think of as quiet will sometimes raise a ruckus. And Curt Stager noted that European birds seem to have a wider and more improvisational range of songs than their American cousins.

Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss the vocabulary of birds.  Go to full article
Common redshank, foraging on a mudflat, hunts better thanks to light pollution. Photo: <a href="">Stefan Berndtsson</a> Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Common redshank, foraging on a mudflat, hunts better thanks to light pollution. Photo: Stefan Berndtsson Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: You're welcome, Mother Nature

Much of human activity has a big downside for the natural environment. But sometimes, the problems we pose to nature can give a leg up to certain species. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss the upside of light pollution and cigarette butts.  Go to full article
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius). Photo: <a href="http://www.lucnix.be/">Luc Viatour</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius). Photo: Luc Viatour, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: "Spying" jays and wren "lullabies"

Bird songs do more just decorate the air. Dr. Curt Stager talks with Martha Foley about Eurasian jays, who "spy" on each other's sounds--for clues on where they might be able to raid a little food--and about the fairy wren that teaches chicks still in the egg a "family song," preventing imposters in the nest.  Go to full article
Bicknell's Thrush.  Photo:  Jeff Nadler
Bicknell's Thrush. Photo: Jeff Nadler

Adirondack birder says summer visitors are in short supply

A Long Lake birding expert is doing her part to keep track of the Bicknell's Thrush, a rare songbird that nests on top of mountains in the Adirondacks, New England and Canada. And that often means getting out of bed in the pre-dawn hours.

Joan Collins says scientists have predicted that 98 percent of the thrush's U.S. habitat could be lost due to climate change. Experts have already documented annual population declines of nearly 20 percent in parts of the bird's range.

Todd Moe talked with Collins about her spring and summer early morning birding treks on Whiteface Mountain. She tracks the Bicknell's thrush, and many other species on the mountain, for a bird monitoring survey as part of Mountain Birdwatch, a volunteer science initiative run by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. Collins says the woods are quiet this summer and bird numbers are down.  Go to full article

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