Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah 2014

June 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

As the name suggests, this event focuses on hummingbirds, which are found in large numbers at this time of the year. The Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah includes garden tours, banding demonstrations, speakers, book signing sessions and a host of children’s activities. For more information visit www.hendersonhummingbirdhurrah.com

Date: 16 August 2014
Venue: Bender Park, 200 North Third Street
City: Henderson
State: Minnesota
Country: United States

Radio Waves May Disrupt Birds’ Magnetic Compass

June 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Features

While the navigational skills of birds remain largely unexplained, the theory that they use the magnetic field of the earth to some degree to map their positions is generally accepted. The magnetic field of the earth is weakest at the equator, becoming stronger toward the north and south poles. This change in magnetic strength may give birds an estimate of their latitude while in flight. This amazing ability to navigate is especially evident in homing pigeons which are able to find their way home over distances of as much as 1,100 miles (1,800 km) with unwavering accuracy. Research has revealed that pigeons have a significant number of iron particles on top of their beaks, which act as a natural compass to guide them, along with visual landmarks and olfactory markers.

It has long been debated whether manmade electromagnetic fields are detrimental to human health, and conservationists share this concern when it comes to animals, particularly migratory birds. A recent study by scientists from Oldenburg University in Germany has found that manmade electromagnetic fields are confusing migrating robins, which also rely on the earth’s magnetic field for navigation. The study was prompted by observations made seven years ago when it was noted that European robins (Erithacus rubecula) stopping over at the university campus during their annual migration appeared confused. Over the next seven years, experiments were carried out by alternatively blocking and unblocking electromagnetic radiation and observing the behavior of the birds. It became clear that when the birds were exposed to the manmade electromagnetic forces they became disoriented. It is worth noting that birds are susceptible to far lower levels than those deemed safe for humans as set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) which mandates guidelines for all types of electrical devices, including power lines and mobile phones.

What this means for both animals and humans will no doubt remain a matter for debate as more research is carried out to understand the impact of modern technology on the natural world.

Sedona Hummingbird Festival 2014

June 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

Hummingbird experts from around the world will be sharing their knowledge and pictures over the three days of the festival, which will also feature an art exhibit, vendor stands, birding trips and other exciting activities. For more information visit www.hummingbirdsociety.org/hummingbird-festival

Dates: 1-3 August 2014
Venue: Sedona Red Rock High School
City: Sedona
State: Arizona
Country: United States

Southwest Wings 2014

June 16, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

The 23rd annual birding and nature festival in Sierra Vista, Arizona, is set to take place on 30 July – 2 August, 2014. Hosted by a non-profit education organization promoting nature-based tourism and environmental awareness in southeastern Arizona, this popular event includes field trips, speakers, and more. Visit www.swwings.org for more information.

Dates: 30 July to 2 August 2014
Venue: Sierra Vista
State: Arizona
Country: United States

Camrose Purple Martin Festival 2014

June 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Events

The program for this popular wildlife festival includes workshops, tours, guest speakers and a host of activities for kids. Oranized by the University of Alberta, the event takes place at the Stoney Creek Center, 5320 – 40th Avenue, Camrose. For more information visit www.tourismcamrose.com/events/index/

Date: 22 June 2014
Venue: Stoney Creek Center
City: Camrose
State: Alberta
Country: Canada