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Birding Resources

Page history last edited by Gardener 4 years, 4 months ago

 

All About Birds - Easy searchable species accounts, images, sound, video. Cornell Lab of Ornithology site update and expansion in progress.  

 

Keeping Birds Safe Around Windows

Detailed info from Cornell Lab of Ornithology regarding why we need to protect birds from window collisions. In a nutshell, birds may appear to survive a window collision but actually fly off and die elsewhere.

 

The only permanent solution is to cover your exposed windows with window screening to prevent the birds from hitting the glass. They may hit the screening but will bounce off unhurt if the screening is at least 2 inches from the glass. Two possible ways to attach the screening include using permanent sticky - backed hook tape along the window frames and plain loop tape around the screening or attach screening to a wooden frame then attach wood to window. The Old Trail Fabric Store in Shamokin Dam sells hook and loop tapes by the foot. Lewisburg Builders Supply will cut screening to your desired size. Hand or machine sew the loop tape to the screening. Hook and loop tapes enable you to easily remove the screening to clean the window.

 

The State of the Birds 2009 Report - video and text formats. 40 yr study reveals bird decline, reasons for decline from sprawl to the spread of exotic species to global warming; most severe with coastal birds, especially in HI. Conservation measures are a must as revealed by recovery of bald eagles and peregrine falcons.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spearheaded the creation of the report in partnership with State wildlife agencies, and nongovernmental organizations as a subcommittee of the U.S. North American Bird Conservation Initiative (NABCI). The website, video, and printed report were produced for the partnership by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

 

Migratory Bird Treaty - details of law protecting migratory birds from Cornell U Law School. 

Per Robyn Graboski Centre Wildlife Rehabilitator re: nests in sites dangerous to chicks: " The Migratory Bird Treaties Act, not only protects the bird, but also any bird parts, eggs and the nest itself.  The only exception are pigeons, starlings and english sparrows which are not protected. Even licensed pest control personel are not allowed to remove a bird nest if it is a migratory bird such as a mallard or canada goose..  One must get  a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service to do anything with migratory birds...and that is usually not issued unless there is a serious problem. Moving a nest would not even be considered.  They will tell you to leave the nest alone.

 

Cats Indoors 

  • Help protect our biodiversity and reduce the chance of your cat getting lost or killed by keeping your cat indoors.
  • Cats Indoors! The Campaign for Safer Birds and Cats by the American Bird Conservancy well delineates why domestic cats need to be indoors. Key points: cats are natural hunters, even when well fed, so they kill song birds and small mammals when free to roam outdoors. Outdoor cat hazards include being hit by cars; cat fights; maulings by dogs, foxes, and raccoons; and various diseases including feline leukemia and rabies. Please keep your cats indoors.
  • Ask you veterinarian about getting your pet microchipped so vets and shelters will be able to identify your pet and notify you.
  • In case your cat (or dog) gets lost read helpful info by PetRescue, a small nonprofit in FL.
  • Above info compiled into poster for program/tabling events using Cats Indoors! line art:

Cats Indoors poster.pdf

 

Coffee

Coffee drinkers: Buy shade-grown fare trade organic coffee to protect bird habitat in the tropics.   

Sustainably grown coffee beans come from farms that are environmentally friendly and socially responsible. Coffee bushes grow amongst trees which protect wildlife and the environment.  Varied vegetation of shade-grown coffee provides suitable habitat for migrating neotropical birds, as well as year-round habitat for mammals, amphibians, plants, fungi, and invertebrates. Farmers receive a fare wage and conserve natural resources. For in-depth info refer to Natural Resources Defense Council's The Green Life. T

 

Save your coffee grounds to sprinkle on the ground around acid loving plants such as azalea, rhododendron, blueberry bushes.  Sprinkle grounds on soil around these plants to maintain/increase soil acidity. Keep a container next to your coffee pot so you will remember to save grounds. Grounds may also be added to your compost pile.

 

Special area bird monitoring 

NestCams - From Cornell Lab of Ornithology... online images of birds courting, mating, laying eggs, and raising young. Archived cams have documented nearly 90 nesting attempts by 17 bird species including Barn Owls, Osprey, bluebirds, and more, across N. America. Visitors can also explore photos and videos, including high definition footage of breeding behavior from the Macaulay library. CamClickr, a year-round citizen science project carried out completely online that allows cam viewers to "tag" and classify breeding behaviors from our archived images.

 

NestWatch - NestWatch is a continent wide citizen-science project and nest-monitoring database of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, funded by the National Science Foundation and developed in collaboration with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. Open to all.

 

Track migration path of golden eagle released in PA through National Aviary Conservation project.

 

Avian Flu

Here is a link to ProMED-mail which is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases regarding a study out of Pakistan explaining that migratory wild birds are not responsible for the outbreak of bird flu in any part of the globe: 

http://www.promedmail.org/pls/otn/f?p=2400:1001:1987696970613340::NO::F2400_P1001_BACK_PAGE,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,74806

The information was sent by Robyn Graboski.

 

Wind Turbine problems for birds and other wildlife

Briefly, problems include thousands of bat and bird deaths directly by the turbines as well as through loss of habitat by forest fragmentation with permanent roads for turbine installation and maintenance. For details read the following links:

 

Opinion: Wind Power Development on Public Lands - It Isn't Worth It - written by the PA Biological Survey. Further background details at the Industrial Wind Action Group website:  Biological Survey responds to PA Game Commission wind energy voluntary cooperation agreement.

 

Improper Industrial Windplant Siting Threatens PA Ridgetops - by Dr. Stan Kotala, President Juniata Valley Audubon.

 

Ridgetop Important Bird Areas, Raptors and Wind Turbines by Kim VanFleet, IBA Coordinator, and Sally Small, Director of Bird Conservation. Article includes PA Audubon monitoring, siting, and design recommendations for wind turbines.

 

Debate over Wind Power Creates Environmental Rift NY Times article 6 June 2006.

 

See the Bats page for details on bat mortality from wind turbines. 

 

2nd Breeding Bird Atlas in PA PBBA - most extensive survey of the state’s nesting birds ever attempted. Begun in 2004, the 2nd PBBA was completed in 2008.

 

 

Specific Birds 

Barn Owls

Help control rodent populations on farms.  If you have Barn owls please contact the PA Game Commission to set up a barn owl nesting box on a convenient area of your barn or silo.  The Game Commission will place the nesting box to help protect the owls from predation by cats or other creatures.  Scroll down linked page to find appropriate person to contact in your area.

 

What is an owl worth?

(material below provided via email from Robyn Graboski)

A barn owl on average weighs between 400 and 500 grams, just about1 pound. To meet his total daily energy (calorie) needs, an average barn owl needs to eat 4.7 mice a day. That means this owl eats 1715 mice each year!

4 POUNDS of grain consumed PER MOUSE per year. So one barn owl eating those 1715 mice can save a farmer 3.4 TONS of grain per year.If this barn owl takes a mate and they raise 3 babies in a year, enough mice will be consumed to save the farmer 9.3 tons of grain each year.

With annual rye grass seed at $280.00/ton, that is $2,600.00 saved per year by an environmentally safe family of barn owls - at no cost to the farmer!

 

(For purposes of this exercise, we are making the assumption that these barn owls feed only on mice that are eating only the farmer's grain. Of course, no one can put a dollar value on the sheer joy of watching one of these birds fly...!)

 

Our thanks to Jeff Picton of Chintimini Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Corvallis for doing these calculations. Some calculations place the value of these birds even higher!

Just think, animals such as foxes, raccoons, opossums and skunks also eat mice.  They are providing a valuable service also.  Robyn Graboski, Licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Centre Wildlife Care

 

Bluebirds

Please read the Bluebirds page to learn where to place nesting boxes, how to place the posts, plants that bluebirds prefer, predator control measures, Lyme Facts, and the joy of watching bluebirds.

 

Pine Siskins

Pine Siskin Irruption 2008-2009 - Project FeederWatch info.

Pine Siskins - by Douglas Gross for Carnegie Melon; detailed info., state nesting map, no photos.

 

Snow geese

Snow Geeses Survive All Too Well, Alarming Conservationists - 2.11.1997 NY Times. Snow geese feed by grubbing beneath the surface for roots thus destabilizing the thin tundra soil. The destruction is causing a decline in other bird species that feed in the tundra. 

Snow Goose Numbers Threaten Habitat - 10.11.1997 Letter by John Flick, President National Audubon Society.

PGC Snow Goose Wildlife Note - includes special 2010 spring hunting.

 

Tundra swans

2 Feb 2010 PA Game News Tundra_Swans—A_PA_Responsibility_Species(2).pdf

 

Wood ducks

  • Here is a link for building and mounting wood duck boxes by Fred Akers from Citizens United, a southern NJ watershed conservation organization: http://www.cumauriceriver.org/pages/WOODDUCKBOX.pdf  The end of the PDF explains how to telescope two galvanized pipes together for easier monitoring access.
  • If you know someone who can make a post driver here is a link showing how to use one when placing a pole in a frozen pond for a wood duck box: http://thecommonmilkweed.blogspot.com/2008/11/avian-nesting-box-installation-part-1.html Just remember to use 3 to 6 inches of wood shavings rather than saw dust to prevent compaction. The hen uses the shavings to cover the eggs when she leaves the nest. Source from Bird Watchers' Digest: http://www.birdwatchersdigest.com/site/how_to/build_your_own/wood_duck_box.aspx  Make sure stove piping hangs loose from both ends. Drill two holes to put two screws opposite each other into the upper part of baffle, wrap a rebar wire around screws with washer and nut, then attach the other end of wire to bolts or holes on the post. The more baffle movement the better to keep out predators. Cover upper end of baffle with 1/2 inch hardware cloth to prevent snakes from accessing the nest box. Use a level to be sure the pole is straight.

 

Climate Change

Native Plant Landscaping

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Wildlife Rescue

 

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