A male Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata coronata) in breeding plumage, photographed in the Léon-Provancher Ecological Reserve, Québec, Canada. This form, found in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada, is considered conspecific with the Audubon’s warbler, which is found further west. The myrtle warbler can be distinguished from the Audubon’s by its whitish eyestripe, white (not yellow) throat, and contrasting cheek patch.
 Photograph: Simon Pierre Barrette
(via: Wikipedia)

A male Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata coronata) in breeding plumage, photographed in the Léon-Provancher Ecological Reserve, Québec, Canada. This form, found in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada, is considered conspecific with the Audubon’s warbler, which is found further west. The myrtle warbler can be distinguished from the Audubon’s by its whitish eyestripe, white (not yellow) throat, and contrasting cheek patch.

Photograph: Simon Pierre Barrette

(via: Wikipedia)

Sandhill Cranes in Florida
The sandhill crane is an elegant and mighty bird. It has a crippling cry that can be heard up to 2.5 miles away. They call to each other while on the ground as well as in flight. Many times you hear them before you see them. 
These majestic heron-like, gray-bodied birds with the crimson patch of skin on top of their head breed in open wetlands, fields, and prairies across North America. 
In Florida, the year-round resident population numbers around 4,000 to 5,000. It breeds here and doesn’t migrate. Every November and December, 25,000 migratory greater sandhill cranes ̶ the larger of the two subspecies ̶ join the resident population, staying here until March and April. 
Orlando Wetlands Park is just one of many GFBWT sites where you can enjoy this elegant bird over the summer. Photo by MyFWC - GBFT
(via: My Florida Wildlife Commission)

Sandhill Cranes in Florida

The sandhill crane is an elegant and mighty bird. It has a crippling cry that can be heard up to 2.5 miles away. They call to each other while on the ground as well as in flight. Many times you hear them before you see them.

These majestic heron-like, gray-bodied birds with the crimson patch of skin on top of their head breed in open wetlands, fields, and prairies across North America.

In Florida, the year-round resident population numbers around 4,000 to 5,000. It breeds here and doesn’t migrate. Every November and December, 25,000 migratory greater sandhill cranes ̶ the larger of the two subspecies ̶ join the resident population, staying here until March and April.

Orlando Wetlands Park is just one of many GFBWT sites where you can enjoy this elegant bird over the summer.

Photo by MyFWC - GBFT

(via: My Florida Wildlife Commission)

How will North American birds survive in the face of climate change? 
“When we think of climate change, we automatically think warmer temperatures,” says one Oregon State University scientist studying the issue. 
"But our analysis found that for many species, it is precipitation that most affects the long-term survival of many bird species."Photo: A female broad-tailed hummingbird visits larkspur flowers. Credit: David W. Inouye, University of Maryland

How will North American birds survive in the face of climate change?

“When we think of climate change, we automatically think warmer temperatures,” says one Oregon State University scientist studying the issue.

"But our analysis found that for many species, it is precipitation that most affects the long-term survival of many bird species."

Photo: A female broad-tailed hummingbird visits larkspur flowers. Credit: David W. Inouye, University of Maryland

'Our Birds': Migratory Journeys Converge In Baltimore Gardens

Central American immigrants in Baltimore, MD are helping migratory song birds that make the seasonal journey from their old home countries to the city they now call home.

by Ricardo Sandoval-Palos and Lauren Migaki

A couple of times a month, a group of migrant women and their children gather to plant shrubs and flowers in Baltimore’s expansive Patterson Park.

The gardens feed and shelter migratory birds as part of the Patterson Park Audubon Center’s Bird Ambassadors program.

Neotropical birds like the black-throated blue warbler and the Baltimore oriole migrate from the East Coast down to places like Mexico and Central America for the winter, says Susie Creamer, director of urban education and conservation at the center…

(read more and listen: NPR.org)

photos by Susie Creamer/Patterson Park Audubon Center & USFWS-NE Region

1000s of Purple Martins in Summer Staging Flock

Thank you to the Houston Audubon for sharing this great photo of a flock of Purple Martins near the Old Navy store near Fountain Lake Circle here in Houston, Texas. Purple Martins are a native insect eating bird that people can help provide homes for with Purple Martin Nesting boxes.

In mid-summer to early fall, they stage in large numbers in the Southern United States, after finishing breeding and raising young, as a prelude to migration to South America.

(via: Texas Parks and Wildlife - Houston Urban Wildlife)

A male semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) is recorded as flying over 10,000 miles in the past year! This tiny bird also made a remarkable six-day, 3,300-mile nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean from James Bay to South America, before moving on to his wintering area in Brazil… 
(read more)
photo: Bill Thompson, USFWS
(via: USFWS Southeast Region)

A male semipalmated sandpiper (Calidris pusilla) is recorded as flying over 10,000 miles in the past year! This tiny bird also made a remarkable six-day, 3,300-mile nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean from James Bay to South America, before moving on to his wintering area in Brazil…

(read more)

photo: Bill Thompson, USFWS

(via: USFWS Southeast Region)

Albatross Internet Darling Takes First Flight

The world watches as a Laysan albatross chick grows up and takes to the sky.

by Katie Langin

On Tuesday a young Laysan albatross named Kaloakulua took to the skies on her maiden flight, plunging off a cliff 250 feet high (76 meters) and setting course for the open ocean. She won’t touch down on land again for another three years.

And so ends the first chapter of the first ever live-streaming wildlife camera aimed at an albatross nest.

The camera was installed on the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i on January 27—the day Kaloakulua emerged from her egg—by biologists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Since then, volunteers from the Kaua’i Albatross Network have manned the controls, panning and zooming the high-definition camera to capture the comings and goings of albatross at the nest site…

(read more: National Geographic)

photos by Bob Osterlund

The Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) is a large diving duck which breeds in the lowland marshes and lakes of southern Europe and Central Asia and winters in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. This specimen was photographed in the London Wetland Centre in Barnes. These gregarious birds are classified least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Photo: David Iliff                                                                   via: Wikipedia

The Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) is a large diving duck which breeds in the lowland marshes and lakes of southern Europe and Central Asia and winters in the Indian Subcontinent and Africa. This specimen was photographed in the London Wetland Centre in Barnes. These gregarious birds are classified least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Photo: David Iliff                                                                   via: Wikipedia

HOUSTON AUDUBON BEAK OF THE WEEK: Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) Family: (Charadriidae) Plovers and Lapwings A medium-sized plover with a dark neck ring, grayish-brown upper parts, a white underside, and flesh-colored legs. The most distinctive characteristic is the bill. Compared to other plovers, the bill is quite large, broad, and thick. This gives it an advantage over other plovers on the beach as it can catch and eat larger prey items. Its call is a sharp whistled whit. Grating or rasping noises in flight display or when agitated—jrrrrrid jrrrrrid. The Wilson’s Plover is a semi-colonial nester, nesting in loose groups, sometimes with oystercatchers and terns. The male creates a nest scrape where the female lays the eggs. The scrape is commonly concealed by surrounding stones, driftwood, and other debris. Currently breeding at Houston Audubon’s Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary, where they are being monitored for nesting success, survivorship, and site fidelity. Photograph by Joanne Kamo
(via: Houston Audubon)

HOUSTON AUDUBON BEAK OF THE WEEK:

Wilson’s Plover (Charadrius wilsonia)

Family: (Charadriidae) Plovers and Lapwings

A medium-sized plover with a dark neck ring, grayish-brown upper parts, a white underside, and flesh-colored legs.
The most distinctive characteristic is the bill. Compared to other plovers, the bill is quite large, broad, and thick. This gives it an advantage over other plovers on the beach as it can catch and eat larger prey items.

Its call is a sharp whistled whit. Grating or rasping noises in flight display or when agitated—jrrrrrid jrrrrrid.

The Wilson’s Plover is a semi-colonial nester, nesting in loose groups, sometimes with oystercatchers and terns. The male creates a nest scrape where the female lays the eggs. The scrape is commonly concealed by surrounding stones, driftwood, and other debris.
Currently breeding at Houston Audubon’s Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary, where they are being monitored for nesting success, survivorship, and site fidelity.

Photograph by Joanne Kamo

(via: Houston Audubon)

Super Neat Ornithology News:
Migratory Birds May Ferry Mosses Around the World 
New study sheds light on botanical puzzle. 
by Chelsea Harvey
There’s a mystery afoot in the moss world.
Mosses, liverworts, and hornworts—collectively known as bryophytes—have some of the widest ranges of any species on the planet. Why genetically close populations can crop up thousands of miles apart, from the frigid tundra to the balmy Argentinian countryside, is a question that has baffled scientists for decades.
As it turns out, migratory birds may be their long-distance carriers.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut believe that migratory shorebirds carry diaspores—the seeds or spores plants use to reproduce—in their feathers, a possible mechanism for the plants’ amazing ranges. While this theory was proposed by botanists as long ago as the 1940s, “it’s all been circumstantial until now,” said Lily Lewis, lead author on the paper…
(read more: Audubon Magazine)
Photograph by Mark Peck/Creative Commons

Super Neat Ornithology News:

Migratory Birds May Ferry Mosses Around the World 

New study sheds light on botanical puzzle.

by Chelsea Harvey

There’s a mystery afoot in the moss world.

Mosses, liverworts, and hornworts—collectively known as bryophytes—have some of the widest ranges of any species on the planet. Why genetically close populations can crop up thousands of miles apart, from the frigid tundra to the balmy Argentinian countryside, is a question that has baffled scientists for decades.

As it turns out, migratory birds may be their long-distance carriers.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut believe that migratory shorebirds carry diaspores—the seeds or spores plants use to reproduce—in their feathers, a possible mechanism for the plants’ amazing ranges. While this theory was proposed by botanists as long ago as the 1940s, “it’s all been circumstantial until now,” said Lily Lewis, lead author on the paper…

(read more: Audubon Magazine)

Photograph by Mark Peck/Creative Commons

usfwspacific

The Life and Times of KT, the Bristle-thighed Curlew!

usfwspacific:

image

KT, the Bristled-thighed Curlew, enjoying the warm weather of Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge far from his breeding grounds in Alaska.  Photo Credit: Jenny Howard/USFWS

As the summer breeding season winds down at the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, the Bristle-thighed Curlews (Numenius tahitiensis) prepare for their non-stop flight to Pacific Island wintering grounds. They gorge themselves on berries and a variety of invertebrates at staging areas to raise body fat content for the long flight.

image

The Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge, where KT breeds in the summer time.  Photo Credit: Anabel Lereculeur

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) biologist Kristine Sowl conducted a three-year study on Bristle-thighed Curlews at their breeding grounds from 2010-2012. Using coded leg flags, Sowl banded 77 individual adults; seven of the birds have been re-sighted in the wintering grounds, two on northern Oahu, one on Laysan Island, two on Midway Atoll, and two on Johnston Atoll. Of the two on Johnston Atoll, one had a broken wing and was not observed again. The other curlew had a leg flag coded with the letters KT has been observed twice in the same region of Johnston Island.

Read More