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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 »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Heron Habitat Helpers

In Seattle, in a secluded ravine just steps away from a busy ship canal, nearly 100 pairs of Great Blue Herons return each year to nest. A group of citizens called Heron Habitat Helpers has helped this colony thrive. Their president, John “Hooper” Havekotte, credits the founders, Donna Kostka and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, nesting

Restoring Habitat on Maryland's Eastern Shore - Interview with Douglas Gill

More than a decade ago, Douglas Gill, a professor at the University of Maryland, received a telephone call from Harry Sears. After 250 years of human alteration and intense cultivation, had the wildlife habitat on the Eastern Shore of Maryland been ruined beyond recovery? Along with many partners... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

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

Henry David Thoreau and the Wood Thrush

In June 1853, Thoreau wrote of an enchanting encounter with the Wood Thrush: "This is the only bird whose note affects me like music. It lifts and exhilarates me. It is inspiring. It changes all hours to an eternal morning." Wood Thrushes thrive in large expanses of forest. And their numbers have... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, vocalization

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