Peru! Traveling to Fight Climate Change

Every year, two million people from around the world head to Peru specifically to visit Machu Picchu. Some of them want to see South American wildlife and enjoy a wonderful experience at one of the genuine wonders of the world, but their visits don’t require protection of anything outside of this area. Indeed, the sheer […]

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Fall Migration Update, and Hawk Ridge Weekend!

I was in Peru for a week, and between preparing for the trip and getting ahead on work deadlines, I’ve not been able to keep up with fall migration here. Even 4,000 miles away, in the jungles and cloud forest of darkest Peru, I was getting emails about huge numbers of Blue Jays coursing over […]

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Helping Lesser Prairie-Chickens and the People Saving Them

In 2013, when I did my Conservation Big Year, one of the birds I was most focused on seeing was the Lesser Prairie-Chicken. I saw and heard my first ones way back in April 1996 when my sister-in-law Jeanie and I took a road trip out West. One of my destinations was Lamar, Colorado, where […]

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Brrrrrrrr! But a Lesser Yellowlegs

What a frigid morning! But if we were cold, the birds seemed even colder. We had something of a fall-out at Park Point—I’m sure our numbers for most of the songbirds are way lower than the actual numbers. We had a couple of Lesser Yellowlegs (the most we saw as a group was one, but […]

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Letters from Listeners: Odd Things Birds Eat

In the past few weeks, I’ve received a couple of letters from listeners about their backyard birds eating unusual items. Craig Magnuson of Forks, Washington, wrote that he’s seen Evening Grosbeaks, during several different summers, eating cold campfire charcoal shortly after dawn at the Lake Kachess campground in the Wenatchee National Forest. He noted that […]

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Where are the birds?

Every year I get several letters like one that came in mid-February from WXPR listener Doug Heise, who lives in Rhinelander and has been feeding birds for 30 years. He wrote about the species he’s fed over the years: “So many different varieties. chickadees, nuthatches, many types of finches, Pine Siskins, Chipping Sparrows, cardinals, Blue […]

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15,354 Days and Counting

As of today, the Ides of March 2017, I saw my first Black-capped Chickadee 15,354 days ago. I’ve seen more than one chickadee on most of those days and over 200 in a single day on a few Christmas Bird Counts. I’m sure I haven’t seen an average of 65 chickadees a day over that […]

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The decline, East to West, of the Golden-winged Warbler

The once common Golden-winged Warbler now has one of the smallest populations of any songbird not on the Endangered Species List. An estimated 400,000 breeding adults remained in 2013—a drop of 66 percent since the 1960s, based on Breeding Bird Survey numbers. This survey, which focuses on males singing on territories, began in 1966; we […]

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