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Submit TBW Contributions by Tuesday Deadline
In order to assure timely placement of your news items, event listings and company announcements, remember to send 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.

Saw-whet Owl Banding Returns to Indiana Dunes SP
See wild saw-whet owls up-close during an annual banding project and education station at Indiana Dunes State Park this fall.

ZEISS Announces New Position for Tech Advisor – Sports Optics
ZEISS has recently created the new Tech Advisor position in order to continue to enhance the level of service and support that its customers have come to expect. The candidate for this position would report to the Thornwood, NY office.

NWF Blasts Proposed Antiquities Act Measure
In a press release, the National Wildlife Federation says "the House Natural Resources Committee is considering a bill, H.R. 3990, that would be a direct assault on our national monuments and more than a century of conservation."
Audubon Society Applauds Introduction of RCPP Improvement Act
David O'Neill, Audubon's chief conservation officer, this week praised the introduction of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program Improvement Act by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA).

Atlanta Residents Welcome Pollinators to Their Urban Gardens
The Greater Atlanta Pollinator Partnership (GAPP), a Forest Service collaboration designed to foster pollinator habitat in the region, encourages citizens to be friends to pollinators by planting native species and establishing community gardens in their neighborhoods and schools.
$3.7M in Grants for the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) has announced 23 grant awards totaling more than $3.77 million for projects to help conserve the monarch butterfly in North America.

October 2017 Birding Magazine is Online
The October issue of Birding celebrates the talents of many teen birders, from articles written by Luke Maillefer, Diego Blanco, Madelyne Ray, and Trysten Loefke; artwork from Diego Blanco and Kylee Wiseman; and photography from these and other skilled birders.

Connecticut Audubon Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers
The Connecticut Audubon Society presented three longtime volunteers and a dedicated staff member with the Dave Engelman Volunteer Benchmark Award at our annual meeting at Deer Pond Farm Oct. 15.

Ducks Unlimited Launches National Scholarship Program
Starting in 2018, Ducks Unlimited will annually award 61, one-time scholarships, funded on an annual basis through the Youth & Education Endowment, to eligible applicants.

Grassland Sparrows Constantly Searching for a Nicer Home
Emily Williams and Alice Boyle of Kansas State University captured 647 male Grasshopper Sparrows over the course of three breeding seasons and marked them with identifying color bands, surveying territories weekly to track their movements.
For Woodpeckers, the Right Tree Can Be Hard to Find
Teresa Lorenz, a research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, wanted to find out why cavity-excavating birds do not use many trees seemingly suitable for nesting, a puzzle has eluded researchers for decades.

Vermont Bald Eagles Nest in Record Numbers in 2017
Twenty-one pairs of adult bald eagles successfully produced 35 young in Vermont in 2017, a modern-day record in the state according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
Poet of the Plain: Sage Thrasher
The plain-looking, yellow-eyed Sage Thrasher is sometimes called the "mountain mockingbird" due to its song — a long, melodious jumble of musical notes and phrases reminiscent of the widespread Northern Mockingbird.

Report Whooping Crane Sighting in Oklahoma
Most whooping cranes are reported in Oklahoma from mid-October through November. Sightings often come from western Oklahoma, typically east of Guymon and west of Interstate 35.
Lead Poisoning in Pennsylvania Bald Eagles on the Rise
An increasing number of bald eagles have been admitted to wildlife-rehabilitation centers across Pennsylvania exhibiting signs of illness such as weakness, lethargy, emaciation, labored respiration and drooping wings. Blood tests often reveal that the eagles are suffering from lead toxicity.
Nebraska: Wetland Conditions Improve
Wetland conditions across most of the state have improved recently, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas Releases Third-Season Findings
After the third year of the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas survey, volunteers have documented 220 bird species breeding in the state, including 12 new species that weren't found during the first Breeding Bird Atlas survey two decades ago.

'Birds of North America' Opens at Boulder Venue
New work takes flight Oct. 21, when Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company (BETC) presents the world premiere of Birds of North America, an intimate family drama with environmental overtones, by Anna Moench, directed by Stephen Weitz, Producing Artistic Director.

Bird Cuba with the ABA in 2018
Join the American Birding Association on a journey to Cuba where you'll search for Gundlach's Hawk, Cuban Trogon (pictured), Cuban Parakeet, Zapata Wren, and other birds found nowhere else on Earth.

The Birding Wire Photo Gallery

With the Halloween season fast approaching, nefarious implications have haunted the Turkey Vulture in stories and folklore for centuries, though this species is best known among birders and biologists as a dedicated steward of the environment, and its taste for carrion endears the bird to many as one of nature's premier garbage disposers. Photo by Birding Wire editor, J.R. Absher. Tech notes: Canon 7D w/Canon EF 70-300 mm lens, f16, ISO 1250, @1/640 sec.


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.

Safety, Not Food, Entices Geese to Cities
Radio transmitter data has revealed the real reason geese hang out in cities. Photo credit: M. Horath
Canada Geese have shifted their winter range northward in recent years by taking advantage of conditions in urban areas—but what specific features of cities make this possible? A new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests that rather than food, geese are seeking safety, congregating in areas where they can avoid hunters and be buffered from the coldest winter temperatures.

Heath Hagy of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and his colleagues captured 41 geese in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area between 2014 and 2016 and fitted them with radio transmitters to track their movements. While the geese used a remarkable variety of urban habitats, they preferred deep water and rivers over green space such as parks when temperatures dropped enough to tax their ability to maintain their body temperature. For geese that remained within the metropolitan area, winter survival was 100%, but this dropped to 48% for those that emigrated out to forage in surrounding agricultural fields, countering expectations that the proximity of agricultural habitat may be a factor in geese's winter expansion in the area. Together, these results suggest that sanctuary may be a higher priority for wintering geese than good foraging habitat.

Better understanding how geese use urban habitat in winter may help reduce human–wildlife conflicts such as collisions with airplanes. "The growth of urban areas and northward expansion of row-crop agriculture have changed the way geese migrate. Unfortunately, some of our large cities have become goose sanctuaries, where resident geese and migratory geese congregate during winter to escape hunting pressure," says Hagy. "Although additional research is needed, our data will be useful to guide goose harassment efforts, which may offset the benefits of remaining inside urban areas during winter and open hunting seasons."

"This work offers comprehensive insights into the biology and behavior of a large wintering population of Canada geese that inhabits a major metropolitan area in the mid-western U.S. Appropriately grounded in an energetic context, the study thoroughly describes how Canada geese utilize the urban environment under varying weather conditions and demonstrates the survival benefits of urban adaptation," according to The Ohio State University's Robert Gates, a wildlife management expert who was not involved in the research. "Findings from this study provide a firm biological grounding for the development and implementation of management actions to alleviate human–Canada goose conflicts in urban areas."

Survival and habitat selection of Canada Geese during autumn and winter in metropolitan Chicago, USA is available at http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1650/CONDOR-16-234.1.

About the journal: The Condor: Ornithological Applications is a peer-reviewed, international journal of ornithology. It began in 1899 as the journal of the Cooper Ornithological Club, a group of ornithologists in California that became the Cooper Ornithological Society, which merged with the American Ornithologists' Union in 2016 to become the American Ornithological Society. The Condor had the top impact factor among ornithology journals for 2016.


Oct. 15 - Oct. 21
"Ding" Darling Days
Sanibel Island, Fla.
Oct. 19 - Oct. 22
Oct. 21
Raptor Fest
Silt, Colo.
Nov. 1 - Nov. 5
Nov. 5
Fall Migration Celebration
W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, Augusta, Mich.
Nov. 6 - Nov. 12
Azores Birdwatching Arts Festival
Lajes do Pico, Açores
Nov. 8 - Nov. 12
Nov. 14 - Nov. 19
Festival of the Cranes
Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM
Nov. 18 - Nov. 19
Dec. 2 - Dec. 3
Jim Foster Wildlife Photography Seminar
Birding & Nature Center, S. Padre Island, Tex.
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