Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory is testing the effectiveness of different types of fence markers to help Greater Sage-Grouse avoid collisions with fences. Field crew leader Taylor Gorman and biologist Nick Van Lanen write from frigid Sublette County, Wyoming, on the importance of markers for reducing grouse mortalities and report on progress of RMBO’s study thus far.
RMBO is partnering with the University of Colorado-Denver to support a graduate research project to better understand how Mountain Plovers utilize habitat during the nesting cycle. Biologists will study their foraging habits by tracking adult plovers using radio-telemetry. CSU student Jamie Osterbuhr writes about this research, taking place in the crop fields of western Nebraska.
In November of 2013, RMBO and the local birding community lost an extraordinary friend, Jim Duggan. In April, 50 of Jim’s friends gathered at RMBO’s Old Stone House to dedicate a bench in his honor. Board chairman Larry Modesitt writes about the ceremony and Jim’s lasting gift to RMBO.
When you hear the word “pollinator,” what image comes to mind? It’s likely a honeybee or bumblebee sitting on a flower, or perhaps a butterfly, or maybe even a hummingbird lapping nectar. However, did you know that insects such as flies and beetles can also be pollinators?
Spring is right around the corner, and you know what that means … spring migration and bird banding! We’re getting prepared and excited for the upcoming banding season. But before we get the mist nets out for another season, we wanted to share some birdy highlights from the fall (a little late, we know, but better late than never, right?).
Spring is right around the corner. If you’d like to share the beauty of this miraculous time of year with your family, now is the time to get your birdhouses ready. Birds begin looking for suitable nesting sites now. David Menough, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited of Arvada, offers do’s and don’ts for selecting the right birdhouse.
The Chihuahuan Desert grasslands of northern Mexico and the southwestern United States are the principal wintering grounds for 90% of grassland bird species breeding in the western Great Plains of North America. Species such as Baird’s Sparrows, Chestnut-collared Longspurs and Sprague’s Pipits, which rely on this region during the winter, have declined by upwards of 80% since the 1960s. Results from Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory and cooperators’ research, published in February in the journal Biological Conservation, shed light as to why these birds are declining and emphasize that unless immediate action is taken, forecasts are dire.
They wake us with gentle melodies each morning. They entertain us with their aerobatic antics. They open our children’s eyes to the wonders of nature. David Menough, owner of Wild Bird Unlimited of Arvada, offers tips on what you can do to show our avian amigos how much they mean to you.
The field season is under way in northern Mexico, where RMBO and partners are studying the winter survival and habitat use of Baird’s and Grasshopper Sparrows in the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands. Writing from Chihuahua, biologist Erin Strasser provides an update on capturing and tracking sparrows, insights gained so far this season and stunning photos from the field.
Encroachment of coniferous trees such as juniper can noticeably alter sagebrush ecosystems and, in turn, habitat quality for wildlife. Range Conservationist Brandon Elkins writes about a project to remove juniper trees in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming to benefit sage-grouse and other wildlife.