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Washington

Red-tails and Airports

To protect passengers, planes, and birds at Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport, biologists Bud Anderson of the Falcon Research Group and Steve Osmek capture, relocate, and monitor Red-tailed Hawks. The birds are banded, wing-tagged, and released 80 miles north. Bud says, “Almost none of them come back to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

People Helping Bluebirds - Interview with Barb Jensen

By the late 1950s, Western Bluebirds had disappeared from the San Juan Islands of Washington State. But in 2010, 84 young Western Bluebirds were banded on San Juan Island. How? Barbara Jensen, president of San Juan Islands Audubon, says: "The key to bringing this together has been the incredible... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, nesting

Hendricksons and the Violet-green Swallows

Ray and Gretchen Hendrickson made homes last spring for swallows in their garage in Leavenworth, Washington. When the birds had picked out a hole, they took a coffee can and tin snips, and cut down an inch around the top so they could bend the little flanges out. They tacked the can behind the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, nesting

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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A Baker and Farmer Help Sharp-tailed Grouse

A determined dry-land wheat farmer and a visionary baker are trying to help a bird in trouble, the Sharp-tailed Grouse. The farmer, Wade Troutman, leaves 30% of the land he farms in its natural condition. The undisturbed patches of sagebrush habitat provide cover and food for grouse and their... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Wade Troutman and the Sharp-tailed Grouse

Eastern Washington wheat farmer, Wade Troutman (left), actively manages his farm to protect habitat for the Sharp-tailed Grouse. Jeff Weissman (right) buys Wade's wheat for his bakery in Seattle. Learn more about IRIS, Initiative for Rural Innovation and Stewardship. Gathering Our Voice helps... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Aggressive Warblers and Climate Change

The territories of Townsend's Warblers and Hermit Warblers overlap in Washington State. Ornithologists call the overlap where the two species interbreed a "hybrid zone." The hybrids - like the one seen here - reveal characteristics of both. And they may also lend clues about our changing climate.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Stability and Change in Nature - Interview with Julia Parrish

For two decades Julia Parrish of the University of Washington has studied the seabirds - like this Common Murre - of the Pacific Northwest Coast. What are her conclusions after 20 years? "I have been so often surprised and proved wrong. I'll have a concept or hypothesis, make a prediction about... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

The COASST Program - Interview with Julia Parrish

In the late 1990s, Julia Parrish started the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team or COASST. Julia says: "We train people to go out to their local beach and survey it. They are looking for birds that have literally washed in on the last tide. COASST offers people a chance to learn more... read more »

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Bald Eagles and Common Murres - Interview with Julia Parrish

For 20 years, Julia Parrish of the University of Washington has been studying seabirds on the Pacific Northwest coast. During this time, the population of Bald Eagles has rebounded. What does the growing eagle population mean for Common Murres? When an eagle flies over a nesting area of murres,... read more »

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