Backyard Birdfeeder Bragging Rights, a Great Adventure for a Great Twitch, and More: This Week in Birding News

10,000 Birds

News Allen’s Hummingbird Atlanta Falcons Avian Influenza backyard birds bird feeders Bird Flu Brood Parasitism eBird eggs Great Gray Owl poultry Project FeederWatch Super Bowl woodpeckersLet us no more speak of this week’s extraordinary failure by a cast of Falcons to finish off their prey. Instead, we’ve got other bird news to cheer us up (or at least take our minds off avian’s inexplicable inability to capture U.S. sports championships ).

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Dick Vitale vs. Dolphins in Bracket Challenge

4 The Love Of Animals

College basketball legend Dick Vitale has been going head-to-head in a bracket pick ‘em contest against the sports-predicting dolphins of Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium as part of the Allstate March Mayhem Challenge. Seems that some dolphins are getting in on the March Madness! After the first three rounds of the tournament, the Georgia Aquarium dolphins are only one pick off from tying Vitale for total number of correct game picks (30 to 31).

Podcast Uploaded for Week Ending 12/12/09

Critter News

The Calgary Zoo is under scrutiny for yet another animal death; Convicted dog fighter Michael Vick is welcomed back to Atlanta; New Zealand is being bombarded with international protests for what many consider to be a transition to “factory farming” in Mackenzie Country; Russia bemoans that fact that it hasn't matched the US in transforming sea lions into military weapons; and a German tourist is caught smuggling 44 lizards out of New Zealand in his underwear.

Can the Falcons Win the Super Bowl?

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The hours are ticking down to Super Bowl LI, a hotly anticipated contest between perennial contenders New England Patriots and the upstart, high-flying Atlanta Falcons. Will the Atlanta Falcons actually win the Super Bowl? The Atlanta Falcons aren’t bad either this year, especially when it comes to putting points on the scoreboard.

Miracle Babies; Pandas and Leopards

4 The Love Of Animals

The Atlanta Zoo in Georgia is borrowing Chengdu’s winning technique to help try and have a baby of its own. A wonderful new series on Nat Geo WILD this Tuesday, September 13th and Wednesday, September 14. Nat Geo WILD takes viewers around the world to follow dedicated people working to save Nature’s Miracle Babies – often the last hope for critically vulnerable species.

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Red-tail Without a Cause

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I was scanning through a few photographs that I captured recently during a visit to Woodlands Garden near Atlanta and was shocked to find one of a young Red-tailed Hawk with a cigarette in its beak. Does anyone else see James Dean? My own teenage son is testing his boundaries and I had hoped to escape the stress of rebellion for the afternoon. I hadn’t expected to be boldly stared down by a smoking juvenile hawk.

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Wildlife Rehabber Ranting – With Photos

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This one comes from Vonda Lee Morton, a wildlife rehabilitator who runs Laurens Wildlife Rescue outside Atlanta. Oh, do I love it when I can get somebody else to write my blog for me. She and I have never met in person, but thanks to the internet we’ve been through all kinds of wildlife emergencies together. Rehabbers have friends all over the country (sometimes all over the world) who we’ve never laid eyes on. No matter, we’re linked together and loyal to the end.

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Where Are You Birding This Second Weekend of 2012?

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Maybe you’ll pick up a few FOYs this weekend… The only birds I’m likely to focus on this weekend are Falcons from Atlanta; with hope, the New York Football Giants will extirpate this aggressive invasive! Coming into the second weekend of this new year, we’ve all added a few birds — possibly very few birds — to our year lists. Don’t feel obliged to start a formal list if listing isn’t your style.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Second Weekend of 2011)

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Note that I only condone this treatment for the highly localized Atlanta Falcon. Just two weekends into 2012, I already love this year. No doubt the weather has something to do with it; Rochester, NY may historically be one of the United States’ snowiest metropolitan areas, but we’ve been basking in almost vernal weather. Plus my New York Football Giants just advanced in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

Predators Paid to Pester Problematic Pest Birds

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No, not those Falcons from Atlanta. If this Red-tailed Hawk was wearing a T-shirt, it might say, “I’d rather be hunting nuisance birds.” ” Garrulous gulls and stealing starlings, beware: the falcons are coming. (No, They’re pretty harmless this year.). To rid themselves of birds that are often perceived as nuisances, some landfills, vineyards, and other operations have begun to turn to raptors.

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Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of October 2011)

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Mike was in Costa Rica this weekend after what felt like an interminable delay at the airport in Atlanta where he had to change planes. It was a gusty weekend in New York City and environs, with fall finally feeling like fall is supposed to feel. Sparrows have almost completely taken over for wood-warblers and temperatures are finally waning as is only proper. How was your weekend?

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I and the Bird: Looking for Falcons and Ravens

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Alas, Atlanta couldn’t seal the deal in the second half, but Baltimore bullied their way to the Big Game. Those of us perched precariously at the intersection of birds and sports couldn’t help but hope for a Bird Bowl, where both teams competing in Super Bowl XLVII were named for birds. We’re going to celebrate both of them anyway with two editions of I and the Bird !

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The Case for Adding the U.S. Territories in the Caribbean to the ABA Area

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The flight from Atlanta (the busiest airport in the U.S.) For comparison: Atlanta to Denver is 1,200 miles, Atlanta to San Francisco is 2,100 miles, and Atlanta to Honolulu is 4,500 miles. I recently asked whether Puerto Rico should be part of the American Birding Association’s ABA Area. That post led to a spirited discussion on the ABA Facebook page. I will suggest an answer to the question: this post makes the argument that both Puerto Rico and the U.S.

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Tales for the Pet Lover’s Heart

4 The Love Of Animals

This program brings to life one of the most powerful human relationships – that between a person and their pet,” said pet owner Melissa Heeter of Atlanta, who was featured along with her dogs in the 2008 Tales for the Pet Lover’s Heart program. “It Nestlé Purina and Cincinnati-based Kroger Co.

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Great Kestrel Count 2011

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Even outside of Atlanta , Peregrine Falcons spend their breeding seasons smiling for the ( web ) camera from atop edifices all across the country. Kestrels may be the coolest raptors nobody knows of. In North America, everyone recognizes hawks on the wing, even the ones that aren’t Red-tailed Hawks. Obviously, Bald Eagles are a pretty big deal too. Those bigger birds of prey command respect, but it’s not like falcons are unknown.

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Releasing White Doves

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Kathryn Dudeck is a rehabber outside Atlanta. Thinking of releasing white doves to commemorate your wedding or the memorial of a loved one? Think twice, and do some research. White doves: symbols of love, commitment, peace, hope, etc. However: they are not wild birds, and have no idea how to survive outside captivity. Where do they go after they fly away? This is an important question.

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Backyard Birds: Looking Through the Glass by Glen Apseloff

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There’s a house I’ve long dreamed of perched next to Jamaica Bay that has Curlew Sandpiper and Ruff as possibilities, with a good enough scope; heck, a flock of Wood Storks once flew over the very average suburban Atlanta back yard of the Inimitable Todd’s very average brother and sister-in-law and thus got on my life list. Before we begin, I should note that despite my post last week, life is not always sunshine and big fish for the Osprey of Missoula.

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Why Are Red-breasted Nuthatches Irrupting?

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Sitta canadensis isn’t just irrupting out of its far northern home but exploding southward, with reports in every southern state except for Florida, including birds on the outer banks of North Carolina, on Grand Isle, Louisiana, in a suburb of Atlanta, and on the Gulf Coast of Texas. There can be no doubt that this year is an irruption year for Red-breasted Nuthatches.

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From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

Georgia State University Atlanta, Aug. To the Editor: Re “An Ape Types in Iowa” (column, Aug. 9): Gail Collins writes: “Human-ape conversation was a very hot topic back in the late 1960s, when researchers first taught a chimpanzee named Washoe to use sign language. It lost steam once it became clear that while the apes could put together simple statements and requests, they were not prepared to have discussions about their deepest feelings, hopes and dreams.

Introduction to Winter Sparrows of South Florida

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Almost any park, even within large cities such as New Orleans and Atlanta, will host such quintessentially common Nearctic species such as Field , Song , Chipping , and White-throated Sparrow in good numbers. The southeast tip of the Florida peninsula is not well endowed with a wide variety of sparrows in winter like the rest of the southeastern United States.

Birds Worth The Trip

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Best of all, you can fly here direct from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. As this holiday week advanced and my Wednesday deadline approached, I was torn between two post themes.

Trinity Brewing: Le Capitaine Golden Saison Regal

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Atlanta, Georgia’s Red Brick Brewing Company has teamed up with the Georgia Aquarium to release a series of seasonal beers , with a portion of sales to be donated to conservation and research efforts. Here in New York, fall doesn’t begin until this afternoon at 4:02 PM, so I got in what will probably be this year’s first and last review of a saison – a classic and refreshing Belgian beer style generally favored for summer drinking – just under the wire.

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