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Condor Country Mobile Game App Available This Week
Condor Country, launching this week for IOS and Android devices, is the first mobile game to simulate what it takes to recover an endangered species based on real-life conservation practices used by the California Condor Recovery Program.

Help Birds this Winter! – Join Project FeederWatch
Participants in Project FeederWatch make a difference by collecting simple information about birds visiting feeders in winter. FeederWatchers help researchers at Bird Studies Canada and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology monitor changes in the fortunes of feeder birds.

Where the Colorado River Now Runs Dry, New Hope
In 2014, 34 billion gallons of the Colorado River reached the sea, connecting the river through its ancient delta for the first time in nearly two decades.
Four Unique Vermont Wetlands Slated for Class I Protection
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is starting a process to provide special protections for four unique Vermont wetlands by designating them Class I.

Pigeon Enthusiast Punished for Capturing, Killing Protected Hawks
A New York man has been sentenced to one year of probation, fined $5,500 and ordered to perform 90 hours of community service at a local animal shelter after he and another man admitted killing Red-tailed and Cooper's hawks.

Extreme Raptor Day at Schlitz Audubon Center
Join the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee, Wis. as it celebrates everything raptor on Saturday, Nov. 5

Irreplaceable - Sierra de Bahoruco, Dominican Republic
At 1,100 km, Sierra de Bahoruco National Park is the largest terrestrial protected area of the Dominican Republic and one of the most important refuges for Hispaniola island's unique biodiversity.
BirdLife International Proposes Protection for Area of the Atlantic
BirdLife International has presented a proposal to create a new Marine Protected Area (MPA) under OSPAR, the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic.

Groups File Notice of Intent to Sue Over Camp Perry Wind Turbine
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) have filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the Ohio Air National Guard (ANG) for violations of the Endangered Species Act and other federal laws in the course of planning to build a large wind turbine at its Camp Perry facility in Ottawa County, Ohio.

Newest National Wildlife Refuge Finalized
Following an extensive public process, and with overwhelming public support, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized the creation of Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge, dedicated to conserving and managing shrubland and young forests for wildlife in New England and eastern New York.

Protecting Nest Boxes from Predators
Today, nest boxes are widely used, both by bird lovers as well as researchers and conservationists. But they don't always serve as the safe shelters humans intend.

Henslow's Sparrow Rebounds in Chicagoland
New findings in a study released by the National Audubon Society indicate that grasslands of the greater Chicago region are contributing significantly to the recovery of threatened bird populations while annually providing millions of dollars in flood control and carbon sequestration.

What's Best for Birds in Fire-Prone Landscapes?
Two new papers from The Condor: Ornithological Applicationsdemonstrate the complex challenges involved in balancing the management of fire-prone landscapes with the needs of wildlife in the American West.

The Fruit Commute: 
White-crowned Pigeon
The White-crowned Pigeon's most distinctive feature is its white-topped head, which is bright white in males and grayish white in females and juveniles.

Habitat Restoration Projects to Help California's Wintering Waterfowl
In an average year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) sells almost 70,000 state duck stamps, generating about $1.3 million for waterfowl-related projects.
NH to Consider Adding Threatened and Endangered Species
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department will hold a public hearing Nov. 3 on proposed changes to the lists of threatened and endangered species in New Hampshire, including the additions of the purple martin and red knot.
Rehabbed Eagle Released in Vermont
Staff with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences released a juvenile bald eagle back into the wild last week at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison, Vermont.

DNA: Cougars Found Killed in Michigan UP Came from the West
Genetic testing on tissue samples from two cougars poached in the Upper Peninsula shows the two animals likely came from a population found generally in South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska.
Lynx Confirmed in Southern Vermont
A lone Canada lynx was photographed in the southern Vermont town of Londonderry this June, marking the first confirmed evidence of lynx in Vermont outside the Northeast Kingdom in decades.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery

This week's featured submission of a White-browed Albatross photographed at the Hauraki Gulf in Auckland, New Zealand comes from Birding Wire subscriber Tom Lynch, director of Foris Eco-tours (www.foris.co.nz). Technical: Canon 7D, Canon EF 400mm f5.6 lens, ISO 800, f10 @ 1/3200.


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.

Texas Judge's Decision a Win for Whooping Crane Protection
Editor's note: The following was provided by the International Crane Foundation (ICF)

Beaumont, Texas (Oct. 25, 2016) – In an unprecedented decision, Federal District Court Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn handed down a heavy sentence for Trey Joseph Frederick, a 19-year-old Beaumont man who admitted to shooting and killing two endangered Whooping Cranes. The International Crane Foundation (ICF), a nonprofit organization working on behalf of Whooping Cranes internationally, assisted in the case and hopes this decision will be a sobering reminder that these animals desperately need protection. As of today, only 450 of the rare birds exist in the wild across North America.

Frederick's sentence includes:

• $25,850 in restitution to be shared among Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and the International Crane Foundation

• 200 hours of community service (the most ever ordered by this court.) This time is to be spent with Texas Parks and Wildlife and/or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

• The maximum of five years probation

• An order that Frederick turn over all firearms

• The rescinding of Frederick's hunting license for the next five years in all states

"This ruling has set a powerful precedent for the future of Whooping Crane conservation," said Rich Beilfuss, President and CEO of the ICF. "This was not hunting. This was an act of criminal vandalism, and we are encouraged that Judge Hawthorn treated it as such. We hope the decision will be a strong deterrent to anyone considering a similar crime."

While ICF is encouraged by the overall ruling, the nonprofit is disappointed that Judge Hawthorn did not require a higher restitution amount. ICF previously recommended a fine of $113,886 per bird, based on the cost of raising a Whooping Crane in human care and reintroducing it into the wild in Louisiana, where the birds originated. The U.S. Probation Office supported this assessment and recommended the amount to the Judge as well.

"The shooter did not just illegally kill two birds; he stole an intensive monetary investment by federal and state governments and nonprofit organizations in the United States and Canada, as well as, saddened and outraged the public through this thoughtless and brazen act," wrote Liz Smith, Texas Program Director of the International Crane Foundation, in the letter to Judge Hawthorn.

Despite the reduced amount, ICF looks forward to sharing the ordered restitution and working alongside Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation in the future on Whooping Crane conservation efforts.

Aside from working to secure coastal habitats for Whooping Cranes in Texas, and rearing cranes for release in Louisiana and Wisconsin, ICF and its conservation partners are engaging local communities and encouraging involvement in protecting this iconic species.

"Protecting a species like Whooping Cranes takes commitment and support from the community, and we hope people recognize that if we can't save Whooping Cranes, we all lose," said Beilfuss.

Whooping Cranes are one of the rarest birds in North America, currently numbering about 450 in the wild. Unregulated hunting and habitat loss forced Whooping Cranes to the brink of extinction. Through painstaking efforts by ICF and others, they are making a slow, yet steady comeback from a low of only 21 individuals in the wild in 1944. Whooping Crane recovery is a symbol of hope for all endangered species.


About the International Crane Foundation

The International Crane Foundation plays a leading role in the conservation of Whooping Cranes, from managed breeding and release programs to habitat protection, citizen education and engagement, and threat reduction along their flyways. Learn more about the International Crane Foundation and its work to protect Endangered Whooping Cranes at www.savingcranes.org.

Oct. 27 - Oct. 29
Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative Annual Meeting
Stoney Creek Hotel, Rothschild, Wis.
Nov. 2 - Nov. 6
Nov. 2 - Nov. 6
Nov. 5
Wiregrass Birding Trail Tour
Lakepoint State Park, Eufaula, Ala.
Nov. 11 - Nov. 13
California Swan Festival
Marysville, Calif.
Nov. 14 - Nov. 20
Nov. 19 - Nov. 20
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