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Blog Birding #369

Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland is in danger of closing, reports Birdwatching Daily, and here is a way birders can make their voices heard to potentially prevent that.

The Friends of Eastern Neck (FOEN) board of directors has been working with local politicians and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) personnel to encourage FWS to fill the vacant Wildlife Specialist (manager) position at the refuge. However, now that the FWS budget has been approved in Washington, there has been no indication that the position will be filled.

At 10,000 Birds, Carrie Laben takes the unpopular position that invasive species are worthy of appreciation, too.

I know we all hate European Starlings; I know that as environmentalists, this is part of our job. But come on. Like Darth Vader, the European Starling is objectively terrible AND objectively cool – the murmurations, the complex cacophony of their vocalizations, the inquisitiveness and toughness that make them such successful invaders in the first place – these birds deserve the same place in the American heart as the movie mobster, the grifter, and the pizza rat.

At On the Wing Photography, Mia McPherson considers an observation of Great Blue Herons and wonders whether climate change is behind their local movements.

I’ve seen Great Blue Herons in this canyon since I started photographing up there several years ago, it is not just one Great Blue that makes this canyon their home during the breeding season, while my mom and I were up there one day we saw three individual Great Blues as we traveled up the road. I’ve often wondered if the herons were nesting in the canyon and yesterday after I came home I did a little research into how high up Great Blue Herons nest.

Ron Dudley at Feathered Photography shares a way for bird photographers to help researchers studying insect predation by birds.

Dr. Tallamy is requesting that bird photographers and birders throughout the country send him photos of birds with insects in their bill. He and his team of entomologists have embarked on a long-term research project to document which insects are eaten by which birds all over the US (especially during breeding season). Their primary concern is the “conservation and restoration of viable bird habitat. We can’t manage habitats for breeding birds without knowing what breeding birds eat while reproducing.” And he’s asking for our help

At Bird Canada, Sharon McInnes explores what it means to be an urban birder.

Here, on the twenty-second floor of Marlborough Tower, I keep my binoculars handy, one pair at the kitchen window and one pair on the deck, and spend more time than I like to admit watching the dozen pigeons, those unjustly-maligned doves-by-another-name that hang out on the library roof next door. (What do they eat up there? And why do they walk in circles?) Nathaniel Johnson devotes a fascinating chapter to them in his 2016 memoir-of-sorts,“Unseen City: the Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails, & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness”. I recommend it.

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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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