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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

Robert Otto Loves Bluebirds

For 30 years, Robert Otto (pictured here) has been putting up nest boxes for bluebirds near his home in northern Michigan. A retired mechanical engineer, Robert has designed and built nest boxes that are easy to maintain and make it simple to check for eggs and fledglings. There are now 101 nest... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion, nesting

Pied-Billed Grebe Nest Construction

The call of the Pied-billed Grebe is unusual. Their nests are unusual too – little platforms of plant material that float on water, hidden behind vegetation. Martin Muller, an expert who loves unraveling the mysteries of Pied-billed Grebes, explains how grebe parents like this one build their nests. read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting

Laysan Albatrosses Nest at Midway Atoll

Midway Atoll is the winter home of nearly a million nesting albatrosses. Laysan Albatrosses return to Midway in November to breed. Roughly 450,000 pairs wedge their way into a scant 2½ square miles of land surface. And why do Laysans nest in winter? Well, the big birds forage mostly at night, so... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, nesting, vocalization

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