Nantucket Birding Festival 2012

October 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Events

The second Nantucket Birding Festival will be taking place on 18-21 October 2012. Local experts and experienced guides will take participants to the island’s birding hot spots where they can observe local and wintering waterfowl, gulls, finches, falcons and more. Visit the Linda Loring Nature Foundation Website for more information.

Dates: 18-21 October 2012
Venue: Nantucket
State: Massachusetts
Country: United States

Pledge2Fledge 2012

August 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Events

Pledge2Fledge (P2F) is an international grassroots campaign organized by non-profit organization the Global Birding Initiative for birders to introduce friends and acquaintances to the pursuit of bird watching. P2F presents the perfect opportunity for birders to share their love for birding with others, thereby helping more people to discover the allure of birds while connecting with the natural world around them. On 24 to 26 August 2012 birders across six continents will be actively involved in sharing their passion for birding by introducing non-birders to this fascinating activity and sharing the results with the world through videos, photos, and stories on the P2F website and social media channels.

2012 Southwest Wings Birding & Nature Festival

June 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Events

Located at the foot of the Huachuca Mountains, Cochise College in Sierra Vista will be the venue for the 2012 Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival. The festival program features 35 expanded field trips and more than 50 free programs covering a wide variety of topics. For more information visit the 2012 Southwest Wings Birding and Nature Festival Website

Dates: 1-4 August 2012
Venue: Conchise College
City: Sierra Vista
State: Arizona
Country: USA

White-crowned Sparrow Males Unruffled by Younger Rivals

March 13, 2012 by  
Filed under News

In the territorial world of nature, it’s not uncommon for older males to give way to the younger generation, albeit with a fight. Researchers have recently discovered that this is not necessarily the case with mature white-crowned sparrow males. In fact older males don’t even bother to get involved in any altercation, verbal or physical, and this is seen as evidence that they don’t view younger males as a threat.

In the study, which was carried out by Angelika Poesel and Douglas Nelson of the Ohio State University and funded by the National Science Foundation, it was noted that the older male would, however, become agitated and aggressive upon hearing a rival bird of the same age in his territory. It appears that the males of this species assess the fighting ability of their opponents based on age, and younger males simply don’t scare them.

The study observed a migratory population of white-crowned sparrows nesting in Bandon, Oregon, from 2008 to 2011. While plumage is an important indicator of maturity, the results of the study reveal that some birds use each other’s songs to determine age and threat level. As is the case with many bird species, male white-crowned sparrows use their songs to establish nesting territory and court a potential mate. Should a male sing in another’s territory, he can expect to be attacked and driven off if perceived to be a threat. With this particular bird species, second-year males do have plumage differences, but they also sing two or more versions of their species unique song before they choose one, and abandon the rest. This multiple version singing indicates to more mature males that the bird singing in his territory is a second-year male, and not a threat worth getting ruffled feathers about.

The research was carried out by playing various songs through loudspeakers within the established territories of mature males, and careful observation of the birds’ behavior. It was noted that second-year males that have established territory, did not tolerate other second-year males invading their space. It is thought that female birds are naturally more attracted to mature birds than to younger ones, and the older birds know this. Also, younger birds are disinclined to push their luck with a mature male which is likely to be stronger and more experienced.

Lead author of the study, Angelika Poesel, is curator of the Borrer Laboratory of Bioacoustics. Douglas Nelson is associate professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology, and director of the University’s Borrer Laboratory.

Southwest Wings Festival

March 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Events

The 20th Annual Birding and Nature Festival in Sierra Vista, or Southwest Wings, is both educational and fun, as participants learn about birds, reptiles, mammals and insects in southern Arizona. The festival boasts a busy schedule of events including 40 field trips (including overnight trips), a welcome reception, keynote address by Scott Weidensaul (the title being “Living on the Wind: The Miracle of Bird Migration”) and movie night. There will also be a number of free programs, including Warbler identification, Butterflies for Birders, choosing and using optics, Bird identification, Hummingbirds of the US, Birding by ear, Arizona Dragonflies 101, Ants of Southern Arizona, Photo workshop, Hummingbirds 101 and so much more. Registration for the event can be done online.

Date: 3 to 6 August 2011
Venue: Cochise College Campus
City: Sierra Vista
State: Arizona
Country: United States of America

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