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2014 Bird of the Year trailer

November 20th, 2014 · by Daniela Ogden

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITES NOW

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Categories: Bird videos

Forest Service Throwing Good Money After Bad in Tongass in Alaska

November 18th, 2014 · by Beth Peluso

Tongass National Forest

A new report shows the Forest Service’s Tongass National Forest budget isn’t living up the agency’s 2010 promise to transition out of old-growth logging in the nation’s largest national forest. The Tongass, in Southeast Alaska, is part of the largest swath of temperate rainforest remaining in the world. Instead of the promised transition, the Forest Service released the largest old-growth timber sale in a decade earlier this year.

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Categories: Audubon Alaska · Bird Habitat · Federal Policy

Stupid bird humor

November 14th, 2014 · by Daniela Ogden

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Categories: stupid bird humor

The eagle and the crane

November 14th, 2014 · by Brigid McCormack

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The landmark climate change agreement announced Wednesday between the United States and China represents an incredible opportunity to move the world toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and reduce some of the harsher effects that scientists have been predicting for years. Many observers believe that this agreement between the No. 1 and No. 2 greatest producers of greenhouse gas emissions will inspire other countries to make similar commitments.

When I learned of this agreement, I couldn’t help but be struck by the image of the eagle and the crane. We all know the importance of the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle as national symbols of our country. Likewise, the crane has deep significance in Chinese mythology and iconography.

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Categories: Alternative energy · Audubon California · Conservation research · Global Warming

The challenges of saving the Salton Sea

November 12th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

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Great article in the New York Times about the many challenges of saving the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea is considered by Audubon to be an Important Bird Area of Global Significance, and a major migratory stopping point for birds along the Pacific Flyway. (photo of American White Pelicans at the Salton Sea by Charles Chandler)

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird Habitat · Salton Sea · Water issues

Audubon California secures water for Pacific Flyway’s migrating birds

November 10th, 2014 · by Daniela Ogden

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Thousands of wintering migratory birds will have more water and habitat thanks to the advocacy of Audubon California and its partners. Responding to the urging of a coalition of bird and conservation groups, USDA-NRCS created the winter waterfowl initiative. This voluntary program will provide financial and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to agricultural producers who are willing to follow precise water management guidelines, developed and tested by Audubon California and Point Blue, on flooded agricultural fields. This will help prevent disease and starvation of migratory birds like Northern Pintails, Snow Geese, and Least Sandpiper who are crowding into limited wetlands in a severe drought year.

Snow Geese in flight over Sacramento Wildlife Refuge by George Lamson

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Categories: fall migration · Federal Policy · Pacific Flyway · Pacific Migration · Water issues · Working lands conservation

Cool wintering birds from the Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary

November 10th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

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We just got this update from ornithologist and educator Holly M. Garrod, reporting from the Audubon Starr Ranch Sanctuary in Orange County:

This week proved to be very exciting bird-wise. The other day I watched a Merlin fly right through the canyon! (And no, not the wizard). A Merlin is a small falcon-like bird that often spends winter down in Southern California. And speaking of wintering birds…

This week the focal bird species is the Red-breasted Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber)! They have just finished their migration and will be spending their winter here. Sapsuckers look a bit different than the familiar Acorn Woodpecker. Their head and breast is entirely red (hence the name). They have a dark back, yellow belly and are easily recognized by a white vertical stripe running up their side. I’ve been hearing their ‘waah’ call around the oaks. Be sure to keep an eye out for them near the persimmon tree, it’s one of their favorite spots to hang out. When sapsuckers aren’t munching on fruit, they make wells in the tree where sap pools and they can drink it. Interestingly, several hummingbird species have been observed following Red-breasted Sapsuckers and making use of their sap wells as a food source. (photo above of a red-breasted Sapsucker with sap wells, by Greg Gillson)

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird Habitat · Birding · Starr Ranch Sanctuary

USGS: Habitat loss and development will impact birds as much as climate change

November 8th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

Fascinating (read: scary) new study from the U.S. Geological Survey. ”Changing landscape patterns such as deforestation and urban growth are likely to have at least as large of an impact on future bird ranges as climate change for many species.”

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird conservation · Bird Habitat · Climate Change · Conservation research · Global Warming

Uncovered toxic ponds at solar plant kill dozens of birds

October 31st, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

The headline pretty much says it all.

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Categories: Alternative energy · Audubon California · Bird conservation · Bird Habitat

Barn Owl not thrilled to find an American Kestrel in its house

October 31st, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

We enjoyed this little moment that our Audubon Starr Ranch Barn Owl webcam caught the other day. One of our loyal viewers was good enough to capture it and post it to YouTube:

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Categories: Audubon California · Birding · Video · Wildlife photos and video

With global warming, why bother migrating south for the winter?

October 30th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

Interesting article noting that increasing numbers of Pacific Black Brant are choosing not to bother flying south from their breeding grounds in Alaska to warming climates during the winter:

Scientists have documented that increasing numbers of black brant are skipping that far southern migration and staying in Alaska instead. Fewer than 3,000 wintered in Alaska before 1977. In recent years, however, more than 40,000 have remained north, with as many as 50,000 staying there last year, during the most ice-free winter that Izembek had seen in more than a decade.

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird Habitat · Climate Change · fall migration · Global Warming · Pacific Flyway

Audubon chapters working to ease the drought’s effect on birds

October 29th, 2014 · by Daniela Ogden

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Audubon California is partnering with chapters to visit “at-risk” refuges to monitor waterfowl and shorebirds. This real-time data is provided to refuge managers to inform land management decisions to benefit birds. This program is the first of its kind. The Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership provided program design oversight and identified the Pacific Flyway Shorebird Survey as an already existing protocol that could be extended for drought monitoring.

Altacal Audubon, Fresno Audubon, Stanislaus Audubon, and Kern Audubon Chapters began biweekly surveys in October on Gray Lodge Wildlife Area, Los Banos Wildlife Area, Volta Wildlife Area, Grasslands Wildlife Management Area, Kern National Wildlife Refuge, and Pixley National Wildlife Refuge. The surveys sample the refuges for Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Dunlin, Dowitcher, Black-necked Stilt, and Long-billed Curlew. Chapter members also collect habitat characteristics, note the presence of water, and document evidence of diseased birds. Surveys will run through January with the potential to continue through March drawdown as capacity allows.

Stay tuned for more stories from the chapters.

Photo of Gray Lodge Wildlife Area provided by Altacal Audubon Society

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Categories: Audubon Chapters · Bird Habitat · Pacific Flyway · Water issues

Vote for birds this Election Day

October 29th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

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Vote for birds this Election Day.

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird conservation · Bird Habitat · Water issues

Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival

October 28th, 2014 · by Daniela Ogden

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Who:  Lodi 18th Annual Sandhill Crane Festival.

Where: Hutchins St. Square, 125 S. Hutchins St., Lodi 95240

Why:  Develop an appreciation and understanding of this once threatened Sandhill Crane which over winters in the Central Valley wetlands.  Enjoy Lodi, the heart of the San Joaquin Valley.

How: Register for tours: www.cranefestival.com, or call 800-581-6150.

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Categories: Birding

How birds will benefit if Prop. 1 passes

October 28th, 2014 · by Garrison Frost

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Willow Flycatcher by Kelly Colgan Azar

As the Nov. 4 election approaches, Audubon California has been listing the various benefits to California birds that will come about with the measure’s passage. We’ve talked about the birds of the Central Valley, shorebirds and seabirds, the Klamath, and other areas. Now we just want to list all the benefits to birds as we see them in the text of the measure. Let us know that you’re Voting for Birds this Election Day. Here’s the big list:

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Categories: Audubon California · Bird conservation · Bird Habitat · State Policy · Water issues