A SERVICE OF THE OUTDOOR WIRE DIGITAL NETWORK
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2018
The registration deadline (April 1) for this year’s Great Texas Birding Classic is approaching quickly. Join this fun, friendly, birdwatching competition in one of several tournament categories for all ages and skill levels -then pick your tournament days: any day from April 15-May 15.
The updated Iowa Monarch Conservation Strategy seeks to establish approximately 480,000 to 830,000 acres of monarch habitat by 2038.
Owl calls are a common sound effect in nighttime movie scenes, but have you ever heard the real thing in person? The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is hosting a “Listen to the Owls Night” on the evening of April 5.
April 7 is the 15th Annual Prairie Chicken Day at the Kellerton Wildlife Management Area, in Ringgold County. Activities originate from the viewing platform on 300th Avenue, southwest of Kellerton.
The Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center in Mattawan, Michigan (Van Buren County), will open for the 2018 season April 3, offering everything from introductions to fish tagging to an introduction to wildlife photography.
Meopta USA introduces the TGA 75 collapsible spotting scope. Engineered for hunters, the classic draw-tube design of this rugged spotting scope allows the length to be shorten from 14.8 inches when fully extended to 9.8 inches when collapsed, making it easier to carry.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Forensic and Fish Health Laboratory in Laramie is pleased to announce that there have been some changes in roles at the laboratory after Dee Dee Hawk was promoted to chief of services division.
As winter hangs on for its final few weeks before spring, wildlife viewing opportunities abound for those who know where to look. The Michigan DNR has some tips for escaping cabin fever the next several weeks.
Wildlife watchers are beginning to understand the advantages that FLIR offers when trying to find and observe nocturnal creatures. The compact, lightweight yet very capable Scout TK by industry leader FLIR Systems, Inc. offers an entry-level peek into the world of thermal imaging for around $600.
A trio of great horned owls have become international celebrities after a livestream camera observing their nests went viral. Nevada Department of Wildlife biologists discovered the trio at the Desert Research Institute in Reno - nesting on the second story ledge of one of their buildings. You can see them live at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOuiNxtECzA.
Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, not all news from the birding world is positive. This story is one that we felt needed to be shared.
California wildlife officers have uncovered what is likely the largest raptor poaching case in known California history.
Wildlife officers assigned to Lassen County received an anonymous tip from someone who reportedly witnessed a man killing a hawk near the town of Standish. The local wildlife officer conducted surveillance, then visited the private property and discovered nine dead raptors, which was enough evidence to obtain a search warrant. He returned on March 11 with additional officers and a CDFW K-9. A search of the 80-acre property led to the discovery of an extraordinary number of raptor carcasses, other dead birds and wildlife and spent rifle casings indicating more than 140 potential state and/or federal violations.
In addition to the original nine birds, they found 126 dead raptors, all in various states of decay. Most of the birds were red-tailed hawks, but at least one dead owl was found, as well as an uncommon migratory ferruginous hawk. Officers also located two dead bobcats, one taxidermied mountain lion and other nongame birds, all suspected to be unlawfully taken.
Property owner Richard Parker, 67, was booked into Lassen County jail on multiple charges including take of birds of prey, take of migratory nongame birds as designated by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, take of other nongame birds, and possession of wildlife unlawfully taken. Additional charges may be added as the investigation proceeds.
Staff at CDFW’s Wildlife Investigations Laboratory in Rancho Cordova are working to positively identify the species of all of the birds.
As the top bird predators in the food chain, raptors serve an important role in the ecosystem by controlling rodent and small mammal populations. However, they are also particularly susceptible to environmental stressors such as drought and habitat loss. For these reasons, biologists refer to them as an indicator species.
Standish is located near Honey Lake and the Honey Lake Wildlife Area, with habitat that supports a rich diversity and quantity of wildlife. The sheer number of birds poached on the 80-acre property will undoubtedly affect the raptor population in the immediate area.
“Poaching crimes of this egregious nature against raptors is unprecedented in California,” said David Bess, CDFW Deputy Director and Chief of the Law Enforcement Division. “The local raptor population may take years to recover from these killings.”
Each potential violation is a misdemeanor poaching crime at the state level, with maximum penalties of six months in jail and up to a $5,000 fine per each raptor. An unlawfully taken mountain lion could result in up to a $10,000 penalty. Each potential federal crime could result in additional penalties.
Apr. 14 - Apr. 15
Apr. 15 - May 15