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birdwatching

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

Birds and Bird Conservation Matter - Interview with David Yarnold

We asked David Yarnold, President of National Audubon, why bird conservation matters. He says that preserving wild places and preserving the links in nature's chains allow wildlife to thrive. Where birds thrive, you're going to have clean water and clean air, and that's good for kids, and it's... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Magical Warbler Moment

Imagine watering your garden on a hot August day, when a small yellow-and-gray warbler flutters into the spray and begins taking a shower. The Yellow-rumped Warbler, probably mid-way through its fall migration, is unafraid. Yellow-rumped Warblers use many types of habitat. They breed high up in... read more »

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The Savvy Wren

Because many birds are largely silent in winter, it may seem that they have left us. But many remain, and even the shy and secretive sometimes reveal themselves. A Winter Wren may dart from hiding to grab a meal. The Winter Wren of the East and the Pacific Wren of the West are tiny woodland birds... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching, reflection, vocalization

Parking Lot Birds

You can find birds nearly everywhere. Even parking lots. Next time you're at a mall, grab a coffee, take a seat outside, and look around you. How many different species of birds can you see? Crows and gulls command the rooftops. Rock Pigeons abound. A European Starling-like this one-picks up the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Ecotourism

Hiring a local guide when you visit an exotic destination can be a win-win-win situation. You receive the services of a local expert - and you might get to see this Green Violet-ear Hummingbird (now known as a Mexican Violet-ear or Lesser Violet-ear). The guide has employment. And the birds... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

Bird Tracks in the Snow

Look for the stories birds tell with their tracks in the snow. A crow swaggers, leaving right-and-left steps much as a walking human would. Juncos under a birdfeeder leave a hopping pattern of tiny footprints in side-by-side pairs. Look for beak marks, where a bird picked up a choice morsel or... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birdwatching

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