Starting in 2007, Wildlife Biologists in southern Idaho have been marking breeding and juvenile American White Pelicans to better understand their survivorship, migration, and wintering grounds. The hope is that observant birders and biologists to the south will notice the metal leg bands and colored wing markings, red for Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge and white [...]
Have you heard a squeaky-hinge song lately, or seen a flash of rust-tipped feathers under a bright yellow eye? Although occasionally overlooked as “just another blackbird,” Rusty Blackbirds face an unfortunate and remarkable notoriety: this species has endured a decline more severe than that of any other once-common landbird. In March of 2014, the International [...]
Be on the Lookout. Smith’s Longspurs were banded in the Brooks Range of Alaska and resights of these birds are extremely valuable. Researchers are working to better understand the connectivity of their wintering and breeding ranges. If you find a banded Smith’s Longspur, please send as much detail as possible to Abby Powell at abby.powell [...]
Using the right location can make your eBird reports more useful to birders and researchers. You determine the eBird location for your data and locations can be precise or general. General locations include city, county or state level checklists. Checklists associated with general locations are not included in as many analyses as precise locations. eBird [...]
Texas beaches provide habitat for an impressive assortment of birds. Wintering Piping Plovers, migrating Red Knots, and breeding Least Terns take advantage of the productive Gulf marshes and beaches. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill brought these and many other near-coast species into sharp focus and reminded us how little we know about their populations and ecology.
In August of 2008, an opportunity presented itself to conduct research on Lucifer Hummingbirds in the heart of its west Texas range. Thanks to the generosity of Carolyn Ohl-Johnson at the Christmas Mountains Oasis (CMO), her location was added to several other banding sites to study the overall status and distribution of the hummingbirds of [...]
It happens to all eBird users sooner or later. You’re entering a bunch of birds, and you get an automated request to “add comments” about an unusual bird or a high species total. For the volunteer eBird editors, the comments provided by the observer are the difference between acting on a record on the spot and starting an email discussion with them. Unfortunately, all too often the comments provided by the observer are not helpful to the reviewers. Many comments are along the line of “best view ever!”, “lifer!!!” or “seen by six observers” and they don’t help the reviewers do their job, necessitating an email to the observer. There are some things that you as an eBird user can do to help other birders and to also make the editor’s job a lot easier. This will also make your data more useful for future editors. And it’s all about what you enter in comments box on the data entry screen.
It’s a new day for birding enthusiasts in Texas. The widely-acclaimed Great Texas Birding Classic (GTBC), which for the last 16 years has occurred solely on the Gulf Coast, has been expanded to include the entire state of Texas! Get ready to make birding history, because in 2013 you will be participating in the first statewide Birding Classic in Texas. Just think of all the different species that will be counted, when nine different regions join the fun!
In 2011, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory began a long-term project studying the western Gulf Coast population of American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus palliates). This species has been designated as a species of high concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is also a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department priority species. The threats to this species are many. They live in a very restricted area, the coastal zone, which is under intensive pressure from human interests including development, industry, and recreation. They have a low overall population size, about 11,000 individuals in the USA, and they have low reproductive success with delayed breeding. Adult oystercatchers do not begin to breed until they are at least 3 years of age.