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birdwatching

A Chance to See Whooping Cranes - At Port Aransas

North America’s tallest bird, and one of its most endangered -- the Whooping Crane! There are fewer than 600 in the world even when you count the ones in captivity. They’ve rebounded from an all-time low of 15. The only wild migratory flock – about 275 – winters along the Texas Gulf Coast in the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, festival

The Red-bellied Woodpecker and its Curious Name

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are bold, conspicuous, and vocal, thriving in rural and urban areas east of the Mississippi. Like most woodpeckers, Red-bellieds eat lots of insects. But they also like nuts, berries, and seeds. They can be attracted to back yards with suet cakes, berry bushes, or even a... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, plumage, species account

Plan Your Next Birding Trip!

Planning a trip? We’ve pulled together some online resources that can help you find that special place for birdwatching—or special bird—on that family vacation across the state or that business trip to the other side of the world. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching

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 scurry this way and that, probing into the gravel and seaweed. Anything that moves is fair game, especially amphipods, the little crustaceans that hop about when exposed. The... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, citizen science

Owls Vocalizing in Fall

Why do owls ramp up their territorial calls during fall while most songbirds have already ramped down? read more »

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Birding and Recording at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

May 31st – June 3, 2012What a sanctuary Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is! The U. S. Fish and Wildlife brochure begins by saying, “One of the crown jewels of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Malheur National Wildlife Refuge protects a vast complex of wetlands in Oregon’s high desert. The... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, recording

Birding in Central Park

To reach some of our country’s best spots to see birds can require hours of travel. But some birding meccas are much more easily reached. There’s even one where more than 230 species of birds have been sighted, and to which you travel in style – by taking a cab down Fifth Avenue. New York’s... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Visiting a Sage-Grouse Lek

It was March, and some time before dawn, I was driving a van full of birders down a gravel backroad of Southeastern Oregon. The dirt track slid under us disconcertingly, like a thin layer of wet snow. When rain falls heavily on ground only half prepared for absorption, a sickly alluvium forms. We... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, breeding display, plumage, sound

Bird Songs Reflect the Environment

Different sounds travel better in different environments. The explosive notes of a Marsh Wren carry well through thick vegetation. A Common Yellowthroat's choppy, repetitive song rattles right through a stand of cattails. An Olive-sided Flycatcher sings from atop a tall tree, its song carrying at... read more »

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Lark Sparrow

The Lark Sparrow is large, gorgeous, and unmistakable. Because of its beauty, a Lark Sparrow was chosen for the cover of Sparrows and Buntings: A Guide to the Sparrows and Buntings of North America and the World. Lark Sparrows nest throughout the West and Midwest, in grassy habitats with... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching

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