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Birding in the 21st Century.

News and Features

New study uses eBird to understand role of urban and agricultural areas during migration

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A new study in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography by Frank La Sorte, Morgan Tingley, and Allen Hurlbert uses eBird data to examine patterns of species richness and species composition within different land-use categories across the annual cycle in North America. The study contrasts how bird communities change from month-to-month within agricultural and urban […]

Request to report marked American White Pelicans

Birders are requested to report marked birds.

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 […]

Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz

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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 […]

Banded Smith’s Longspur Sightings Requested

Banded Smith's Longspurs in Alaska

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 […]

Texas eBird Editors Forum – Location, Location, Location!

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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 Shorebird Survey Fills Data Gaps

Wilson's Plover by Richard Gibbons.

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.

Banding Lucifer Hummingbirds in West Texas

Male Lucifer Hummingbird (banded) at the Christmas Mountains Oasis. (c) Kelly Bryan

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 […]

Texas eBird Editor’s Forum: Comments – we need Comments!

Even a bird as easy to identify as an adult male Painted Bunting may need comments in eBird for unseasonal records! Photo by John Rosford.

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.

17th Annual Great Texas Birding Classic

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!

American Oystercatchers in Texas

R8 on rocks – An adult American Oystercatcher shows off his new color bands. Photo taken by Woody Woodrow (USFWS).

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.