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Least Tern Conservation at Bolivar Flats

On the Gulf coast of Texas, many Least Terns find protection at Bolivar Flats, an Important Bird Area near Galveston. In 2012, the terns benefited from some extra help. Houston Audubon and American Bird Conservancy posted an intern there as sort of a personal representative for the Least Tern... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Green Jays and Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge

Bird life is abundant on the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in southern Texas. This large stretch of Tamaulipan brushland was preserved for its wildlife, including many species found nowhere else in the United States. One of the special birds on this refuge is the Green Jay. These jays and... read more »

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A Drive Along on a Bar Ditch

In the rural Southeast, roadside ditches – known as “bar ditches” – carry on for miles. They’re full of water and full of life, these narrow wetlands. Herons stalk the shallow water, stabbing at minnows. Common Gallinules, like this one, swim on the surface. Reeds and bulrushes provide cover for... 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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Okefenokee Swamp and Prothonotary Warbler

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was set aside to protect the fabled Okefenokee Swamp of Georgia and Florida. Tall cypress trees and Spanish moss give the swamp a prehistoric appearance. The Prothonotary Warbler is one of the most striking of the swamp’s denizens. Having wintered in the... read more »

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Little Blue Heron, Light and Dark

Two herons, one dark, the other white, feed at the edge of a wooded pond in the South. Both birds are Little Blue Herons. What's going on here? Well, the white bird is a juvenile. These young herons forage with flocks of Snowy Egrets, which stir up prey. The white immatures mix readily with the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  plumage

Limpkin - Bird of the Swamp

It's dawn on a spring day in the Big Cypress Swamp of Florida. Mist rises from quiet water into Spanish moss hanging from the cypress branches. A Limpkin is foraging for apple snails. When it touches a big, round shell, it grabs it quickly and pulls it from the water. Then, moving to solid ground... read more »

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Gulf Oil Spill - One Year Later

Sound recordist and photographer, Gerrit Vyn, went with a crew from the Cornell Lab to film and photograph birds in the Gulf of Mexico right after the Deep Horizon oil spill in April 2010. They visited the marshes and the barrier islands that host amazing concentrations of pelicans and terns and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Habitat Restoration on the Gulf

The natural habitats of the Gulf Coast are critical to birds migrating between North, Central, and South America. With the BP oil spill, restoring Gulf-coast habitat has taken on new urgency. The Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program is restoring habitat and rejuvenating the maritime... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, science

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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