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Sam Crowe on November 20th, 2016

Another Audubon Christmas Bird Count season is just around the corner.  This great winter birding tradition started in 1900, making this its 117th season!  This  year the count runs between December 14 and January 5.  Tens of thousands of volunteers working throughout the Western Hemisphere help monitor populations of wintering birds. If you have not […]

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Sam Crowe on November 12th, 2016

We should all know a little more about the countries to the north and south of us. Almost everyone knows the Bald Eagle is the National Bird of the United States.  Some may know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the Turkey to be the National Bird of the United States, But what about our friends to […]

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Sam Crowe on November 2nd, 2016

Bird identification can often be a real challenge.  Birds captured at banding stations sometimes provide an opportunity to study unusual plumages. In the spring of 2014, researchers at Long Point Bird Observatory captured an interesting-looking warbler which somewhat resembled a Magnolia Warbler. After a detailed inspection of the bird’s plumage and a genetic analysis, it […]

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Two of the largest and most influential ornithologist organizations are the American Ornithologists’ Union (The AOU) and the Cooper Ornithological Society (COS). Among other things, the AOU is the keeper of the official bird list of North America, including the official common and scientific names and the placement of birds in specific families. Since its […]

Continue reading about American Ornithologists’ Union (The AOU) and the Cooper Ornithological Society (COS) agree to merge.

Sam Crowe on October 15th, 2016

Woodpeckers offer an endlessly fascinating study in bird behavior and style. The more you watch, the more engaging they become. Part of it is anatomy. Their broad wings, stiff tail feathers, and unusual toe arrangement are ideally combined for maneuvering quickly through your trees and bushes, screeching to a halt, and grabbing onto the bark […]

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Sam Crowe on October 10th, 2016

To answer the question of what makes a white bird white we first have to ask what makes a black bird black.   The answer to that question is a pigment called melanin.  Melanin is a black pigment that produces the black feather color in birds. Melanin is an important pigment to birds, even those that […]

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New research from the Nature Conservancy and university scientists revealed that only 41 percent of the natural land area in the United States retains enough connectivity to facilitate species tracking their preferred climate conditions as the global climate changes. As part of that study, scientists modeled the distribution and habitat needs of 2,903 vertebrate species […]

Continue reading about Migration in Motion: Visualizing Species Movements Due to Climate Change

Sam Crowe on September 26th, 2016

A widely used phrase for developing a bird-friendly yard is “habitat development.”  Plant a few trees, shrubs and flowers, add a water feature and you are done – habitat developed. I prefer to think of my home, its two inhabitants and the surrounding yard, as a micro-ecosystem.   If a giant, and oddly shaped bell jar […]

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Sam Crowe on September 21st, 2016

One of the most interest facets of bird watching is studying bird behavior..  The behavior of a bird, including posture, the way they move, feed and fly can be distinctive enough to identify a bird just by its behavior.   Here are my five favorite bird behaviors, mostly learned early in my birding career, which is […]

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Sam Crowe on September 11th, 2016

Euphonias and chlorophonias are neotropical birds in the finch family.  They were previously placed in the tanager family.  DNA research has moved them to the finches but future research may change things again. They are typically small, colorful birds about 4 inches long. They primarily feed on fruit and berries and will also take small […]

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