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A SERVICE OF THE OUTDOOR WIRE DIGITAL NETWORK
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2017
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EDITOR'S NOTE
Send Event Listings, News and Announcements to The Birding Wire
With the late summer and fall event season approaching, to assure timely placement of your news items, listings and company announcements, remember to send submissions to The Birding Wire no later than mid-afternoon every Tuesday to appear in each Wednesday's publication and electronic distribution. Direct your listings or questions to editor J.R. Absher at birdingwire@gmail.com.

CITIZEN SCIENCE
Help with Black Bear Research in New York
iSeeMammals is a new citizen science project of NYDEC and the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University that collects data to help researchers and DEC biologists study the distribution and size of the black bear population in New York.

CONSERVATION
39 Land Trusts Achieve National Recognition
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a program promoting the highest national standards for ensuring permanence in the conservation of American lands, announced 39 land trusts have completed the rigorous process to achieve first-time or renewed accreditation.

EVENTS
Xtreme Raptor Day at Schlitz Audubon Nature Center
Join the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee, Wis. for the festival that celebrates all things raptor on Sept. 9
BSBO Lists Upcoming Birding Events
The Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Oak Harbor, Ohio, is planning multiple upcoming events for birders between now and the end of 2017.

LEGISLATION
Delegation Introduces Bill to Protect Plum Island from Auction Sale
On August 3, Connecticut and New York Senators introduced new legislation to repeal the 2009 and 2012 laws that initiated federal government efforts to sell Long Island Sound's Plum Island to the highest bidder.
Celestron

ONLINE
S. Dakota Breeding Bird Atlas Results Online
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) launched a new interactive online tool featuring the results of a five-year field project about breeding birds.

ORGANIZATIONS
Pew Trust Concerned about BLM's Sage-Grouse Recommendations
The Pew Charitable Trusts expressed concern Tuesday in the Bureau of Land Management's recommendations for changes in the management of sage grouse habitat on public lands across the West.

RECOGNITION
Jennifer Marenghi, July Zeiss eBirder of the Month
Jennifer Marenghi of Shady Side, Md. is the winner of the July 2017 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics, with her name drawn from eBirders who submitted 15 or more eligible checklists shared with another eBirder in July.

RESEARCH
Prairie-Chicken Nests Appear Unaffected by Wind Energy Facility
A new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests that for one grassland bird species of concern—the Greater Prairie-Chicken—wind energy infrastructure has little to no effect on nesting.

RETAIL
Wild Bird Expo™ Session to Feature Marketing Speaker
At the 2017 Wild Bird Expo™ on Oct. 4, Pamela N. Danziger, speaker, author and market researcher at Unity Marketing, will discuss how, "Small is the next big thing in retail."

SPECIES
Trumpeter Swans Reproduce in N. Indiana
A pair of state-endangered trumpeter swans have successfully hatched an offspring in Indiana for the first time since modern birdwatching records have been kept.
Robin-sized Raptor: Flammulated Owl
The "Flammie" is one of the smallest owls in North America, about the size of an American Robin, and one of the few owls on the continent with dark eyes (others include Spotted and Barred Owls).

STAMPS
USPS Issues Pollinator Stamps
On August 3, the United States Postal Service celebrated pollinators by issuing a set of five forever stamps with the theme Protect Pollinators at the American Philatelic Society Stamp Show in Richmond, Virginia.

WORKSHOPS
Indiana: Beginning Birding Workshop at Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary
The Indiana Audubon Society is hosting a special beginning birding workshop at its Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary, outside Connersville, on September 23, led by Indiana Audubon Executive Director, Brad Bumgardner.

Students Confirm Northern Saw-Whet Owl in Newfoundland
A northern saw-whet owl sits in its nest cavity in British Columbia. ©Guy Monty
Brendan Kelly, a student of the fish and wildlife technical program at the College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland, has been birdwatching and setting up nest boxes since he was in elementary school. So it was no surprise when he decided to partner up with another student, Sarah Butt, to put up nest boxes on the west coast of Newfoundland as part of a technical project required by his college. His plan was to attract boreal owls and learn more about their ecology.

But what was surprising was his discovery of a couple much smaller owls in two of their nest boxes in early May. These birds, the size of coffee cups, were northern saw-whet owls (Aegolius acadicus). Kelly and Butt had heard the owl's call before, and birdwatchers had reported sightings, but the owl, which inhabits much of North America, had never been documented as nesting in the Canadian province.

But there they were. One box had a mother with six eggs. The other had five eggs.

"When we went to check the boxes, it was surreal to see this tiny owl," Kelly said. "What was more shocking was when we went to the nest box less than a kilometer away, and there was another nesting saw-whet. We were over the moon with the first box, and literally the next one we checked had a saw-whet. It was pretty amazing."

As part of their project, the two students built nest boxes based on a design used by researchers in Scandinavia to attract boreal owls and covered the boxes in birch bark to resemble a birch tree that would attract owls. They put them up in a variety of landscapes — pure coniferous forest, birch forest, riparian areas and hilltops. When they heard saw-whets, they decided to make the hole sizes in the boxes smaller to attract the species.

After the initial discovery, Kelly returned with officials from the province's wildlife division to band the seven chicks that hatched — four in one box and three in the other. "If the birds are found in other provinces years down the road, we'll know which owls are which," he said.

Kelly thinks the northern saw-whet owls may have started appearing in Newfoundland in the late 1980s when the red-backed vole (Myodes), a source of prey, was accidentally introduced. Soon after, deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) and other prey species appeared. Newfoundland only has one native small mammal, the meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus), Kelly said. "With this increased food source, that was the main thing that may have caused saw-whets to make that jump across the gulf," he said.

Kelly plans to continue setting up nest boxes and maintaining the ones that are already put up. He will soon attend the University of Prince Edward Island to earn a bachelor's degree in wildlife conservation and hopes to go on to earn his master's degree.

"I figured out a way to make my hobby into a project," Kelly said. "I have no intentions of stopping."

-The Wildlife Society www.wildlife.org

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The Birding Wire Photo Gallery


Birding Wire reader, longtime still/video photographer and 19-year host (with his wife JoAnne) of 'Out in the Open TV' in northeastern Pennsylvania (www.outintheopen.com), Alex Zidock received a birthday present he didn't expect. "On a visit to Navarre, Florida on July 14, our host asked us if we wanted to photograph some interesting birds nesting on the Navarre Beach causeway. The Black Skimmers annually nest in the sand next to the busy highway that has been fenced, and where a reduced speed zone is imposed to try and protect the young flightless birds from being run over. It's best to stay in your car to view the birds but I ventured along the fence to get a better shot when this adult continued to 'dive bomb' me. More than 175 birds are nesting there until about mid-September." Tech info: Nikon D90, Nikkor 70-210mm (150mm), f11, 1/1000 sec., ISO 640.

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If you have a favorite or interesting bird and nature photograph, we urge you to share it with nearly 50,000 birding enthusiasts just like you who subscribe to The Birding Wire. Please send submissions (horizontal preferred) to editor J.R. Absher at birdingwire@gmail.com, and be sure to include details about the location, species and technical data.

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Aug. 13 - Aug. 19
Hummingbirds of Arizona Tour
SE Arizona Bird Observatory
Aug. 16 - Aug. 20
Western Field Ornithology Festival
Pueblo Convention Center, Pueblo, Colo.
Aug. 18 - Aug. 20
Aug. 19
Aug. 23 - Aug. 26
Aug. 24 - Aug. 26
Davis Mountains Hummingbird Festival
Ft. Davis, Tex.
Aug. 31 - Sept. 3
Yampa Valley Crane Festival
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
Sept. 9 - Sept. 11
Hummingbird Migrations Celebration
Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Holly Springs, Miss.
Sept. 10
Feliciana Hummingbird Celebration
St. Francisville, La.
Sept. 14 - Sept. 17
Annual HummerBird Festival
Rockport-Fulton, Tex.
Sept. 15 - Sept. 16
Hawai'i Island Festival of Birds
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay
Sept. 17
Diamondhead Hummingbird Festival
Diamondhead, Miss.
Sept. 19 - Oct. 3
US Fish & Wildlife Federal & Junior Duck Stamp Art Exhibit
Flyways Waterfowl Museum, Baraboo, Wis.
Sept. 29 - Oct. 1
American Birding Expo
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, Oaks, Pa.
Oct. 4 - Oct. 5
Oct. 4 - Oct. 7
Alabama Coastal BirdFest
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