Audublog

Entries from April 30th, 2012

Northern Harrier on the wing

April 30th, 2012 · Comments Off · Audubon California, Bird Habitat, Bird videos, Birding, Landowner Stewardship, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration, Video, Working lands conservation

Another of the great raptors in California (as well as North America and beyond, for that matter) is the Northern Harrier. Unlike a lot of the raptors we see riding high on the thermals, the Northern Harrier swoops down low over the upland grasses and marshes where it finds food, cover, and nesting. The Northern […]

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Bullock’s Orioles — big time

April 30th, 2012 · 1 Comment · Birding, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

Almost exactly a month ago, we trumpeted the early arrival Bullock’s Orioles to California as part of spring migration. Well, now they’re here en masse. This colorful bird started leaving its winter grounds in southern Mexico in early March and started hitting California soon afterward. Now, we’re getting sightings of them throughout the state. People are […]

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The Wanderer

April 30th, 2012 · Comments Off · Birding, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

With a name that sounds like something out of the original Batman TV series, the Wandering Tattler might be something of a disappointment for those that happen upon this unspectacular looking shorebird. But, alas, this bird has intrigued researchers for decades. Wintering along the west coasts of Northern America, Central America, and South America — […]

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Can birds be harassed?

April 30th, 2012 · 4 Comments · Bird conservation, Federal Policy, Pacific Migration, spring migration

A lawsuit filed in Iowa City, Iowa is bringing into question the constutionality of the Airborne Hunting Act. The Airborne Hunting Act prohibits and provides a penalty to any person who “while airborne in an aircraft shoots or attempts to shoot for the purpose of capturing or killing any bird, fish, or other animal; or uses an aircraft […]

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Rough and tough migrators

April 30th, 2012 · 1 Comment · Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

A familiar summer presence in many American backyards is the Northern Rough-winged Swallow. This common little brown bird is being reported in high numbers all over California, having migrated back from its winter home. These sightings were entered into eBird December 2011- February 2012. The bird received its name because of its serrated wings. Research […]

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Into the water like a dart

April 28th, 2012 · 3 Comments · Birding, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

The sight of an Osprey hitting the water is genuinely breathtaking. A huge bird, perhaps even awkward in some circumstances, it turns into a perfect aerodynamic dart the moment before it strikes the water to grab a fish. And why shouldn’t it be such a good fisherman? It is, after all, the only bird on […]

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Welcome, Mr. Lawrence

April 28th, 2012 · Comments Off · Birding, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

Another of the great birds of spring in California is the Lawrence’s Goldfinch. Although there is a small population of year-round birds in southern California, most of them spend the winter in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico and then come up into California in March and April. We’ve been enjoying them for some time in […]

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A rushing around a chimney

April 27th, 2012 · Comments Off · Audubon Center at Debs Park, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

Starting to see large numbers of Vaux’s Swifts around the state. Here’s how they looked at the end of Marc, but look at them now. It should be noted that the spring migration doesn’t result in some of the terrific concentrations of birds that we see roosting spectacularly in chimneys (see video below). But we […]

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Kind of Blue: Blue Grosbeak arriving in California

April 27th, 2012 · 1 Comment · Birding, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

So, we’ve talked about the bluebirds and the dazzling Indigo Bunting, so now it’s time to talk about another bluish bird, the Blue Grosbeak. The Blue Grosbeak is a wonderful species that winters way down in the Mexico and Central America, and visits the southern United States every spring to breed. Here in California, it […]

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Golden Eagle on the move

April 27th, 2012 · Comments Off · Audubon Chapters, Birding, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

Let’s just go ahead and say that the Golden Eagle is one of the world’s greatest birds. It’s an amazingly adaptable species, occurring widely throughout the Northern Hemisphere, relying on both arctic and desert habitats. In North America, it is primarily seen in the West, and in California we have both year-round residents and birds […]

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Counting birds at Owens Lake

April 27th, 2012 · Comments Off · Audubon California, Audubon Chapters, Bird conservation, Bird Habitat, Birding, Important Bird Areas, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

Audubon California joined folks from Eastern Sierra Audubon and lots of enthusiastic volunteers for the Owens Lake Big Day earlier this week. We were counting shorebirds at the lake, compiling invaluable data which will help us secure lasting protections for this Important Bird Area. Audubon California and Eastern Sierra Audubon are working with the Los […]

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Birding is cool/hip/happening/rad/sick/groovy or whatever the kids are saying these days

April 26th, 2012 · Comments Off · Birding, Nature education and activities

We sort of feel like saying “I told you so” but this press release from The Outdoor Foundation say’s it much more eloquently: The research (from The Outdoor Foundation) shows increases in youth and young adult participation – continuing an encouraging, yet modest, trend over the last few years. The study found that outdoor participation […]

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John James Audubon’s birthday calls to mind his namesake warbler

April 26th, 2012 · Comments Off · Birding, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

So, in honor of John James Audubon’s 227th birthday, we thought it would be fun to shine the spotlight on the spring migration of his namesake bird, the Audubon’s Warbler. Turns out it’s not quite as easy as all that. For starters, some time ago, the western Audubon’s Warbler was “combined” with the eastern Myrtle […]

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Swainson’s Hawk’s annual ruling of our Central Valley looking better by the day

April 25th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Birding, Pacific Flyway, Pacific Migration, spring migration

You can talk to some California bird enthusiasts about warblers and shorebirds and swallows in spring migration, but all they really want to hear about are Swainson’s Hawks. And, really, it’s pretty understandable. The Swainson’s is pretty awesome and its migration is unique. It comes all the way from Argentina to breed in habitat throughout […]

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Birds make like Richard Hatch and form alliances

April 25th, 2012 · Comments Off · Uncategorized

A study from Oxford University in England provides proof that birds form alliances not unlike those of Survivor contestants. Researchers studied Great Tits and observed that the birds will band together to protect their nests. This anti-predator behavior is call “mobbing” and will only occur if the Great Tits have had neighboring nests for a […]

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