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Showing posts from January, 2010

Changes at National Audubon

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From Oak Harbor, Ohio, Kenn writes: It’s not easy being the president of the National Audubon Society (NAS). This is a very large and very decentralized organization, with hundreds of local chapters that often act autonomously. Many of these chapters have been in existence for a very long time and have developed very strong personalities, so to speak, and in some cases there has been friction between the chapters and the national office for decades. Then there’s an identity problem: the media may think of Audubon as a birdwatching organization, but the birdwatchers think of it as an environmental organization. The truth is that it’s somewhere in between, an environmental org focused on birds, wildlife, and their habitat. The president of this group has to juggle all kinds of conflicting personalities, and at the same time, try to save the world. I have worked for National Audubon (not as an employee, but continuously on contract) for 25 years now, first as associate editor of America

Thanks For The Mammal Reads

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From Oak Harbor, Ohio, Kenn writes: Way back last year -- on December 25th -- I wrote a post about a wild animal that we observed at our bird feeder. In case you don’t remember or didn’t see the post, here’s another picture of this wily creature: Actually, if you didn’t read it, I’d like you to scroll back to Dec. 25 and read that post and tell me: could you tell that I was trying to be humorous, or was it just too subtle? The reason I ask is that, in that post, I didn’t mention what kind of squirrel it was. I was trying to strike a familiar chord with all those people who have had their bird feeders emptied by voracious squirrels. This has happened to a lot of people, but it isn’t always the same kind of squirrel. In the U.S. and Canada there are at least eight species of tree squirrels, plus various ground squirrels and chipmunks, that will come to bird feeders at least occasionally. If I had started to get technical about the particular type of squirrel that was chowing down at

This sounds interesting...

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Some friends of ours are partnering to present a REALLY cool birding event for beginners! The festival is a partnership between U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, American Birding Association, and Tropical Birding Tours, and ALL EVENTS ARE FREE!! Here's the Festival 411: Great Logo too, btw!! Saturday & Sunday, February 20-21, 2010 7:00 am - 8:00 PM each day. Location: Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge If you have an interest in birds and have wanted to learn more but felt intimidated we have created the perfect event for you. Winter is a great time to see some amazing birds such as large groups of eagles, flocks of beautiful tundra swans and owls. Bundle up, bring lots of questions and discover the amazing world of winter birding. An amazing array of birding professionals will be on hand to answer questions and share their knowledge of these fascinating animals. Avid birders also come along share your experience and passion and let's make this a gr

Answers to the Birdly Abodes Quiz

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From Home base in Oak Harbor, Kim writes: Thank you all for taking the bird nest quiz. The answers are revealed below each photo. Nest Number One: A couple people guessed, Rufous Hornero , and they were correct! This nest was photographed at Costanera Sur Ecological Reserve in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was pointed out to us by a guy I jokingly referred to as, "The Naked Naturalist." I wrote a blog post about this several months ago. If you missed the story the first time, here's a link to it. The Naked Naturalist Nest Number Two: This one stumped everyone. It's the remarkably beautiful nest of the Hermit Thrush . The photo was taken at one of my all-time favorite places, Hog Island Audubon Camp , off the coast of Maine. Nest Number Three: I used photoshop to take out the little "Strause Wren" er,...House Wren, : ) as he left the pocket of t his pair of jeans hanging on a clothes line. Here's the original photo, taken by Tim Daniel. Nest N

Ice Ice Baby...

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From toasty Oak Harbor, Kim Writes: January 2nd, 2010. The forecast: temperature 17 degrees (windchill made it feel like 3), winds NW @ 15-25 mph, scattered flurries... Whew, sounds like a great day to stay inside, right?! WRONG! We didn't just go outside--we went WAY outside. Kenn and 40+ of our closest friends pushed the limits of sensibility clean over board and took a little winter cruise to look for birds on the good ship Holiday. A few people who registered for the trip changed their mind at the last minute, and, trust me, I completely understood! I have to admit that there was a point, as the boat left the protection of the channel and headed out in to the open waters of Lake Erie, that I thought, THIS IS FREAKIN NUTS! But, it was actually a pretty cool experience; literally and figuratively! This is the third of three trips that we (Black Swamp Bird Observatory) have done in partnership with Inside the Great Outdoors Radio, and Discovery Tours of Cleveland