Category: Birds

Counting Red Knots: Keeping Tabs on a Threatened Bird

Sometimes it pays to be old school. For two decades, two researchers have been counting shorebirds the old fashioned way, one bird at a time.

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Ready, Set, Bird: 6 Spring Migration Hotspots

Spring migration is underway, so dust off your binoculars and check out our picks for great spring birding hotspots.

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Nest Cam of the Month: Bald Eagles

Nest cams give you an up-close view of everyday avian drama. Check out March’s featured nest cam ⎯ the Decorah bald eagles.

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Osprey Nest Cam 2015: The Birds are Back for a Third Season

The ospreys are back! Enjoy live views, 24/7, of an Alabama osprey nest. And record your observations and ask our ecologist about what you’re seeing.

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Splish, Splash: Why Do Birds Take Baths?

Like people, birds love a good bath. But why? Ornithologist Joe Smith dips into the research on bird bathing, and reveals the science — and the mystery — of this backyard phenomenon.

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Nest Cam of the Month: Great Horned Owls

Nest cams give you an up-close view of everyday avian drama. Check out February’s featured nest cam ⎯ a great horned owl.

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The American Woodcock: Tribute to a Wonderful Wetland Bird

It has 360-degree vision. It binges on worms. And its spring mating ritual includes some of the funkiest dance moves in the bird world. Meet the American woodcock, a.k.a. timberdoodle.

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How to Green Birding’s ‘Big Year’

In a “Big Year,” birders race to rack up as many bird species as possible, often at a great economic and environmental cost. The Big Green Year changes that.

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Boucher’s Bird of the Year: The Bornean Bristlehead

Birder Tim Boucher’s life list numbers 4929 species, but he still gets excited by new sightings. Join him on a journey to Malaysian Borneo as he encounters his best bird of 2014 — an elusive and little-known forest denizen.

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Winter Bird Feeding: Good or Bad for Birds?

Winter bird feeding is hugely popular, with more than 40 percent of U.S. households participating. But is it actually good for the birds? Ornithologist Joe Smith looks at the science behind this backyard activity.

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The Hooting Season: Enjoying Great Horned Owls

The breeding and nesting season for most birds is months away. But not so for great horned owls. Here’s what you need to enjoy the hooting extravaganza at a park near you.

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The Great Turkey Shuffle: How Restoration Has Changed Gobbler Genetics

When reintroducing wild turkeys across the United States, conservationists paid little attention to turkey subspecies. Today, determining turkey subspecies can require the skills of a wildlife CSI team. What does this mean for turkey genetics — and future conservation?

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A Tale of Two Turkeys

It’s that time of year: join us for a taste, so to speak, of turkey natural history, conservation and science — including a look at a turkey that will definitely not be on your plate in two weeks (and doesn’t even gobble).

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The Penguins of Boulders Beach

Forty years ago, Boulder Beach in South Africa had no penguins. Today, tourists flock there to see thousands of these charismatic birds. A conservation success? Not quite. The real story is a bit more complicated.

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Decoy: How Fake Birds Aid Real Research

To get a bird in the hand, you have to catch it first. One of the bird researcher’s most trusted bird catching tools is the decoy — a fake bird. Ornithologist Joe Smith on why real birds so often fall for their wooden and paper mache likenesses.

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Enjoy Osprey Cam Live!

The Ospreys Are Back!
Live views, 24/7, of an Alabama osprey nest. Record your observations and ask our ecologist about what you’re seeing.

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