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habitat protection

Understanding and Restoring Nature - With Douglas Gill

For more than a decade, Dr. Douglas Gill, an emeritus professor of biology at the University of Maryland, has helped restore native grasslands on a large farm near Chesapeake Bay. Invited to join the project by landowner Harry Sears, Dr. Gill says, “…My deeply internal love for outdoor nature,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Restoring Grasslands on Maryland's Eastern Shore - Interview with Dr. Henry Sears

For more than a decade, Henry Sears has been restoring native habitat on his farm near Chesapeake Bay. Why? Dr. Sears wanted to find out if, after 250 years of alteration, native grasslands could be brought back for the benefit of birds, plants, and other animals. Within a month of the initial... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

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 »

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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 »

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Topics & Themes:  science

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 »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, species account

Tanagers - Coffee Birds

This Scarlet Tanager (R), its cousin the Western Tanager (L), and your latte have a connection. Much of the birds' prime wintering habitat has been turned into coffee plantations. When shade-giving trees are cut down to grow coffee in direct sunlight, the tanagers' winter habitat is also removed.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Northern Spotted Owl

A Northern Spotted Owl hoots from deep within a Northwest forest. We know the Spotted Owl best as an unwitting symbol of an ongoing political and economic struggle. We've seen its dark eyes peering from the pages of a newspaper. A Spotted Owl stands about a foot-and-a-half tall. It's adapted to... read more »

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