Bewick’s wren’s dustbath, video

This video says about itself:

Bewick’s Wren Takes a Dust Bath

13 July 2016

Taking a bath in the dirt might seem counterproductive, but it is actually an excellent way for birds to remove excess oils from their feathers. Dust baths can also be used to dry up ectoparasites living among the feathers, making them easier for the bird to remove.

Bewick’s wrens live in North America.

Saving birds in the Americas, video

This video from the American Bird Conservancy says about itself:

20+ Years of Results for Birds

9 August 2016

From taking on the toughest policy issues to safeguarding the rarest, ABC gets results for birds.

Yellow-rumped warblers, three species, not one?

This video from the USA says about itself:

18 July 2011

Yellow-rumped warbler (eastern, myrtle) singing in the Maine boreal forest. © 2011 Garth McElroy

But is the myrtle warbler in this video really a yellow-rumped warbler?

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA, September 2016:

Familiar Songbird May Be At Least Three Different Species

Affectionately known to bird watchers as “butterbutts,” Yellow-rumped Warblers are at the center of another discussion over what defines a species. In 1973, the Myrtle and Audubon’s warbler species were lumped into one to create the yellow-rumped. But ornithologists may have had it right the first time. Read about what the DNA evidence suggests.

American white baneberry plants

This video from the USA says about itself:

24 August 2016

Plants that can kill you! White Baneberry ripens in late August and eating only a few berries can induce cardiac arrest and death. Fortunately it has a rather creepy look about it with a characteristic black dot at the end of each white berry that gives it the name “Doll’s Eyes” and should say “beware”! In very small quantities it has been used as a herbal remedy in the past by native Americans.

North American bird photo contest winners

This video from the USA says about itself:

29 July 2010

Home Tweet Home: Schoolyard Nest Box Trail Competition

WSKG is proud to offer the Home Tweet Home competition. This contest is offered to area elementary and middle school students and calls for the application of science and technology skills.

Special thanks to our partner, Cornell Lab of Ornithology for their many contributions to the Home Tweet Home project.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology‘s NestWatch eNewsletter, August 2016, in the USA:

Home Tweet Home Winners

Betty Smith (via Facebook) said it best: “I wish I could vote for each of the photos, knowing behind each one are people who love and care about birds!” That was exactly our sentiment as we combed through 670 submissions, reading your stories and sharing in your discoveries. You all deserve a prize and a resounding, “thank you!”

But, a contest has to have winners, and the votes are in. Here are your 2016 Home Tweet Home official winners:

Congratulations to all of the winners! Thank you so much for participating. See all award winners and honorable mentions in our gallery of honorees.

Northern mockingbirds in North America

This video from the USA says about itself:

A Master of Song: Northern Mockingbird

11 March 2015

A master of mimicry lets loose. You never know what’ll come out of this bird’s beak next.

More at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology‘s All About Fancy Males interactive feature.

What’s happening: With hundreds of songs in his repertoire and the stamina to sing for hours on end, the male Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) specializes in vocal excess. A masterful mimic, he mixes a variety of songs borrowed from other species with his own material to defend his territory. His capacity to improvise is so extensive that he’ll sing many of his song types only once a season. The overall effect is that listeners never quite know what will come out of his beak next—and for mockingbirds, it’s variety that counts.

Videographer: Eric Liner. This video is archived at the Cornell Lab’s Macaulay Library, ML466291.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Mockingbirds Can Learn Hundreds of Songs, but There’s a Limit

Northern Mockingbirds can learn hundreds of sounds that they weave into songs, even replicating sounds from other birds and from noises in the environment such as car alarms and squeaky gates. Do males show off their greater age or experience by singing more songs? Not according to a study that tracked 15 birds as they aged. Read the story in Living Bird.

Avoiding poison ivy and poison oak in North America

This 2015 video from North Anmerica says about itself:

Poison IvyToxicodendron radicans – Poison Ivy vs Virginia Creeper – How to identify poison ivy.

From eNatureBlog in the USA:

How Can You Avoid Poison Ivy and Poison Oak— And Treat Them If Disaster Strikes?

Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 by eNature

Knowing how to avoid poison ivy is a good skill—but you should also know what to do if you happen to encounter it.

As we move into the summer season, people across the country will celebrate and enjoy it by taking weekend hikes through places scenic and undisturbed. Most of folks will return from their hikes revived, but some will find themselves itchy afterwards.

It’s inevitable. And it’s unfortunate, too, because there are ways to avoid the adverse effects of Poison Ivy and Poison Oak.

Actually, five species of rash-inducing plants flourish in North America: two species of Poison Ivy, two species of Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac. The last is a wetland plant and not nearly as common or commonly encountered as the others. One or more of these species is pretty common throughout the country, particularly along the edges of woodlands.

And all contain the same essential oil that irritates human skin.

Urushiol is its name, and it exists in the roots, stems, leaves, and even the berries of these plants. Roughly 85 percent of the population is allergic to Urushiol, which can cause a rash in sensitive people who come into contact with as little as one millionth of a gram of the stuff. And all of these plants are more than willing to share their Urushiol if they are bruised, crushed, or opened up in any way.

Thus it’s important for people to know how to identify these plants. Most field guides, including eNature’s online version, provide concise descriptions and photos. But even the most attentive hiker can inadvertently brush against a Poison Ivy or Poison Oak leaf.

When that happens, there are two ways to rid the skin of Urushiol.

The first involves washing the affected area with great amounts of water. Plain water is best, since soap has no effect on Urushiol and when used with only a little water it can actually spread the offending oil. So use room-temperature water and lots of it.

To be clear, we’re not saying here to avoid using soap! Just be sure to use lots of water if you do— the object here is to get the oil off, not redistribute to other parts of your skin.

The second way to rid the skin of Urushiol is to swab with rubbing alcohol. The alcohol counteracts the oil and can even draw oil from the skin four or five hours after exposure. Waiting any longer than that, though, is inadvisable.

Whether cleaning with water or alcohol, use care. Don’t scrub violently—it does no good and can actually do harm. Similarly, don’t use very hot water or harsh soaps and chemicals. The point is to remove the oil, not to annihilate it.

There’s no shortage of folk remedies as well— some of which are more effective than others.

We’ve received several reports from folks in the Eastern US saying that they’ve encountered more Poison Ivy this year than past years— perhaps because of the mild winter and spring large parts of the country experienced.