It's an issue that many traveling birders wrestle with; what can we do about the carbon emissions produced when we travel for birds. Laura Kammermeier at Nature Travel Network shares a solution:
Organizers just announced how funds from the 2013 project will be spent. The COBP habitat-building project will restore portions of the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Boss Unit (on Benton-Carroll Road, just south of Rt. 2) to sedge meadow and warm-season grasses. This should restore quality habitat–a full 15 acres–for shorebirds and grassland birds.
Much has been made about the similarities between Common and Hoary Redpolls and whether they are, in fact, separate species. Nathan Pieplow at the always amazing Earbirding blog takes a look at their vocalizations:
During the course of these discussions, a couple people argued that Common and Hoary Redpolls have been shown to differ in vocalizations. To verify this claim, I set out to track down the relevant peer-reviewed literature, including a paper in Swedish, two key publications in Russian, and a book in German. It took some six months, but thanks to the help of a terrific interlibrary loan crew (and some assistance from Albert Lastukhin in Russia), I finally managed to get copies of all the sources. My dusty old fluency in Russian came in handy, as did my one year of college German. (Oh, and Google Translate.)
Ted Parker, the late great field ornithologist, died 20 years ago this month. At Cornell's new All About Birds blog, they're celebrating his legacy:
Ted was an amazing person right from the start. Even as a child, he knew he wanted to be a naturalist and spent countless hours exploring the woods and fields around his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He was an avid birder since childhood and in 1971–during his last semester of high school and first semester of college–he did a big year, tallying 627 species in a single year, smashing the existing big-year record of 598 species.
Birding puts us in out of the way places, which aren't always the safest places to be. Dick Mansfield of Vermont Birder elaborates:
Just as I returned to the boulder-strewn area, disaster struck. Somehow, I slipped a bit and landed hard on my right foot. My right leg crumpled and I took a hard fall with excruciating pain. I yelled and of course, the dog came back to see what was up — I just laid there, unable to move. After a bit, I attempted to right myself but could put no weight on my right leg. So, here we are, about a mile in, no cell coverage at all, and no one around. It was still early, only about 10 AM and I had a water bottle and some food so I figured, if worse came to worse, I could just stay there until help came.
Don Frieday at the Frieday Bird blog gets to the heart of late summer birding, shorebirds and molt.
I set out around the South Cape May Meadows, NJ this morning without my scope, because I'm lazy, mainly. And I later wished I had brought the scope, because the Nature Conservancy, which owns and operates the meadows, has the easternmost pool drawn down nicely and it was kind of full of shorebirds, mainly ones beyond reasonable identification distance with binoculars alone. I muddled through, detecting for example White-rumped Sandpiper by call from a group of peep flying by.