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Tuesday Deadline for Birding Wire Submissions
To assure timely placement of your news items and company announcements, remember to send your submissions to The Birding Wire no later than mid-afternoon every Tuesday for the each Wednesday's publication and electronic distribution. Direct your listings or questions to editor J.R. Absher at birdingwire@gmail.com.

2018 Oregon DFW Art Competitions Announced
Artists are invited to compete in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's 2018 Habitat Conservation Stamp, Waterfowl Stamp and Upland Game Bird Stamp art competitions.

Birds of New York City, by Cal Vornberger
In Birds of New York City, Cal Vornberger documents in stunning detail many of New York City's 200 bird species, from the famous pair of red-tailed hawks on the ledge of a Fifth Avenue apartment building, to the snowy owl population at Kennedy Airport.

Join the Great Canadian Birdathon
Registration is now underway for the 2017 Great Canadian Birdathon. Last year's event raised more than $226,000 for conservation efforts across Canada.

Witness Nature's Wonders with NestWatch
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology welcomes anyone who finds a bird's nest of any species to report their observations to NestWatch, a free citizen-science project focused on breeding birds.

Four PLJV ConocoPhillips Grants Support Wetland Habitat
The Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) Management Board awarded $88,000 in PLJV ConocoPhillips grants this year which will contribute to the conservation of bird habitat in the region through wetland habitat restoration, enhancement or preservation.

Bird Groups Sue To Stop Lake Erie Wind Project
Two leading bird conservation groups, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), have filed a lawsuit against the Ohio Air National Guard (ANG) over its plans to build and operate a wind turbine at its Camp Perry facility located in Port Clinton, Ohio.

California Duck Stamp Art Contest Underway
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is conducting a competition to select a design for the 2017/2018 California Duck Stamp.

Two Bald Eagles Found Shot in Webster County, Iowa
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking for the person or persons responsible for shooting two bald eagles in Webster County.

'Cat Wars' Author to Appear at New Mexico Venues in April
Dr. Peter Marra, coauthor of Cat Wars: Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, will discuss the environmental consequences of free-ranging cats at two events in New Mexico, April 6-7.
Celebrate IMBD in Wisconsin May 21
Join West Wisconsin Land Trust in partnership with the City of Superior, the Wisconsin Stopover Initiative, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Camp Amnicon in celebration of International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) on Sunday, May 21.

Fun Ways to Celebrate National Park Week
Ring in spring with a visit to a national park during National Park Week, April 15 - 23. Throughout the country, hundreds of programs and events will encourage visitors to explore new places and enjoy new experiences.

DOI Announces $3.74 Million to 12 States for Species Recovery
The Department of the Interior this week announced that through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Cooperative Recovery Initiative (CRI) more than $3.74 million is being committed to nine projects across 12 states to help recover some of the nation's most at-risk species on or near national wildlife refuges.

Wisconsin Group Launches Inaugural Conservation Photography Tour
Wisconsin Images For Conservation has partnered with five land and wildlife conservation organizations in Wisconsin to host the first ever Conservation Photography Tour competition.
Photo Contest Celebrates Alabama's Great Outdoors, Bicentennial
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) announces its photo contest will begin accepting entries on April 1, 2017. The photo contest is open to state residents and visitors alike, but qualifying photos must have been taken in Alabama.

Audubon's Native Plant Database Provides Bird-Friendly Landscaping Ideas
Through Audubon's Plants for Birds public online database, anyone nationwide can access a list of native plants that benefit their favorite local bird species, by just typing in their zip code.

ZEISS Spring Fever Promotion
Carl Zeiss Sports Optics is kicking off its "Spring Fever" promotion by offering instant savings on their award-winning binoculars. Simply purchase any new Terra ED, Conquest HD or Victory SF Black binocular at a participating ZEISS retailer between March 24 and April 10 and get instant savings.

Ceará Gnateater
The stub-tailed, long-legged Ceará Gnateater was once considered a subspecies of the more widespread Rufous Gnateater and is only found in isolated mountain forests of northeastern Brazil.

ZEISS Continues Sponsorship of Cornell Lab of Ornithology Programs
Carl Zeiss Sports Optics is continuing its partnership with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology through collaboration on several key projects, including its lead sponsorship of eBird, the real-time, online checklist program.

New Hampshire: Be Bear Aware
Despite a recent March Nor'easter, bears are becoming active in many areas of New Hampshire, and officials are asking the public to be responsible and remove bird feeders and secure other backyard attractants.
Nebraska: Viewing Blinds Available in North Platte Area
The public can view greater prairie-chickens and Sandhill cranes at public viewing blinds at the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project (NCORPE) property and the North River Wildlife Management Area between North Platte and Hershey.
Remove Feeders in Michigan Bear Country Now
Bears find bird seed and suet especially attractive because of their high fat content compared to other natural food sources, and these foods draw bears out of their natural habitat, where normally they would be eating roots of early spring plants and insect larvae.
Peregrine Falcon "Orozco" Spotted in Omaha
"Orozco," a male peregrine falcon hatched at the Nebraska Capitol in 2015, has been observed in Omaha.

Sign Up for Georgia Youth Birding Event by Friday
Open to ages from preschool to high school, the Georgia Youth Birding Competition set for April 29-30 is an exciting 24-hour birdathon for youth of all birding skill levels, from beginner to advanced.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery

Birding Wire reader Fred Laberge writes, "This pileated woodpecker was making quite a racket pecking at white pines and screeching loudly as it flew from tree to tree. I heard him while hiking in the forest in Burlington, CT on Jan. 19." Technical: Nikon D7100 with Nikon 200-500mm VR lens at 500mm, f5.6, 1/400th second, ISO 1250.

As spring migration begins in many parts of the country, the Birding Wire urges our readers to share photographs of their favorite early arrivals in coming weeks. Please send submissions to birdingwire@gmail.com, and be sure to include details about the location, species and technical photographic data.

Study: The Benefits of Flocking Together
A Little Egret (far left) forages with endangered Crested Ibises. Photo credit: N. Zhao
Birds benefit from flocking together—even when they're not of a feather. According to a new study in The Auk: Ornithological Advances, China's endangered Crested Ibises benefit from joining forces with other, more visually-oriented bird species while searching for food.

Joining mixed-species flocks can reduce birds' risk of predation while boosting their foraging opportunities, but it can also expose them to competition and disease, and little research has been done on what this means for birds such as ibises that rely on their sense of touch to find food. Yuanxing Ye and Changqing Ding of the Beijing Forestry University and their colleagues studied the behavior of Crested Ibises foraging with and without Little Egrets in central China's Shaanxi Province, recording the birds' behavior with a digital video camera to determine whether they picked up on social cues from the other species. They found that ibises in mixed-species flocks became alert to threats sooner, suggesting they felt less at risk when mingling with the more visually-oriented egrets.

Crested Ibises were once believed to be extinct in the wild, until seven birds were discovered in a remote area of China in 1981. Ye and his colleagues believe this new information about their foraging behavior could benefit ibis conservation. "Developing habitat conditions that favor mixed-species flocks may reduce the perception of risk by ibises due to the early warning effects of egrets, particularly in habitats with high levels of predation or disturbance," according to Ye.

"Mixed-species flocks are a common occurrence in birds, but little is known about the costs and benefits of joining such groups when species differ in their foraging tactics," adds the University of Montreal's Guy Beauchamp, an expert on group living in birds. "In this case, ibises benefitted from joining another more visually-oriented species in that they detected threats more quickly. This study shows how detailed behavioral observations can help us understand why species forage in groups and also join other species."

What makes a tactile forager join mixed-species flocks? A case study with the endangered Crested Ibis (Nipponia nippon) is available at http://americanornithologypubs.org/doi/full/10.1642/AUK-16-191.1.

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.


Apr. 1
Apr. 6 - Apr. 9
Apr. 6 - Apr. 9
Galveston Feather Fest
Galveston Island, Tex.
Apr. 7 - Apr. 9
Mackinaw Raptor Fest
Mackinaw City, Mich.
Apr. 7 - Apr. 9
Olympic Birdfest 2017
Sequim, Wash.
Apr. 8
Apr. 19 - Apr. 25
Apr. 28 - Apr. 30
Apr. 29
May 3 - May 6
Southwest Wings Spring
Cochise College, Sierra Vista, Ariz.
May 4 - May 7
May 4 - May 7
May 4 - May 7
May 5 - May 14
May 6 - May 9
May 13
Raptors in Focus
Schlitz Audubon Center, Milwaukee, Wis.
May 18 - May 20
Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival
Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, Ashland, Wis.
May 19 - May 21
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