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Winter

Yellow-rumped Warbler - The Winter Warbler

By winter, most warblers have migrated south. But the Yellow-rumped Warbler, which birders affectionately call “butterbutt” is a lesson in adaptation, notes Bryan Pfeiffer, a writer, naturalist, and educator who lives in Vermont. “In winter, when most of their kin are enjoying insects in the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, migration, ornithology

Christmas Bird Counts at the Extremes

This winter, volunteers will tally birds in more than 2,000 locations as part of the annual Christmas Bird Count. In the U.S., birders will venture forth at the very extremes of the country’s geographic reach. At Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, a few hardy souls will count birds in deep twilight, since the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science

Are Northern Forest Owls Coming South This Winter?

The boreal forest stretches across Canada and Alaska, a huge expanse of woods, wetlands and wilderness. And it’s full of magnificent forest owls that depend on mice and other rodents for food. Those populations can boom and bust, so in lean years, hungry owls often fly as far south as the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology

Wild Goose Chase - Birding in the Netherlands

BirdNote team member Adam Sedgley and his wife had the opportunity to relocate to Paris for nine months. Here he tells of his birding adventures in the Netherlands in early March 2013.Yeah, it’s cliché, and I am certainly not the first birdwatcher to use, or perhaps abuse, this phrase. But when... read more »

The Skinny on Dippers

Brendan McGarry reflects on an aquatic songbird, the American Dipper. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  reflection

Florida Scrub-Jay

Thousands of years ago, rising sea levels isolated much of the Florida peninsula as an island. During that long isolation, a unique oak-scrub ecosystem developed. The Florida Scrub-Jay is one of many special animals and plants that evolved with this habitat. Because they depend on acorns during... read more »

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Red-crowned Cranes Dance on Hokkaido

On a snow-covered field in northern Japan, two majestic Red-crowned Cranes face one another, raise their heads toward the sky, and call in unison. As they call, the pair begins to dance. They bow to one another, then throw their heads over their backs, then bow again. The pair leaps into the air,... read more »

RELATED
Topics & Themes:  breeding display

Rock Sandpipers Are Tough - Homer Spit Christmas Bird Count

It's winter on Homer Spit in southern Alaska, and Rock Sandpipers feed along the gravelly shore. These small shorebirds probe for food. Anything that moves is fair game, especially amphipods, the little crustaceans that hop about when exposed. The sandpipers also snap up clams, snails, and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, citizen science

Solstice Fires

In The Golden Bough, Sir James Frazer describes early Europeans building solstice fires at year's end to strengthen the sun. Seeing the sun steadily weakening, steadily falling in its arc across the sky, they did what they could to restore it to health. Birds and other creatures of the natural... read more »

Winter - Nature's Cold Storage

For birds and other animals with good natural insulation, winter provides a striking benefit as they scavenge. Bacteria function very slowly or not at all in the cold, preventing dead bodies from rotting. In northern latitudes, ravens and other scavenging birds take advantage of winter's cold... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

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