Tag Archive: Nature News

GBBC eNewsletter – February 2011

Something for everyone:

From: Great Backyard Bird Count <gbbc>

Date: February 8, 2011 5:13:03 PM EST

Subject: GBBC eNewsletter – February 2011

Reply-To: gbbc

If you can’t see a formatted message and photo, view the web version.

February 2011 eNewsletter
The Great Backyard Bird Count is less than two weeks away: February 18-21.

Freebie Facts about Feeder Favorites

The folks at Birds of North America Online are offering free access to accounts for five species commonly reported during the GBBC: Mourning Dove, American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, and White-throated Sparrow. These accounts have newly updated information on distinguishing characteristics, along with photos and video. To view these life history accounts simply visit BNA Online at http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/ and click on one of the photos along the right-hand side of the page for the species you would like to review. This is a chance to have a look at what BNA Online has to offer for FREE and learn the most current information available about some of our most beloved backyard birds.

Narrow Down that Sparrow

Identifying sparrows has got to be one of the biggest challenges for birders—there are so many flavors of “little brown birds” out there. For this month’s quiz, try your hand at identifying the sparrows below. Here are your choices: Savannah, Fox, Chipping, and Tree sparrow. You’ll find a couple of others as well when you head over to the answer page. Good luck!

Missed our previous newsletters and quizzes? You can access them here:

October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011 Prizes for You!

Anyone who submits a checklist for the GBBC is eligible for prizes. We’ve got another batch of great ones this year, donated by Wild Birds Unlimited, Droll Yankees, Green Mountain Digital, DK Publishing, Bird Studies Canada, the National Audubon Society, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Take a look at our GBBC prize page to see what you could win!

Let’s Get All A-Twitter

Now is the time to really ramp up your social networking to spread the word about the upcoming GBBC. People often tell us they never saw anything about the count in the commercial media–so perhaps the best way to make sure nobody misses out is to make sure everyone in your circle of family, friends, and acquaintances is aware of the dates and where they can go for more information–www.birdcount.org. The Twitter widget is on the GBBC home page, so any tweet tagged with #gbbc will show up there. And don’t forget to visit the GBBC Facebook page and become a fan! With your help we can make this yet another record-breaking year!

To Err is Human—But We’ve Got a Form for That

Now there’s an easier way to correct mistakes on checklists. When the count begins on February 18, we’ll post the cute little button you see here. Click on it and you will be taken to a short correction form, if you need it.

New Portal for Canadian GBBC

In mid-January we launched a new “doorway” to the GBBC for our participants from Canada. To find it, just go to www.birdcount.ca. It’s going to look pretty familiar, but it also contains some new content specifically for our Canadian bird watchers, contributed by Bird Studies Canada.

See you on February 18 for the start of the Great Backyard Bird Count!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit membership institution interpreting and conserving the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. Visit the Cornell Lab’s website at www.birds.cornell.edu.

Now in its second century, Audubon connects people with birds, nature and the environment that supports us all. Our national network of community-based nature centers, chapters, scientific, education, and advocacy programs engages millions of people from all walks of life in conservation action to protect and restore the natural world. www.audubon.org

Bird Studies Canada administers regional, national, and international research and monitoring programs that advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats. We are Canada’s national body for bird conservation and science, and we are a non-governmental charitable organization. www.birdscanada.org

National Audubon Society
225 Varick Street
New York, NY 10014
Call: (212) 979-3000

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Call toll-free (800) 843-2473

Bird Studies Canada
Box 160
Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0 Canada
Call: (888) 448-2473 or (519) 586-3531

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Members FYI………………

Begin forwarded message:

From: Ontario Nature <info>

Date: September 24, 2010 3:16:52 PM EDT

To: joestephenson11

Subject: Action Alert: Protect migratory corridors and important bird areas from off-shore wind power development

View as a webpage | Send to friend | Sign up | DONATE

Protect migratory corridors and important bird areas from off-shore wind power development

How you can help:

  1. Write a letter. You can use our sample below as a starting point.
  2. Support our efforts with a donation to the Endangered Species Campaign
  3. Share this Action Alert with a friend to spread the word

Related Information

The OFO (Ontario Field Ornithologists) in Port Burwell

Ontario Field Ornithologists Annual Convention

This is part of the Field Trip Schedule:

Saturday 25, September and Sunday 26 September

Port Burwell and Hawk Cliff

Explore one of Ontario’s newest rarity hotspots and a fantastic hawk-watching location.
Leaders: Ken Burrell and Brandon Holden.
Details: Meet at the Port Burwell Public Beach Parking Lot on the east side of the harbour. The morning will begin with a walk through Port Burwell Provincial Park. By late morning the tour will go to Hawk Cliff to enjoy the raptor migration until early afternoon. Pack a lunch or there will be opportunities to grab a bite in Port Burwell or Port Stanley later in the day. Trip ends by 14:00–15:00.
Site Description: Port Burwell is a small fishing port about 30 km west of Long Point originally developed for timber export in the mid-1800’s. The park has always been a great spot for migrants, and the area has produced some incredible rarities in the past couple of years including Black-throated Gray Warbler, Black-throated Sparrow, and Black-tailed Gull. The large pier offers a great resting location for gulls. Hawk Cliff is one of Ontario’s best locations to observe fall raptor migration. If the raptor migration is poor, the cliff overlooking the lake along with the access road can be great for migrating passerines. Port Stanley offers another great opportunity for gulls and shorebirds.

Check this site for more info: http://www.ofo.ca/convention/convention2010/fieldtrips.php

The Moon is Shrinking


Cornell Lab eNews: Hear the Nighthawk’s Boom

From: Cornell Lab of Ornithology <cornellbirds>

Date: August 23, 2010 5:56:49 AM EDT


Subject: Cornell Lab eNews: Hear the Nighthawk’s Boom

Click here if you’re not seeing a formatted message and photos

Cornell Lab eNews

August 23, 2010

Experience a Close Encounter with Nighthawks

Common Nighthawk by Gerrit Vyn
Common Nighthawks breed throughout most of North America, performing spectacular displays at dusk. Hear the sizzling sounds produced by a nighthawk’s wings as it dives to within a few feet of the ground. The Cornell Lab’s Greg Budney shares insights in our latest YouTube video. Watch now.

Have You Seen More Surprising Nests than These?

Sometimes birds build their nests in the most unexpected places. We received nearly 200 photos for our “Funky Nests” contest, sponsored by Kaytee. See winning photos.

Osprey nest on statue by Gene Harriman

eBird, Satellites, and Supercomputers Help Track the Movements of Birds

With millions of observations from birders, landscape data from satellites, and 100,000 hours of computing time, scientists will get a new view on the movements of birds. Read more.

Indigo Bunting by Ed Schneider

From Fossils, Evidence of the Color of Early Feathers

Impressions of pigments in a fossil have given scientists a color palette for dinosaur feathers. The bright markings may have had a role in communication through visual displays. Read more.

Illustration of flightless dinosaur Anchiornis huxleyi by Michael DiGiorgio

Oil Stops But Hard Work Begins

Thanks to support from members and donors, the Cornell Lab continues to lead monitoring efforts with eBird on land and in the ocean with marine autonomous recording units. Read about our multimedia production team’s experience on Raccoon Island, Louisiana.

Immature tern with oiled plumage. Photo by Gerrit Vyn/Cornell Lab.

Win an iPod touch and BirdsEye App!

The BirdsEye iPhone app helps you find birds by tapping into eBird along with information on 857 North American birds, plus sounds and images. Submit at least one checklist to eBird before September 6 for a chance to win an iPod touch and BirdsEye app. Learn more.

Include the Cornell Lab
in Your Estate Plans

A great way to provide for the conservation of birds is to include the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in your estate plans. Visit our website for some simple ideas that have a profound and lasting legacy for students, birds, and conservation. See more.

Cedar Waxwing by Red–Star

More to Explore

1. Enjoy Bird Photos
This month’s featured photographer is Nick Chill. See gallery.

2. Top 10 Birding-for-Science Projects
Get started with these ideas from the Cornell Lab. See top 10.

3. Learn How to Record Birds
Find tips on gear and techniques for capturing the sounds of nature. Get started.

4. Did You Know…?
Male and female chickadees look so alike that scientists rely on DNA tests to distinguish who’s who. But research shows that chickadees can see the difference using their ultraviolet vision. Read more.

5. Which Chickadee is Which?
Learn how to distinguish among different chickadee species using these tips from eBird. Read more.

6. Get Kids Involved with BirdSleuth
Did you know that the Cornell Lab offers a curriculum to engage children in science and birding? Help spread the word to teachers, afterschool programs, and parents of homeschoolers. Visit BirdSleuth online.

Your support of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology helps us solve critical problems facing birds and other wildlife by using the best science and technology–and by inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to care about and protect the planet. Please join as a member or make a donation to support our mission.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850
Questions or Comments?

Call us toll-free at (800) 843-BIRD (2473)

Privacy Policy


Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world

The experience of following the oil’s progress through the ecosystem is a kind of crash course in deep ecology. Every day we learn more about how what seems to be a terrible problem in one isolated part of the world actually radiates out in ways most of us could never have imagined. One day we learn that the oil could reach Cuba – then Europe. Next we hear that fishermen all the way up the Atlantic in Prince Edward Island, Canada, are worried because the Bluefin tuna they catch off their shores are born thousands of miles away in those oil-stained Gulf waters. And we learn, too, that for birds, the Gulf coast wetlands are the equivalent of a busy airport hub – everyone seems to have a stopover: 110 species of migratory songbirds and 75% of all migratory US waterfowl.

via Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world | From the Guardian | The Guardian.

Ticks & Lyme Disease


OVN Rondeau Outing

Hello Everyone,

This link gives you directions to the Rondeau PP from “Eatonville” which is a whistle stop just past Morpeth on Hwy #3. Copy and paste the link in your browser for a google map.

The idea is to meet at the foot of Hwy #15 (Kent Bridge Road) where it bends to head to the park entry point (see the blue line on the google map). The meeting site is where #15 intersects #17 or Rose Beach Line. Adrian will be parked there by 8:00 am to flag us down at this point (Adrian’s and Corrie’s experience is that there are some good opportunities for observations near this point before heading into the park proper).

We will continue into the park proper after this preliminary stop.

The idea is to pack your own gourmet picnic lunch for the day. We will meet up with the Woodstock Naturalist Club for lunch together at 12 noon in the picnic area near the two small churches which, I believe, are near the traffic circle at the east end of Ferguson Ave. which transects the park.

Rondeau has several trails that are excellent for walking in a day. The park is fairly level and there are boardwalks through wet areas. I recommend that we meet, after the preliminary stop discussed above, at the visitor centre which is inside the park. The interpretive centre here distributes information that can be useful. I suggest a meeting time of 9:00 am at the Park Visitor Centre as a backup.

Remember there is a park entrance fee for each vehicle.

Enjoy this great southern Ontario park!


Interesting News from Jean Iron


Interesting application for birding from an expert:


ALERT! Save Sensitive Ocean Habitat

Begin forwarded message:

From: Audubon <audubonaction>

Date: April 23, 2010 3:39:52 PM EDT


Subject: ALERT! Save Sensitive Ocean Habitat

Reply-To: Audubon <audubonaction>

Trouble reading this e-mail? View it online.

Take Action


Even as we write this alert, the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is threatening coastal beaches, birds, and coral reefs.

Submit your citizen comments on increased drilling in sensitive marine environments. Beaches and birds despoiled by oil are too high a price to pay.

This week’s catastrophic events in the Gulf Coast1highlight the dangers of oil drilling and underscore the danger to birds, wildlife, and the environment. Yet the Department of Interior recently announced plans that would promote more drilling off our coasts and in sensitive ocean habitat.

Take ActionVoice your concerns on ocean drilling! A long-term energy strategy should focus on clean, job-producing,renewable technologies, not expanded drilling in our oceans.

The Drilling Plan
In March, the Department of Interior issued a revised 2007-2012 offshore drilling plan. Disappointingly, the proposed strategy expands oil and gas development into vast new areas, such as the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and increases oil and gas exploration in frontier areas, such as the Arctic Ocean and the mid- and south- Atlantic coast.

The plan calls for increased drilling in areas throughout the Gulf of Mexico that are currently under Congressional moratorium and closed to development. The plan also will enable oil companies to buy drilling rights in two additional areas (called “lease sales”)— one 50 miles off the coast of Virginia and one in Alaska’s Cook Inlet.

Arctic Habitat Threatened
Made up of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, America’s Arctic Ocean is one of the most productive, fragile and least understood marine ecosystems in the world. Unfortunately, the new plan allows exploratory drilling to proceed in this sensitive area, which could begin as early as this summer. Currently, the technology and expertise to clean oil spills in the turbulent, icy conditions of the Arctic Ocean don’t exist. Allowing drilling before we have a baseline understanding of the complex Arctic ecosystem, or the ability to clean oil spills in the harsh Arctic environment, would threaten one of the world’s most biologically diverse and least understood ecosystems.

Take ActionSave sensitive ocean habitat from drilling! Submit your comments today.

1 “Blast Jolts Oil World,” Wall Street Journal, 4/22/10