Tag: bird conservation

Platte River Sandhill Cranes: Enjoying North America’s Greatest Bird Spectacle

Each year, more than 500,000 cranes congregate along 70 miles of Nebraska’s Platte River. Want to see one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles? Our blogger takes you to the heart of the action.

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Mad Men Go Falcon Trapping

Bird conservation, 1950s style. Blogger Joe Smith looks back at the unusual techniques used by bird banders, at a time when peregrine falcons faced a bleak and uncertain future.

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Meet the Ocellated Turkey

Put aside thoughts of the Thanksgiving bird. There’s another turkey: a colorful bird that haunts Mayan ruins. Meet the Meleagris ocellata, the ocellated turkey.

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Theodore Roosevelt: The Birding Citizen-Scientist-in-Chief

Theodore Roosevelt not only created national parks and wildlife refuges, he also was an avid naturalist and a lifelong student of science. Our blogger looks at his “yard list” of birds spotted around the White House and compares it to the birds found there today.

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Learning from Whooping Cranes Learning from Us

Whooping cranes show tremendous social learning potential from humans and older birds. So should conservationists be hopeful that some species could become savvy — and our interventions for them short-term?

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The Sage Grouse Initiative: Science to Solutions

For sage grouse, the the apocalypse comes in the form of fire, weeds, unplanned energy development and even encroaching trees. But now, these birds are the subject of “one of the largest conservation experiments ever undertaken in North America.” Is it enough to save them?

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Science Video: Why Do We Value Some Species More Than Others?

Why does one endangered species get lots of conservation attention, while a similar one doesn’t? In the case of two very similar threatened birds, says a new video from Australia, it’s about familiarity and values.

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Is Your Kitty Cat a Destructive Killer?

Does the loss of bird populations begin with a meow?

When most conservationists think about the biggest human-caused threats to native birds, they list things like oil spills, habitat destruction, invasive species, climate change, collisions with windows, pesticides and wind turbines.

But those threats, serious as they are, pale in comparison to what may be the number one killer of wild birds: Cats.

That’s right. Your beloved Tabby could be a wildlife destroying machine, a genuine conservation threat.

That’s what researchers suggest in a recent paper published in the journal Nature Communications. They found that free-ranging cats killed between 1.4–3.7 billion birds and 6.9–20.7 billion mammals annually.

That research has been widely publicized by birders, and widely ignored by everyone else. Especially cat lovers.

Researchers Scott R. Loss and Peter Marra of the Smithsonian’s Migratory Bird Center and Tom Will of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Migratory Birds suggest that feral cats (those not owned by someone) kill the majority of birds. But still, a simple way to save the local fauna is to keep your Siamese or Manx indoors, or on a leash.

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Osprey Cam: Watch Our Wild Neighbors
Watch the ospreys live 24/7 as they nest and raise their young -- and learn more about these fascinating birds from our scientist.

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Editors’ Choice

Where Have The Monarchs Gone?
Monarch butterflies are disappearing. What's going on? Is there anything we can do about it?

North America's Greatest Bird Spectacle?
The Platte River is alive with 500,000 sandhill cranes. Learn how you can catch the action--even from your computer.

The Strangest Wildlife Rescue?
Meet the animal that was saved from extinction because someone broke a wildlife law.

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