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Water Attracts All Birds

The best and easiest way to attract the greatest variety of birds to your yard is to provide a dependable source of water. Birds utilize a water source for drinking and bathing for feather maintenance and cooling. Who doesn’t appreciate watching a robin or goldfinch bathing in a birdbath? But expect a wide variety of colorful birds.

Please Don't Disturb New Fledglings

When you find a young bird, don’t disturb it and don’t touch it! Leave it where it is; its parents are nearby and will soon be bringing food to the fledgling. This fledgling–adult learning period is paramount to the future survival of young birds; so have faith, the little bird does not need your assistance or rescue.

Arizona Boating Closure Lifted After Bald Eagles Fledge

After another successful Bald Eagle nesting season on Lake Pleasant, near Phoenix, Bald Eagle fledglings will soon fly northward for the summer, prompting the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department to lift its boating closure June 15 on the Agua Fria River adjoining Lake Pleasant. 

Hazards of Flying Drones Near Bird Nests - Enhanced Enforcement Required?

Drone operators must avoid flying their aircraft near occupied bird nests. Recently, a Peregrine Falcon an authorized nest watcher reported to the Arizona Game and Fish Department that a pair of falcons became upset when a drone approached their nest site. One of the Peregrines was so threatened that it attacked the drone, causing it to crash to the ground. 

First Private Reserve Benefits Bicknell’s Thrushes in the Dominican Republic

Biologists from the Vermont Center for Ecostudies used a computer model to identify prime habitat characteristics of female Bicknell’s Thrushes on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, where 90 percent of the total population winters. Model results were used to help identify, purchase and create the 1,000-acre private reserve in the Dominican Republic (Reserva Privada Zorzal). 

Mystery of Declining Sandpipers is Studied Using Remarkable Geolocators

Ornithologists from 19 organizations are collaborating on a large-scale study to analyze the migratory connections for Semipalmated Sandpipers across their nesting, migration stopover, and wintering sites. Considered one of the most widespread and most abundant shorebirds in the Western Hemisphere, recent surveys have revealed major population declines in the core of their wintering range in South America and elsewhere. They’re doing it with some amazingly small technology.

Birds of The Week: Wood Ducks

Wood Duck drakes are considered among the most beautiful birds in the world. Their colorful plumage is spectacular, not to mention iridescent, and it’s all set off by a spectacular oversized crest, and bright red eyes. The life history of Wood Ducks is equally impressive, if not surprising. 

Siberian Coolers Introduces Softside Cooler Bag
 Siberian Coolers expands its lineup of coolers and accessories with the  “New Sidekick Soft” Cooler Bag, available in  Seafoam Green, Saddle Brown and Caribbean Blue. 


BOLT Strategies Partners With Focus Group/OMNI

BOLT Strategies announces a formal partnership with Focus Group, Inc./OMNI to expand, revitalize, and deepen the reach of its Hunter Education Tools: Hunter’s Handbook, and the IHEA-USA Hunter & Shooting Sports Education Journal. BOLT will introduce new tools for the 650,000 students coming through the classroom and their 55,000 instructors.

The Many Ways We Enjoy Birding!

BIRDING is many things to many people – including tens of millions of Americans! And to some of us, birding is a lifestyle, an ever-present part of our lives. For others, it’s the action at feeders outside their window, the birds along the golf course, or the flocks of birds at a national wildlife refuge an hour away. But for all of us, birds provide an interest that commands our attention and inspires a lively connection to nature that we enjoy sharing with family, friends and fellow birders.

Binocular Magnification - Is Bigger Really Better?

What power binocular will make birding most enjoyable for you? The first number describing a binocular, such as 8x32, refers to the model’s 8-power optics that will make an image appear eight times larger or eight times closer than if viewed with the naked eye. 

Arizona Mule Deer Organization President Joins Arizona Wildlife Federation Board of Directors

Jim Lawrence, President of Arizona Mule Deer. Org (AMD), has joined the Arizona Wildlife Federation Board of Directors as the Arizona Mule Deer Organization representative.

Lighting is Everything

When people ask “What is the essential element for taking a good bird photo,” I always reply “Lighting;” but a better answer might be “the direction of the sunlight.” A simple rule to follow is to keep the bird in front of you, and the sun behind you. That way the sunlight will illuminate the elusive bird in before you. 

ABA'S Rare Bird Alert

Roseate Spoonbills continue to keep birders’ pulses fluttering at many northern locations. Normally found along the Atlantic Coast of Florida and the entire Gulf Coast, more of these resplendent waders have been showing up in surprising locations farther north, the result of post-fledging dispersal.

Salmon Project is a Game-changer for Threatened Murrelets
Richard MacIntosh photo


The surprise discovery of the first Marbled Murrelet nest ever found unlocked one of the final significant mysteries in American ornithology. In 1974 a lucky Santa Cruz, California, park employee who climbed to the top of an ancient redwood tree accidently found what turned out to be a Marbled Murrelet nest built atop a massive branch high in the tree canopy. 

Thanks to that accidental discovery we learned that, unlike all other seabirds, the Marbled Murrelet is also a forest bird and, in many ways, also a river bird. Like salmon, Marbled Murrelets spend most of their adult life at sea and return inland only to reproduce. They are the only seabirds exhibiting this behavior; all others nest on isolated sea cliffs or islets at sea.

While rearing nestlings, Marbled Murrelets leave their nests just once a day during the low-light hours before dawn or following dusk. They are fast fliers and well-camouflaged, so they are rarely noticed flying silently between forest and sea, where they forage for small fish and other food to feed their nestlings. 

During their journeys inland, murrelets follow river corridors upstream, flying up tributaries deep into forests to nest. So it should come as no surprise that a conservation project that Western Rivers Conservancy launched to save the Klamath River’s salmon will be a game-changer for Marbled Murrelets too. Partial funding for the project was also provided by the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program.

Unfortunately, what makes Marbled Murrelets unique is exactly what makes them vulnerable. Because murrelets nest only on large upper branches of old-growth conifer forests, their numbers, like their habitat, have been declining for decades. As a result, in 1992 Marbled Murrelets were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, but populations continue to decline.

Western Rivers Conservancy’s project in northern California, which is the heart of the best murrelet habitat in the Lower 48 States, may do more for murrelet habitat than any other effort in the Pacific Northwest. In partnership with the Yurok Tribe, WRC will conserve 47,000 acres of land along the Klamath River and Blue Creek, restoring tens of thousands of acres of mature and late-seral forest habitat within 30 miles of the ocean.

Western Rivers Conservancy embarked on this project in 2008 with the goal of creating a salmon sanctuary at Blue Creek, the most important cold-water tributary to the Lower Klamath River; but it soon became clear that the project benefits would extend far beyond fish. 

Blue Creek flows from the Siskiyou Coast Range and supports one of the largest Marbled Murrelet populations in California, Oregon and Washington. The project is just three miles outside Redwood National Park and state parks, that protect the largest remaining groves of old-growth redwoods. Because of the extensive habitat the parks preserve, the area has been identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as critical to Marbled Murrelet population recovery during the next century.

Recovery is far from guaranteed at this time, for while these protected public lands form the best murrelet habitat in the Lower 48, they are not extensive enough to ensure the species’ recovery. First, habitat within the parks is shrinking through natural disturbances such as fire, wind-throw, insects and tree disease. Some people also bring food into the park that attracts some predatory birds, such as Steller’s Jays and Common Ravens that feed on murrelet eggs when possible. 

Today, a priority for Marbled Murrelet recovery is to add new habitat on private lands. Recruitment habitats that replace lost forests and add to existing habitats must be established and protected, especially within the stronghold of the Coast Range Zone, to promote population increases. The project will create recruitment habitat at a scale larger than anywhere else on the West Coast. This project may offer the best chance for recovering murrelet populations anywhere because it is located within the most important murrelet stronghold in the contiguous United States.

Western Rivers Conservancy’s Blue Creek project will conserve a vast swath of former commercial timberland that will be managed by the Yurok People to promote mature forests and old-growth habitat to benefit fish and wildlife. Given economic and other constraints, such objectives would be difficult for a traditional forest owner to pursue. Yet, forest industry jobs will be maintained, improving watershed management on a large scale through innovative sustainable forestry practices and benefitting the rural economy. 

Transforming an industrial tree farm into a sustainable community forest and salmon sanctuary will also ensure water quality and drinking water for 1,750 rural tribal residents. The project has been a tremendous morale booster for members of the Yurok Tribe because it is returning Blue Creek, a sacred stream that has been off limits for nearly a century, to the Yurok people. “Just having knowledge that we’re getting Blue Creek back creates a sense of optimism and hope that we’ve never seen,” Pergish Carlson, Yurok Tribal Member, told Western Rivers Conservancy. “At least not in my lifetime,” he added.

Western Rivers Conservancy’s project is one of two dozen watershed protection programs underway across the United States that is supported by the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program. This partnership includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, in addition to the not-for-profit U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. 

During the first two years of the partnership, more than $4.1 million in grants have been awarded to 25 projects in 30 states. This Western Rivers Conservancy project, like many funded through the Healthy Watersheds Consortium Grant Program, demonstrates that protecting and improving management of watersheds is good for people and nature.

        Article by Josh Kling and Peter Stangel

June 24 - June 28
Great Lakes Young Birders Camp
Alma, Michigan
July 4
Independence Day -No Wire Distribution
July 28
Annual High Country Hummers Festival
Eagar, Arizona
Aug. 1 - Aug. 4
Southwest Wings Annual Birding and Nature Festival
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Aug. 8 - Aug. 12
Southeast Arizona Birding Festival
Tucson, Arizona
Aug. 11
Indiana Audubon Hummingbird Migration Celebration
Connersville, Indiana
Aug. 18 - Aug. 19
Silt, Colorado
Aug. 19 - Aug. 26
Vancouver International Bird Festival
Vancouver, Canada
Aug. 23 - Aug. 26
Davis Mountains Hummingbird Celebration
Fort Davis, Texas
Aug. 24 - Aug. 26
Plumas Audubon Society Grebe Festival
Chester, California
Aug. 30 - Sept. 2
Yampa Valley Crane Festival
Steamboat Springs & Hayden, Colorado
Sept. 3
Labor Day Observed, No Wires
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