American pipit video

This video from the USA says about itself:

5 June 2015

American Pipit mainly walks along the ground to find insects. Notice how they move through grasses looking down for prey while their tail wags. Their thin bill helps separate them from sparrows.

Prevent bats becoming ill

White nose syndrome brochure

From White-nose

What can you do to help?

Avoid possible spread of WNS by humans

    • Stay out of caves and mines where bats are known – or suspected – to hibernate in all states.
      Honor cave closures and gated caves.

Avoid disturbing bats

  • Stay out of all hibernation sites when bats are hibernating (winter).

Be observant

  • Report unusual bat behavior to your state natural resource agency, including bats flying during the day when they should be hibernating (December through March) and bats roosting in sunlight on the outside of structures. More difficult to tell is unusual behavior when bats are not hibernating (April through September); however, bats roosting in the sunlight or flying in the middle of the day is unusual. Bats unable to fly or struggling to get off the ground is also unusual.

Take care of bats

  • Reduce disturbance to natural bat habitats around your home (e.g., reduce outdoor lighting, minimize tree clearing, protect streams and wetlands).
  • Construct homes for bats (see below for directions).
  • If bats are in your home and you don’t want them there, work with your local natural resource agency to exclude or remove them without hurting them after the end of the maternity season (see below for more information). The best time to exclude bats is when they aren’t in your home.

Learn about bats/teach about bats – bats are fascinating creatures and an important part of our environment.

  • Visit websites for organizations like Bat Conservation International
  • Attend educational programs or events celebrating bats, e.g.,
    • Indiana Bat Festival
    • Bat Fest, Austin, Texas


  • Some states and organizations sponsor bat emergence counts or other activities. Contact your state natural resource agency or local conservation groups for opportunities.

Provide homes for bats

Exclude or remove bats safely

Other opportunities

Attracting North American birds

This video from the USA is called Backyard Bird Watching – Northeast Ohio.

From the Audubon Society in the USA:

Want to Attract Beautiful Backyard Birds? Try These Tailored Recipes

Purple Finches prefer berries while chickadees go for pie crust. Learn the right combos for the right birds here.

This time of year, many a cook is scouring cookbooks, the internet, or their grandmother’s recipe cards for the best dishes to prepare and serve at the table. We would be remiss if we didn’t share some tried and true recipes for your backyard feeders as well. Just like that pecan pie is sure to get the kids back to the table, each recipe, cooked up by Madison Audubon Society, is tailored to your favorite feathered friends.

Northern Cardinal

Sunflower seeds
Crushed Peanuts
White Bread

Purple Finch

Sunflower Seeds
Crushed Peanuts


Sunflower Seeds
Crushed Peanuts
Melon Seeds

Black-capped Chickadee

Sunflower Seeds
Shelled or Crushed Peanuts
Pie Crust

Mourning Dove

Sunflower Seeds
Bread Crumbs
Cracked Corn

White-breasted Nuthatch

Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds
Shelled or Crushed Peanuts

Blue Jay

Sunflower Seeds
Cracked Corn
Shelled or Crushed Peanuts

For tips on how to feed birds safely, check out these guidelines.

Ring-necked ducks video

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

Male Ring-necked Duck with females

5 June 2015

Ring-necked Ducks are diving ducks that are typically found in shallow wetlands and smaller lakes and ponds throughout North America. White markings on the bill, along with the black back of the male help separate them from the similar Greater and Lesser Scaup.

Rose-breasted grosbeak at feeder, video

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

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak at feeder

5 June 2015

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are common residents of woodland habitats in the northeastern U.S. and Canada during the spring and summer months. Stocky, and with an noticeably heavy bill, the males are striking with their contrasting black-and-white body and a bright rosy-red patch on the breast. This species occasionally visits backyard feeders for sunflower seeds.

I was lucky to see this species wintering in Costa Rica.

Common loons in winter, new research

This video is called Common loon (Gavia immer) nest.


Common Loons return to the same wintering site year after year


Researchers have long known that Common Loons return to the same nesting sites each spring. Now a team from the Biodiversity Research Institute, in Portland, Maine, has found that loons also return to the same locations each winter.

Led by James Paruk, a senior scientist in BRI’s Center for Loon Conservation, the group studied birds at four sites: Lake Pateros, a freshwater reservoir on the Columbia River in central Washington; Morro Bay, a coastal estuary on the central California coast; Barataria Bay, in southeastern Louisiana; and three reservoirs in western Maine. In Washington, California, and Louisiana, the researchers surveyed or recaptured banded loons. In Maine, they implanted satellite-tracking devices in six birds.

About 85 percent of adult loons returned to the same locations year after year, usually within two kilometers (1.25 miles) of previous wintering locations, Paruk and his colleagues report in The Condor: Ornithological Applications. One loon returned to Morro Bay for six consecutive winters, from 2004 through 2010.

The satellite-tracked birds from Maine wintered along a 745-mile stretch of the Atlantic coast. Males spent winters near islands off the coast of Maine, while females wintered south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, along the coast of New Jersey, and in Chincoteague Bay, Maryland.

The birds used areas no larger than 10-20 square km (3.8-7.7 square miles) for the duration of the winter. In midwinter, they molt their wing feathers, leaving the birds flightless for several weeks.

“We suspect that winter site fidelity developed in Common Loons, in part, because individuals that returned to the same area annually gained local knowledge (e.g., about prey resources and predator refugia) that increased their survival and fitness,” the authors say. “Given this, we expect that many adult Common Loons may overwinter in one location throughout their life.”

As the maps above from our “On the Move” column show, Common Loon can be found in most of North America at some point of the year. In summer, it occurs across Alaska, Canada, and the northern regions of the lower 48 states, where it nests on small islands in clear, clean lakes with an abundance of small fish. Subadults, represented by light purple squares south of Canada on the June map, may oversummer far south of the breeding range. By December, the species is found on inland lakes and reservoirs and along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts. Loons stage in high concentrations in the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico and along the Mississippi River and other large inland water bodies, often due to inclement weather systems. They migrate diurnally, and they fly quite high when they’re over land. Impressive movements in the fall occur after the passage of a cold front, when winds from the north aid their migration.

See eBird’s real-time distribution map for Common Loon.