How Birds Prepare For Migration

Twice each year, about 4 billion birds in North America make what can only be described as a series of continuous ultramarathons — flying unbelievably taxing journeys north and south between the Americas, sometimes flying for days at a time over open water, without eating, sleeping, or touching down. Making these migratory journeys is so […]

Hummingbirds and Extreme Body Temperatures

  Everything we learn about hummingbirds seems extreme. And here’s the latest news: Scientists at Cornell discovered that hummingbirds are able to exert fairly precise control over the energy they produce in the way of body heat during torpor- a state which is not sleeping and not hibernation, but a kind of brief overnight energy […]

The Epic Migration of Hudsonian Godwits

Words can’t adequately describe the life and experience of Hudsonian Godwits. Until recently, the lives of this large, graceful shorebird were a mystery. But what scientists are now discovering about these birds and their future is both awe-inspiring and alarming.   Hudsonian Godwits are one of 70 species of birds that twice-yearly fly a dangerous, harrowing, […]

Why We Didn’t Know Female Birds Sing

When you started learning to identify birds, which plumage and songs did you learn? Most likely it was males. In some respects, it makes sense as males defend territories with their vibrant songs and their breeding plumage is usually more unique and flashier than female plumage for a reason – females need to be inconspicuous […]

Migration Marathons

  Migration is the most dangerous time of a bird’s life. Not all birds migrate, but those who do often face daunting flights and disruptions along their routes. Nothing is certain. And the longer the flight, the more arduous and event-filled it can be. This article by Birdlife International tells the stories of seven birds whose journeys test their […]

BirdNote: Scott Weidensaul – The Future of Migration

Writer and researcher Scott Weidensaul is an expert on migration. In his new book, A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds, he gets into their amazing feats of migration and the new technologies giving us insights into how they make their global journeys. Scott also explores the threats facing migratory birds […]

Godwits Are Crushing It!

Shorebirds embody the word “superlative” in almost every way. As a species, they make some of the toughest and longest distance migrations in the world. And now, a new official record for marathon non-stop flight has been set by a satellite tagged Bar-tailed Godwit who recently made a 12,000+ km (7,500 miles) migration with a small flock […]

Draw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird with David Sibley

You don’t need to go outside to get to know birds: Try drawing them instead. David Sibley, the ornithologist who wrote and illustrated The Sibley Guide to Birds, created a video for Audubon  that shows how to sketch a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Get out a piece of paper and a pencil or crayon and try it yourself!       Check out […]

What’s Cool About Raptors

What’s Cool About Raptors Birds of prey, or “raptors” are a group of birds including hawks, eagles, vultures, falcons, and owls. They share two key characteristics: all have hooked beaks for tearing flesh, and sharp talons for grasping prey. These birds are an important part of maintaining a healthy ecosystem by feeding on insects, rodents, […]