Monday, March 18, 2019

Gyrfalcon - some new or recent research and readings

The Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is a raptor of remote arctic landscapes that nevertheless has a long association with humans. It is much sought-after by birders.

Ph. by Ómar Runólfsson - Wkim. Commons

Multiple organizations and individuals devote effort to research on this species, its ecology, distribution, and abundance.

See a few articles linked below that describe recent or new work or information on Gyrfalcons. 

BirdLife International information:

Predator‐prey feedback in a gyrfalcon‐ptarmigan system? 

Research on Gyrfalcons' behavior on pack ice:

Gyrfalcon research at the Peregrine Fund, a world-wide raptor research and conservation organization:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

the source for bird sounds, world-wide

If you've never visited it, winter is a great time to spend a few hours at ( ) - perhaps the most comprehensive site for bird sounds world-wide.
When you visit, type in the name of the species in which you have an interest, and explore the possibilities. New sounds for species from around the globe are being added continuously:

Thursday, December 20, 2018

give yourself this book for Christmas

Although originally penned many decades ago, this book continues to influence me in myriad ways.

May Theilgaard Watts was the ecologist at the Morton Arboretum. Beyond that, in the pages of this book you will see her phenomenal skill as storyteller - and see the landscape unfold before you, and come to a deeper understanding of how and why it has changed.

A great friend and teacher, Roy Lukes, introduced me to it long ago, while reading to a group perched on the boardwalk at the Ridges Sanctuary. He read to us from the chapter entitled "History Book with Flexible Cover", explaining concepts about bogs and fens.

Cheers to the memory of May Watts, and Roy, too. Find a used copy - you won't regret it.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Bobwhite: what's happening to their population

Photo - B. Stansbery - Wikim. Commons

See previous articles posted here about the changing population of Northern Bobwhite, for example:

The new Status and Trends from eBird drills further down into current information, showing areas where declines are sharpest:

The abundance map demonstrates how numbers have dropped in many areas of the core range of this species:

One organization devoted to conservation of this species is the National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative. Learn more about their efforts at:

Thursday, November 22, 2018

making use of your eBird data

How is your eBird data used for science?
See a new "Status and Trends" article with many map products including animated maps, for 107 selected species, at

Thursday, November 8, 2018

How to protect habitat for declining Bank Swallows

Bank Swallows use sandy or clay banks in many settings in which to excavate a nesting cavity. Bank Swallows are experiencing a population decline. The BBS trend for this species in Wisconsin is displayed below.
There is an excellent published set of "Best Management Practices" from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry at this link:
Learn how you can help protect habitat for this declining species. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Want to know what's happening to our Common Loons? Read this report

Want to know what's happening to our Common Loons? Read the abstract of this report, from the USGS and others (specifically, some of the research team are with the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center, and their colleagues in several other organizations/agencies.)



Distribution and foraging patterns of common loons on Lake Michigan with implications for exposure to type E avian botulism

Journal of Great Lakes Research