Biologists studying overwinter survival rates of sparrows in the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands of northern Mexico are turning their attention to Loggerhead Shrikes. Taking advantage of shrub encroachment and the favorable habitat it provides for them, shrikes have become an apex predator of birds and many other animals on the landscape.
The McCown’s Longspur is suffering a stark decline—an astounding 95% drop since 1966. Researchers are investigating the breeding success of this ground-nesting grassland species on the Central Plains Experimental Range (CPER), located adjacent to the Pawnee National Grasslands in northeast Colorado.
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies (formerly Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory) and partners wrapped up their seventh season of surveys under the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions program, one of the largest breeding bird monitoring programs in North America. Seasonal biologist David Kramer offers highlights from a wet, snowy survey season.
The Bird Conservancy (formerly Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory) collaborated with a graduate student at Oxford University to study the impacts of natural gas well pads and their associated roads on the distribution of sagebrush-obligate songbirds. The student, Max Mutter, writes about the experiences leading up to the study and shares a key result.
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory is assisting federal and state partners in studying Golden Eagles breeding in Nebraska and Colorado. We are learning where these eagles go using satellite telemetry, as well as their nesting success, habitat use, and survival rate and mortality factors. Find out where one Golden Eagle traveled during a 10-day period this June!
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory biologists are back in Colorado after a fruitful winter studying grassland birds on their wintering grounds in northern Mexico. Before digging too deep into the data, biologist Erin Strasser offers a preliminary look at what they learned during season three of this study.
In late March, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory facilitated a workshop in Panama to assess the conservation status of the birds of Central America. The results, though preliminary, show that 52% of all birds assessed have experienced strong or severe population declines in Central America.
The Bald Eagle nesting season is in full swing in the Rockies. Citizen scientists with Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory are busy monitoring nesting activity across Colorado. Outreach biologist Jeff Birek reports that volunteers with Bald Eagle Watch have already observed at least 20 eaglets in nests across the state, including two at Barr Lake.
Spring is nearly here, and with the changing seasons comes the spectacular migration of birds. We’re getting prepared and stoked for the upcoming bird banding season. To whet your appetite, we wanted to share the birdy highlights from the fall bird banding season. Enjoy!
Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory’s third season of studying survival and habitat use of Baird’s and Grasshopper Sparrows is under way on their wintering grounds in the grasslands of northern Mexico. Writing from Chihuahua, biologist Erin Strasser shares an update on capturing and tracking sparrows, insights gained so far this season and captivating photos from the field.