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nesting

Counting North America's Waterfowl

In autumn, millions of North American waterfowl – like these Redheads – migrate south. They come from Alaska, the prairies and forests of Canada, the Pothole region of the Dakotas, and Eastern Montana. Their arrival is awaited by birders and hunters alike. Because waterfowl are a vital natural... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration, nesting, science

Clean Nestboxes in October

It’s a beautiful moment when your backyard birds — like these Black-capped Chickadees — depart their nestboxes. By October, it’s time for one last duty as nestbox landlord: to clean it out. Cleaning will reduce the incidence of parasites in the box and make it more inviting to next spring’s... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Woodpeckers Carve Out Roost Cavities, Too

In spring, we often hear woodpeckers hard at work, carving out nest holes in tree trunks. And now that fall has arrived, we may hear that excavating sound again. Some woodpecker species stay year round in the region where they nest, while others migrate south in winter. Those that remain, like... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Children Study Birds at Maxwelton Outdoor School

Here they come! Kindergartners are entering the Maxwelton Outdoor Classroom on Washington’s Whidbey Island to learn about birds. “It’s critical for our students to get into a practical application of what they’re learning in their classroom,” says Dr. Jo Moccia, Superintendent of the South... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Fake Marbled Murrelet Eggs Cause Jays to Vomit

Because the Marbled Murrelet lays only one egg, its odds of raising a family are slim. Steller's Jays – as they frequent campgrounds in the redwood forests of northern California, looking for human handouts – further threaten murrelet reproduction by eating their eggs. Fortunately, scientists... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Shelterbelts and Their Birds

Many species of birds nest in shelterbelts — also known as windbreaks — parallel rows of trees and shrubs planted to shelter houses, farms, and livestock from strong winds and drifting snow. Because shelterbelts often provide more food and lack the predators found in woodlands, they are great... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Hawaiian Petrels Atop Haleakala

As the sun sets off Maui, a pair of Hawaiian Petrels calls. Crow-sized seabirds with long, slender wings, the petrels sit at the mouth of their nest burrow, dug high in the rim of Haleakala volcano. To feed their young, adult petrels glide low over the dark ocean, snatching squid from the surface... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, nesting

Noah Ventola: Environmentalist and Entrepreneur

Noah Ventola’s four-year-old daughter, Madelyn, knows her chickadees from her nuthatches. But her first bird was a bluebird, and that is where this story begins.Noah and his family live in Durham, Connecticut (between Hartford and New Haven), in a wooded area rich with bird life. Noah, a regular... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science, nesting

Indigo Bunting - Bird of the Ecotone

Many birds – like this Indigo Bunting – can be found in ecotones, the borders between two habitats. Indigo Buntings breed in the ecotone between forest and meadow. They are common at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in Indiana, where grassland and forest are interspersed to produce superb... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Fairy-Wrens Sing Secret Passwords to Unborn Chicks

Superb Fairy-wrens teach their embryonic chicks a secret code. This "incubation call" contains a special note that will later serve as a password. When the chicks have hatched, this password enables the adult birds to identify their babies in the darkness of their domed nest. A species of... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting, science, sound

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