In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the latest population estimate for Bald Eagles. Some 316,000 eagles now cruise the skies in the Lower 48 — more than four times the previous estimate, from 2009. [Read more…] about Bald Eagle Numbers On The Rise
She is a slender hawk, brown above, with a dark-streaked, buff breast and a long, barred tail. A ring of light-colored feathers surrounds her face, giving her a facial disc similar to that of an owl. [Read more…] about The Northern Harrier: One Unusual Hawk
Cornell Lab of Ornithology scientists have been tracking the effects House Finch eye disease for more than 25 years. The disease causes red, swollen, watery, or crusty eyes. Afflicted birds can recover, but may die because they cannot see well enough to find food or avoid predators.
The latest analyses, based on the observations of Project FeederWatch participants from eight Northeast states, addresses the long-term impact of the disease on House Finch populations and points to the role of the finch immune system in the bird vs. bacteria battle. [Read more…] about New Study Considers Birds and Bacteria Arms Race
New research reveals that a recently discovered songbird has traveled a very rare evolutionary path — a finding that challenges the typical model of how new species form. Exploration into the origins of the Iberá Seedeater of southern South America shows that a new lineage need not always arise from genetic mutations accumulated in geographic isolation over millions of years. Instead, the novel mixing and matching of existing genetic traits already found in closely related species can create something new, at a much faster pace. [Read more…] about Study Finds Genetic Shuffling Speeds Up Evolution of New Species
Bicknell’s Thrush was first identified by American amateur ornithologist Eugene Bicknell on Slide Mountain in the Catskills in the late 19th century.
This rare songbird prefers our State’s higher peaks and will soon be returning from its winter residency in Hispaniola. [Read more…] about Bicknell’s Thrush: A History Podcast
Spring is an ideal time to observe bird migrations. New York is conveniently located along the Atlantic Flyway, one of the main migration routes. This gives you a great opportunity to observe birds flying to their summer breeding grounds. [Read more…] about Watch the Skies for Spring Bird Migrations
A warm southerly breeze in mid-March brings with it loose, granular conditions on the ski slopes, a layer of mud on dirt roads, and the return of the first seasonal avian residents – among these are the red-winged blackbirds. [Read more…] about The Return of the Red-Winged Blackbird
On Valentine’s Day, as I sat down to write, I noticed a burst of blue outside my upstairs window. Looking out with my binoculars, I counted six eastern bluebirds. Clustered on and below my suet feeders, they were a wonderfully pleasant surprise on a chilly February morning. As I watched, the bluebirds briefly fed on the suet before finding perches in a red maple above the feeders. Within a few moments, they were gone entirely, an ephemeral splash of color amidst a snow-covered Maine lawn. [Read more…] about Bluebirds: New York’s State Bird in Winter
It is an outstanding opportunity to see three American bald eagles devouring their lunch, but even more fantastic of an opportunity to be able to learn there’s more to the story. [Read more…] about Eagle Banded 26 Years Ago Spotted In Lewis County
During winter, the possibility exists that a transient flock of birds may suddenly appear at a feeder and dominate the local seed supply for several weeks before exiting the area. The presence of a mob of gluttonous evening grosbeaks, redpolls or purple finches can quickly decimate a mass of sunflower seeds, leaving little for the regulars like chickadees, nuthatches, and an occasional blue jay or cardinal. [Read more…] about The Pine Siskin in Winter