2014 Orlando Wetlands Festival

November 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

The City of Orlando, Orange Audubon Society and Orange County Parks and Recreation Department have teamed up to present an event promoted as the ‘Best Wetlands Festival in the United States’. In addition to workshops, field trips and other bird-related activities, this year the event will feature comedy and magic by renowned magician Brian Staron. For more information visit Friends of the Orlando Wetlands Website or www.facebook.com/OrlandoWetlands

Date: 15 February 2014
Time: 9am-3pm
Venue: Fort Christmas Historical Park
City: Christmas
State: Florida
Country: United States

Dungarpur Bird Fair 2013

November 29, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

Taking place on 21-22 December 2013, the Dungarpur Bird Fair invites bird, wildlife and nature lover to experience the biodiverse habitats of Dungarpur and its environs. While the lakes and forests of Dungarpur are host to a large diversity of resident and locally migratory birds all year around, from October through to March it also hosts a variety of winter visitors from Central Asia and Europe, making this region in India especially attractive to birding enthusiasts. For more information visit http://dungarpurbirds.blogspot.in/

Dates: 21-22 December 2013
Venue: Dangarpur
State: Rajasthan
Country: India

Bird Tracking Technology

November 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Features

Various methods of marking birds for identification are believed to go back as far as Roman times and this was generally done to indicate ownership. The first person to ring birds for scientific purposes was Danish ornithologist Hans Christian Cornelius Mortensen (1856-1921) who put aluminum rings marked with unique numbers and an address, first on the legs of European Starlings, and later on storks, herons, gulls and ducks, with the intention of tracking their movements. The first organized banding scheme was established at the Rossitten Bird Observatory by German ornithologist Johannes Thienemann in 1903.

Since those early days bird banding has been invaluable in gathering data for conservation and scientific purposes. But banding has its limitations, as once birds are set free they are very often only identified again when found injured or dead, and then only if the person finding the bird takes the time and trouble to report it. At best, bird banding provides only a few pieces of the puzzle of bird migration and behavior. However, rapidly advancing technology has opened up new avenues of tracking birds, with the most promising being satellite telemetry, which provides information immediately.

In 2005, satellite telemetry was used by the Wildlife Research Institute (WRI) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) to track Southern California’s Golden Eagles, and this was later expanded to include Montana. Tiny transmitters are attached to the birds and their signals are tracked by satellites no matter where they may travel. Working in conjunction with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the WRI received data via the internet enabling researchers to determine exactly where the eagles have been and when. The information is so detailed that it can be determined how high the eagles flew, and how fast they were flying. In the event of an eagle not moving, it’s location can be pinpointed and the bird rescued if injured, or recovered if dead.

As plans for alternative energy sources in the form of wind and solar farms move ahead in California, data on migration, nesting and hunting patterns of Golden Eagles will be invaluable in ensuring the survival of this already endangered species. On a wider scale, the cost and availability of satellite telemetry is an obstacle that may be difficult to overcome, particularly in developing nations, and so bird banding remains an important activity for conservationists.

Tropical Audubon Society Exotics Trip

November 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

Brian Rapoza and Paul Bithorn will lead birders in search of bulbuls, parrots, mynas and other introduced species. For more information contact the Tropical Audubon Society www.tropicalaudubon.org

Everglades Birding Festival 2014

November 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

The Everglades Birding Festival invites birders to journey through south Florida’s moss-covered cypress swamps, everglades prairies and marshes in a search for a variety of spectacular birds, some of which are very rare. The event includes full-day field trips, mini-workshops, field techniques etc. For more information visit www.evergladesbirdingfestival.com

Dates: 16-20 January 2014
Venue: La Quinta Hotel
City: Plantation
State: Florida
Country: USA

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