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Texas

The Longest Day of the Year

On the summer solstice, birds nesting near Juneau, Alaska take advantage of almost 18 1/2 hours between sunrise and sunset. This day in south Texas is considerably shorter, so the Altamira Oriole has only 14 hours to sing. Seattle's Song Sparrows see 16 hours of daylight; Sacramento's only 15.... read more »

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The Lobstick Family of Whooping Cranes

The celebrities of the Whooping Crane world have to be the Lobstick family, named for the Lobstick marshes where they nest in Canada. The Lobstick male, at 33, is the oldest Whooping Crane in the wild whose age we know for certain. And Tom Stehn of the US Fish and Wildlife Service tells us the... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  migration

Aplomado Falcon

Aplomado Falcons were once widespread residents of the American Southwest, but by the 1950s, they'd disappeared entirely from the region. Loss of habitat, loss of prey, and pesticides all played a role. But in the 1980s, a group called The Peregrine Fund began breeding captive Aplomado Falcons.... read more »

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Groove-billed Anis, Communal Nesters

Groove-billed Anis gather in loose groups. And with good reason. They nest communally. As many as four or five pairs of birds may use one nest, a bulky cup of twigs lined with fresh leaves. When the dominant female ani begins to lay her own eggs, the other females lay simultaneously. Up to 20... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  nesting

Crested Caracara

The Crested Caracara, one of North America's most charismatic birds of prey, is common in Texas, and an isolated population lives in Florida. They stride through the grass on long legs, as they hunt for small animals of all kinds. Many Mexicans honor the caracara as their national symbol,... read more »

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Roadside Birds

Birding on the road? You'd be amazed! The freeway's wide median and mowed shoulders offer birds a ribbon of open grassland, perfect for hunting. Watch especially for raptors perched on poles and bridges. Songbirds favor wire fences and posts. Smaller roads offer hedgerows and shrubs. But this... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Tom Pincelli, a.k.a. "Father Bird"

Father Tom Pincelli is a Catholic priest known to many as "Father Bird." He's a birder and conservationist in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Southern Texas. One of his favorite birds is this Green Jay. The Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival starts today. Can't make it to Texas? There may be a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival, gardening

Interview with Father Tom Pincelli

BirdNote guest, Father Tom Pincelli (also known as Father Bird), comes to us from the Lower Rio Grande Valley in Texas, one of the premier birding spots in this country. He was born and raised in Connecticut, but now calls Texas home. This Great Kiskadee is a typical bird of that area. The Rio... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, festival

Three Kingfishers

The Belted Kingfisher is the one species of kingfisher found throughout most of North America north of Mexico. You'll have to go to Texas to see two other kingfishers. The quiet call of the Green Kingfisher - like this one - can be heard at wooded streams and ponds. A Ringed Kingfisher perches up... read more »

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Trans-Gulf Migration II

In spring, millions of songbirds - like this Orchard Oriole - migrate north across the Gulf of Mexico, from the Yucatan to the southeastern US. When birds encounter storms or headwinds, many may die. Why risk such an end, when they could migrate north along the length of Mexico? It's likely that... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

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