Feeding North American birds in winter


This video from Indiana in the USA says about itself:

Winter Birds’ Feeding Frenzy

5 January 2013

My pagoda sunflower seed bird feeder served as the perfect feeding station, making this feeding frenzy a birdwatchers’ delight. Watch as Bluejays, Northern Cardinals, Chickadees, House Finches, Goldfinches, Tufted Titmice, Nuthatches, and House Sparrows all dart in to feed and take a spin on the pagoda feeder, while Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers dine on the nearby suet. Listen as the Pileated Woodpecker comes in close to scold from a nearby tree, but stays out of camera’s view. Notice, as the days get longer, the Goldfinches are already starting to get some yellow back.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Make Your Yard Songbird Central With These Easy Dos and Don’ts

There’s no better time than winter to diversify your feeder setup and bring some lively color to your surroundings. The right combination of feeders and foliage can turn your yard into the songbird version of Grand Central Station. We’ve got all your bases covered—feeder safety, all sorts of alternative foods, natural shelters, and more—over on our Citizen Science blog. Check out our tips.

Make a Pretty Feeder From a Pine Cone: All you need are cones, some bird seed, and a little suet. Here’s our recipe.

Prothonotary warbler wins mural painting contest


This video is called Prothonotary Warbler Portrait.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

The Prothonotary Warbler was voted as the winning warbler to be featured in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s centennial mural.

This Thanksgiving, all the world’s Prothonotary Warblers are settling in for a meal of caterpillars and flies in their winter homes in the mangrove forests of Central America and the Caribbean. They’ll return to the swamps and wetlands of eastern North America around April. …

Our featured bird for this year’s Thanksgiving eCard is the Prothonotary Warbler, the winning warbler in more than 32,000 rounds of voting on our website last week. As a result, artist Jane Kim will feature the Prothonotary Warbler in the mural she is painting at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to celebrate the diversity of birds for the Lab’s centennial in 2015.

Which North American warbler should artist paint?


This video from the USA says about itself:

Bird Watching: Spring Warblers in Central Park, New York City

During their spring migration many beautiful birds pass through Central Park. Shown are just 18 of the colorful migrating Warblers with their stunning plumage: Palm, Prairie, Yellow, Worm-eating, Magnolia, a graceful American Redstart, Hooded, Black-throated Blue, Northern Parula, Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, Ovenbird, Black-and-white, a Northern Waterthrush singing and foraging, Canada, Common Yellowthroat, a Yellow-rumped bathing and a Black-throated Green Warbler preening and drying off after a bath. Filmed April 12 – May 26, 2014 in Central Park, New York City.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Dear Friend of the Cornell Lab,

As the Cornell Lab of Ornithology heads into its centennial year, artist Jane Kim has begun painting an epic mural of birds, celebrating 375 million years of avian evolution and diversity around the world.

By the time Jane finishes a year from now, the mural, “From So Simple a Beginning,” will trace the diversity of birds through the ages, featuring life-size portraits of species from all 231 extant bird families. We need your help, though, to decide on one more species to join this ambitious mural: Which warbler should Jane paint to represent this brightly colored songbird family?

Warblers are one of the main attractions of spring birding in North America—they’re brilliant little jewels that come in a great variety—so we’ve created a fun and easy way for you to cast votes on which warbler best suits our beautiful bird mural.

The winning warbler will be one of the mural’s 250-plus portraits reminding us every day of the diversity of the world’s birds and the need to protect them today and in the century ahead.

Pick Our Warbler

We’ll announce the winning warbler in our Thanksgiving eCard.

How to watch birds with binoculars


This video from the USA says about itself:

How to get crystal clear focus with your binoculars

5 November 2014

Inside Birding host Jessie Barry describes how to set up binoculars for a better birding experience. Includes adjusting the eyecups and diopter as well as how to spot and scan for birds.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA adds:

Migrants are migrating, days are cooling down, and winter birds are getting ready to flock around your feeders. Now’s the time to make sure your binoculars are giving you the best possible view. For some fast tips on setting up your binoculars (including the mysterious “diopter”), and how to find and focus on birds, watch this video.

More Ways to Get the Most From Binoculars:

From motmots to tomtits: discover the world’s best birdwatching: here.

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.