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habitat protection

Kipukas and Akis

One of Hawaii’s rarest forest birds is this ‘Akiapola’au. Some of the roughly 1,000 'Akis left on earth live and breed in kipukas on the lower slopes of Mauna Loa, Hawaii’s largest active volcano. A kipuka is an island of native forest surrounded not by water but by recent lava flows - a green... read more »

Topics & Themes:  history

Important Bird Areas

In order to survive, birds – like all creatures – need the essentials of life: food, water, shelter, a place to bring forth the next generation. The single name for these essentials is habitat. Fortunately, some high-quality habitats for birds have become “Important Bird Areas” or IBAs. Whether... read more »

Topics & Themes:  Important Bird Areas, migration

Birds and Bird Conservation Matter - Interview with David Yarnold

We asked David Yarnold, President of National Audubon, why bird conservation matters. He says that preserving wild places and preserving the links in nature's chains allow wildlife to thrive. Where birds thrive, you're going to have clean water and clean air, and that's good for kids, and it's... read more »

Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Secretive Varied Thrush

Except in winter, when it gathers in loose flocks to move to lower elevations, this shy bird prefers solitude. The intricate pattern of color on its wings resembles dappled sunlight on the forest floor. Naturalist Louis Agassiz Fuertes called the song of the Varied Thrush, "... as perfectly the... read more »

Topics & Themes:  ecology, species account

Interview with Jeff Wells

Dr. Jeff Wells, senior scientist with the Boreal Songbird Initiative, has published The Birder's Conservation Handbook. With profiles of 100 North American birds at risk, Dr. Wells also offers suggestions that can help stem the decline of birds - including this White-throated Sparrow - which nest... read more »


What Is Nature Worth?

What is nature worth? Can its value be quantified? Some natural resource economists and policy-makers say it's important to have a common language of dollars and cents when making decisions about land use and environmental management. Dr. Robert Costanza says that nature provides us with many... read more »

Topics & Themes:  science

Sharp-tailed Grouse Dance

Dawn breaks over grassland in the northern Midwest and a dozen male Sharp-tailed Grouse, gathered closely together, face one another in a rough circle. Suddenly, as if in response to a movie director's call for "Action!" the grouse snap into a dance posture. Each bows, holds his wings stiffly... read more »

Topics & Themes:  breeding display

A Baker and Farmer Help Sharp-tailed Grouse

A determined dry-land wheat farmer and a visionary baker are trying to help a bird in trouble, the Sharp-tailed Grouse. The farmer, Wade Troutman, leaves 30% of the land he farms in its natural condition. The undisturbed patches of sagebrush habitat provide cover and food for grouse and their... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

The Wood Thrush and Eastern Forests

The rich, fluting song of the Wood Thrush floats through an eastern deciduous forest. Unfortunately, forests at both ends of their winter and summer range are being cleared for pasture, agriculture, mining, and housing developments. We can help Wood Thrushes and forest birds everywhere by... read more »


Wade Troutman and the Sharp-tailed Grouse

Eastern Washington wheat farmer, Wade Troutman (left), actively manages his farm to protect habitat for the Sharp-tailed Grouse. Jeff Weissman (right) buys Wade's wheat for his bakery in Seattle. Learn more about IRIS, Initiative for Rural Innovation and Stewardship. Gathering Our Voice helps... read more »

Topics & Themes:  environmental champion