Bird lovers in 2013, thank you video

This video is called Science Nation – Birds, Climate Change, and Citizen Science.

A video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA which used to be on YouTube, used to say about itself:

Thank You for Inspiring a New Generation of Bird Lovers

26 dec 2013

This heartfelt footage filmed at one of our collaborative organizations in the Yucatan‘s Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve reminds us of how people all over the world come together every day to help birds and inspire the next generation of conservationists. Thank you for everything you do to share your passion and inspire more people to take an interest in birds.

Bird Photography in Yucatan: here.

New birds-of-paradise video

This video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA says about itself:

Speciation: An Illustrated Introduction

9 Sep 2013

Explore more at

There is a dizzying diversity of species on our planet. From genetic evidence we know that all of those species evolved from a single ancient ancestor. But how does one species split in to many? Through the evolutionary process of speciation — which begins when populations become isolated by changes in geography or by shifts in behavior so that they no longer interbreed. This video illustrates the speciation process in birds to help you understand the basis of earth’s biodiversity.

Including photographs and video by Tim Laman.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology writes about this:

Our Birds-of-Paradise Videos Have Been Watched for 30+ Years. Here’s 8 More Minutes

Last year we launched our Birds-of-Paradise Project website, full of fascinating natural history videos and educational activities. Since then, our videos have been watched nearly 7 million times for a collective 31 years of viewing time. We’ve just uploaded 29 more videos, including this one that tackles the question of how one species can become many over thousands of generations.

Birds of Paradise: Revealing the World’s Most Extraordinary Birds: here.

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Cornell red-tailed hawks nest update

This video from the USA says about itself:

Cornell Red-tailed hawks ‘A Sudden Shower!’ 5:45 pm

24 Apr 2013

A sudden shower brings Big Red running and she covers the nestlings, while Ezra stays to shield Big Red and help keep the rain off the nestlings! He stays with her for the entire shower which lasted about 35 minutes. Such devotion! Big Red and Ezra are the greatest!

Camera Host:

Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA now:

Cornell Hawks Visiting the Nest

Although the breeding season at the Cornell hawks nest is over for 2013, Big Red and Ezra continued to make periodic visits to the nest throughout October. Intrepid photographers are also documenting their whereabouts elsewhere around campus—check out this great image gallery courtesy of local enthusiast christinebshoals.

We also took the opportunity to make a visit to this year’s and last year’s nests to clean equipment, do a little painting, and reclaim some of the gear from the light towers (watch a fun time-lapse from the trip). A special thanks to the Cornell Facilities crew for making the trip a smooth and efficient one!

Red-tailed hawk: here.

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American kestrels, new research

This video from the USA says about itself:

Northern New York American Kestrel Nest Box Project

Adirondack Raptors started the American Kestrel nest box project in 2002. We have been managing for the American kestrel ever since. This documentary aired on WPBS-TV on 3 January 2011.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Growing Up Kestrel

Those who monitor American Kestrel nests know that these petite raptors are feisty and adaptable. But do the young kestrels that grow into handsome little falcons in your nest boxes ever return as adults? Or, do they strike out for parts unknown in some distant corner of the continent? The answers, from a new study in Idaho, may surprise you.

Since most kestrels breed in their first year after hatching, researchers did not have to wait long to see whether the kestrels were leaving home. Perhaps surprisingly, only 4% of the banded nestlings returned to nest in the study area, while the majority dispersed out of the study area. Of those that stayed put, females moved farther than males, about 6 miles (9.8 km) compared to the males’ 3.3 miles (5.3 km). Researchers think that although males are certainly capable of long-distance moves (one kestrel is known to have dispersed more than 1,200 miles!), they typically do not move as far because they need to defend territories. Females, on the other hand, are free to wander and choose the best available mate. Interestingly, juveniles whose parents were raised in the area were three times more likely to stay in the same area than those whose parents were immigrants. Two “local” sons even came back a few years later to nest in the very boxes from which they fledged.

How do American Kestrels compare to American people when it comes to leaving home? According to a 2008 Pew Research Center survey, the percentage of Americans who resided in the same town in which they were born was 37%, compared with just 4% of the studied kestrels remaining in their area of origin. The popular idea that most kestrels stay in the same “hometown” in which they were raised is more likely a reflection of our own human dispersal patterns—people are almost an order of magnitude more likely to stay!

Deciding whether to move or stay always involves tradeoffs. Kestrels leave their hometowns for some of the same reasons people do: to seek out new opportunities, to learn what’s out there, and to start a family. However, those that stay do so for reasons that we can also relate to: the climate is favorable, they know the area, and it’s a good place to raise kids. If you don’t yet have a kestrel nesting box available in your area, why not provide one in case this beautiful little falcon finds its way to your hometown?

Reference: Steenhof, K., and J. A. Heath. 2013. Local recruitment and natal dispersal distances of American kestrels. The Condor 115(3):584-592.

Young chickadees leave their nest

This video from the USA says about itself:

12 Aug 2013

Here’s 2 Black-capped Chickadees leaving the nestbox, entering the world for the first time ever!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA writes:

Caterpillar: It’s What’s for Dinner

This time of year, newly-fledged birds begin showing up at bird feeders, where their parents show them how to use this valuable resource. You might think that those chickadees who visited your feeders all summer were taking seeds back to their young, but more likely they were grabbing a quick bite for themselves before rushing off to find more insects for the kiddos.

A single pair of breeding chickadees must find 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars to rear one clutch of young, according to Doug Tallamy, a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware. Even though seeds are a nutritious winter staple, insects are best for feeding growing fledglings. Surprisingly, insects contain more protein than beef, and 96% of North American land birds feed their young with them. Although fly maggots and spiders might curl your lip, to a chickadee, these are life-saving morsels full of fat and protein.

Here, we offer some tips to help you plan your fall garden chores around birds and “beef up” your yard for next spring:

Don’t mow wild goldenrods; their seeds are edible, and they shelter insect larvae inside those hard round galls in the stems which chickadees and woodpeckers love to excavate.
Plant at least one native tree or shrub in your yard. Cooler weather is great for planting woody species.
Resist the urge to deadhead the last round of spent flowers. Let the seedheads provide food for migrating birds.
Phase out pesticides in your yard, and let the birds help with pest control.

If you’ve never seen a clutch of chickadees fledge, take two minutes to watch a video [above] captured by Nancy Castillo of two Black-capped Chickadee nestlings making their first foray into the world. Now when you see fledglings in late summer, you can really appreciate how many insects are necessary to successfully raise these youngsters. Visit us online for more information on landscaping for nesting birds.

Cedar waxwings in North America

This is a cedar waxwing video.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Species Profile: Cedar Waxwing

by Robyn Bailey

When your diet consists mostly of wild fruit, you have to stay on the move, constantly chasing that next rush of sugar and energy. You don’t get tied to one area for very long, and it helps to travel in groups…many eyes can more easily spot the fruits. Thus, the lifestyle of the Cedar Waxwing is inextricably tied to its specialized diet of fruit. Flocks of these crested, masked, berry-eating beauties are often seen descending upon a tree or shrub that is in fruit, and the ensuing feeding frenzy leaves a lasting impression on the viewer. I still remember the first time I saw a flock of waxwings; they descended upon an Eastern red cedar that was very close to the window of a restaurant where I was eating lunch with my family. We watched in awe as they ate those small blue berry-like cones with gusto. Their red-tipped wings and yellow-tipped tails were flashing everywhere as they reached, plucked, flipped, and swallowed.

It was nine years later that I found my first nest, quite by accident, tucked into a young black walnut tree at the end of my driveway. It was August 21, and there were three chicks in the nest. Because the foods they require are usually most abundant later in the summer, Cedar Waxwings are a relatively late-nesting species. Egg-laying typically begins in June and continues through August, and active nests have been found as late as October. Cedar Waxwings like to situate their nests at woodland edges, forest gaps, old fields, orchards, and young pine plantations, because the abundance of light there makes for better fruit crops. Young are primarily fed insects for their first few days of life, but then the parents gradually increase the ratio of fruits as the chicks grow. After 14-18 days, the young are ready to leave the nest. This nest fledged on August 25, right about the time that the red-osier dogwood berries were at their peak. In fact, plants are equally dependent on fruit-eating birds for the survival of the species. Waxwings are important seed dispersers, and what are berries if not the birds’ reward for carrying the seeds to a new location, far from the parent shrub?

Finding a Cedar Waxwing nest involves a bit of serendipity, but now that most other birds have finished nesting, they may stand out from the crowd. It’s not unusual for a number of pairs to nest near each other, so if you do find a nest, search the area for any neighboring waxwing nests. Typically, the nests are located out on a horizontal branch, five feet or higher from the ground. And if you’re lucky enough to find a Cedar Waxwing nest, enjoy the experience because they are less likely to return to former breeding sites than most other songbirds. These nomads must go where ripe fruits are abundant, and long before you tire of looking at them, they will be leaving for that next patch of berries.

Peruvian rainforest birds, free download


From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Free Download: Ted Parker‘s Voices of the Peruvian Rainforest

When it was first released in 1985, Ted Parker’s Voices of the Peruvian Rainforest was a revolutionary production, making the voices of numerous Amazonian birds and mammals widely available for the first time.

Ted’s high-quality and well-documented recordings were a source of knowledge and inspiration to an entire generation of recordists and field ornithologists, and set a very high standard for others to follow.

Voices of the Peruvian Rainforest also showcased Parker’s encyclopedic knowledge of South American birds. It was this incredible knowledge, combined with his intense focus, discipline, and strong sense of urgency, that allowed him to make so many important discoveries about Neotropical birds. Ted’s ornithological legacy continues to serve as an inspiration, and all those who were fortunate to have called him a friend miss him profoundly.

Corruption in Peru Aids Cutting of Rain Forest: here.

United States great blue herons fledging

This video is called Great Blue Herons, Camera host Cornell Lab, beautiful birds,they are courting,4/9/13.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Heron Fledging Has Begun

The first young heron took flight from the nest tree in Sapsucker Woods yesterday just after noon. The fledgling earned the nickname “Uno” from the hundreds of chatters who witnessed the flight on the new Heron Cam 3. Enter our contest to see if you can guess when the final heron will fledge–the winner will be announced on the Bird Cams Facebook page and will receive a 5″ x 7″ print featuring one of the nestling herons!

While you’re waiting for the last nestling to fledge, check out the growing nestlings on the two Osprey cams (Dunrovin and Hellgate). The nests are only about 10 miles apart from one another in western Montana, but the Dunrovin nestlings are about 3 weeks older and nearing fledging themselves. Both sets of parents are excellent fishers, provisioning the young with multiple fish a day, and this year is shaping up to be a banner year for the Ospreys.

We’ll continue to post updates on the Bird Cams Facebook page and on twitter at @birdcams. Your continued support helps us keep the cams streaming–please donate today and receive a complimentary limited edition Bird Cams notepad with photos of the hawks and herons as a thank you from the Cornell Lab. Thank you for watching!


Charles Eldermire
Bird Cams Project Leader

Victoria Campbell
Bird Cams Communication Specialist

Last Cornell young red-tailed hawk fledges

This video from the USA says about itself:

Last Nestling Fledges from Cornell Hawks Nest!

June 13, 2013

After carefully considering the drop for the last few days, the third nestling from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology‘s Red-tailed Hawk (nicknamed “D3″) nest opened its wings and took flight at 8:07 P.M. on June 12, 2013.

The Cornell Lab writes about this video:

On June 13, the last Red-tailed Hawk nestling (nicknamed “D3″) remaining in the nest chose the last hour of evening light to take its first flight, launching purposefully into the air and disappearing from the camera’s view (watch the highlight). It took D3 a full week longer than its nestmates to take its first flight, and kept many viewers’ hearts fluttering as it flapped around the platform in the days leading up to fledging.

American kestrels, ospreys hatching on the Internet

This video is about American kestrels at a nestbox.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Bird Cams eNews Flash: Ospreys and kestrels are hatching!

The Dunrovin Osprey pair began hatching their first egg yesterday morning! A pip has appeared in a second egg, suggesting a second egg hatching is also imminent. This is a great step forward for this pair, as last year neither of their eggs hatched and eventually the nest was abandoned. Watch the Dunrovin Ospreys. Meanwhile, the other Osprey pair at Hellgate Canyon are incubating two eggs, and we expect them to start hatching in another 2-3 weeks.

During a busy Memorial Day Weekend, an American Kestrel egg was also beginning to hatch. The first nestling emerged Monday evening into the snug confines of its nest box. A second egg hatched the following morning and the two downy white nestlings are surrounded by three more eggs, giving plenty of opportunities to see them hatch live over the next few days.

Both of these nests will be consumed with activity over the coming weeks as the adults feed their growing broods. While you’re waiting for views of the young kestrels and Ospreys, you can also check out our Red-tailed Hawk cam  as they near their first flight (expected during the first week of June), as well as the active and growing nestlings on our Great Blue Heron cam.

We’ll continue to post updates on the Bird Cams Facebook page and on twitter at @birdcams. Thank you for watching.


Charles Eldermire
Bird Cams Project Leader

Victoria Campbell
Bird Cams Communication Specialist