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State of the Birds

Habitat Restoration on the Gulf

The natural habitats of the Gulf Coast are critical to birds migrating between North, Central, and South America. With the BP oil spill, restoring Gulf-coast habitat has taken on new urgency. The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is restoring habitat and rejuvenating the maritime... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Long-billed Curlew - Singing over the Grassland

The Long-billed Curlew is North America's largest shorebird, seen here in its breeding habitat, a western grassland. They may be the largest, but they're also among the rarest. Their numbers are declining as arid grasslands disappear. Because curlews depend on very different environments for... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  breeding display, migration

The COASST Program - Interview with Julia Parrish

In the late 1990s, Julia Parrish started the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team or COASST. Julia says: "We train people to go out to their local beach and survey it. They are looking for birds that have literally washed in on the last tide. COASST offers people a chance to learn more... read more »

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Cinnamon Teal at Klamath Refuge

In 1908, Theodore Roosevelt established the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, the nation's first for waterfowl. Benefiting today from Roosevelt's foresight are Cinnamon Teal. For them, the refuge is an important breeding area. The female builds her nest near water and conceals it completely... read more »

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Swans Benefit from Bob Heirman Wildlife Park

In the late 1970s in Washington State, bulldozers began mining gravel on the banks of the most productive steelhead fishing spot on the Snohomish River. This raised the ire of Bob Heirman and his local sportsmen's club. They took on Dave Beck, Jr., head of the mining company and son of the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Extinction and Islands - Interview with George Wallace

Hawaii has more bird species in danger of extinction than anywhere else in the United States. George Wallace of American Bird Conservancy explains that a long period of evolution in isolation gives rise to specialized island species. Birds that nest on the ground don't have any natural resistance... read more »

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Millerbirds Return to the Island of Laysan

In September 2011, the research vessel Searcher sailed for Laysan Island from the Hawaiian island of Nihoa. It carried eight biologists from American Bird Conservancy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - and 24 Millerbirds. Laysan was once home to Millerbirds, but they disappeared long ago,... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  science

Palila and American Bird Conservancy

High on the north face of Mauna Kea, a volcanic mountain on Hawaii's Big Island, work is under way to save one of the island's most endangered birds, the Palila. Most Palila live on the west face of Mauna Kea. Palila bred in captivity were released on the north face, to join Palila moved there... read more »

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Blackbird Deaths Spark Concern

On January 1, 2011, residents of Beebe, Arkansas awoke to find hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds lying dead on their lawns and in the streets. Birds in a nearby roost had all taken off at 10:15 PM, when fireworks shook the windows of nearby houses. They died by colliding with wires, trees, and... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  science

Hawaiian Goose - New Hope for the Nene

On the grassy edge of one of the ponds at Hanalei Wildlife Refuge, we find a Nene -- or Hawaiian Goose -- a small goose found nowhere else but Hawaii. The Nene is the only state bird that is also an endangered species. Once common in the Hawaiian Islands before the first humans landed here, they... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  science

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