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A SERVICE OF THE OUTDOOR WIRE DIGITAL NETWORK
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017
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Celestron
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APPS
Song Sleuth iOS App Takes Flight
Song Sleuth (www.songsleuth.com), a groundbreaking app that turns your iOS device into a powerful and accurate bird song identifier, debuts on the iTunes Store.

BIRD FEEDING
1917 Bird-Feeding Poster Reprint Available
Orignally produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Biological Survey, The Feed the Birds this Winter poster (circa 1917), is available for $7 and suitable for framing.

CONFERENCES
Mass Audubon Conference to Focus on World of Warblers
Mass Audubon is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the region's largest annual gathering for birders of all abilities on Sunday, March 19, when its Birders Meeting returns to UMass Boston's Campus Centre Ballroom on Dorchester Bay.

ENFORCEMENT
Reward Offered in Tennessee Eagle Deaths
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who shot two bald eagles in the Tennessee River Valley recently.

ENVIRONMENT
Connecticut Audubon Takes Issue with Northeast Corridor Rail Project
The final environmental study of the proposed Northeast Corridor rail project inadequately analyzes the risk to at least four federally endangered or threatened fish and birds in Connecticut, according to Connecticut Audubon Executive Director Nelson North.

EVENTS
Learn About Nest Boxes at Horicon Marsh, Wis.
Head to Horicon Marsh Saturday, March 4 for a Nest Box Seminar and learn more about how to attract birds to your yard with nest boxes.
Celestron

GRANTS AVAILABLE
SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation Grants Available
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and ConocoPhillips announced $1.2 million in grant awards through the SPIRIT of Conservation and Innovation program to support restoration and enhancement of important habitats and advance innovative water conservation technologies in 11 states.

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS
Scarborough Marsh (Maine) Audubon Center Store Mgr.
Maine Audubon is seeking a seasonal Store Manager for the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center Nature Store.
S. Maine Piping Plover/Least Tern Project Interns
Interns are currently being sought to monitor and manage endangered piping plovers and least terns on beaches in southern Maine under the supervision of the Seasonal Biologists and Outreach Coordinator.
American Bird Conservancy: Asst. Director, Migratory Birds and Habitats
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is seeking a highly motivated individual who is able to work effectively to assist with the development and management of migratory bird conservation projects and initiatives in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.

LEGISLATION
NWRA Opposes Bill to Adjust Mass. Refuge Boundary
The National Wildlife Refuge Association strongly opposes H.R. 1157, which would turn over 3,900 acres of submerged lands and waters to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and effectively cut the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in half.
ABA

NESTCAMS
Indiana Barn Owls Pair in Nest Box
A show of companionship and survival will play out live before the public in the newly positioned owl nest cam inside a metal pole barn in southern Indiana.
Pennsylvania Eagle Cam is Back
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has launched the latest rendition of its Eagle Cam, which enables viewers worldwide round-the-clock access to live video and audio captured at a bald-eagle nest in Hanover, Pa. and streamed in real time via the internet.

ORGANIZATIONS
Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever Hire Gov't Affairs Rep
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever named Bethany Erb as the organization's new government affairs representative and its first Washington, D.C.-based employee.
Audubon Joins with Connecticut Legislators to Protect Open Space
In an effort to increase vital support for open space and parkland preservation and protection across our state, Audubon Connecticut participated in a press conference at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford in support of House Bill (HB) 6926.

SPECIES
Hawaiian Crossbill: 
ʻAkekeʻe
The 'Akeke'e, a small Hawaiian honeycreeper, is notable for its asymmetric bill. Its name was likely derived from the Hawaiian word ke'e, meaning "crooked" or "bent."

STATES
S. Dakota Bald Eagle Awareness Week
South Dakota's Bald Eagle Awareness Days celebrates its 25th year of entertainment and education by emphasizing the need for conservation and appreciation of bald eagles and other birds of prey.
Georgia Youth Birding and T-shirt Art Competitions
It's time for young birders to hone their bird-identifying skills and young artists to focus their talents on Georgia birds — in DNR's Youth Birding Competition and T-shirt Art Contest.

TRACKING
You Can Follow 'Edward the Egret'
Every day, New Jersey Audubon receives texts from Edward the Egret's transmitter, and now everyone can follow the winter migration of this New Jersey bird.

WETLANDS
Coastal Summit Leaders Declare Louisiana Engulfed in Emergency
Urging citizens, government leaders, businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to recognize a continuous storm destroying Louisiana's coast, King Milling, chair of America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF), opened a summit on the national significance of Louisiana's coastal master plan.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery


Frequent Birding Wire contributor and Connecticut photographer Fred Leberge writes, "This red-tailed hawk was perched just up the street from where I live. As soon as I focused my camera on it, it lifted off, giving me this great opportunity." Technical: Nikon D7100 with Nikon 200-500mm VR lens. ISO 560, 1/1600th @ f5.6.

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If you have a favorite or interesting bird and nature photograph, we urge you to share it with more than 45,000 birding enthusiasts just like you who subscribe to The Birding Wire. Please send submissions to birdingwire@gmail.com, and be sure to include details about the location, species and technical data.

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Monitoring Birds by Drone
Forget delivering packages or taking aerial photographs—drones can even count small birds! A new study from The Auk: Ornithological Advances tests this new approach to wildlife monitoring and concludes that despite some drawbacks, the method has the potential to become an important tool for ecologists and land managers.

Researchers test the bird monitoring drone. Photo credit: A. Wilson
Bird surveys provide crucial data for environmental management, but they have limitations—some areas are difficult to access, and surveyors vary in their skills at identifying birds. Using audio recordings made by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can help to combat both of these pitfalls, as hard-to-reach sites can be flown over and multiple people can review the resulting recordings. Andrew Wilson of Gettysburg College and his colleagues tested the feasibility of this approach by using fishing line to suspend an audio recorder from a simple "drone," first in trial runs on college athletic fields and then in real bird surveys on Pennsylvania State Game Lands.

The experiments on state game lands directly compared UAV data with traditional ground-based surveys of the same areas. A few bird species were undercounted by the UAV technique, such as Mourning Doves, whose extremely low-frequency calls weren't picked up by the recorder, and Gray Catbirds, which occurred at such high densities that counting individual birds in the recordings was difficult. Overall, however, there were few significant differences between the results produced by the two methods.

"The inspiration for the study came while I was surveying forests in the Appalachian Mountain in Pennsylvania for Cerulean Warblers," says Wilson. "All of our survey work was done from roadsides or hiking trails, for logistical reasons and to maximize survey efficiency, but I was always aware that our sample locations were very biased and that we were missing key areas such as steep forested slopes." He notes that the drone and audio recorder used in this experiment were inexpensive, commercially available models, making this technique within reach even for those with limited funding.

"I recall my vocal reaction upon hearing their oral presentation during a session I chaired on emerging technologies to study birds at the 2016 North American Ornithology Conference last August, where I exclaimed, 'What an amazingly simplistic but useful application of a drone for bird research—I wish I had thought of it!'" says McGill University's David Bird, founding editor of the Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems. "This unique study provides a significant first step toward the inevitable common use of unmanned vehicle systems for monitoring songbird populations both during the breeding season and on migration."

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The feasibility of counting songbirds using unmanned aerial vehicles is available at http://americanornithologypubs.org/doi/full/10.1642/AUK-16-216.1.
About the journal: The Auk: Ornithological Advances is a peer-reviewed, international journal of ornithology that began in 1884 as the official publication of the American Ornithologists' Union, which merged with the Cooper Ornithological Society in 2016 to become the American Ornithological Society. In 2009, The Auk was honored as one of the 100 most influential journals of biology and medicine over the past 100 years.

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Feb. 23 - Feb. 26
Feb. 23 - Feb. 26
San Diego Bird Festival
San Diego, Calif.
Feb. 23 - Feb. 26
Feb. 23 - Feb. 26
San Diego Bird Festival
Marina Village Conference Center, San Diego, Calif.
Feb. 25
California Duck Days
South Davis, Calif.
Mar. 3 - Mar. 5
Mar. 10 - Mar. 12
Monte Vista Crane Festival
Monte Vista, Colo.
Apr. 6 - Apr. 9
Apr. 7 - Apr. 9
Mackinaw Raptor Fest
Mackinaw City, Mich.
Apr. 7 - Apr. 9
Olympic Birdfest 2017
Sequim, Wash.
Apr. 19 - Apr. 25
May 3 - May 6
Southwest Wings Spring
Cochise College, Sierra Vista, Ariz.
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