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climate change

Forest Fires, Recovery, and Birds

Forest fires have profound effects on birds and other wildlife — for better or worse. Birds such as this Black-backed Woodpecker find a bonanza of insects under burned bark and ample snags in which to carve out nest holes. Woodpecker cavities are often reused by birds like bluebirds. And birds... read more »

Topics & Themes:  ecology

Waterfowl Migration in Flux

Waterfowl such as this Greater White-fronted Goose have long followed a predictable schedule, flying south in autumn after breeding in the north. But for some birds, climate change may be delaying fall migration. Beginning in 1979, scientists in northern Europe recorded migration dates of geese... read more »

Topics & Themes:  migration

Biking Thousands of Miles ... for Birds

11,500That's how many miles Dorian Anderson had biked when I met him on the coast of Washington State in late August. He'd averaged nearly 50 miles a day since he started from his home state of Massachusetts on the morning of January 1. The weather on his first day was freezing with a stiff wind ... read more »


Climate Change Is Pushing Tropical Birds Off the Mountaintop

In New Guinea in the 1960s, scientist Jared Diamond documented birds like this Mountain Kingfisher living at all elevations on Mount Karamui. Today, scientists Ben and Alexa Freeman have documented an important change. Birds are moving “upslope” to escape warming temperatures that are disrupting... read more »

Topics & Themes:  science

Black-necked Stilt - The Bird with Outrageous Legs

Visit a shallow wetland in summer, and you might see this slender, black-and-white shorebird with outrageous red legs. The Black-necked Stilt uses its long legs for wading as it feeds on tiny insects and crustaceans on the surface of the water. Stilts are sensitive to drought, which has... read more »

Topics & Themes:  nesting

The Year of Listening Carefully, With Kurt Hoelting

Writer Kurt Hoelting spent a year not driving his car, or riding in a jet, to reduce his use of fossil fuels. During his adventure in local living, he made an important discovery: “I noticed, maybe six weeks into the year, that I could really begin to feel the pace of my own body slowing down –... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Evolution of European Blackcaps - Featuring Mike Webster

Nature is evolving constantly. Dr. Mike Webster of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describes an example of rapid evolution and adaptation from the world of birds. He says the European Blackcap, a species of warbler, used to breed in Germany during the summer and migrate to Spain in the winter. But... read more »

Topics & Themes:  ecology, human interaction, migration

Finding Adventure in The Circumference of Home

Kurt Hoelting – a writer, wilderness guide, and commercial fisherman – went car-free and jet-free for one year to reduce his carbon footprint. Instead, he traveled by foot, kayak, and bicycle. Drawing a 60-mile radius around his home, Kurt explored the land within the circumference – and... read more »

Topics & Themes:  human interaction, reflection

Paying Attention to Climate Change

While watching a flock of Snow Geese, Kurt Hoelting wondered if they were ever going to move; they seemed so content. Then, one by one, their heads began to bob. And after awhile, small groups started to fly away. Then suddenly, the entire flock peeled off the field. Kurt says, “When I think... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, reflection

Point Reyes Bird Observatory

Point Reyes Bird Observatory -- now known as Point Blue Conservation Science -- works to understand how healthy ecosystems function and to reduce the harmful effects of climate change. For example, in the Farallon Islands (pictured here courtesy of Marty Knapp), scientists recorded dramatic... read more »

Topics & Themes:  sound