2013 Yampa Valley Crane Festival

June 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

The program for this popular four-day event includes nature and bird walks, films, an art show, workshops and loads of activities. The keynote speaker at the 2013 Yampa Valley Crane Festival will be internationally renowned nature photographer Michael Forsberg. For more information visit coloradocranes.org

Date: 6-9 September 2013
Venue: Steamboat Springs
State: Colorado
Country: United States

Puget Sound Bird Fest 2013

June 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

This popular three-day event includes guided walks, field trips (on land and water), talks by experts, exhibits, workshops and all manner of activities for both children and adults. For more information on this family-oriented event visit www.pugetsoundbirdfest.org

Dates: 6-8 September 2013
Venue: Puget Sound
City: Edmonds
State: Washington
Country: United States

Iowa Purple Martin Potluck

June 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

Anyone interested in Purple Martins is invited to attend this event being held on Saturday August 17th at the Edgewood Park in Madrid, Iowa from 1PM until late. For more details on this fun and informative event visit www.purplemartin.org

Date: 17 August 2013
Time: 1PM until late
Venue: Edgewood Park
City: Madrid
State: Iowa
Countrey: United States

Birdsong Apps Pose Threat to Breeding

June 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Birding Tips

Bird watching as a hobby has been traced back to the late-18th century as portrayed in the works of English naturalists and ornithologists Gilbert White, Thomas Bewick and George Montagu. During the Victorian Era, the study of birds became fashionable, but not necessarily in their natural habitats, as collectors obtained specimens of eggs and preserved dead birds sourced from around the world. In the late 19th century the Audubon Society in the United States and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Britain were founded to protect birds from these collectors and from the increasingly popular feather trade. In 1901 a book published by British ornithologist and writer Edmund Selous, entitled simply Bird Watching, is thought to have been the origin of the term describing the practice of observing birds in their natural habitat – a pastime which requires plenty of patience.

In today’s society which is increasing becoming accustomed to instant gratification, patience may sometimes be seen as a hindrance rather than a virtue, and this may be the case among birding enthusiasts who are using mobile phone apps to mimic birdsong in an effort to attract birds. Wardens on England’s Brownsea Island have recently reported instances where visitors have used these mobile apps to mimic the unique call of the Nightjar, apparently so they could get a clearer photograph. What these visitors may not realize is that they are breaking a law (the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981) which was put into place to protect nesting birds from being intentionally disturbed. Designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA), Brownsea Island is home to a host of bird species, including the Nightjar which, thanks to conservation efforts, has experienced an increase in numbers in recent years.

When a recorded birdsong is played repeatedly it is likely to divert the bird from essential duties, such as feeding its young. It may also prompt a bird to interrupt the mating process to chase off what it perceives to be a rival in order to protect its territory.

Giving birders the benefit of the doubt that they may be unaware of the negative impact their birdsong apps are having, the Dorset Wildlife Trust is launching an online campaign to warn people of the harm they may inadvertently be causing. To reinforce the message, signs will be erected on each of the 42 reserves overseen by the Trust requesting that birdsong apps not be used in the reserves.

Tucson Audubon Society Field Trip

June 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

August 30 – September 2, 2013 (Labor Day Weekend) –Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon – 8:00 AM Q Ranch / Mogollon Rim /Tonto National Forest On Friday, carpool (requires high clearance vehicles) to historic Q Ranch near Young, AZ where 150 species of birds have been identified including raptors, tanagers, orioles, hummers, swallows, sparrows, warblers, and Mountain Bluebirds. Expect lots of other natural beauty, including post-monsoon wildflowers and dragonflies. Dark clear night skies at 5600 feet with plenty of stars. Combine birding with brief hikes to nearby scenic and historic locations.

Tour the 1000-year-old Q Ranch Mogollon-Culture Pueblo ruins. Depart ranch Monday after early birding and brunch. Ranch is a relatively poor cell-phone zone, but Verizon service is available within a few miles. All meals included. $135/person/night for shared room (we will link up sharers if possible). $200/person/night for single room. Full online or check payment is due by July 31, 2013 (www.qranch.com). Limited to 12 people total. Riders will pay ~$50 each for drivers’ gas cost. No out-of-the-way departures and ret! urns – you must be able to carpool from and return to Tucson or Phoenix and ride in someone else’s vehicle. For reservations and more info, contact trip leader Steve Buck (stevetucson@aol.com). Birding leader (present at Q Ranch only): Ken Furtado (ken@qranch.com).

More info at www.tucsonaudubon.org/what-we-do/birding/fieldtrips.html

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