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News stories tagged with "ornithology"

A male Common Redpoll (photo: Larry Master, Lake Placid)
A male Common Redpoll (photo: Larry Master, Lake Placid)

Birders prepare for annual count

Birders in the Northeast expect to see fewer robins and more redpolls as thousands of citizen scientists across North America get out their tally sheets for the 14th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, sponsored by Audubon and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Pat Leonard, of the Cornell Lab, helps coordinate the annual weekend count. She says the survey, which began this morning and continues through Presidents' Day, gives a snapshot of bird populations and migration trends. Leonard says the event typically records millions of observations.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Nuthatches

Northeastern forests are one of the few places where the white-breasted and red-breasted nuthatch share the same habitat. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about these frequent visitors to winter birdfeeders.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Bird Feathers

What can we learn from a single feather about a bird or about the purpose of that feather? Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about these unique and remarkable natural structures.  Go to full article
The "Phantom of the North", photo by Brian Sullivan
The "Phantom of the North", photo by Brian Sullivan

Great Gray Owl Glides Into NNY

The Great Gray Owl usually lives deep in the boreal forests of Canada. It's the official bird of the province of Manitoba. But due to scarce food and severe weather, thousands of the raptors have drifted south this year. They've invaded Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, even southern Ontario and Quebec. But a Great Gray hadn't been spotted in New York State since 1996, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Until last Wednesday, that is, when ornithologist Gerry Smith spotted one in the farm fields between Clayton and Cape Vincent in Jefferson County. It so happened that David Sommerstein was there too and has the story.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Penguins

Penguins, the formally-attired fowl of Antarctica, are true birds. Their furry-looking tuxedos are real feathers, and their flippers are wings on the inside, bone for bone. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about birds that fly underwater.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Cowbirds

Cowbirds are one of the few birds to parasitize other birds' nests. Martha and Curt discuss its habits.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Dark-eyed Juncos

Dark-eyed Juncos are abundant winter visitors to the North Country. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss their habits and habitats.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Ospreys

Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager discuss the osprey--a large, black and white bird of prey that eats almost exclusively fish.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Bird Migration

How do birds discover their migration routes? Are they taught, is it instinct, or a special sense? Dr Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss what's known and what's guessed.  Go to full article

Natural Selections: Robins

The American Robin is a type of thrush, while what Europeans call a robin looks more like a bluebird. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley profile the iconic bird of spring.  Go to full article

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