Central Valley Birding Symposium 2013

October 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Events

The program for the Central Valley Birding Symposium in 2013 will include a Bird Identification Panel, A talk on alien invaders by Kimball Garrett, a sketching workshop, a specimen workshop, a discussion of the Migration Patterns of the Northern Saw-whet Owls near Forest Ranch, a talk on bird intelligence by Susan Schneider, a flycatcher ID Workshop, a keynote address on the Birds of the Sierra Nevada and much much more.Birding field trips will cover areas such as Colusa National Wildlife Refuge, Cosumnes River Preserve, Merced Refuges, Salt Springs Valley and a number of other fascinating destinations. Register now to avoid disappointment. For more information visit www.2013cvbs.org

Dates: 21-24 November 2013
Venue: Stockton Hilton Hotel
City: Stockton
State: California
Country: United States

Monterey Bay Birding Festival

August 21, 2013 by  
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The 9th annual Monterey Bay Birding Festival offers birding enthusiasts the opportunity to explore one of the most spectacular birding and wildlife destinations in North America. With its amazing diversity of habitats, this area is home to Golden Eagles, California Condors, Warblers, Bushtits, Plovers, Shearwaters and much more. For more information on this exciting event go to the Monterey Bay Birding Festival 2013.

Dates: 12-15 September 2013
Venue: Monterey Bay
State: California

Take a Stroll Through the Linda Loring Nature Foundation

January 15, 2013 by  
Filed under Features

Established in 1999 by Linda Loring, the Linda Loring Nature Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on providing young people with the opportunity to enjoy and learn about various facets of the natural world. Starting in 1957, this dedicated wildlife advocate and conservationist started buying up parcels of land between Madaket Road and Eel Point Road until she had a 270 acre tract of land serving as a wildlife sanctuary for the plants and animals in this area of Nantucket. Years of work have gone into creating this spectacular open-air classroom, which boasts a number of trails and hides for visitors to view the birdlife and other animals living in this nature sanctuary.

The island of Nantucket was separated from the mainland thousands of years ago when the glacier covering the New England area retreated. The geological features of the island include a diverse range of habitats that are home to a host of animal and plant species. Within the Linda Loring Nature Foundation there are coastal heathlands, pitch pine forests, vegetated wetlands, sandplain grasslands and coastal scrub forest, all providing sanctuary for a wealth of diverse wildlife. Birds that breed within the sanctuary include the Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) and Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), and it provides a welcome stopover point for an abundance of migratory bird species.

The mile long loop trail is designed for visitors to access areas of the sanctuary where they can observe the wildlife while at the same time not intruding. The trail makes its way along the edge of a vegetated wetland before climbing a small hill which affords visitors a superb view over the brackish, tidal Long Pond. Continuing to the west the trail makes its way through a small group of black cherry trees before opening up a charming view of toward Nantucket Sound over sandplain grasslands, an ecosystem which is found primarily on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and is globally threatened. Plants that will be seen along the way include little bluestem, blue-eyed grass, Pennsylvania sedge and bushy rockrose.

Located on the north head of Long Pond, the osprey nest pole is occupied by a nesting pair of Ospreys from late-March, with fledgings leaving the nest around mid-August. Nesting boxes on poles throughout the sanctuary are used by tree swallows that also arrive in late-March, with their young leaving the nest in early July. Nantucket has the highest known density of Northern harriers anywhere in the world and the sanctuary generally has up to seven nests during breeding season. Other birds found at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation include mute swans, and red-tailed hawks. The coastal shrublands and sandplain grasslands are also home to more than twenty species of butterflies, and turtles and (harmless) snakes are likely to be seen while exploring this tranquil reserve in Nantucket.

Create a Safe Haven for Birds in Your Garden

November 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

As urban areas become more and more built up, birds and wildlife are increasingly being forced out of their natural habitat. Gardeners can do much to alleviate the plight of birds by putting some thought into planning a garden that will make their feathered friends feel at home. This need not be complicated, and certainly need not be costly, as even a small bird-friendly spot in an urban garden can be a life-sustaining oasis that will more than reward the gardener for his, or her, efforts.

In planning a bird-friendly garden there are a number of points to bear in mind, one of the most important being to provide a clean source of water in a spot where birds have an easy escape route should they be disturbed by a predator, such as the neighborhood tabby. Recent statistics published by the RSPB noted that it is conservatively estimated that cats in the United Kingdom catch up to 55 million birds each year, with the most frequent victims being house sparrows, blue tits, blackbirds and starlings. A birdbath on a stand, placed beneath a tree, allows birds a view of their surroundings while they splash in the water, while giving them a quick escape route into overhanging branches should they feel threatened. Spiny and prickly plants such as holly can be grown around and beneath feeders and bird baths to discouraged cats from lurking there. Ensure that the bird bath is free of algae and filled with fresh water.

When choosing what to plant in your bird-friendly garden, it is best to go indigenous, as this will provide local birds with what they need, when they need it. Of course, birds are very adaptable and will make use of exotic plants as well, if it suits their needs. A good garden center in your area should be able to advise you on what to plant to attract birds, and a mix of indigenous and exotic plants can work well. Give consideration to including plants to provide food such as seeds, nuts, fruit and berries in all seasons, nesting materials and shelter. Food can always be supplemented with strategically placed feeders and nesting boxes are often welcome.

It should go without saying that pesticides should never be used in a bird-friendly garden. Given enough time, nature will take care of its own pests, and until ecological balance is reached, gardeners may need to put some extra effort into controlling pests organically and removing them by hand. Birds are great at keeping creepy-crawlies in check, so invite them into your garden and enjoy their company, while they enjoy the safe haven you have provided.

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival 2013

November 8, 2012 by  
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This exciting birding festival features a program of presentations offering up-to-date technical information, as well as birding and wildlife experiences. Field trips will take birders into a number of different habitats on Florida’s spectacular Space Coast, as well as into nearby counties in search of specific special and rare birds. Other highlights of the festival include the Pelagic Birding Boat Trip and the Raptor Project. For more information visit www.spacecoastbirdingandwildlifefestival.org

Dates: 23-28 January 2013
Venue: Brevard Community College
City: Titusville
State: Florida
Country: United States

Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival

October 16, 2012 by  
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The Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival is an annual celebration taking place over six days at various venues in the outer Banks area of Eastern North Carolina.The event offers dozens of programs in a variety of themes ranging from birding to wildlife photography, natural history, paddling and more. For more information visit www.wingsoverwater.org

Dates: 6-11 November 2012
Venues: Multiple
State: North Carolina
Country: United States

Wings Over Willcox 2013

October 16, 2012 by  
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Wings Over Willcox will be celebrating its 20th anniversary with this event set to take place on 16-20 January 2013. This premier birding and nature festival will include tours, geology, local history and botany. Seminars, nature expo featuring live animals, wildlife arts and crafts and children’s activities are all part of the fun. For more information visit www.wingsoverwillcox.com

Date: 16-20 January 2013
Venue: Willcox
State: Arizona
Country: United States

Ding Darling Days 2012

October 4, 2012 by  
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This week of eco-activities offers family fun galore. Free refuge tram tours, wildlife presentations, birding, kayaking, boating, crafts, food, puppet parade are on the program, with the celebration ending with a Conservation Art Day. For more information visit the Ding Darling Society Website.

Dates: 14-20 October 2012
Venue: JN Darling National Wildlife Refuge
City: Sanibel Island
State: Florida
Country: United States

Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival 2012

September 26, 2012 by  
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The 20th annual Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival offers the perfect opportunity to experience wildlife at its best. The keynote presentation of the event will be delivered by David Allen Sibley, one of America’s leading ornithologists and illustrators and author of the Sibley Guide to Birds. The program features guided tours, nature hikes, boat trips and much more. For more information visit www.esvafestivals.com

Dates: 5-7 October 2012
Venue: Cape Charles
State: Virginia
Country: United States

Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival 2012

July 16, 2012 by  
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This celebration of the unique biodiversity of southeastern Arizona offers the opportunity to discover and enjoy the Sky Islands and Sonoran Desert as an educational experience. For more information visit www.tucsonaudubon.org

Dates: 15-19 August 2012
Venue: Riverpark Inn
City: Tucson
State: Arizona
Country: United States

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