Scientific Name: Zenaida macroura
A member of the dove family (columbidae), Mourning Doves are the most abundant and widespread of all North American birds. They are named for their mournful call. They are very prolific breeders – raising up to six broods per year. Parents are typically monogamous, and both incubate and care for the young.View full post
Todd McGrain’s “Lost Bird Project” is a six-foot-tall bronze sculpture commemorating five extinct bird species. McGrain, an associate professor of art at Cornell University got the idea for the Lost Bird Project after reading stories about extinct birds, and felt a need to tell their stories. He chose the Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, Heath Hen, Great Auk, and Labrador Duck as his subjects.
McGrain worked five years studying stuffed specimens, written descriptions, and artwork and sculpting the artwork. The castings are the largest that McGrain has made, with each bird weighing between 400 to 700 pounds. The exhibit includes paintings of each species along with its story of extinction. One set of the bronze birds will be a traveling exhibit. Others will be placed as memorials in places where each species was last seen—from Iceland to Italy, and Ohio to New York.
Learn more about the Lost Bird Project and its artistic tribute to the Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, Heath Hen, Great Auk, and Labrador Duck in the video below.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
Naturalist David Mizejewski discusses options for providing places for animals to raise their young in your backyard, including dense plants, snags, nesting boxes, bat boxes, clean standing water, and host and nectar plants. For a list of recommended native plants for your state, please visit the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. Fifth of seven videos from the National Wildlife Federation about establishing a Certified Wildlife Habitat at your home or school.View full post
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.View full post
The state bird of Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin, the American Robin is a familiar songbird in the thrush family. They live in towns and woodlands, and are commonly seen on suburban lawns exhibiting their “running and stopping” behavior as they gather their morning worms.
The America Robin feeds on different things throughout the day, including earthworms in the morning, and fruits and berries in the evening. They are mostly active during the day and gather in large flocks at night to roost in trees in secluded areas.View full post
After the fall migration, a winter backyard can be a lonely place for the backyard birder. Many of the birds that have visited backyard feeders throughout the spring and summer have disappeared.
However, many backyard birds do not migrate, rather they stay in the area and gather in large flocks for protection and survival.
To attract these remaining winter birds, consider their water, nutritional and nesting needs – and soon the backyard will be filled with birds again.
Heated Bird Bath
Pedestal Heated Bird Bath
Water and Winter Birds
Birds need water every day, especially during the coldest winter months when natural water sources are often frozen solid and snow is limited.
Along with nutrition, birds use water to maintain their feathers for proper insulation from the cold.
With water in short supply, they search it out in the form of snow, ice, food, or heated backyard bird baths.
Deck Mounted Heated Bird Bath
Deck Mounted Heated Bird Bath
Many birds get water from insects and wild fruits that hang on bushes and trees. They also search out unfrozen running streams, or eat snow and ice. For example, the red-bellied woodpecker pecks at snow and ice collected in nooks of trees. However, eating snow is not efficient, as it requires 12x more calories to melt and metabolize the ice inside the bird’s body.View full post
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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 …
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.