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State of the Birds

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 »

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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 »

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Topics & Themes:  science

The State of the Birds on Kauai

The native birds of Hawaii, like birds of many island groups, have been hit hard by human-induced changes. This Kauai O'o, a forest bird, has not been seen in 20 years. Its bell-like song once rang widely through the mist-shrouded rainforest. There may still be time to save other birds. Read... read more »

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Habitat and the Tipping Point

Rick Potvin is the manager of the McKinney National Wildlife Refuge on Long Island Sound. He oversees coastal and low-lying habitat for wildlife. Rick says, "What we need to do is to get our habitats in the most robust condition we can - because there will be a tipping point, and the species that... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Cranes Bring Economic Benefit to the Platte

Every March, Sandhill Cranes return to the Platte River in Nebraska, on their way to nesting grounds in coastal Alaska, northern Canada, and Siberia. Birdwatchers come from all over and contribute mightily to the state's economy - as much as $30 million per year. In addition to being of intrinsic... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival

Kauai O'o, Hawaiian Forest Bird

The Kaua'i O'o, a small forest bird, was once found on the Hawaiian Island of Kaua'i. Sadly, the O'o's song was heard for the last time in 1987. The native birds of the Hawaiian Islands have been hit hard by changes brought about by humans. Habitat destruction, introduction of non-native species,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

The Drumming of the Ruffed Grouse

A male Ruffed Grouse performs his drumming display on a resonant, fallen log in the shelter of a brushy thicket in the forest. Drumming announces a male's territory and his desire for a mate. Ruffed Grouse thrive in young forests. Wildfires once created that type of habitat. Today, wise forest... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, sound

Counting Kirtland's Warblers - Interview with Karen Markey

Learn about one of the first species to be listed as endangered after Congress adopted the Endangered Species Act in 1973: The Kirtland's Warbler. Karen Markey and others make an annual census of the birds, to help federal and state agencies determine how well the recovery plan for the warblers... read more »

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Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrikes are found across much of the United States in open country, like pasture and sagebrush. Male shrikes are well known for impaling their prey on thorns, creating a larder that may help impress potential mates. But pesticides and the loss of habitat to residential and commercial... read more »

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