It’s Year of the Bird April! This month’s call to action is to both celebrate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act’s century of success and raise concern about recent and abrupt changes to it. eBird Northwest has published a great article about this important law that has influenced bird and habitat conservation in many ways.
The Year of the Bird’s Call to Action for the month of March is to raise awareness of the value of landscaping with native plants. Creating a bird-friendly habitat in yards featuring native plants is a great way to help birds facing changes in their natural habitats. Planting native plant species in your yard, garden, patio, or balcony can create a vital recharging station for birds passing through and even a sanctuary for nesting birds. Having more birds will help with garden pests naturally and the native plants will require much less watering. March might be a little early for planting but not too early for planning ahead to birdify your yard.
KBO’s Birdify Your Yard! Landscaping for Birds and Native Plants for Birds in the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion flyer offers several home landscaping suggestions for attracting birds and includes a list of local bird-friendly native plants.
eBird Northwest has just posted an article titled Year of the Bird: March Monthly Action with more information about including bird-friendly native plants in our “habitats”. The article includes a link to the National Audubon Society’s Plants for Birds webpage and their Native Plant Finder Database with tips for planning a bird-friendly landscape.
If you haven’t already heard, 2018 is Year of the Bird! The National Geographic Society is celebrating the centenary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act with a year-long celebration of birds. Dozens of Year of the Bird partners, including Klamath Bird Observatory, are coordinating Year of the Bird activities.
The Romance and Wonder of the Sandhill Crane
The tallest bird in Oregon, the Sandhill Crane comes from an ancient lineage that may be among the earliest warm-blooded animals still found on earth. How do they live? We will explore the mechanics of their amazing trumpeting calls. We’ll discuss where they nest in Jackson County and other parts of the western U.S. and where you can see them in winter and early spring.
Harry Fuller is past president of the Klamath Bird Observatory, bird guide and author or several books on birds and the natural history of the San Francisco Bay. His books will be for sale at this talk.
To sign up, contact Shannon Rio at email@example.com or call 541 840-4655. Cost is $15 and you can pay the night of the talk.
It is hard to say what I enjoyed more. Was it the photographs Mel Clements showed us depicting the seasons of the Klamath Basin accompanied to music at the evening talk? Was it being in the Butte Valley with master birding guide Frank Lospalluto pointing out the 10 or so Golden Eagles? Or was it later in the afternoon when outing participant Kirby took us to where the 5,000 Snow Geese and 1,000 Sandhill Cranes were grazing at the back of a large pond on the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge?
Our tribe of 15 bird lovers roamed the Klamath Basin and experienced the wonder of it all: sky, landscape, raptors, and waterfowl. It was in the sharing of the beauty that we felt a sweet connection not just to the land that we love so much but also to each other.
After going on this trip one participant wrote me this email: “Well I just have to say that for my first real birding outing WOW!! Amazing! I look forward to many more birding experiences and am so grateful to have been able to join y’all yesterday and for your patience with my rudimentary questions. Best day ever!!! Hahaha – I have to laugh … cuz actually best day ever was when my daughter was born 41 years ago … and Kirk was there then, too!!😊” She shared this birding adventure with the doctor who delivered her daughter. How is that for coming full circle!
KBO’s Talk and Walk series occurs throughout the year giving folks a chance to have a beautifully crafted informative talk accompanied by an outing. The next Talk and Walk will be in February and will be on Hawks of the Klamath Basin led by raptor expert Dick Ashford. Information on that will be announced soon. Contact Shannon Rio for information about the Talk and Walk series.
Klamath Bird Observatory’s 2017 Conservation Science Stamp features the Oregon Vesper Sparrow. We feature this sparrow to raise awareness about its peril while also showcasing steps we are making for its conservation. The Oregon Vesper Sparrow is a subspecies that occurs to the west of the Vesper Sparrow’s core continental breeding range. To learn more about the Oregon Vesper Sparrow and its science-driven conservation CLICK HERE.
Klamath Bird Observatory’s Conservation Science Stamp is produced each year and sold as part of our annual Conservation Stamp Set. Proceeds support both regional and national conservation efforts. The 2-stamp set includes 1) KBO’s Conservation Science Stamp and 2) the Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (i.e., the Duck Stamp).
Each year’s Conservation Science Stamp feature a different species that KBO studies, works to conserve, and highlights through community education programs. This $15 stamp brings attention to our science-based conservation programs and proceeds support these effort. Additionally, Conservation Science Stamp buyers are offered discounts on some KBO fee-based community education and conservation birding events.
The Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp is popularly referred to as the Duck Stamp. Why does the Klamath Bird Observatory sell Duck Stamps? Because we see birds and birding as our refuge, and by purchasing Duck Stamps birders and hunters alike directly contribute to bird habitat conservation efforts on our National Wildlife Refuges. The United States refuge system is one of the world’s best migratory bird conservation models. By buying Duck Stamps, birders make an important statement — we, a significant conservation constituent, hold non-game bird conservation, in addition to gamebird and endangered species conservation, as a societal priority. An additional perk is that a Duck Stamp provides access to National Refuges that charge admission or parking fees.
By Dr. Jared Wolfe, KBO Research Associate
Central and South America host the most diverse bird communities on Earth. The dizzying array of antbirds, cotingas, manakins, and woodcreepers have captured the imagination of naturalists for centuries and subsequently fueled investigations into the origins of life itself.
Charles Darwin wrote in 1839 regarding finches of the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador: “I have stated that in the thirteen species of ground-finches, a nearly perfect gradation may be traced, from a beak extraordinarily thick, to one so fine, that it may be compared to that of a warbler.”
Despite sustained interest in studying the evolution and natural history of Neotropical birds, there are few long-term bird monitoring projects in Latin America. Long-term monitoring projects are necessary to estimates rates of avian mortality as well as community stability over time – two measures critical to biodiversity conservation and our understanding of life history variation.
In 1996, the Klamath Bird Observatory (KBO) began their renowned training program. From the beginning, it has focused on preparing interns to conduct meaningful research projects and operate long-term bird monitoring projects irrespective of an intern’s country of origin. KBO’s internship program has become a beacon for aspiring biologists from tropical and biodiverse regions of the world. Participants are more than interns, they are part of a global family of ornithologists striving to study and conserve avian biodiversity.
The impact of KBO’s training program in Latin America is unprecedented in its breadth. For example, just in the hyper-biodiverse country of Perú, successful long-term landbird and shorebird projects were all created by KBO trainees. These include Diego García Olaechea, a KBO intern that returned to Perú, collaborated with an international team of scientists to provide training workshops for Latin Americans in Perú and Brazil. Diego also started one of the few long-term landbird banding projects in Perú and used the techniques he learned at KBO to develop exciting research ideas, leading to a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship. Diego is currently working on his Ph.D at the University of Florida.
Eveling Tavera Fernandez is another Peruvian intern who learned critical field techniques during her tenure at KBO. Eveling leveraged the knowledge she gained at KBO to successfully draft and receive competitive grants from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Her funding efforts manifested in an exciting long-term shorebird monitoring project—the first of its kind in Perú. Based on the skills she acquired as a KBO intern and subsequent professional success, Eveling was accepted as a Ph.D student at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
These are just two examples from Perú. KBO has also trained interns from Argentina, Australia, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Holland, Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and United Kingdom. Of the 36 international interns KBO has trained, 18 actively train aspiring scientists in their home countries, which has spawned long-term bird monitoring projects in Brazil, Costa Rica, and Trinidad and Tobago. These scientists, research and conservation projects all find their origins in the internship program at KBO.
Maintaining the longevity of KBO’s capacity to provision international participants with the skills necessary to serve as scientific leaders in their respective countries is critical for the conservation of global biodiversity.
Wild Birds Unlimited and Klamath Bird Observatory will present a Birding By Ear workshop Wednesday June 14, 2017 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
Birding by ear is an essential tool for detecting more birds in the field, and your birding experiences will be greatly enhanced as you improve your birding-by-ear skills. In this workshop, John Alexander will teach bird songs and calls using sound recordings, mnemonic devices, sonograms, and drawing. The workshop integrates lecture, images, guided listening, and participation. We will focus on breeding songbirds of the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion, comparing sound-alike species of riparian, fir, pine, and oak habitats.
Space is limited to 20 participants – visit the Wild Birds Unlimited store in the Medford Center, or call 541-772-2107 to reserve a spot.
John is the co-founder and Executive Director of Klamath Bird Observatory and has been working to integrate bird conservation with natural resource management in the Pacific Northwest since 1992. He is focused on applying bird conservation science as a tool for advancing ecosystem conservation regionally, nationally, and internationally. His expertise includes participatory action research; ecological monitoring and research using standard bird and habitat sampling techniques; the use of scientific results for overcoming land stewardship challenges; and the development of applied science tools and teaching materials for natural resource management professionals, community members, and students of all ages.
Klamath Bird Observatory was highlighted in the latest Audubon magazine. The Spring 2017 issue’s Travel section suggests our Community Education Programs as an Alternative Adventure.
Pictured is 2015 student volunteer intern Daniel Gómez banding a bird at our Willow Wind Community Learning Center ecological monitoring station located in Ashland, Oregon. Photo by (2015 intern) Erica Gaeta.
The article’s text:
If attending a festival doesn’t fit your schedule, consider checking out a bird observatory. These groups monitor birds, conserve critical habitat, and have a host of activities for the public. Starting in late spring, the Klamath Bird Observatory, for instance, invites visitors to watch bird banding in action at multiple sites in Oregon, including Crater Lake National Park. “It’s a great opportunity to see warblers, thrushes, and sparrows up close, and to learn about their life histories,” says Jaime Stephens, the observatory’s science director. She also points to the Talk and Walk program, which consists of an hour-long talk on a specific topic, such as Great Gray Owls, followed by a field trip to see the species in its habitat. Dozens of other observatories across the nation and beyond provide a plethora of similar programs; find a full list of observatories in the Western Hemisphere at bit.ly/2lBLvWm.
© National Audubon Society
Conservation on the Wings of the Mountain Bird Festival — American Birding Association Birder’s Guide to Conservation & Community
This May, the American Birding Association (ABA) published their 2nd Birder’s Guide to Conservation & Community. This edition of the popular Birder’s Guide series is designed to help, to inspire, and to support birders in building a better future. This latest edition features an article about Klamath Bird Observatory’s Mountain Bird Festival. We are extremely excited that the American Birding Association recognizes the Mountain Bird Festival as an avenue for conservation.
The cover article of Wednesday May 27th’s edition of the Ashland Daily Tidings featured the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival.
The article by John Darling highlights the economic benefits of birding. Bird enthusiasts generate billions of dollars of economic activity each year — The 2014 Mountain Bird Festival generated an estimated $70,000 of economic activity, benefiting local businesses in our region.
The article covers additional details about the Festival and Klamath Bird Observatory and also includes beautiful photographs by Jim Livaudais. Click here to read the article.