Dave Mehlman

dve-mehlmanDave Mehlman is director of The Nature Conservancy's Migratory Bird Program. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico, an MS from Florida State University, and a BA from Bowdoin College. Dave directs the Migratory Bird Program’s Gulf Wings project, represents the Conservancy on the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, and serves as the Conservancy’s staff person on the North American Wetlands Conservation Council. He is also a member of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker Recovery Team, established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He has published numerous papers in both scientific and popular journals on birds, bird conservation and ecology.

Dave's Posts

The Montana Curlews Are Moving Out!

July 9th, 2009

In late June, I posted about the new project to track Long-billed Curlew migrations from eastern Montana. Well, the fall migration has started for these birds and they are moving out! As of early this week, 4 of the 7 birds had taken off and left the Montana prairie for points south. Currently, one bird is in […] More

Curlews on the Move, Tracked by Satellite

June 29th, 2009

A research team that I’m part of just completed initial field work on a project to capture and tag Long-billed Curlews in the northern Great Plains of North America — a big step toward solving a huge mystery about this amazing bird. The Long-billed Curlew is the continent’s largest shorebird and one of high conservation priority, according […] More

The REAL Chicken Dance

May 1st, 2009

Most of you probably missed it, but last weekend marked the 8th annual High Plains Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival in Milnesand, New Mexico (its hard to find, though I’ve put a picture above to help out!). I’ve been a participant and field trip leader for the festival for many years and it’s one of the highlights […] More

Earth Day Idea: Get Out and Listen!

April 20th, 2009

Here’s my idea for how to celebrate Earth Day: get up (early if possible), grab your coffee or other beverage of choice, go outside, sit in your comfy outdoor chair, close your eyes and listen!  The idea is to listen to the sounds of the Earth. And, since I’m a bird guy, I recommend you […] More

State of the Birds: Requiem for Hawaii

March 26th, 2009

I cannot conclude my blogs on the U.S. State of the Birds Report without mentioning Hawaii and its birds. The native bird species of Hawaii are by far in the worst shape of any group of birds in the United States. Here’s why the severe decline in Hawaii’s birds should be an issue of national […] More

State of the Birds: Seeing the Trees and the Birds

March 25th, 2009

Forests are a dominant habitat type in North America and, with 310 breeding bird species, are one of the most rich habitats for birds. And looking at the overall forest birds indicator from the U.S. State of the Birds Report, it appears that things are going well in this habitat, at least in this decade […] More

State of the Birds: And Now For Some Good News!

March 24th, 2009

Despite what you might think from my earlier posts, the U.S. State of the Birds Report does contain some good news. Perhaps the most encouraging is the status of wetlands birds (ducks, geese, swans, shorebirds, herons, egrets, etc.) whose indicator shows a dramatic increase starting in the late 1980′s, with current populations far above our base […] More

State of the Birds: Grassland Birds Are Not Looking Good

March 23rd, 2009

The U.S. State of the Birds Report analyzes bird populations by habitat types — and the habitat that most jumps out at me as of great concern is grasslands. The grassland bird indicator in the report clearly shows that these species are doing consistently worse than those in other habitat types. Grasslands also have a […] More

State of the Birds: Aridlands Decline

March 20th, 2009

One of the bigger surprises for me to come out of the State of the Birds report is the poor state of aridlands birds. This was the portion of the report that I drafted and, though I am familiar with aridland conservation issues, the fact that this habitat and its birds seem to be faring […] More

U.S. State of the Birds: A Report Whose Time Has Come

March 19th, 2009

The first ever U.S. State of the Birds report was issued today, in hard copy with an accompanying web site. The Nature Conservancy also has launched a great website that pulls together the report, a map of U.S. bird habitat, and other important bird information. Why is this report so critical? Because it pulls together […] More

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