Cornell great blue herons in 2014


This video from the USA says about itself:

Cornell Herons Highlights 2014

3 October 2014

‘Dad’ Great Blue Heron with his missing toe has been nesting on Sapsucker Woods Pond raising a family each year since 2009. Unfortunately, the nest was blown down during high winds in 2014. That did not stop ‘Dad’ from visiting the pond regularly and continuing to claim it as his own. We also believe he may have raised a family successfully nearby as he was seen with juvenile herons over the summer. Fingers crossed that he decides to return next year to construct a new nest.

United States herring gulls studied


This video is about Appledore Island in Maine, USA.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Life In A Gull Colony

by Taylor Heaton Crisologo, Cornell University, ’16

My first time in a gull colony was a riot of vocalizing birds and flashes of white wings. However, once the gulls settle, the finer details come into focus. By sound, the chorus of yeow calls and the occasional long call echoing through the colony. By sight, the great expanse of densely-packed nests dotting the nooks and crannies of the rocky terrain. By atmosphere, the sensation when a good breeze blows through and dozens of gulls lift off and hover lightly in the sky.

This scene was not always so lively. In 1900, only about 8,000 Herring Gull pairs were left in the United States due to feather collecting for ladies’ hats and egg collecting by hobbyists. Today, with federal protections in place for all native birds, there are at least 90,000 to 100,000 breeding pairs along the East Coast. The Herring Gulls that I study nest on Appledore Island, a small island off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. There, the colonies offer opportunities for students at the island’s field station, Shoals Marine Lab, to gain experience in field research through summer-long monitoring projects.

Typical Herring Gull nest monitoring is similar to the work enjoyed by other NestWatchers, with some added twists. Information is meticulously collected on nest context, nesting density (the distances between the nearest neighboring nests), and egg sizes. Herring Gull eggs average about 90 grams, or about 50 times the size of a Tree Swallow egg! Once the nesting profile is completed, each nest is monitored from incubation to fledging.

This summer, with the guidance of Dr. David Bonter of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I investigated the connections among nesting success, shelter availability, and nest defense behavior. To test the importance of nest shelter on reproductive success, I placed artificial chick shelters at sites with little natural cover from predators and the elements. By linking the results of my experiments to the nest success data, I hope to gain further insight into the factors which may be limiting the survival of chicks in this system.

While I’m still analyzing my field data from the summer, one thing is certain: this breeding colony of Herring Gulls provided my first experience in ecology. My weeks spent nest monitoring and collecting data have offered me insight on staying positive, thinking critically and creatively, and rolling with the dive-bombing birds. I’m so grateful to the gulls for providing me with these data to ponder and for helping me start my career as an ornithologist. So thank you, gulls, for being the first birds to take me under your wings.

Interested in watching gull nests for NestWatch? Check out Taylor’s tips for successful gull nest monitoring.

Owl news update


This is a video from California in the USA about baby western screech owls in a wildlife hospital.

From the Cornell Lab or Ornithology in the USA:

New owl resources!

Have you ever heard something go screech in the night, and wondered what it was? There’s a good chance it was an owl! Not all owls hoot; some shriek, bark, and wail!

For a limited time, you can download free owl sounds from the Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library. They’re owl yours to do with what you like…use them as your phone’s ringtone, or add them to your Halloween party playlist! Just get them before they disappear into the night.

Can’t get enough owls? Find out which owls in your area you can attract with a nesting box or platform. Enter your region and habitat into our Right Bird, Right House tool, and get free nest box plans and placement tips.

And if you’re wondering why so many Halloween decorations feature owls, consider this: owls are symbols of death in many cultures. Read our Citizen Science Blog post, Myths of the Ghost Bird, to find out how these helpful birds crept into Halloween folklore.

Many wildlife sounds on the Internet


This video from the USA is called Wood Thrush singing song close-up. The wood thrush is one of the over 9,000 animal species with sound recordings at the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds from the USA, which is on the Internet.

From Wired.com in the USA:

Nature Zen: Audio Library of Nature

By Gwen Pearson

10.06.14

Stuck at your desk? Need a soundtrack to mellow out on a Monday? I have just what you need! This hour-long recording of a dawn chorus in the mountains of Costa Rica is lovely to listen to, especially as winter edges closer here in the Northern Hemisphere. You might also like an interlude in a very different sounding forest in Queensland, Australia.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a massive digital repository of cool stuff, and a big piece of it is the Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds‘s audio and video recordings of wildlife all over the world. Since 1920 scientists at Cornell have been recording wildlife, at first mostly birds, and then branching out to other animals.

In early 2013, they migrated over 150,000 digital recordings online, dating from 1929 to the present. It’s over 10 terabytes of data, representing more than 9,000 species. This museum has thrown open the doors and invites you into rummage around their collection. Beware, though–this library of natural recordings is huge and addictive.

Birds, 100 years after extinction of passenger pigeons


100 years after extinction of passenger pigeons

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

August 30, 2014

Look for an important story about bird conservation in this weekend’s New York Times Sunday Review. In his op-ed marking 100 years since the passing of Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon on earth, Cornell Lab of Ornithology director John Fitzpatrick imagines Martha asking, “Have you learned anything from my passing?”

Dr. Fitzpatrick’s answer: yes we have, but we need to do much more. Read about citizen-science efforts, such as eBird, that help scientists track how birds are faring and correct course before species become imperiled. Learn about the 2014 State of the Birds Report, to be released in Washington, DC, on September 9 by the Cornell Lab and partners. Based on citizen-science data, the report highlights which species are rebounding where conservation efforts are working, and which species urgently need our help.

Thank you for your passion for birds and conservation. Your involvement and support are helping to fuel an entirely new conservation movement–one in which thousands of bird watchers, scientists, and concerned citizens are taking action together to help prevent more species from sliding toward extinction.

Please share John Fitzpatrick’s op-ed with your friends, family, and fellow bird lovers to help raise awareness about the plight of birds and how your support of the Cornell Lab is shaping a better future for birds and wildlife.

Sincerely,


Miyoko Chu
Senior director of Communications
Cornell Lab of Ornithology

See also here.

Mural about bird evolution and diversity, you can help


This video from the USA says about itself:

From So Simple a Beginning: Celebrating the Evolution and Diversity of Birds

13 August 2014

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and fine artist Jane Kim of Ink Dwell Studio are collaborating to create a mural that depicts the evolution and diversity of birds. Jane will paint the history of birds spanning over 375 million years, featuring one representative bird from every bird family in the world, including several extinct species. You can contribute to this exciting new project here.

Internet game about hummingbirds


This video is called Full Documentary – Incredible Nature: Hummingbirds – Magic in the Air.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

New Citizen Science Blog Takes Flight

The citizen science program at the Cornell Lab invites you to be the first to preview a new kind of blog. Our new Citizen Science Blog is a blog inspired by the contributions and passions of citizen scientists—like you!

In its inaugural month, Citizen Science Blog will start with a look at everyone’s favorite winged jewels, hummingbirds! Can you match the speed of a hummingbird’s wings with your fingers? Find out in the interactive game, Beat the Beats. Plus, see how much liquid you’d have to consume to eat like a hummingbird. Check in often as new posts are added weekly.