An all points bulletin was issued Wednesday for an escapee fitting the description of having a bright yellow head, emerald-green rear, orange circles around its’ eyes, and a band on one leg.
The suspect is a zoo parrot called a sun conure, who “flew the coop” during a free-flight performance at the Philadelphia Zoo on Wednesday. It was one of 14 birds in the afternoon show, during which they soar across the stage and land on perches. At the end of the show, a “beak count” revealed only 13 birds had returned.
Ingenuity, uniqueness, quality and craftsmanship are characteristics often associated with New England’s culture, people and crafts. Cut from this mold, New England Birdhouse is a Massachusetts based business, who has carved out their niche by …
Three tiny chicks, rescued before hatching from the first piping plover nest found in Illinois in 30 years, were recently released, at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan, representing new hope for the recovery of this endangered shorebird..
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources confirmed that a pair of piping plovers constructed a nest and tended four eggs this summer on a remote stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline in northern Illinois. This is the first piping plover nest found in Illinois since 1979.
Environmentally friendly backyard birding can be a lot of fun. I like to consider and evaluate green options when choosing a new feature for my backyard birding environment.
Recycle, Repurpose and Reuse
Repurposed Soda Bottle Feeder
Repurposed Soda Bottle Feeder
Bird feeders can be very easily constructed out of repurposed materials. Finding a new use for a discarded soda bottle is a fun and challenging activity for kids as well as adults. Doing this, makes you look at everyday objects in a totally new and creative way.
The easiest reuse of a container for backyard birding is to make a gravity fed sunflower seed or nyjer seed feeder from a soda bottle. An inverted soda bottle with few small holes, wooden dowel or stick and a string or wire for suspension will make a terrific bird feeder. Smaller feeders can be made with water bottles.
When the weather warms, cat owners may be tempted to allow their feline friends to roam outdoors. For the sake of your wild neighbors—and for your cat’s safety and well-being—say “no” to this temptation. Not only are domestic cats vulnerable to the dangers of traffic, poisons, traps, disease, other animals, and cruel humans, but these domesticated predators also pose a serious threat to wildlife.
Free-roaming cats kill millions of wild animals each year. Studies show that most of the animals killed are small mammals such as chipmunks and field mice, and approximately 25 percent are birds. Well-fed house cats kill wildlife because of their instinct to hunt prey, not because they need the food. Domestic cats, which were introduced to North America via European colonists, are not a part of natural ecosystems, and their predation causes unnecessary suffering and death to wild animals. This can cause conflicts among neighbors, pitting gardeners and bird lovers against cat owners who allow their charges to roam.
If bluebirds visiting your backyard don’t seem as “blue” as before, researchers may have found the reason – feather eating bacteria. Birds with brightly colored feathers can carry bacteria which eats their feathers. This affects their health and dull their plumage, according to a BBC Earth Report.
Researchers at the Bird Behavior Studies Dept. of Biology at the College of William and Mary, Virginia, surveyed a population of Eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) living in Virginia. They found that 99% of all Eastern bluebirds surveyed were infected with feather-degrading bacteria. Furthermore, they found that the greater the concentration of the bacteria, the duller the bluebird’s feathers appeared. The feather-degrading bacteria decomposes the protein beta-keratin, which makes up over 90% of a feather’s mass. They also found that more bacteria equaled poorer body condition, and therby a reduction in the bird’s health, and also their reproductive success.
There are over 365 species of squirrels in seven families. They include the tree squirrel, ground squirrel, and flying squirrel, plus many squirrel-like mammals such as the gopher, ground hog, and prairie dog. It is the largest group of living mammals on Earth.
Across the United States, the squirrels that most often frequent backyards include: gray, brown, fox and red squirrels.
An adult squirrel normally lives alone. But will, in severe cold, share its nest with other squirrels to conserve body heat. Once the temperature rises, the guests will be on their way.
In the summer, squirrels are most active two to three hours after sunrise, and then they rest in the afternoon, resuming activity again two hours before sunset. A squirrel will retire to its nest well before dark and rarely leave the nest in the dark. In the winter, a squirrel will complete activities between dawn and midday, and remain around the nest until the next day.
On a cool, sunny New England spring morning bluebird love was in the air.
After dropping my son off at school, I visited Red Wing Farm (a great open space in Chelmsford,Massachusetts to bird watch) and was fortunate to observe a pair of Eastern Bluebirds grazing upon fat grubs while perched atop their nesting box.
The bluebirds seemed a bit put off by me at first, but I kept my distance and was careful to keep my movements to a minimum. Soon the bluebirds seemed to forget about me and began to go about their business of collecting grubs and insects, and defending their territory from encroaching tree swallows that had set up a nest in a cluster of nest boxes on the opposite side of the meadow.
The female bluebird sang throughout the morning. She remained perched atop the nest box, bouncing from corner to corner cheerfully singing to her partner as he repeated his dash from tree to tree, snatching insects in mid-flight. Her sweet songs were rewarded with a gift of the fattest grubs of the morning. My reward was being able to watch (and listen) on a beautiful New England spring morning.
For many years large fleets from Europe, primarily from Portugal, fished off the coasts of New England and Canada and harvested huge catches of cod which was salted and brought back to Europe. In the days
of the Clipper Ships, salt cod was important to New England’s economy and was exported to the Caribbean and beyond. Salt cod remains a staple on Portugal, Spain, Italy and Mediterranean France and is still widely available in New England.
Identifying the diversity of birds migrating through your area is made easier with a bird identification field guide. A wide variety of field guides are available for the beginner to advanced birder, with drawings or photos so you can surely find a good fit for your needs.
Each field guide provides narrative details about the diagnostic features of each bird. Diagnostic features are a set of characteristics that are unique to each type of bird, and thus define it as that species.
Field guides also include range maps that indicate where the species occur and its seasonal status (summer, winter, spring/fall, year round resident). Most guides also include tips regarding the species’ preferred habitats and descriptions of their sounds.
Best Field Guides for Beginners & Intermediate Birding Enthusiasts
Stokes Beginners Guide to Eastern Birds
Stokes Beginners Guide to Eastern Birds
Sometimes beginners can get overwhelmed by too much information; therefore, an ideal solution is a guide that narrows it down to the birds you are likely to see in the birder’s area.
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The rule implements federal protections provided by the ESA for the Cantabrian capercaillie, Marquesan imperial pigeon, Eiao Marquesas reed-warbler, greater adjutant, Jerdon’s courser, and slender-billed curlew.
If the pair’s breeding effort is successful at Midway Atoll Refuge, it would mark the first confirmed hatching of a short-tailed albatross outside of Japan in modern history.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has completed a report recommending closing human access to caves and mines where bats with white-nose syndrome are hibernating in an area more than 250 miles from other WNS-affected caves and mines.
The oldest known U.S. wild bird – a coyly conservative 60 — is a new mother. The bird, a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, was spotted a few weeks ago with a chick by John Klavitter, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and the deputy manager of the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. The bird …
Damage to bat wings from the fungus associated with white-nose syndrome (WNS) may cause catastrophic imbalance in life-support processes, according to newly published research. This imbalance may be to blame for the more than 1 million deaths of bats due to WNS thus far, proposes Carol Meteyer, a pathologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National …
Researchers found that deforestation in the New England area at that time produced significant soil erosion, increasing sediment delivery rates — the natural flow of sand and soil in water systems. The large amounts of sediment traveling in rivers and streams to the coastline spurred a significant period of wetland growth, leading to marshes lining the coast of New England that today are abnormally large.