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?).
t was a quality over quantity kind of season for banding Northern Saw-whet Owls this fall. While banders in North and South Dakota caught fewer owls per night, they recovered a total of 10 owls, or birds banded at another station or during a different season. Where were the owls first banded, and when? Read this post to find out (hint: one was first banded more than 1,300 miles east!).
Now that fall is upon us in the Rockies, RMBO biologists and technicians are finishing proofing data gathered this summer under the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program. It’s not glamorous, but with proofing data comes the confirmation of cool new species for the program. Biologist Nick Van Lanen reports on the summer field season and species detected for the first time during IMBCR surveys.
How many mosquitoes can a little brown bat eat in an hour? Do bats really get caught in people’s hair? Educator Maggie Vinson answers these questions in her write-up of the WILD About Bats workshop, held earlier this summer to inform citizens and educators about this diverse and ecologically important suite of mammals.
In early June, a LightHawk pilot and his wife volunteered their time and plane to help Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory with a census of Ferruginous Hawks and Golden Eagles nesting in the panhandle region of western Nebraska. How many birds were spotted on their nests? Wildlife Biologist Angela Dwyer offers results from the surveys, used to gauge population stability for these species.
On the third Saturday in May, Wildlands Day is held at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area. More than a hundred people attended this year’s event to enjoy the abundance of plants and wildlife in the hills of western Nebraska. Educator Maggie Vinson writes about the day and makes a great case for attending the seventh incarnation of the event in 2014.
RMBO’s field crew discovered its first Mountain Plover nest of the season on May 8. After the cold start to spring, this newly laid nest with a clutch of three eggs was an important find. Biologist Larry Snyder writes about the find and RMBO’s plover nest conservation program on the RMBO blog.
Every spring, more than a half-million Sandhill Cranes migrate through central Nebraska, where they stopover and spend a few weeks feeding in and along the North Platte River and surrounding land. Since 1971, the Rivers and Wildlife Celebration has been an annual event timed with this great bird migration.
On a recent cold and snowy Friday, students from St. Agnes Catholic School in Scottsbluff spent an afternoon on an indoor camping trip. Educator Maggie Vinson writes about the wintry day where the outdoors were brought inside for students.
Twenty fourth-graders, grouped in teams of 3 and 4, hold their hands above their buzzers as biologist Andrew Pierson reads the question. He scans the 20 pairs of eyes watching him, letting the anticipation build, and finishes the question. Hands hit buzzers, bells ring and a light comes on to indicate which team was first. Answers fly, and the points for the correct one are tallied for the winning team. Just another day, just another PEEP program.