9th Annual Galveston FeatherFest

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

The Galveston FeatherFest is one of the biggest bird watching events in Texas, where some 200 bird species can be spotted. Excursions by boat, bus and kayak will take visitors to bays, beaches, wetlands, coastal praires, upland wood mottes and bay marshes. Besides field trips, a number of seminars will be held, including photography, birding basics, butterflies and moths, digiscoping and optics tips, identification and more.

Date: 7 to 10 April 2011
Venue: Burns High School
Location: Galveston Island
State: Texas
Country: United States of America

41st Annual Rivers and Wildlife Celebration

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

Presented by Audubon Nebraska, Nebraska Bird Partnership and Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary, the Rivers and Wildlife Celebration sees bird and wildlife enthusiasts gathering to celebrate the migration of waterfowl and 500 000 sandhill cranes through central Nebraska. Visitors to the event can enjoy crane viewing, excursions to wetlands and lakes and The Wild Experience Room. Keynote speakers will be David yarnold, Dr. Richard Beilfuss and Rick Wright.

Date: 17 to 20 March 2011
Venue: Holiday Inn Convention Center
City: Kearney
State: Nebraska
Country: United States of America

2011 Winter Wings Festival

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

Organized by the Klamath Basin Audubon Society, the 2011 Winter Wings Festival will feature a fascinating schedule including field trips, workshops, lectures and more. Keynote speakers will include Jeffrey Gordon and Arthur Morris. Other events taking place during the Winter Wings Festival are a photography contest, art contest, art show, pelicans on parade auction and much more.

The area in which the Winter Wings Festival takes place is ideal for exceptinal birding, particularly as it is home to a large number of wintering Bald Eagles. So be sure not to miss this amazing event.

Date: 18 to 20 February 2011
Time: 5:45 am
Venue: Oregon Institute of Technology
City: Klamath Falls
State: Oregon
Country: United States of America

Everglades Birding Festival 2011

December 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

Those attending the 2011 Everglades Birding Festival can look forward to a full program of events, including birding, workshops, tours, night hikes, and the opportunity to meet birding experts. Amongst the target birds for the event are Snail Kite, Peregrine Falcon, Purple Gallinule, Roseate Spoonbill, Short-eared Owl, Burrowing Owl, Wood Stalk and others.

For more details, please visit the official website of the Everglades Birding Festival.

Date: 12 to 17 January 2011
Venue: Florida Everglades
State: Florida
Country: United States of America

Mimicking Bird Songs

December 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Birding Tips

Each bird species has its own unique sound and song, and for centuries human hunters have been devising whistles or perfecting their own whistling techniques to mimic the calls of birds. But until recently, this art was not fool proof. Now, using a rubber tube, physicists have been able to create device that imitates bird calls and, when played back, is almost the exact reproduction of the original bird call. Their simple device has proven to be a breakthrough in the mimicking of bird calls and songs, and is still being researched as they wish to improve on their device.

Different species of birds have calls that are exclusive to that species and which young birds learn from their parents. By studying the physics of bird calls and the vocal tract of birds, physicists from Harvard University, located in Massachusetts, have been able to create a simple controller to mimic certain bird calls. The rubber tube that is used is created to resemble the vocal tract of the specific bird. Then, with the assistance of a linear motor, pressure is put on the tube to resemble the contracting of the muscles, and together with the airflow produced, the researchers have been able to mimic the songs of birds. The device can be used to mimic a variety of bird calls and the patterns created by the device are as harmonious as those of real birds. Many scientists have suggested that young birds learning bird calls has a lot to do with neurological shifts, as the bird ages, but graduate student Aryesh Mukherjee from the Mahadevan Laboratory believes that the secrets to bird calls lay in the vocal tracts of each bird.

Other avenues of studying bird calls and how to mimic them are also being pursued, and Shreyas Mandre is in charge of creating digital bird calls. Working within the laboratory, this researcher is making use of mathematical models that are also very close to the real bird calls. But it is believed that with more research and time, the art or mimicking bird calls can be perfected.

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