In The News: 3 Billion Birds Lost

Last week, a group of conservation organizations led by Cornell Lab of Red-winged Blackbird Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Ornithology released a stunning report of a detailed study which shows a loss of 3 billion birds in North America in 50 years.  It’s a staggering amount of birds – a net loss of 29% of the breeding […]

Fall Warbler Identification

Yellow-rumped Warbler Photo Credit:Deborah Rivel What is THAT bird?  This is the annual cry of frustration from many a birder during fall migration, when spring’s flashiest male birds are sporting more muted attire. These birds have had a very busy spring and summer finding a mate, defending their territory and raising chicks – all of which requires […]

Migration Maps in Real Time

BirdCast Live Migration Map/ Cornell Lab of Ornithology We can’t tear ourselves away from these amazing real time migration radar maps from Cornell’s BirdCast showing where birds are migrating at night, the intensities of the migration and what direction.  If you want to track where most of the nocturnal migration is taking place, or want to have a reasonable chance […]

Best Spots To See Warbler Migration

Canada Warbler Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel When warblers make their way north from Central America in spring, they follow time-honored migratory pathways. Their timing and location depends on a variety of factors including weather, geography and food supply. But arrive they will each spring. And if you want to set yourself up for the best views of […]

Birding Israel: Peak Migration

Pied Kingfisher, Eilat, Israel Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel If you find it difficult to tear yourself away from spring migrationwhere you live, you are not alone. But experiencing migration in another part of the world can be an amazing experience. If you are serious about birding, Israel is one of those places that should not be missed. […]

IN THE NEWS: Wisdom the Albatross Lays Another Egg!

  Wisdom and her mate/Photo Credit: USFWS Wisdom, a Laysan Albatross, banded as an adult over 60 yearsago in 1956, is known to be at least 68 years old, making her the oldest known living bird. But what is even more remarkable is that Wisdom is still successfully laying eggs and hatching chicks – and at a rate that […]

How Many Birds Are on Fall Migration?

How Many Birds Are on Fall Migration? Do you ever wonder how many birds are on the move during fall Tree Swallows Migrating Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel migration?  We did and found Cornell Lab of Ornithology answered this question in their first report on numbers of birds migrating over the US from data gleaned from radar […]

Best Spots to Photograph Migrating Hawks

Peregrine Falcon Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Most of the best hawk watching sites in North America are fairly well known – Cape May NJ, Hawk Ridge in Duluth, Hawk Mountain PA and River of Raptors in Veracruz, for example. But if you are a photographer wanting excellent shots of migrating hawks, you may be disappointed […]

The Year of the Bird in September – Solutions to Birds and Glass

Photo Credit: Sarah Sharpe/FLAP Fatal Light Awareness Project We all know the sound of the thud on our window. Then the sinking feeling as we rush to see if the bird is down and needs help or is dead.  FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Project) has some good advice about what to do to help the bird […]

In the News: Pesticide That Makes Birds Lose Their Way on Migration

  Indigo Bunting Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel Its important to be gardening with organic fertilizers and pesticides, and to keep chemicals out of your bird-friendly backyard. If you find this difficult to do, be aware that some pesticides contain neonicotinoids – a type of neuro active synthetic insecticide chemically similar to nicotine – which affects much […]

Migration Explained

Migration Explained Twice each year, more than 5000 species of birds migrate.  Peregrine Falcon Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel   This represents about half the world’s species of birds (not including subspecies).  Migration is something billions of birds undertake worldwide, and their journey takes them through and over all types of habitats, altitudes and terrains including some inhospitable […]

Year of the Bird — In April, Birds Need Your Help

The Year of the Bird in April – Birds Need Your Help 2018 is the Year of the Bird, and in April, birds really need your help!  The Year of the Bird celebrates the 100th anniversary of signing into law the Migratory Bird Treaty Act which has protected billions of birds on migration – from Peregrine Falcons to Magnolia Warblers, […]

Project Snowstorm – Snowy Owls in Motion

Project Snowstorm – Snowy Owls in Motion   Snowy Owl Photo Credit: Stan Tekeila Snowy Owls are true denizens of the far north, and are only occasionally found south of the Canadian border — even in winter. These beautiful pure white owls are widely admired for their beauty, but not well understood. Project Snowstorm is changing […]

Why Do Birds Flock in Fall?

Why Do Birds Flock in Fall?  At the end of the summer, you may start to see large flocks of birds.  Swallows, blackbirds, cowbirds, sparrows amass — sometimes in large flocks that seem to come out of nowhere and then just as mysteriously, disappear.  But why is this?  And why don’t we see it at […]

Making That First Migration

Making That First Migration  Young birds are leaving the nest, and many of them are getting ready for their first trip south. Migration is a hard and risky business for any bird, but the first marathon voyage for many species of birds takes place shortly after they have fledged. How do they do it? Songbirds […]

Fallout

Fallout! Migration is a tough time for birds. Some studies have shown that it is the hardest part of the yearly life cycle for migrants, causing the most mortality. Neotropical migrating birds winter in Central and South America, then migrate to North America for the breeding season. Migration continues throughout the spring season, but if you […]

Do Owls Migrate?

Great gray owl Most owls don’t migrate like songbirds.  But during some winters, owls are forced south of their range, looking for food.  When they go en masse to more southerly places, this is called an “irruption”.  It’s not really migration as it isn’t an annual event. But for owls, who tend to not move […]

Summer Migration

Hey wait a minute!  Doesn’t migration take place in spring and fall?  Well, yes…and no.  Migration actually takes place year round as there are birds on the move to and from their breeding grounds at all times of year.  Just like all birds don’t nest at the same time, not all birds migrate at the […]

Bird Superhighways

Think only humans use highways? Not so! Animals also have paths on land, in the ocean and in the air that they follow year after year. Not unlike our daily commutes, during migration birds use known routes. In  North America, for example, there are 4 main migratory superhighways generally followed by birds: Atlantic, Mississippi, Central […]

Waves of Warblers Migrating

Spring Warbler migration is primarily April and May. These small, beautiful, often yellow, birds are insectivores – Orange-crowned warbler they eat insects — so don’t check your bird feeders for them. To see warblers you should bring along binoculars. You also need to go where the food is and be there when they are feeding.  […]