Peeps

Drew WeberBird News, Bird Sightings, Conservation IssuesLeave a Comment

I spent an afternoon on the Conejohela Flats on the Susquehanna River yesterday. The water behind the dam was amazingly low, resulting in acres of mud. This benefited the birds by giving them more foraging habitat but made it a bit more difficult to get close looks at the birds. Least Sandpipers and Dunlin outnumbered everything else. A couple dozen … Read More

Anna’s Hummingbird chirps with its tail

Drew WeberBird NewsLeave a Comment

There is a story on BBCNews.com currently reporting on the finding that Anna’s Hummingbirds chirp with their tail. Using high speed video, some researchers were able to see the male’s tail feathers vibrating during their display flights. These display flights are exceptional because they can reach 50 mph in a dive to impress nearby females and it is this high … Read More

The fickle females of the bird world

Drew WeberBird News, Research2 Comments

A recent paper published at nature.com revealed how fickle the female Lark Buntings are when it comes to picking a mate each spring. It is generally thought that females of most bird species select their partner based on a few traits that lead to that trait being exaggerated in the male. A good example of this is the peahen picking … Read More

New citizen science project to add to your schedule

Drew WeberBird News, Conservation IssuesLeave a Comment

This past February, the Hawk Migration Association of North America (HMANA) initiated the Winter Raptor Survey, a volunteer effort to determine winter abundances of raptors. The purpose according to the association’s website “is to get birders/raptor enthusiasts out in the field during the winter looking for diurnal raptors, and to provide those surveyors with a set of guidelines enabling them … Read More

Superflight 2007-2008

Drew WeberBird News, Migration, Predictions2 Comments

As posted on BirdChat- We are experiencing the biggest winter finch irruption since the”superflight” of 1997-1998, when many boreal finches went well beyondtheir normal ranges. The cause is the largest tree seed crop failurein a decade across more than 3200 km (2000 mi) of boreal forest fromSaskatchewan into Quebec. Today in Toronto, I had a Pine Grosbeak,Evening Grosbeaks, Common Redpolls, … Read More

Banding the Saw-whets

Drew WeberBird News, Conservation IssuesLeave a Comment

female Northern Saw-whet Owl A few nights ago I had the opportunity to help band saw-whet owls at a Girl Scout camp close to Halifax, PA. This excited me because, although saw-whet owls are one of the commonest owls in Canada and the northern US, I have rarely seen them. These owls are tiny, with the males only weighing as … Read More

The Rhino and the Tickbird

Drew WeberBird NewsLeave a Comment

For a nice story from The Onion click on the story below. Rhino, Tickbird Stuck In Dead-End Symbiotic Relationship POLOKWANE, SOUTH AFRICA—”We just go through the motions and there’s hardly any communication. I get on top and take the parasites off while he just lays there,” the tickbird said. .onion_embed {background: rgb(256, 256, 256) !important;border: 4px solid rgb(65, 160, 65);border-width: … Read More

Winter Finch Forecast 2007-2008

Drew WeberBird News, General News and InfoLeave a Comment

from the Ontario listserv…looks good for Evening Grosbeaks, redpolls and Red-breasted Nuthatches to irrupt into the US, hopefully into Pennsylvania. “This winter’s theme is “finches going in three directions” depending on the species. Some finches have gone east and west or both, while others will come south. Most coniferous and deciduous trees have very poor seed crops in much of … Read More

The lumping of the gulls

Drew WeberBird News1 Comment

For any of you who have looked through a flock of gulls and thought it was hopeless to pick out the different species, you are in luck. Scientists have just released their findings in the UK journal Molecular Ecology Notes regarding DNA barcodes for bird species in North America. They found that most of the large, white-headed gulls (California, Herring, … Read More

Eastern population of Golden Eagles being tracked

Drew WeberBird News, Conservation IssuesLeave a Comment

The National Aviary in Pittsburgh and Powdermill Avian Research Center are both working on satellite tracking several Golden Eagles that were trapped this fall near the Allegheny Front Hawk Watch near Bedford, PA. I was lucky enough to be in the trapping blind for a day when 39 Golden Eagles and 1 Bald Eagle migrated past but unfortunately we only … Read More