The War in Ukraine and Its Animals

There is a torrent of headlines about the terrible toll on civilians, and the vast destruction of cities and villages in Ukraine from the war. The environmental impact of war can also be huge – already ⅓ of Ukraine’s protected areas including The Black Sea Biosphere Reserve which hosts over 100,000 birds plus a variety of […]

Snowy Owls in the Most Interesting Places

  In winter, Snowy Owls often travel far south of their Arctic tundra homes and can be found in the oddest places. This year, there were a few very public appearances of Snowy Owls – including in NYC’s Central Park and at Union Station in Washington DC. Both appearances made national headlines as residents and visitors alike […]

Want More Birds? Let Them Control Insects

  To keep your garden and yard safe for birds and provide the food they need, don’t use pesticides! A healthy garden is an ecosystem that is host to a lot of different insects from butterflies and caterpillars to spiders, aphids, and even mosquitos. All these insects are food that birds need and they make […]

Songs of Disappearance

    This holiday season a special and unusual album topped the charts in Australia. Surprisingly, it had no musical tracks – just bird calls. But not just any bird calls. BirdLife Australia put together recordings of 53 of the rarest birds in Australia offering a unique immersion into the highly unusual and often surprising sounds […]

Sign Up For the Christmas Bird Count!

Don’t miss being part of the 122nd Christmas Bird Count starting December 14! One hundred twenty-two years ago, Frank Chapman and 26 other conservationists decided that instead of an annual Christmas bird hunt, it was time to start counting birds. Now the conservation tradition has grown into a bird count across North America and in […]

Is Your Home Bird-Safe?

  Every year, in North America alone, up to 1 billion birds are killed by flying into glass windows – both year-round resident birds, as well as those on migration, are affected. This is a huge number of birds that are being unnecessarily killed, as there are many ways to avoid these collisions. Our homes, […]

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 […]

Getting Your Garden Ready For Winter

  It’s fall – what should you be doing with your garden? If you want your native plants and shrubs to thrive next spring and your garden to be a wildlife haven all winter, here are a few things to do now: 1 – Don’t clean up your yard! Clipping back the underbrush removes valuable hiding habitat […]

BirdNote: How Can We Protect Birds From Plastic?

Plastics are everywhere – on our beaches, in the water, large pieces, microplastics — you name it. There is so much plastic waste that it is having a serious negative effect on wildlife both in the ocean and on its shores. Birds are very susceptible to plastic problems through entanglement or ingestion. In this 30 minute fascinating […]

BirdNote: Song Sparrows In Your Brush Pile

For me, it’s officially spring when Song Sparrows start singing! Song Sparrows are found throughout the United States and into Southern Canada. To bring them into your garden, plant thick, low vegetation, or create a brush pile. This sparrow is celebrated – and named – for its singing. Without its melodious song, this furtive bird could be […]

A Hummer Of a Backyard

One of the more spectacular of our migratory birds in the Americas, hummingbirds are found exclusively in the New World, making this a truly American bird. While most of the over 300 species of hummingbirds are found in Central and South America, around a dozen species of these tiny gems searching for food and shelter grace […]

It’s a Wonderful Life: Wisdom Albatross at 70

Have a birthday looming? Perhaps you just celebrated one and started feeling a little out of it? Not to make comparisons, but the world’s oldest known bird just turned 70 (well, at least 70)….and she has laid an egg and is about to become a mom yet again. To us, albatross are extreme – they spend a couple […]

Invite Tree Swallows to Nest in Your Yard

Tree Swallows are stunning iridescent-blue, fast-flying insectivores with bright white underparts. They are a delight to have around with their happy liquid calls resonating as they fly, and it’s a joy to watch them whisk through the air hawking for insects. In fall they migrate in enormous flocks numbering in the thousands. Even with gatherings like these, […]

What We’re Reading Now: The Bird Friendly City

Our cities and backyards need to be transformed to integrate nature and not be detrimental to it. Tim Beatley is a professor of architecture and an urban planner, who firmly believes that urban (and even suburban) areas, when designed correctly can restore habitat and have a positive effect on birds and nature in general. His […]

Backyard Birds: A Home for Phoebe

Eastern Phoebes are welcome guests in any location. These dark brown and white flycatchers are great to have around for insect control and their “phee-bee” call is often an early harbinger of spring. From Maine through Kentucky, this active bird is in decline, so providing a nesting box would be a helpful addition to your backyard. Their nesting […]

Snowy Owls – All-Teched Out

Owls, in general, are mysterious and beautiful birds, but no one owl species attracts quite as much fascination as Snowy Owls. Known for the male’s stunning pure white plumage, these gorgeous owls are normally found in the far north where they nest on the ground on treeless tundra. Despite their occasional appearance in the lower 48 […]

Keeping Birds Safe From Glass

Every year, in North America alone nearly 1 billion birds needlessly lose their lives by flying into windows they cannot see. During migration, the incidences increase as fast-moving birds intent on reaching their destination will see on the glass panes the reflections of the trees behind them. In an attempt to either fly through to reach […]

Be Prepared: How to Help Birds After a Fire

Devastating fires in North America and around the world have left surviving wildlife homeless and often without what they need to survive. If you live in an area where fires have taken their toll, you can help wildlife in a number of ways. Last January, amid the brushfires in Australia, we published the following article with […]

Shorebirds, the World’s Greatest Travelers, Face Extinction

What’s going on with shorebirds? These exquisitely evolved champions of extreme migration are facing shocking obstacles in their day to day lives. So much so that even shorebirds like Red Knots, which can fly over open water for 8 days – no sleeping, no eating, just flying non-stop – may not be able to survive some […]

3 Billion Birds Gone – What Can I Do To Help?

If you are asking this question after reading about the study showing 3 billion birds are gone since 1970,  you White-throated Sparrow Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel are not alone as the enormity of the numbers of birds lost is difficult to comprehend.  Some of the hardest hit birds are ones we see most often  – White-throated Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Eastern and Western […]

Helping Birds: Create Habitat For Them

Mature Native Plant Meadows in a Small Yard Having safe and undisturbed habitat is critical to keeping our birds and planet healthy.  Research published last year by Cornell Lab of Ornithology showing 3 Billion Birds have been lost and the enormous impact this has had on bird populations over the past few decades cited habitat loss as the […]

New Nestcams and Updates!

California Condor Chick – courtesy Ventana Wildlilfe Society This has been a busy month — some birds we have been following have fledged, others are still in the nest about to burst out on their own.  NEW this month is a great view of a California Condor nest in Big Sur, which is home to an active and fluffy chick […]

Stuff To Do With Kids: Make a Nesting Shelter for Robins

Stuff To Do With Kids: Make a Nesting Shelter for Robins American Robin on Nest Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel American Robins are wonderful birds to have in your yard. I can’t recall a time I didn’t have robins around, and even in the city where I live, there are robins in the garden behind my […]

Helping Birds: Plant Native Trees

Baltimore Oriole Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel What better way to be outside, productive, socially distanced and helping birds than gardening!  Spring is here whether or not we are sheltering inside, and now is a great opportunity to make progress on your native plant garden. Being in nature benefits all of us, and  when we are limited in what […]

HOW TO HELP BIRDS: Create a Pollinator Habitat or B&B Highway

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Did you know that over 75% of all plants require pollination?  And 30-40% of the food we eat is brought to us courtesy of pollinators? Bees, other insects, bats and birds provide this service for free.  And it’s estimated the service they provide is worth over $200 billion. All pollinating […]

Helping Birds: What To Do After a Fire

Helping Birds:  What To Do After a Fire Kookaburra After Fire Photo Credit: Adam Stevenson/Reuters The dramatic images in the news of rampant bushfires in Australia are heartbreaking.  Firefighters from Australia and around the world are working overtime to quench the flames in an attempt to save peoples homes and lives, and caringly rescue injured wildlife […]

HELPING BIRDS: New York City Passes Bird Safe Glass Building Law

NYC Glass Buildings Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Just this month, New York City passed a bill which mandates bird-safe windows on all new construction as well as during major building retrofits in the city.  This is incredibly important because up to one billion birds every year are killed by hitting glass windows. And having a bill like this in […]

Making a Nesting Site for Great Horned Owls

Great Horned Owlets Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila One of the best ways to control rodentsis the old fashioned and completely non-toxic way – reliance on the hunting skills of owls. Some owls, like Great Horned Owls, are especially effective at this during nesting season and are often found in orchards or on farm woodlots. They will nest out in the open, […]

How Choosing the Right Coffee Can Help Birds

Bananaquit Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel The choice we make for our morning coffee can have a good or adverse affect on birds. Many of the birds we see during nesting season – like warblers, tanagers and other songbirds – have now made their way south to overwinter in Latin America. There the availability of food and safe habitat in their overwintering […]

3 Billion Birds Gone – What Else Can I Do To Help?

After the release of the scientific report last month, spearheaded by White-throated Sparrow Photo Credit:  Deborah Rivel Cornell Lab of Ornithology, showing the loss of 3 billion birds in North America in less than 50 years, we were deluged with requests asking what can a normal person do to help?  The decline of birds is so precipitous that […]

3 Billion Birds Gone – What Can I Do To Help?

If you are asking this question after reading about the study showing 3 billions birds are gone since 1970,  you White-throated Sparrow Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel are not alone as the enormity of the numbers of birds lost is difficult to comprehend.  Some of the hardest hit birds are ones we see most often  – White-throated Sparrows, Red-winged […]