Naturalist Notebook – August 16, 2015

  • Lake Erie Birding Trail
    Tremendous numbers and diversity of migrant songbirds fill lakeside woodlands in spring and fall. Waterbirds galore pack marshes and the open lake waters, and interesting marsh birds breed in coastal wetlands. Winter brings hardy northern ducks, gulls, and raptors. There is never a dull season. | The sites included in the Lake Erie Birding Trail are the best of the best, and collectively nearly 400 species have been seen in these areas. There is a wealth of information for each site, and we hope that our trail helps to make your visit to Ohio and Lake Erie a bird-filled adventure! | The Lake Erie Birding Trail is divided into seven loops. The sites within each loop are similar in habitat type and landscape. You may choose to visit the entire trail in one trip or explore the trail loop by loop. For ease-of-use, this website is organized by loop.
  • Marcia Davis: Hummingbird Festival at Ijams starts at 8 a.m. Aug. 22 – Go Knoxville Story 081515
    Experience the wonder of hummingbirds at the fifth annual Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22, at Knoxville’s Ijams Nature Center. The festival, sponsored by the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society and Ijams Nature Center, celebrates the ruby-throated hummingbird, one of Tennessee’s most popular and fascinating birds. | Hummingbird banding conducted by licensed bird bander Mark Armstrong is always a top crowd-pleaser. Hummer activity at feeders is greatest in the morning and evening. Since feeding activity slows down in the middle of the day, the banding station where hummers are captured at a feeder will operate from 8 a.m. until noon. | Visit the banding station to enjoy up close views of hummers. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about bird banding. Banding involves a lot more than just putting a tiny uniquely numbered metal band on a bird’s leg. You’ll learn how bird banders sex and age hummingbirds and how they determine how much body fat a migratory bird has stored. In late summer, southbound migrating hummers stopover at local hummingbird feeders for a day or longer to replenish their fat reserves. Stored body fat supplies energy needed for migration.
  • Killing cormorants: Study finding culling to have no impact ignored, Audubon Society says – Free – The Daily Astorian 081315
    Despite the analysis, earlier this year U.S. Fish and Wildlife authorized the Corps to kill about 11,000 cormorants — or 5,600 breeding pairs — on East Sand Island at the mouth of the Columbia between Oregon and Washington. The uninhabited island is North America’s biggest cormorant nesting colony. The agency also authorized the Corps to oil 26,000 nests to prevent the eggs inside them from hatching.
  • Eastern Whip-poor-will | American Bird Conservancy 081415
    Soul-snatcher: One New England legend says the Whip-poor-will can sense a person’s soul departing, and capture it as it leaves. Native American lore considered the singing of these birds a death omen. | Recovery in Progress: Eastern Whip-poor-will populations have experienced steep declines, and the species was one of several added to the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. ABC and partners are working to help address the decline of aerial insectivores like the Whip-poor-will and Purple Martin. Our Migratory Bird Program also aims to address the reasons for decline of this and many other birds throughout their life cycles. |ABC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as partners of the Central Hardwoods Joint Venture, have contributed to an ongoing project in the Missouri Ozarks that is documenting habitat use by whips and Chuck-will’s-widows in the Mark Twain National Forest. Led by Dr. Frank Thompson from USDA Forest Service Research, this project is part of an effort to assess the response of these and other Watch List species to the national forest’s shortleaf pine and pine-oak woodland restoration efforts.
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