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Wildfire Benefits Many Bird Species

Wildfire Benefits Many Bird SpeciesFire season is in full swing, and some of the mega-blazes have proven nearly unstoppable. Audubon reporter Nick Neely looks at what happens after the flames die down and wildlife returns to burnt areas.In 1969 the Ad Council produced a Smokey the Bear campaign... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Brown-headed Nuthatches of Apalachicola National Forest

Many Brown-headed Nuthatches make their home in the tall longleaf pines of the Apalachicola National Forest in Florida. Twittering constantly, the birds probe for tiny insects or extract seeds from cones in the trees’ upper branches. Forests of longleaf pine once dominated the sandy coastal plain... read more »

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Red-cockaded Woodpeckers - Sunrise Vigil in the Pines

Red-cockaded Woodpeckers require large, old pines in which to nest. They breed cooperatively, and a family of these birds may have several nests in one area. They may also forage together, chattering and flying from tree to tree. The destruction of their preferred habitat – mature southern... read more »

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El Triunfo Cloud Forest Reserve

High in the mountains of Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico, a male Highland Guan is performing his territorial display. The Highland Guan perches on a tree-branch, whistles, and then glides on vibrating wings. The resulting wondrous sound is like no other. The bird’s display creates a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display

The New Jersey Pine Barrens

In southern New Jersey lies a region known as the Pine Barrens. With broad tracts of pine forest interspersed with grassland and shrubland, the Pine Barrens remain one of the largest expanses of green in the Northeast, supporting a diversity of plants and animals. Early European settlers tried... read more »

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Bird Songs Reflect the Environment

Different sounds travel better in different environments. The explosive notes of a Marsh Wren carry well through thick vegetation. A Common Yellowthroat's choppy, repetitive song rattles right through a stand of cattails. An Olive-sided Flycatcher sings from atop a tall tree, its song carrying at... read more »

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Ponderosa Pine Savanna

In a Western ponderosa pine savanna, tall pines dot an open, grassy landscape. A Western Bluebird flits from a gnarly branch, as this Cassin's Finch belts out a rapid song. The trees here grow singly or in small stands. Upslope, the pines become denser, mixing with firs. Downhill, the trees give... read more »

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Sapsuckers and Hummingbirds

The sapsucker is a type of woodpecker that notches rows of small holes in trees, causing sap to well out. The birds eat the sugary liquid flowing from these sapwells. Tree sap is similar in sugar content to the nectar hummingbirds take from flowers. And it is no coincidence that just as the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

No Pounding Headache

The Pileated Woodpecker makes loud, hard whacks, as it leans back and then slams its bill into the side of a living tree. Sounds painful, if not downright disabling! How does the woodpecker's brain withstand it? All woodpeckers have an enlarged brain case, so the brain sits above the level of... 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

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