2015 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Western Regionals

4 The Love Of Animals

This weekend is the 2015 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Western Regionals. The event features amazing athletic dogs from all backgrounds and breeds competing for the title of Purina Pro Plan IDC Champion. The dogs compete in several canine … Continue reading → The post 2015 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Western Regionals appeared first on 4 The Love of Animals.

2015 147

Pied Oystercatcher breeding update

10,000 Birds

In the case of the two pairs of Pied Oystercatchers that did actually hatch their eggs and have chicks for a few days they did lay once more, but then they failed to even hatch the second clutch and then no longer attempted to breed. One pair of the sixteen pairs of Pied Oystercatchers that we monitor have lost their eggs in such a short period of time after laying that they have laid five clutches this breeding season so far.

Great Miami Winter Bird Count 2015

10,000 Birds

Although they breed on the west coast of Florida, Snowy Plover is a rare stray to this part of the state. For many in the birding community, Miami is a destination meant only for ticking off ABA-countable exotics such as Spot-breasted Oriole or Red-whiskered Bulbul. For others, it is simply a launching point to Everglades National Park or the Florida Keys.

2015 58

Where Are You Birding This Final Weekend of June 2015?

10,000 Birds

Hunker down for a season of “the same old thing”… My part of the country is reputed to have a bevy of breeding warblers other than the ever-present Yellow; with luck, I’ll track some down. Spring migration surely qualifies as one of the seven wonders of the natural world, a brief blizzard of bliss which passes through our lands, adorning every branch with kaleidoscopic wonder. Too bad it’s over.

2015 56

Clare M’s 2015 Year List

10,000 Birds

The adult Pied Oystercatchers were still at their non-breeding site at Gantheaume Point and will no doubt lay their first eggs for 2015 in the first week of July. Birding 2015 listing year list Well, a New Year has arrived and of course that means a new list for birds! We had not done “year lists” until we started here in 2012 , because a few other Beat Writers had decided to and really…why not! We have had trip lists, garden lists, Christmas Day lists, etc.

2015 62

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes 2015 Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities on National Wildlife Refuges

10,000 Birds

June 9, 2015 – It’s deja vu all over again. Seney National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1935 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.” Swan Lake Refuge is managed as “a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife”. The latest press release from the USFWS.

2015 51

Into the Nest: A Book Review in the Time of Nesting

10,000 Birds

Third, observing and photographing breeding birds and their young have become acts of ethical confusion as birders, photographers, and organizational representatives debate the impact of our human presence on the nesting process. Field guides offer little information on birds’ reproductive lives unless there is an identification component, but handbooks such as The Sibley Guide to Bird Life & Behavior (2001) talk extensively about courting and breeding behavior.

2015 83

Prespa Lakes National Park, Greece: the largest Dalmatian Pelican colony in the world

10,000 Birds

Add more than 350 pairs of White Pelicans to that picture, numerous herons and up to 700 pairs of Pygmy Cormorants breeding in the same reedbeds (cover photo)… It must be bursting with activity in spring, but I was there in mid-September. Pelicans and cormorants breeding at the Mikri often go to the Megali Prespa to fish the cold, deep waters – actually, cormorants to dive for fish and pelicans to wait for the cormorants at the surface to steal their prey.

A Marvelous Marsh Hawk

10,000 Birds

Here in New York we have breeding harriers along the coast and in open country upstate but we get more in migration and quite a few wintering wherever there is habitat to support them. Most birders in the northern hemisphere are familiar with the Marsh Hawk , an expected denizen of marshes, tundra, and grasslands across a huge swathe of the globe.

2015 78

15 expat-friendly countries for a birder to move to

10,000 Birds

This map shows the distribution of the World’s bird species, based on overlying the breeding and wintering ranges of all known species. What are the best countries for a passionate birder to move to? And why? I discovered this map a while ago, hidden somewhere at the not so easy to navigate BirdLife International’s website, and I have used it as my computer wallpaper ever since.

2015 81

Spotlight: Maureen Eiger – To Intervene or Not to Intervene?

10,000 Birds

We also try to re-nest uninjured baby birds so we don’t interfere with a bird’s breeding cycle. You (or your child/friend/etc) have just found a seemingly parentless baby bird. Now what? Here with the answer(s) is Maureen Eiger, a bird rehabilitator in Roanoke, VA: . Recently I received a call about an American Robin ‘s nest that fell down twice from a gutter.

2015 81

The 116th Christmas Bird Count Is Open For Registration

10,000 Birds

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is run by the National Audubon Society in partnership with Bird Studies Canada, the North American Breeding Bird Survey, and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Birding Conservation Bird Studies Canada CBC Christmas Bird Count Cornell Lab of Ornithology National Audubon Society North American Breeding Bird Survey

2015 40

Rosefinches, Griffons and Woodcocks

10,000 Birds

This is my first visit to this area, known as the Madz Brod, where two new breeding species for the country were discovered a decade ago. They are common winter visitors, but this is my first observation of them in the breeding season. Quarter of a century ago, these birds were believed to breed only in the north of Europe, in Fennoscandia and Russia, and just migrate through these areas.

2015 79

Birding from a Hide

10,000 Birds

For example, the White-headed Duck is nowadays a rarity in Europe (okay, excluding Spain, I know… that Spain …), but until some 50 years ago, it used to breed in Serbia. The next, Palic 2 hide, overlooks two artificial islands with breeding colonies of Pygmy and Great Cormorants and, and at the other, of Mediterranean and Black-headed Gulls. The hide overlooking the breeding colony of Red-footed Falcons. What do you think makes for a good bird hide?

2015 79

Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean: A Book Review by a Lover of Parliaments

10,000 Birds

We also learn that Snowy Owls, so quiet on our beaches and fields, give courtship hoots and nest defense vocalizations on their breeding grounds, and then find out exactly what these calls sound and look like–“threat hooting” with upright posture, hooting bouts of multiple males (one involving ten males was reported in 1932), the combination hoots, bill snaps and barks of nest defense, the piercing female calls of courtship feeding.

2015 73

My eBird Citizen Science Experiment

10,000 Birds

We drove for about 290 km through the 400 square kilometres expanse of Pancevacki Rit and found 8 breeding colonies with 252 occupied nests, or a density of 1.6 As I said, Rooks breed within villages, towns and cities, such as Belgrade with about 2 mil people, where street tree lines, especially of London Planes, become the favourite breeding spots. Two years ago, I was counting active nests of Rooks in the flat agricultural landscape north of Belgrade, Serbia.

Rarer than Tigers: the Indian Wild Dog

10,000 Birds

According to an as yet unpublished update to the IUCN Red List, there are only 949 to 2,215 breeding Dholes left in the wild – which is far below the number of the world’s breeding tigers (source: the Guardian). India, February 2013. I am camping in the dry-deciduous jungle in eastern Maharashtra, near the geographic heart of India. It is February and evenings are cold. We have rented army-style tents erected on concrete platforms surrounded with shallow but steep-walled ditches.

2015 77

ABA Field Guides to Birds of Colorado and Florida

10,000 Birds

” His tone is relaxed and conversational, noting species that have expanded or restricted their range, locations of breeding populations, what call or song is best to listen for, and generally communicating what a joy it is to bird this state of mountains and plains and rivers. I did find some photographs used in both guides, notably the impressive male Bald Eagle and the 2015 ABA Bird of the Year, Green Heron.

Birding Greece: Black and white world

10,000 Birds

These falcons mostly feed on insects, but in the breeding season they catch migrating passerines – they even time their breeding to coincide with Autumn migration of passerines in late summer! Winding between the old Olives, the road ahead of me veers into the hills of the Pelion Peninsula, near the harbour town of Volos. A movement in the corner of my eye… a buzzard.

The Art of Bird Camp

10,000 Birds

On our first morning after breakfast, my group and the teens piled onto a boat and headed out to Eastern Egg Rock, once again the breeding ground for Atlantic Puffins (as well as a host of other seabirds) thanks to biologist Dr. Stephen Kress. I have been working in the avian world for 25 years, but last summer I was out-birded by a 14-year-old girl.

2015 82

Faithful Loons and Human Lunacy

10,000 Birds

Breeding and wintering locations of Common Loons in western Maine (Rangeley and Moosehead Lakes region), USA, that received PTTs in 2011 and 2012.*. The Condor, 2015; 117 (4): 485 DOI: 10.1650/CONDOR-15-6.1. Every year there manage to be two Loons out in front of the cabin, up in Minnesota’s lake country. They nest on the same, ever-expanding semi-floating but occasionally shrinking nest over behind the point, so we can’t see the nest without going across the marsh in a canoe.

2015 69

Calliope and Anna’s Male Hummingbirds at the Feeder

10,000 Birds

The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest North American breeding bird 1. The males arrive on breeding grounds before the females and, according to their range map, they probably breed here in Shasta County. This is around the time of year I expect to start seeing the Calliope Hummingbird ( Selasphorus calliope ) at my feeders. Click on photos for full sized images.

2015 72

Black-faced Spoonbill

10,000 Birds

Habitat destruction, disease and hunting are still major problems that affect the conservation efforts, but the breeding sites and wintering grounds now have international protection. Captive breeding programs have not shown much success. They develop the black face, dark bill, yellow breast and shaggy crest as they reach breeding age after three or four years. It breeds on a few rocky islands in the Yellow Sea off the west coast of North Korea.

2015 74

THE BIGGEST URBAN PYGMY CORMORANT ROOST IN THE WORLD DECREASED!

10,000 Birds

Here is a joint media release: WWF, Decembar 11, 2015 – This December, 3,800 Pygmy Cormorants are wintering by the river Sava in Belgrade, Serbia, representing 2 percent of the global population and 5.4 It is estimated that the total European population is 28,000 to 39,000 breeding pairs. Between 900 and 1,600 pairs of this species breed in Serbia, mainly in the north.

2015 62

Endangered and Unknown: Red-billed Curassow

10,000 Birds

About 600 individuals currently live in captivity as part of a breeding program, and there are reintroduction programs underway in the states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. . There are many charismatic endangered birds that capture people’s hearts and imaginations: the colossal California Condor , the evocative Red-crowned Crane , and the adorable Spoon-billed Sandpiper come to mind.

2015 71

Are Redpolls Just One Species?

10,000 Birds

In nature, one of the key differentiators among distinct species is assortative mating , that is, members of a group breeding with each other more often than they breed with members of another group. It sure looks like it! Gustave Axelson has a nice breakdown of a recent genetic analysis of redpolls on Cornell’s All About Birds Blog : Mason and Taylor looked beyond the plumage into strands of the birds’ DNA in the most extensive look ever at the redpoll genome.

2015 71

The Hidden Qualities of House Sparrows

10,000 Birds

Then there is the fact that indicus sparrows tend to avoid human habitations while domesticus doesn’t, leading to sympatric breeding with a disputed amount of hybridisation. However, most interesting of all is the fact that indicus birds from central Asia are long-distance migrants that winter in south Asia, while the domesticus birds breeding in the same general area remain on their breeding grounds year-round. Bird blogging in May always gives me the creeps.

Endangered and Unknown: Pale-headed Brush-Finch

10,000 Birds

Currently, the population is near saturation point in this small preserve at about 226 mature individuals — it is simply too small to host more breeding territories. There are many charismatic endangered birds that capture people’s hearts and imaginations: the colossal California Condor , the evocative Red-crowned Crane , and the adorable Spoon-billed Sandpiper come to mind.

2015 66

Birds In a Changing Climate: A Primer

10,000 Birds

Though they breed on the tundra, Pomarine Jaegers spend most of their lives at sea. If a seabird is trying to breed, if all the forage is too far from their nest, their nest is guaranteed to fail. This may not coincide with the arrival of migrant and breeding birds, and could have major implications with the birds’ fitness and all-important reproductive success. Climate Change.

2015 72

What’s So Special About the Gadwall?

10,000 Birds

” The fact that they are monogamous and pair up by November, 4 to 5 months before breeding, probably endears them to some. Seriously? Just look at this drake. Pretty dapper wouldn’t you say? Pete Dunne calls the Gadwall ( Anas strepera ) the “Dapper Gray Dabbler.” ” Click on photos for full sized images. Pete goes on to state that “the plumage of the male is distinctive.

2015 70

How The Bird Got Its Beak

10,000 Birds

Most likely, the researchers have indicated, the hatched birds would be viable and not too different from regular chickens, possibly less different than some of the odd breeds generated by more traditional methods. Birds are a subset of dinosaurs (See: Honey, I Shrunk the Dinosaurs.

2015 71

Birding Adventure in Mexico Part II: Durango Highway

10,000 Birds

This poorly documented swallow is a breeding endemic to these high mountains. We had a really tight schedule the next day: Black Swift breeding colony at Mexiquillo, White-throated Flycatcher in a grassy swale surrounded by pine forest at Parque Ecologico el Tecuan, and Black-backed Oriole at Parque Guadiana in the city of Durango itself (the end of the road, so to speak).

2015 65

Wood-Warbler Haiku 9

10,000 Birds

Even males in their brilliant, Fresh, breeding plumage. Maggies are female. Inspiration haiku Magnolia Warbler poetry wood-warblers

2015 55

What Impact Will Drones Have on Birds?

10,000 Birds

Conservationists at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) have been using remote controlled drones to watch the nests of endangered breeds and monitor the progress of reintroduced species. Over time, it’s these physiological changes that can disrupt animals’ breeding or rearing habits. Taking up the pertinent question of how the newest form of recreational aviation technology affects avians is Liz Greene, who hails from the beautiful city of trees, Boise, Idaho.

2015 62

How I Become a Birder

10,000 Birds

One thing is, to allow for species maps to show only data with chosen breeding code so I could depict the rookeries I was searching for this spring. I think I was 19 when I made my first bucket list of things I’d like to do, from horse-back riding to sailing, rafting, caving, climbing… all sort of things Willie Garvin was good at (minus the knife throwing). Somewhere at the very back of the list was birdwatching. Why at the back?

2015 63

African Pythons Targeted for Removal

10,000 Birds

State and Federal Agencies feared that if these two large constrictor snakes are allowed to breed they would produce a hybrid super-python. Burmese pythons either escaped from pet trade breeding facilities in South Florida after Hurricane Andrew or were released by people who no longer wanted them as pets. The 2015 annual African python round up, which is taking place as I write this post, has found no evidence of African Python; this includes no individual nor shed skin observed.

What is a Blue Goose?

10,000 Birds

The distribution of color morphs is unequal in the Snow Goose population, with the maximum number of blue-morph geese occurring in mid-continent breeding and wintering areas 1. The “ Blue Goose ” is the dark morph of the Snow Goos e ( Chen caerulescens ). Click on photos for full sized images. Color morphs are controlled by a single gene locus where the dark allele is incompletely dominant to the light.

2015 66

Kamikaze Pigeons and a War to Extinction

10,000 Birds

Take the Saker for example: with 52 to 64 breeding pairs ten years ago, Serbia held 13 per cent of the European population of this Globally Threatened species ( source ). A Hooded Crow. Two Feral Pigeons. Three Feral Pigeons. One more Hooded Crow. And so on… not much of a birding day, heh? One more Feral Pigeon. I am inside the city of Belgrade, checking the theoretically possible Peregrine Falcon site.

2015 65

Heermann’s Gull: Near Threatened

10,000 Birds

Heermann’s Gulls form large breeding colonies on arid islands in the Gulf of California, Mexico, from March through July. The largest colony exists on Isla Raza, where an estimated 90–95% of the total world population breeds 1. Isla Rasa was declared a sanctuary in 1964, and egg-collecting and disturbance during the breeding season are discouraged. With the breeding colony concentrated on one small island this species is vulnerable to a catastrophic weather event.

2015 55

How I dipped the Horned Grebe

10,000 Birds

In the Old World, Horned (Slavonian) Grebe breeds in a wide belt stretching from Scandinavia to Kamchatka and it spends winters along sea coasts, from Japan to China and from Norway to France, plus the Adriatic and the Black Sea (west and east of the Balkans, respectively). To those unfamiliar with the Old World geography, this means that these grebes breed way north from the banks of the Danube, where I reside, and overwinter by the coasts, away from land-locked Serbia.

2015 58

What is the State Bird of South Carolina?

10,000 Birds

Because they prefer to nest in cavities a few feet off the ground, Carolina Wrens will nest in special nest boxes if you are so inclined to have a breeding pair in your yard. The global breeding population is around 14 million birds , and the wrens continue to benefit from scrubby habitat caused by forest regeneration, as well as the increase in bird feeders.

Good News for South Georgia Island’s Pipit Population

10,000 Birds

That’s because these birds won’t breed when rats are around. And let’s face it, would you go to all the effort of breeding if there was a hefty chance that your newborn would just go down some invader’s gullet?). A bird species battling an onslaught of invasive rats just got a glimpse of hope. Researchers say that South Georgia Pipits have hatched chicks. Image above by Brian Gratwicke/Wikimedia Commons).

The other Great Egrets

10,000 Birds

Birders in Europe mostly see Great Egrets outside their breeding season, when their legs are mostly black with a hue of orange on the upper parts, their bill is yellow and their cere is, too. This appears to be more pronounced on birds of the form modesta than on European breeding birds of the form alba – at least this is a common conception, or misconception. Great Egrets Ardea alba are confusing on many levels.

2015 61