Six Months Birding in Costa Rica, 620 Species of Birds

10,000 Birds

In the outfield, I was entertained by the mechanical song and flight antics of a choice meadow bird, I can still recall my best friend’s mom telling me, “Patrick, don’t go watching those Bobolinks during the game!” Although Bobolinks are a very rare migrant, lots of other birds are possible, more than enough to rack up hundreds of species over the course of the year. Buff-fronted Quail-Dove – Any quail-dove species is a prize.

2019 66

Wildlife and Life Celebrations

10,000 Birds

Environmentalists view helium–filled balloon releases as wildlife killers. Bring your kids to the mud pit/water fight/pie throw, and let them get as filthy as they like (and join them, if you’re game). No buying invasive fish from the pet store and tossing them into a pond, where they will grow into behemoths and devour the native species. Recently a baby was born in North Carolina with Trisomy 13, a chromosomal abnormality so severe most carriers die at birth.

2013 81

A New Wildlife Refuge Pass: Fellow Birders, Help Us Help You

10,000 Birds

Since we first launched the Wildlife Conservation Stamp Project, we’ve made our case to thousands of birders and photographers. And, one of the common ideas throughout is that birders, photographers and other wildlife watchers deserve and are excited about a Refuge pass they can call their own. We’re relaunching the project as the Wildlife Conservation Pass. This will be an innovative way for us to show our support for the National Wildlife Refuge system.

2016 63

The Wildlife Conservation Stamp: An Additional Income Stream for Our National Wildlife Refuges

10,000 Birds

Many of these refuges and associated Conservation Areas, which have the potential to protect more than 1 million acres of vital wildlife habitat, have been forged through creative partnerships with sportsmen, conservation groups and private landowners. It is now more important than ever to draw on the diverse group of refuge advocates around the country to safeguard America’s wildlife heritage 1. Most wildlife watchers are anxious to contribute their resources toward that end.

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

10,000 Birds

Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced as part of Great Outdoors Month the agency is proposing to expand fishing and hunting opportunities on 21 refuges throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System. National wildlife refuges provide premier outdoor recreational opportunities across the Nation. There are more than 560 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts, including one within an hour’s drive from most major metropolitan areas.

2015 51

How to Bird Murchison Falls

10,000 Birds

The route Corey and I took in advance of the 2019 African Birding Expo may not be the only optimal way to go, but this approach yielded an absolute bounty of wildlife excitement in just 48 action-packed hours. Trips Africa game parks Murchison Falls Uganda

2019 68

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and Who Pays for It

10,000 Birds

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (NAMWC) is often held up as the best system of wildlife management and conservation in the world. Developed in the post-frontier era, the NAMWC helped put a stop to wanton wildlife destruction in an era where many species were being hunted and trapped ruthlessly to the brink of extinction. Setting land aside in the public domain in perpetuity is probably the most substantive thing we do for wildlife conservation.

2014 77

Northern Pintails at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge

10,000 Birds

The Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex offers four photo blinds on three of their refuges which can be reserved, two on the Sacramento Refuge, one at Colusa NWR and one at Delevan NWR. link] Here is another view of these handsome dabbling ducks in flight… and another great reason to support a Federal Wildlife Conservation Stamp ! Birds ducks features National Wildlife Refuges Northern Pintail waterfowl

Serial Poachers Devastate Montana

Critter News

This article describes the devastation being inflicted on Montana's wildlife by serial poachers. I would have thought serial poaching and serial killing were essentially the same, with the difference being the species, but this article says there is a difference. Brian Golie, FWP game warden in Wolf Creek,classifies serial poachers as people who target trophy animals and will do anything to kill them.

Kathy Hershey: Parker, the Playground’s Vulture

10,000 Birds

Today’s blog was written by Kathy Hershey, co-founder of Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators in Hope, Indiana. After school and on weekends he’d attend soccer games and hang around playgrounds, preferring to spectate from the playground equipment. One Monday we got a call from one of the officers: “Hey, we’ve got to up our game! Guardians of human health, and a pretty awesome bird species as well … what a package!

2016 49

Proposed Changes to the Duck Stamp Not Well Received

10,000 Birds

In 2015 a Federal Duck Stamp Task Force was convened under the auspices of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) consisting of seventeen individuals. There were five issues and recommendations of the group: Issue 1: The conservation benefits of the Duck Stamp are poorly understood among the wildlife viewing community and the public, as well as among much of the hunting community. Create and promote the wildlife conservation stamp.

2016 40

Duck Numbers And Duck Stamp Sales No Longer Correlate

10,000 Birds

Sales of duck stamps have funded the preservation of wetlands and other wildlife habitat, which in turn has supported an increase in waterfowl populations. Historically, there has been a link between duck stamp sales and the duck population, with the causal link between stamp sales and duck numbers being the wildlife preservation areas supported by stamp revenues. A study examining this relationship was recently published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin (full reference below).

Ducks 71

Big Day on Cedar Key, FL

10,000 Birds

My friend Savanna and I rose at dawn, gulped down coffee and then hit the best birding hotspots on Cedar Key, wracking up hundreds of summer species before lunchtime. Many species had left for breeding in more northerly climates, and those that remained hid out in cool spots until saner temperatures reigned in the morning and evening. We hoped for 50 species. Yes, but we were playing the numbers game. Lower Suwanee River National Wildlife Refuge.

2017 50

Identifying the Mystery Bird

10,000 Birds

“Okay, fellow songbird rehabbers,” wrote Vonda Lee Morton of Laurens Wildlife Rescue on her FaceBook page. “Is Sometimes bird rehabbers who end up with tiny, semi-feathered little mystery birds end up playing a game called “Name That Bird.”. BTW: Type “(species name) baby” into Google Images – do NOT use the terms hatchling, nestling or fledgling, or you’ll never get decent results.” Birds identifying birds nestling birds wildlife rehabilitators

2014 73

Best Bird of the Weekend (Last of 2019)

10,000 Birds

This week offers the ideal opportunity to look back at your most recent wildlife watching adventures; next weekend, the game begins anew. That’s a wrap!

2019 54

Birding crème de la crème: Africa – Ngorongoro Crater to Queen Elizabeth II National Park

10,000 Birds

Geographic patterns of species richness for birds (1,558 species) in East Africa at 0.25° resolution (blue indicates low species richness, while brown indicates high species richness). Finally, South Africa has three 400+ hotspots, namely 1 Mkhuze Game Reserve 458 sp.

Brown-headed Thrush

10,000 Birds

Kasia Rinkai Park on Tokyo Bay will host the slalom canoeing events for the upcoming (correct at time of writing) Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020. Three further hours of tramping through the rain and the cold brought 36 more species for my day trip and the decision was made that enough was enough.

2020 61

Come@Me: Hunting Is Not Conservation

10,000 Birds

The definition of the word HUNT is “to chase or search for game or other wild animals for the purpose of catching or killing.” Lacey of Iowa introduced the nation’s first wildlife-protection law, which banned the interstate shipping of unlawfully killed game. Even with today’s environmental laws, we are losing species at an alarming rate, and with Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary it’s no wonder. People don’t respect wildlife.

2018 43

Birding at a Historic Sporting Estate

10,000 Birds

During cold winters, the hunters retreated to the south, intent on quail and other game species. Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Eastern Bluebirds rounded out the species near the pond, but in the distance I noted a Red-tailed Hawk , as well as the regular calls of a Northern Bobwhite.

2020 84

Wild Sri Lanka

10,000 Birds

As Bill Oddie noticed in his foreword to ‘Wild Sri Lanka’ (2nd edition) by Gehan De Silva Wijeyeratne, this island paradise is probably the only country in the world where almost all books on wildlife were authored by a single person. 465 species have been recorded and the list keeps growing.

Grouse in PA, Grouse in Costa Rica

10,000 Birds

Even so, he still knew many species and always yearned to learn about the wildlife he encountered. There were also grouse, the Ruffed Grouse , and like so many other species, it just seemed impossible that I would ever see one.

Botswana’s Private Reserves

10,000 Birds

While much of the attention that Africa’s tourism industry gets is for its (deservedly) popular national parks and game reserves, a lot of wildlife viewing is possible away from the big name places. Many countries have private reserves and concessions, run for tourism or hunting, that provide outstanding wildlife watching opportunities. As well as birds, the reserve holds endangered species like African Wild Dogs.

The Beautiful and Colorful Mourning Dove

10,000 Birds

Their habitats vary widely in both rural and urban landscapes; open habitats are preferred and the species generally shuns only extensively forested areas and wetlands 1. To show how adaptive this species is, the following photograph was sent to me by one of my readers and I use it with her permission. Approximately one million hunters annually harvest more than 20 million Mourning Doves , which exceeds the annual harvest of all other migratory game birds combined 3.

2015 60

Birding Botswana

10,000 Birds

What this land-locked country lacks in endemic birds it more than makes up for in accessibility of tough species, numbers of birds and the overall wildlife experience. Okavango sunset Almost 40% of all land in Botswana is under conservation either as wilderness areas, game reserves or national parks. It is also home to the largest concentration of African Elephants on the planet and over 450 bird species. We are currently filming in Botswana.


Animal Ethics

Here is a New York Times editorial opinion about the removal of the gray wolf ( Canis lupus ) from the endangered-species list. Fish & Wildlife Service. Here is the management plan of Idaho's Fish and Game Commission The editorial board of the Times is intellectually dishonest, so please don't let this be your only source of information about the delisting. Here , for example, is a news release from the U.S. Here are questions and answers.

From Today's New York Times

Animal Ethics

No wildlife species, especially a migratory one shared in common by many nations, can withstand commercial hunting without end. In the United States, we learned this lesson just in time to rescue our migratory waterfowl and other prized game species from oblivion at the beginning of the 20th century. All commercial hunting was banned, and those species were carefully managed for sport hunting only. To the Editor: “ Last Act for the Bluefin ” (editorial, Nov.

We Should Kill More Lions

10,000 Birds

Assuming you have a passing interest in wildlife, or at the least you know someone that does, and chances are in the last week or so you’ve become aware that some lady from America shot a lion. I’m not just saying this to be an annoying gadfly on the backside of the birding and general wildlife community, although this is certainly a fringe benefit. Take the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania. You protect an entire ecosystem that holds 350 bird species.

Lions 62

Crows, Contest Killing, and Communication

10,000 Birds

Contest killing – where individuals or teams gun down as many of a single species as they can within a specific time period, with prizes going to the winner(s) – is legal all over the country. The hunters who do not eat their crows) “are providing a smorgasbord for other wildlife!” What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.

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. While drones have the potential be a great tool in the world of wildlife conservation, they can also pose a serious problem for the animals they’re trying to protect. Even drone retailers and manufacturers are getting in on the game.

2015 62

Tanzania – Africa at its best

10,000 Birds

Nowhere else in Africa do the preconceived ideas of the continent really exist in such living detail; tall, red-robed Maasai herding their skinny cattle, endless grasslands studded with flat-topped Acacia trees and grazed by herds of zebras and wildebeest, and dramatic volcanic calderas brimming with big game and fierce predators! A question I am frequently asked by birders and wildlife enthusiasts is: “ if I only visit Africa once, where should I go ?”

Western Snowy Plover

10,000 Birds

You see, up to this point, let’s say 1972, perhaps 1973, I had never really been exposed to a “Threatened, or Endangered” species of any kind. Then, in one of my freshmen science classes, there was a discussion about extinct species, which then lead to the topic of threatened, or endangered species, and what we could do to help out. org [link] The American Bird Conservancy [link] and Defenders of Wildlife [link].

2017 40

Plugging Kids Into Birding

10,000 Birds

By age 2 she could identify over 10 species of birds in our Johannesburg, South Africa, yard by call alone. Publications like Ranger Rick and National Geographic Kids can also satisfy their curiosity through their kid-friendly articles on birds and wildlife. GAMES AND APPS. What kid does not love games? Thankfully there are several really excellent family board games that you can play as a whole family.

2011 87

ACTION ALERT! Tomorrow, MARCH 15, 2011, is the deadline for public.

10,000 Birds

of Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Jon Gassett has indicated that if enough people write in protest, the proposed hunting season–due to start this December– will be reconsidered. March 14, 2011 Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Jon Gassett, Commissioner One Sportsman’s Lane Frankfort, Kentucky 40601 Dear Mr. Gassett, I am a writer, naturalist and artist with a special interest in human/bird interactions.

2011 79

Tricolored Blackbird in Trouble in California

10,000 Birds

The Results of the 2014 Tricolored Blackbird Statewide Survey confirm that this species is in rapid decline. ” The report continues: “Following the breeding season, most tricolors are found in the Sacramento Valley where they aggregate with red-winged and other blackbird species and feed, often in large flocks, on ripening rice. ” Blackbirds, among other species, are also killed every year for consuming sunflower seeds mostly in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

A Brief Tour of Uganda, The Pearl of Africa

10,000 Birds

In the days leading up to the Expo we’ve been touring the small East African nation, primarily visiting the big national parks in the south and west of the country looking for birds and other amazing wildlife. In the relatively brief period, my group had something on the order of 450 species. It’s a fun game for New World birders to find equivalents to many of the Old World bird families that we are unfamiliar with, but there is no equivalent to turacos.

Last Gasp for Sandhill Cranes—Act Now!

10,000 Birds

As you’ll remember, Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources unanimously passed its sandhill crane hunting proposal. Fish and Wildlife Service for final approval or denial. Why put additional pressure on a recovering species? How can that be worth doing for wildlife departments looking to cultivate support from nonconsumptive wildlife observers and enthusiasts?

2011 82

Snow in the Air

10,000 Birds

The population growth seems to be linked to increased winter survival — the result of increased agricultural food supply and wildlife refuges managed specifically to increase populations of ‘game’ birds to the exclusion of other goals — as well as milder Arctic breeding seasons. Snow Geese overgrazing their breeding grounds, displacing other Arctic-breeding species and setting themselves up for a fall. The Varied Thrushes came back.

2014 61

Open Season on Bald Eagles

10,000 Birds

There was a lot of hunting for Bald Eagles—it is traditionally a game species. Yes, they have been an endangered species for as long as most of us can recall, but remember, they were traditionally a hunted species. The Bald Eagle has the potential to be the Holy Grail of game birds. Hunting eagles will not hurt, but enhance non-consumptive wildlife viewing opportunitites. Imagine big flocks of Bald Eagles massing on our wildlife refuges.

The Little Big Year-week 46: All this fun comes to an end

10,000 Birds

For a good portion of the year, it became a numbers game, and my pure enjoyment of the birds for what they are, went away. When we returned to Tucson, from the Bahamas, I was approaching a milestone number, 1300 bird species, and drove myself hard, climbing, hiking, searching, and driving all over the state of Arizona looking for those last eight birds. So below is what the year looked, by the numbers: Total Number of Little Big Year Species: 1302.

2019 49

Week 23: The advenure continues, Stateside

10,000 Birds

We were able to find a very nice RV park, just a couple of miles from one of my all time favourite birding hotspots, Billy Frank Jr, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. Here is one of our pick-a-boo games. For those of you following along on my “ Little Big Year” the numbers are as follows: Little Big Year species – 814. USA species – 111. Australia species – 242. Mexico species – 148. South Africa species – 219.

2018 43

Should is not a Solution

10,000 Birds

My post last week where I defended game hunting as a conservation tool has, unaccountably, encountered a certain amount of push back. Who would have thought that a post defending hunting game in general would have not been universally acclaimed? Most of the people debating this issue are for conservation, they are against wild areas being destroyed and wild species being threatened with extinction. And therein my quarrel with those that oppose game hunting in Africa.

2013 59

Aslin Beer Company/Two Roads Brewing Company: Under the Wire

10,000 Birds

The tendency of birds to alight onto the wooden posts, steel towers, and metal wires that constitute our power and communications infrastructure turns any car ride into exciting and endless game of drive-by identification. And we move on to the next speck looming ahead and the game repeats itself, over and over. But history doesn’t seem to have recorded which species of bird first dared to land on an electrical wire. In his search for game, Run through them.

2019 44

The slaughter tourism trade in Serbia

10,000 Birds

Turtle Doves have been declining in Europe since the 1970s, and in this century alone, the continent has lost 40% of its population of the species. Since this spring’s revision of the European Red List, the Turtle Dove is listed as a vulnerable species. The cargo consisted of huge number of protected passerines such as larks and pipits, beside huntable species like Common Quails and Turtle Doves.