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Blog Birding #361

They may be beady-eyed killing machines, but Mia McPherson of On the Wing Photography manages to catch Loggerhead Shrikes in a more tender moment.

The Loggerhead Shrike did fly in and brought prey to feed the presumed female, during the mating season the males will allofeed the females as part of their courtship behavior. I’ve never been able to photograph allofeeding behavior before so I was tickled pink. Sure, I could wish I could see both eyes of the shrikes, I could wish that I had a catch light in the bird’s eye that we can see but the images I got delighted me even though I didn’t.

Trip narratives involving rarities are always a fun read, and Corey Finger of 10,000 Birds shares his tale of the New York Wood Sandpiper.

A couple of weeks ago a group of New York’s better birders were out birding in Suffolk County when one of the four found an interesting shorebird, one which she couldn’t identify immediately. For Pat Lindsay to not know what a shorebird is when she spots one in New York State is a very unusual occurrence and her three fellow birders quickly convened, figured out the bird as a quartet, and got the word out to the birding hordes. The bird, a Wood Sandpiper, was still present the next morning and I made a quick run out to Timber Point Country Club where the bird was regularly foraging in a flooded field, to see if I too could get lucky enough to add New York’s second-ever Wood Sandpiper to my state list.

At The AOU-COS Pubs Blog, a summary of research finding ways to improve habitat for migrating Whooping Cranes, one of North America’s most evocative and endangered species.

Researcher Neal Niemuth and his colleagues used a database of Whooping Crane sightings in the region since 1990 to examine cranes’ habitat use in North and South Dakota. Analyzing the spatial patterns of the sightings, they found that Whooping Cranes prefer habitat that includes a mix of croplands and wetlands and are more attracted by a single large wetland basin than multiple smaller basins. Their results also show the effects of different conservation strategies across the region.

Bird-trafficking isn’t just the problem in the rest of the world, BirdWatching Daily reports on a group of Florida men recently caught with charged with smuggling more than 400 birds.

Over the years, we’ve reported on all sorts of threats to birds, and while they’re all quite real, stories about habitat loss, climate change, feral cats, windows, and the like almost always look at the problem from high overhead. Which species are affected, where is the threat located, how can it be fixed, etc.…? The instigators of the threat in question are rarely specific people, and so we refer to them in general terms: this or that industry, irresponsible pet owners, etc.

This week looks to be an exceptional one for migration, according to the scientists at Birdcast. Get all the details ahead of your spring birding.

This weekend will feature some intense migration in the central US, the first of several intense pulses as we approach the peak period of migration intensity for the spring. Particularly striking is the forecast for Sunday evening, 29-30 April 2018, when a corridor of medium to high migration traffic is predicted aloft from Mexico to Canada.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
Nate Swick

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