Category Archives: Aside

2013 BirdLife success stories

BirdLife International Logo

BirdLife International had some great conservation success stories in 2013. They are asking supporters, birders and conservation-minded fans to vote on their favorite success story of the year.

Last year was an important year for the BirdLife Partnership. Our network grew to cover nearly two thirds of the world’s countries and territories – totalling 120 organisations and growing. Together, we’ve done some amazing things towards creating a world where nature and people live in greater harmony, more equitably and sustainably.

The highlighted success stories are: Stopping the slaughter of falcons in India; Northern Bald Ibis fledge 148 chicks in the wild; Protecting 60,000 ha of Hooded Grebe habitat in Patagonia; Removing a killer power line in Sudan; Saving Panama Bay from destruction; and Helping one of the rarest birds on the planet. Wow, what a bunch of great news for birds and habitat in so many different places! It is hard to pick a ‘favorite’ story because they are all so uplifting. I voted on the successful breeding season for the Northern Bald Ibis — I think birds that are not traditionally considered to be beautiful or majestic sometimes get looked over. I was happy to give my vote to these bald beauties. 🙂

Visit BirdLife International’s website to learn about the highlights and vote on your favorite: Highlights from the world’s biggest conservation partnership. Voting ends February 14th.

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Posted in Aside, Conservation | Leave a comment

2013 Year in Rearview

A new year begins! In the final months of 2013 I fell quite behind going through my photos and posting regular blog updates. The last four months were an amazing blur and I still have things I want to share, hopefully in due time!! Arthur and I visited the Keys (twice!!), we traveled to the Bahamas on a minicruise, we saw a Snowy Owl in Florida, and more. I even got to release a Bald Eagle.

Thank you, dear readers, for following my blog. With the demise of Google Reader back in July, I lost track of a lot of my favorite blogs. I just couldn’t manage to find a substitute application I liked as much as Google’s product. I think that kind of put a damper on my motivation to keep up my own blog, unfortunately. I have since found a solution that works for me, and I started following a lot of my old favorite birding blogs once more, though a lot of my fellow bloggers are also posting less as time marches on. I’m not sure if I’ll manage to keep up this blog going forward, but I aim to try. I at least have to tell you all about the Keys, the Bahamas, the Snowy Owl, and the Bald Eagle release! And when those posts are done, maybe I’ll post a proper “year in review”. 🙂

Happy 2014 and good birding to all!

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Sweet Tooth

Sometimes birds other than hummingbirds are attracted to nectar feeders. A male Baltimore Oriole knocked my socks off the other day when I spied him on our hummingbird feeder in our back yard. As soon as he flew off I put an oriole feeder out for him but he didn’t return.

The other day I was hoping to see the Rufous Hummingbird that had been visiting Mead Gardens in Winter Park, but found this fellow instead. American Goldfinches winter in this area; soon this little migrant must be on his way. Filling up on some sweets before departure…

Sweet Tooth

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Posted in Aside, Funny | Leave a comment

Too Full To Fly

Because vultures are never sure where their next meal is coming from, they are known to gorge themselves — sometimes, so much so that they become too heavy to fly. I’ve never witnessed this myself, but a lucky tourist visiting the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center in South Africa captured some interesting footage of a vulture in trouble. The bird appears to play dead in order to avoid being attacked by a pack of wild dogs. Once the dogs move off, the vulture works to unload some of its extra weight so it can finally fly away from the dogs.


Video posted by HESCCheetahCentre

Have you ever witnessed something like this? Hat tip to K. Wolfram for sharing the video on Facebook.

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Posted in Africa, Aside, Behavior, Video | Leave a comment

Awesome adaptation against brood parasites

Nestling Superb Fairy-wrens learn unique begging calls from their mothers — before they even hatch. Researchers “conclude that wrens use a parent-specific password learned embryonically to shape call similarity with their own young and thereby detect foreign cuckoo nestlings.” In other words, the baby birds must chirp a secret password to be fed.

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Posted in Aside, Behavior, Ornithology | Leave a comment

How to Be a Better Birder

Lovitch writes in a familiar tone which makes even the most technical topics easy to follow and understand. Each chapter discusses skills that build upon previous concepts, tying everything neatly together in the end. […] I enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it to other birders who want to go further in this hobby.

Read my 4.5/5 review of Derek Lovitch’s new book here: How to Be a Better Birder.

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Posted in Aside, Books, Magnificent Frigatebird | Leave a comment

Give beach-nesting birds a chance

The Dutch branch of BirdLife International, Vogelbescherming, came up with this great animated clip that shows the stresses and dangers beach-nesting species face. The original Dutch animation was recently translated into English:

Not everyone understands the gravity of the many stresses facing birds who nest on the beach. Share this video – spreading knowledge will help our feathered friends.

If you leave near beach habitat, you may be able to help even more. There are bird stewards monitoring nests at Ft. De Soto Park in Florida, volunteers are monitoring Piping Plover nests in Michigan and Connecticut, and monitors check habitat for both sea turtle and shorebird nesting on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Search online for “nest monitoring” or “bird stewards” in your area and you may find there are volunteer projects you can join to can help birds that nest locally.

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Posted in Aside, Citizen Science, Conservation, Video | Leave a comment

BirdsEye BirdLog

While it did take me a bit longer to enter my list on the phone compared to jotting down notes in a notepad in the field, it only takes one click at the end, “submit,” to get my list onto eBird, which is my ultimate goal, anyway. This app is a huge time-saver and pretty slick besides. I can’t wait to use it again! Moar birding, yeah!

Read my 5/5 review of this new app for iPhone here: App Review: BirdsEye BirdLog.

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Posted in Aside, Magnificent Frigatebird | 2 Comments
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