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Washington

Winter Field Notes - Reflections by Heather Murphy

Heather Murphy, a naturalist, watches for birds with the trained eye of a wildlife biologist, then makes a few field notes. From her journal: "I hear tzeet-tzeet-tzeet. Fast movement. Ah, a tiny kinglet. Which kinglet? Hm.m.m. No leaves anymore, so I easily see an olive-green back. And through my... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Corbin Klaft - A Friend to the Birds

Nine-year-old Corbin Klaft has hung a birdfeeder outside his bedroom window. "I just want to see the birds, how they hunt and perch, what they do with their feet. Most often the birds just come in and eat, and I try to identify them." Corbin has an idea for a birdhouse, too. "I'm going to make a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdfeeding

Crows Recognize Individual Faces

To find out if a crow can recognize an individual human face, Professor John Marzluff of the University of Washington wore a mask while trapping, banding, and then releasing seven American Crows on campus. Later, when he walked through the campus wearing the mask, it was automatic! A big group of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  human interaction, science

Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest 2010

In spring, Washington State bubbles with bird song. And you can see a lot of birds at the Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest in May. (Check the website for dates.) Join bird experts to explore the diverse natural habitats of north-central Washington and the more than 150 bird species regularly found... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  festival

Falcons and Blueberries

Birds chasing other birds is a natural part of the avian world. But when you add a skilled falconer, that pursuit can disperse pest birds from airports and amusement parks, and protect a farmer's fields. A blueberry farmer in Washington State pays a licensed falconer to scare birds, mainly... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

HawkWatch 2010

Chelan Ridge, at 5,000 feet, in the Cascade Mountains... Overhead, a Red-tailed Hawk catches an updraft as it migrates south. It's one of 14 North American fall raptor migration sites monitored by HawkWatch International. The HawkWatch project identifies and counts hawks, eagles, and vultures,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, migration, science

Hawkwatch - Chelan Ridge

You're at 5000 feet in the Cascade Mountains. Overhead, a Red-tailed Hawk catches an updraft. The Chelan Ridge Raptor Migration site is the best location in Washington State to see migrating raptors. The U.S. Forest Service and HawkWatch International are partners in a large network of North... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

Horned Lark

A high-pitched, tinkling birdsong rings across the open, grassy expanse of a field. The song comes from above, as a male Horned Lark hovers on fluttering wings, circling a hundred feet above the ground. Although a locally common nester in some open habitats of the West, the population in general... read more »

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Red-wings and Yellow-heads

The Red-winged Blackbird is a familiar denizen of cattail marshes throughout Washington. In marshes east of the Cascades, Red-wings must share space with a larger cousin, the Yellow-headed Blackbird. The two species don't share evenly. Zoologist and blackbird expert Gordon Orians writes: "When... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Bird Scare - Interview with Carl and Rita Comfort

When it's time to pick their four acres of wine grapes, Carl and Rita Comfort would rather the birds didn't beat them to it. Without some form of bird control, they could lose about 10% of their harvest. So at their vineyard, Comforts of Whidbey, they broadcast the distress calls of birds, to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  gardening

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