Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lark and Clay Colored Sitting in a Tree..

    Here's a sight you dont see everyday - at least not in Maryland - a Lark Sparrow (on the right there) sitting on the same branch as one, and maybe two, Clay-Colored Sparrows.

   Mikey Lutmerding found these birds on Assateague Island and, another birder, Scott Housten, put Warren on to them. He went searching and almost literally stumbled across them. Both sparrow species are rare in Maryland, although they show up on Assateague with some regularity.

  Lots of other birds were about,,,,,

  But this is why most people (non-birders, anyway) come to Assateague:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Two Whimbrels Survive Storm, only to be shot upon landing in the Guadeloupe...

Barry Truitt

This is Machi, a Whimbrel who has been tracked for two years by scientists at the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary.

Machi and another Whimbrel (Goshen) made the fatal mistake of landing on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, French West Indies after surviving Tropical Storm Maria.   Though Whimbrels (and most other North American birds) are protected in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act it’s legal to hunt them on several Caribbean islands and there are no bag limits.

And, hunting shorebirds during migration and especially after storms is quite popular in the Caribbean.  Hunting in French-owned Guadeloupe and Martiniquen is also mostly recreational and unregulated. 

Lisa Sorenson of the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds(SCSCB) says the answer is not to beat up on hunters, but to encourage their governments to adopt sustainable hunting regulations and set aside safe harbors for migrating birds. 

I see another opportunity for birders to get involved....

You can help SCSCB's education efforts here.        

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Big Year Movie Trailer

The trailer for The Big Year movie is here at long last. Check it out and see what you think. Please tell us your opinions.

Birdcouple is going to hold our fire until we see the movie (in theaters on October 14), but we hope the trailer doesnt reflect the movie: there's not a lot of birds in it!

The Big Year by teasertrailer

This, on the other hand, is a bird. A very un-shy Scarlet Tanager, to be exact. Seemed to like to pose for the camera!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Carbon Offset Bird Project (COBP)

There is nothing I love more than jumping in the car with Cute Husband and setting off on some all day birding adventure.

An adventure which may take us to the hills of Western Maryland or perhaps creeping along farm lands on the Maryland Eastern shore or maybe scoping the bay in Northern Maryland.  

Or possibly, all three habitats in one day...

What I don't love about all day birding adventures is that while we are cruising about, innocently checking out birds, we are also burning fossil fuels—lots of them—that add to greenhouse gas emissions.

This year at the Midwest Birding Symposium, an experimental and voluntary Carbon Offset Bird Project will be launched giving attendees an opportunity to calculate the impact of their bird-related travel to and during the symposium.  (Hooray!)

Monetary values are suggested to offset emissions based upon mileage and vehicle type.  The donations collected will be used to secure additional wetland habitat adjacent to Meadowbrook Marsh, just east of Lakeside. (Yay!)

Not attending the Midwest Birding Symposium?  We can't go make it either...:(

Still think this is a genius idea that all birders should do voluntarily?  Still want to offset your birding-related carbon emissions from spring migration?  The funds would be used to secure quality bird habitat—in this case vital migratory bird habitat in Ohio.


 Download the form here, send it in with your donation and pass along this idea to other birders!