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migration

Vernal Equinox - East

This Carolina Wren doesn't know the precise instant of the vernal equinox of course. But the wren senses the growing hours of daylight through a surge of hormones, which tell it it's time to sing. Both science and folklore tie Spring to the renewal of nature, as the world awakens from the long,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, vocalization

Raptors and Wind Farms

Wind farms allow us to convert renewable wind energy into electricity. The concept seems environmentally benign, but the windmills are often installed along the same ridges favored by migrating birds for their currents. The farms would be less hazardous to migratory birds if they were sited... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Operation Migration

Unlike many other birds that have an inherent sense of direction and destination, young Whooping Cranes have to learn their migration route from the adults. Enter Operation Migration and ultralight aircraft to lead them on their journey! Fortunately, the young cranes need to be shown the way only... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Vaux's Swift Roost in Monroe

In late summer and early fall, migrating Vaux's Swifts seek nighttime shelter in chimneys in the West, Chimney Swifts in the East. A gathering of swifts waits until dusk to descend into a chimney. The swifts enter in a continuous swirl. Each swift drops into the opening with wings raised, feet... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Wilson's Warbler Migration

The Wilson's Warbler is soon to head south, not to return until spring, one of many songbird migrants returning to the Central American tropics for the colder months. He will fly after dark to avoid the threat posed by hawks and falcons. He'll take up precisely the same winter quarters as he did... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Vernal Equinox - West

Ahhh, the first day of spring . . . at last! And the birds know somethin' is up. Both science and folklore tie Spring to the renewal of nature, as the world awakens from the long cold winter. Here's a Virginia Rail, usually unseen but hardly unheard, ringing in the new season. Spring has sprung.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, vocalization

Wilson's Warbler near Summer's End

By early August, the rich yellow of the feathers of the Wilson's Warbler seems to flash in every forest thicket. Despite predators and weather, many pairs of adults have raised four young, which now flit about on their own. The young males hatched this spring learned their father's songs this... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Wilson's Warbler Part III

Back in September, BirdNote began following a tiny Wilson's Warbler as it migrated south to the tropics. We visited the warbler again in December, on its wintering grounds on a shade-grown coffee farm in Belize. As April arrives, the sprightly bird is migrating northward, with males typically... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Wilson's Warbler Part IV

A week of non-stop singing attracts a female Wilson's Warbler to the male's territory at the edge of the forest. The female alone builds a nest, concealing it in mossy ground at the base of a shrub, or perhaps in a tussock of grass. She lays four eggs, which she incubates for 12 days. When the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting

Tune Up Your Ears - East

By March in the East, cardinals and other songbirds that don't migrate are already singing heartily to attract mates. Many other birds - including this Yellow Warbler - will return north from the tropics in April and May, announcing themselves in song as soon as they arrive in nesting areas. Now... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, vocalization

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