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Birds Winter at the Salton Sea

California's Salton Sea is hot and smelly - and it's also a Mecca for thousands of wintering birds. This inland sea formed when the Colorado River breached floodgates in 1905, forming a lake 45 miles long. The lake has diminished in size and greatly increased in salt concentration, but a single... read more »

Cape May in October

Cape May Autumn Birding Festival, October 20 - 24, 2016!Cape May lies on a peninsula at the southernmost tip of New Jersey, and it's one of the most famous birding destinations in the US. October may be the most exciting month of all to watch birds there. It's hawk migration!  Because most... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding

Rewards of Birding - With Harry Fuller

Why is birdwatching so rewarding? Bird guide, Harry Fuller, says it's about three things: It's free. You can do it wherever you are. And it's fun! Once you start watching, you really appreciate the beauty, the complexity, and the wonder of what's going on in the world around you. Like these... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding

Monitoring Migrating Shorebirds - With Sarah Schmidt

Right now, volunteer observers are counting shorebirds on the move. Sandpipers, dowitchers, plovers, Dunlin, and others that raised their young in the Arctic are now making southbound migrations. They're looking for places to feed and rest along the way. On Crockett Lake in Washington State,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science

Salt Pond Restoration in San Francisco Bay

Thousands of acres of south San Francisco Bay that lay under industrial salt ponds for over a century are now being restored to native tidal marsh. The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project has acquired almost 24 square miles that salt producers had diked along the bay's tidal margin. The... read more »

The Pungent Mudflat

On the shore of a saltwater bay, the tide goes out, revealing a broad expanse of dark, glistening mudflat. Mudflats are rich in nutrients, such as decomposing organic matter and minerals. Far from wastelands, mudflats also support a bounty of life including vast quantities of tiny snails and... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  migration

Least Tern Conservation at Bolivar Flats

On the Gulf coast of Texas, many Least Terns find protection at Bolivar Flats, an Important Bird Area near Galveston. In 2012, the terns benefited from some extra help. Houston Audubon and American Bird Conservancy posted an intern there as sort of a personal representative for the Least Tern... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  environmental champion

Experience Wildness with Adrian Dorst

In a wild place on the west coast of Vancouver Island, author, photographer, and birdwatcher, Adrian Dorst, tells of a time he witnessed fifty or sixty thousand migrating Western Sandpipers: “It looked like snow – except that the snow was drifting upwards! It was just an amazing sight – so many... read more »

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James Swan's Willapa Bay

In 1852, James Swan took up residence in what we now know as Willapa Bay on the southwest coast of Washington State. In his book The Northwest Coast, Swan described the birds he observed on the bay: “white and black swans, white geese, Canada geese, brant, Sheldrake, cormorants, loon, mallard... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  history

Oxbow Lakes Are Often Rich With Birdlife

Many birds look for islands when they want to find a great nesting site, because islands are often protected from mammalian predators. Some of the best places to find islands are oxbow lakes, like many of the ones protected by the National Wildlife Refuge System. read more »

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