Blog Birding #81
by Nate Swick
ABA Blog contributor John Puschock is on his way to Attu for several days. You can follow along at North American Birding Blog:
We just went through a large concentration of Least Auklets south of Semisopochnoi. Crested Auklets were scattered in with them. In the early morning, we also had a few Parakeet and Whiskered Auklets, giving us the Aethia grand slam. We also had a few Thick-billed Murres, our first of the trip.
Canada's Committee on Endangered Wildlife just updated the status of several species, including five birds. Bird Canada is up on the changes:
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) held their spring species assessment meeting last week in the Kananaskis Valley of Alberta. The committee considered the status of 35 wildlife species, including five birds.
If you think banding landbirds is cool, check out the setup needed to band shorebirds over at Boom Chachalaca:
Yesterday we set up mist nets at the Heislerville shorebird impoundments, one of our usual banding locales. On the bright side, there were thousands of birds, and many more thousands than we've been having at this spot. The only problem was that they weren't flying into our nets! We caught 17 birds during our 11 hours (!!!) in the field - 15 Least Sandpipers, and 3 Semipalmated Sandpipers. Needless to say, we were very bored most of the day. The highlights were watching World Series of Birding teams rushing by, sorting through the hoards of shorebirds, and taking tons of photos.
Ryan Ankney, writing at Louisville Naturally, shares a little bit about how color is expressed in our colorful spring birds:
Birds as we all know come in a great variety of colors, which is probably why we are so fascinated by them. From the browns and grays of sparrows, to the bright yellows and reds of goldfinches and cardinals, to the stunning blue hues of buntings and grosbeaks. While there are a great many birds that exhibit brown plumage, fewer exhibit yellows and reds, and fewer still exhibit blue feathers. What makes blue plumage so different that it only occurs in a handful of birds? Before we get in to what makes them so special we have to understand a little bit more about how other birds derive their color.
Birchick Sharon Stiteler offers a insider's view on what happens when a super-rare Kirtland's Warbler is reported at one of the biggest bird festivals on the continent:
Wednesday morning, still in a sleepy haze, desperately hoping the caffeine from my coffee would finally jump start my metabolism, I made my way to the quieter east end of the Magee Marsh boardwalk. I noticed a small cluster of people up ahead, one of them turned around and I recognized Mike Watson from BIRDQUEST and he asked, “Hey, Shaz, didn’t you need a Kirtland’s warbler? It’s right here.”