The Battle for Bats: White Nose Syndrome is a video sponsored by the US Forest Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service about devastating impact of White Nose Syndrome on bat populations in the northeast US and beyond. The video provides an explanation of what is currently being done to slow the spread of White Nose Syndrome, and which organizations are together to find a solution.View full post
Can anything beat the sight of a bright red Cardinal against a backdrop of white snow? In my northeastern backyard, the Northern Cardinal is a faithful visitor to bird feeders and can be one of the easiest species to attract. It is such a popular and widespread species throughout the east. It is the state bird for seven states and the mascot for professional baseball and football teams.
The Cardinal’s heavy triangular beak is red, contrasted by a black throat on the male. Their name comes from the red robes worn by Roman Catholic cardinals. The female is brownish overall with reddish highlights on the wings and tail.
In the summer, dark beaked juvenile birds come in a variety of “half-baked” plumages, with a mixing and mottling of red and brown. The crested head is another good field mark for adults and may be missing or shaggy on the juveniles.
Spring through fall their clear slurred, slurred and whistly song “Cheer, Cheer, Cheer!” rings throughout the landscape, with females joining the singing too Year round, listen for their incessant, short metallic calls and occasional bursts of song.
Cardinals live in a wide variety of habitats including woodland edges, thickets, forests, swamps, urban areas and gardens. They are typically seen alone or in small groups. To encourage nesting, plant viney, fruit-bearing shrubbery. During the courtship process, the male will feed seeds to the female.View full post
According to traditional wisdom, they shouldn’t have been there at all. So much for traditional wisdom. They were there in droves.
Dozens of American robins visited my yard over the weekend. Their visits, unfortunately, were short-lived. First they gathered in the trees in the backyard. Then they dispersed, some going to the birdbath and others hopping along the garden or driveway.
It was nice to see the robins again, especially so many of them at once. Even in the summer when robins are commonplace, I never see that many together. Like many types of birds, robins form large flocks in the winter.
I was happy to see the robins in February, however I was not shocked or even the least bit surprised. Robins may be thought of as signs of spring, but each year many of them stay with us here in New England throughout the winter. In fact, some remain as far north as southern Canada.
They are often hard to find in the winter, but they are around somewhere — and usually in large groups.
With their feathers and down, robins are able to withstand bitter cold temperatures and extreme weather conditions, just like our other “winter” birds such as chickadees and kinglets.
Naturalist David Mizejewski discusses the benefit native plants offer in providing shelter and cover for wild birds. The video includes a discussion of using native plants, the benefits of evergreen plants, planting a living fence, creating a brush pile, providing roosting boxes, and leaving dead trees or “snags” in place to create “apartment buildings” for birds and critters. For a list of recommended native plants for your state, please visit the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Fourth of seven videos from the National Wildlife Federation about establishing a Certified Wildlife Habitat at your home or school.View full post
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.View full post
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.View full post
Would you like to attract bluebirds to your backyard? The key to attracting bluebirds is having plentiful nesting locations in the right environment. Bluebirds need and prefer open areas, so they can hunt and capture insects, their main source of nutrition.
Bluebird houses are a great way to attract bluebirds. When mounting a bluebird house, be sure to use predator guards and/or baffles to protect bluebirds and their chicks from cats, raccoons, possums, snakes and other predators. Also, realize that other birds like tree swallows will use the house, potentially forcing bluebirds from the house and backyard. Traps are available to capture the invasive birds and relocate them.
Beside providing houses to attract bluebirds berry producing plants, like bittersweet and holly, can be planted to attract bluebirds. Bluebirds eat berries for winter time food. To provide supplemental nutrion, consider offering mealworms. Bluebirds love mealworms, and be sure to whistle or ring a bell when stocking the feeder, because Bluebirds can be trained to respond to calls.
Consider a Bluebird feeder, which requires a bluebird to enter the feeder through a small hole to get to the mealworms. Generally, only the Bluebirds will enter the feeder, conserving mealworms for them and not the other visitors to your yard.View full post
Plimoth Plantation and the Mayflower II ship are illuminating exhibits on a major event in early American history. Both are places to stir the imagination and entertain your knowledge cells. At the Mayflower II you’ll discover first-hand all about the voyage the pilgrims endured, and then barely a few miles away you’ll experience the early and struggling years of settlement.View full post
Permanent link to this article: http://blog.newenglandbirdhouse.com/
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 …
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. …
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.