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nesting

Starlings Say It With Flowers

European Starlings regularly adorn their twig nests with marigolds, elderberry flowers, yarrow leaves, and even willow bark — all of which are full of aromatic chemicals, which fumigate their nests and are thought to discourage pests and parasites. Scientists discovered that starlings hatched in... read more »

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Eastern Kingbirds Feeding Chicks

Photographer Gregg Thompson watched Eastern Kingbirds feeding their chicks and shared photos of a “...sequence both amusing and interesting at the same time.The adult comes in with some food. Sometimes all of the chicks and other times just the closest beg, and the adult drops the food in their... read more »

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Cowbird Song and Password

As most young male birds get ready to leave the nest, they learn their species’ song by hearing their male parent sing it again and again. They imprint on their father’s song. So how does a Brown-headed Cowbird, raised by parents of a different species, learn to sing the correct song? The ... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting, vocalization

Chickadees Fledge!

Dasha Gudalewicz lives east of Seattle and followed this little family of Black-capped Chickadees.Someone's hungry...Help arrives on the sceneVery tasty. Still hungry...Satisfied for the moment...Good thing, because somebody else is hungry!Just in time!Takin' a break.No wonder the adult chickadee... read more »

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Meet the Birds of the Boreal Forest

Alberta      1) Great Horned Owl; 2) Short-billed Dowitcher; 3) Common RedpollAlberta's portion of the boreal forest comprises 8% of the entire forest and is larger than Sweden. The Great Horned Owl is Alberta's provincial bird, and an estimated 13% of the species' North... read more »

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Northern Goshawks and Fire

Among the great firs and Ponderosa pines of Stanislaus National Forest in central California, Northern Goshawk nestlings crowd a platform nest of branches and pine needles halfway up a mature fir tree. In 2013, what’s known as the Rim Fire occurred, and some of the area burned with high intensity... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

City Ravens

Once common on the Atlantic Coast, Common Ravens became rare, as human activity grew more obtrusive through the 1900s. But something changed around the dawn of the 21st century. The ravens came back. Ravens now patrol parking lots in New Jersey to seize the choicest trash, dodge speeding cars on... read more »

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Just Whose Ducklings Are Those?

It’s spring, and a female duck swims across a pond with ducklings in tow. Some of the youngsters might not be her own. Wood Ducks and others may lay some of their eggs in other ducks’ nests — or in the nests of other kinds of ducks, like Hooded Mergansers and goldeneyes. Biologists call this nest... read more »

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The Swallows of Capistrano

Every year, the change from winter to spring brings millions of Cliff Swallows from Argentina to North America. Since the early 1800s, swallows had returned, year after year, to the Mission of San Juan Capistrano. But during a restoration project in the 1990s, the venerable mud nests were removed... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting

Crossbills Nest in Winter

In the grips of winter, when most songbirds are months away from the breeding season, crossbills are already warming up. It’s all about the food. When the evergreens hang heavy with snow and cones, crossbills can get all the calories they need for the demands of reproduction: courtship, egg... read more »

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