Friday, August 22, 2008

Horseshoe crabs -- and birds -- lose a round

At yesterday's meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's horseshoe crab management board, the board chose to maintain fishing quotas that allow states to harvest 100,000 male crabs a year. Concerns about horseshoe crab harvests, the resulting loss of horseshoe crab eggs on beaches and the impact on migrating shorebirds such as Red Knots have galvanized many birders, who wrote letters to the board.

The American Bird Conservancy disagrees with the board's decision. In a press release, Darin Schroeder, vice president for conservation advocacy, said,
“By maintaining harvest levels rather than adopting a temporary moratorium on all horseshoe crab take, the Commission has dangerously underestimated the needs of both the crab and the Red Knot. The ASMFC Management Board has failed to live up to its responsibility as an environmental steward, and ignored the Red Knot’s economic benefits. Each year birdwatchers flock to beaches in Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia to see the staging birds. Soon, there could be no more knots to watch, and it will be too late to act.”
Thank goodness for birders' efforts -- like those of Delmarva Ornithological Society -- to purchase migratory shorebird habitat (page 6 of the Sept/Oct issue of WildBird) that helps Red Knots.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

I and the Bird #82

Treat yourself to an "artsy-fartsy" break from your day by placing a refreshing beverage next to your computer and delving into Kathie's presentation of I and the Bird #82 at Sycamore Canyon.

You'll encounter photography, poetry and links galore in this edition of the biweekly birding carnival. More than 20 bloggers contributed posts, providing a plethora of topics to tickle your brain.


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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

News from the bird banding scholarship in Washington

This comment recently appeared on the July 31 post about the Puget Sound Bird Observatory banding scholarship:

Our scholarship recipient, Tayler Brooks, is having an incredible experience. Some of the group's banding highlights include an American Three-toed Woodpecker, a Wilson's Snipe, and a White-winged Crossbill. Take a look at our banding camp blog for field notes.

Emily Sprong
Puget Sound Bird Observatory

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A tribute for photographer Tom Vezo

The wonderfully talented Tom Vezo died of a heart attack on July 18. The "Green Valley News" article appears here.

Tom contributed images to WildBird for many years, and we’re going to create a tribute to him and his fantastic work for the November/December issue. His wife, Dorothy, supports the tribute.

We invite you to share short tales about your experiences with Tom. I hope to receive your concise reminisces by Monday, Aug. 18.

You can post them in the comments here -- including your full name and the city and state in which you live -- or you can send an e-mail to wildbird AT bowtieinc DOT com with "Tom Vezo" in the Subject line.

If your full name, city and state do not appear in your missive, then we can't include your contribution in the November/December issue of the magazine. If online privacy concerns you, then e-mail is your better option.

Thank you.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Cape May birding appears in "Los Angeles Times"

Earlier this week, New Jersey's primo birding town appeared on the LAT website. I like seeing the Times' coverage of birding, particularly outside of the Golden State.

View Larger Map

The 3-plus-page article, "Flocking to Cape May, New Jersey: Birdwatchers' town is great place to spot all manner of species," offers many tips about where to go and what to do, includes a seven-image photo gallery and has a short video about New Jersey Audubon Society narrated by Brian Mosketello. The article also quotes three fantastic birders: Scott Weidensaul, Pete Dunne and Don Freiday. (I'm pleased to have met all three.)


Birds ID'ed as plate number and bird number?

This week-old "New York Times" article reveals a birding guide in Costa Rica who calls out a bird's identity by citing the page on which it appears in a certain field guide and the bird's number on that plate.

Have you birded with someone who does that? What if there's more than one field guide available? You just make sure beforehand that everyone uses the same book edition?

During the Birder of the Year trip in Costa Rica last month, we used a field guide by Richard Garrigues, whom we also met before leaving San Jose. Perhaps the birding guide in the NYT article will have to memorize another book's plates.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Bolsa Chica wetlands celebration!

Have you visited the Bolsa Chica wetlands in Southern California since it was reconnected to the Pacific Ocean? You might've seen the changes wrought since the summer of 2006, as noted in this July 20th "L.A. Times" article, "Rejuvenated Bolsa Chica wetlands flourishing."

To celebrate, Amigos de Bolsa Chica will hold a 2nd annual celebration picnic on Sunday, Aug. 24, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Lake Park in Huntington Beach. Reservations are required, and the catered picnic -- sandwiches, salads, sodas and desserts -- costs $15 per person, payable at the event.

RSVP to the Amigos de Bolsa Chica office: 714-840-1575 or

Do you have a wonderful Bolsa Chica memory? Feel free to share it!


Friday, August 01, 2008

Mystery bird call in Costa Rica rain forest

Well, it's a mystery to me. Perhaps you can name it lickety-split.

Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge, the lodge where we stayed during WildBird's Birder of the Year trip with Cindy and Jim Beckman, maintains a clear spot in the foliage by the kitchen to feed rice to birds. The grains attracts various species including Ruddy Ground-Doves and Blue Ground-Doves. What name do you put to this loud exclamation?

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