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wetland

Conserving Wetlands for Black Rails

Black Rails are marsh-inhabiting birds, more often heard than seen. Many Black Rails nest in marshes along the Atlantic seaboard and in the Midwest. But in winter they concentrate in the coastal marshes of East Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, areas that face many threats. US populations of Black... read more »

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The Elegant Black Tern

Elegant Black Terns breed in summer on secluded wetlands across the northern states and Canada. Because of major losses of wetlands in their breeding range — especially in Canada's prairie provinces — Black Tern numbers have dropped dramatically since the 1960s. The future of this beautiful bird... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting, ornithology

Feeding Frenzy

It's late winter at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida. Many birds have finished nesting, and young birds are everywhere. This morning, wind and tide have conspired to strand schools of fish in backwater ditches. And the birds are taking advantage of it. It's a... read more »

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American Bittern - Thunder-Pumper

American Bitterns nest in marshes across the northern half of the United States and throughout much of Canada, and they winter along both US coasts south into Central America. But in some places, bitterns are in serious trouble. Much of the extensive, shallow marshland they once bred in has been... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  vocalization

Some of My Best Friends Are Salt Marshes

Riding the train west to New Haven or New York, you pass salt marshes with old and evocative names like The Saw Pit, Great Harbor, and Old Quarry. Watch for marsh birds — yellowlegs, sandpipers, Snowy Egrets. In the fall, you may find Northern Pintails, teal, and Black Ducks, like this one. We... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Red-winged Blackbird Harem

As spring begins, the male Red-winged Blackbird brandishes his red epaulets to warn other males away from his patch of cattails. At the same time, he sings to lure females into his marsh...many females, in fact. One male may attract up to a dozen females. The male is dressed for defending his... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting

Northern Waterthrush

Despite its name, the Northern Waterthrush is really not a thrush: it's a warbler. But unlike most warblers, waterthrushes feed on the ground. They winter in the tropics, where they frequent the edges of ponds and mangrove swamps. Where might you find a Northern Waterthrush? Find out at Cornell's... read more »

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

The United States is home to more than 550 National Wildlife Refuges - havens for wildlife, including this Canvasback. But only one refuge can claim the distinction of being international: the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. It hosts millions of migratory ducks annually... read more »

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Klamath Bird Observatory

The Klamath Bird Observatory in southern Oregon uses rigorous methods to understand bird migrations and populations. At sunrise, observers record every single bird they see or hear. They record courtship displays and whether the bird is carrying food or nesting material, or singing to stake out a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science

The Marsh Wren's Many Nests

Tiny Marsh Wrens live in wetlands, usually within cattails, reeds, or bulrushes. After choosing his territory, the male weaves up to 15 dome-shaped shells, lashing together cattails, grasses, or reeds. These are called "courting" nests. Then, sitting high atop a perch in the marsh, he sings,... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting

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