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Migratory Birds News

Mar. 27, 2011
There comes a time in life for every bird to spread its wings and leave the nest, but for gray catbirds, that might be the beginning of the end.
Mar. 01, 2011
Perhaps no bird species in North American elicits a more emotional response from birders and researchers alike than the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater; hereafter: cowbirds).
Feb. 17, 2011
Since 1948, birds have been counted in winter in a 65 acre study plot in Rock Creek Park, a large forested area in Washington, D.C.
bird casually perched on a wrought iron fence
Feb. 15, 2011
With more than 20 recognized subspecies, the song sparrow is one of the most variable bird species in North America.
Sep. 27, 2010
A Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center review of more than 50 studies in regions ranging from Central and South America to Indonesia over the past 15 years demonstrates that shade-grown coffee farms far...
Sep. 14, 2010
The least flycatcher spends most of its life in the lowlands of Mexico and Central America. It is easy to overlook with its drab coloration and size. It is only 5 inches long and weighs about the...
May. 01, 2010
One of the loudest birds that we hear in our yards is also one of the smallest. The tiny house wren weighs only 11 grams, about the same as 2 quarters, and is a mere 4 inches long.
Apr. 27, 2010
Shade-grown, Bird Friendly coffee is now available in five museum locations at the Smithsonian.
Dec. 27, 2009
Sales of organic, shade-grown coffee grown to the Bird Friendly standards of the National Zoo’s Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center rose to nearly $3.5 million in 2008.
A hummingbird perched on a tree branch
Nov. 14, 2009
Watch a hummingbird, and you will learn quickly what it likes to eat: nectar. The ruby-throated hummingbird, like all hummingbirds, is a nectar specialist.
Oct. 15, 2009
The San Clemente sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli clementeae) is a threatened, non-migratory subspecies endemic to San Clemente Island (SCI), which is the southernmost of the California Channel Islands.
large goose standing in water
Sep. 01, 2009
Many people are aware that both resident and migratory Canada geese (also known as Canadian geese) live in the United States and Canada. In fact, the distinction was recently made in relation to the...
Aug. 15, 2009
The eastern willet is a large migratory shorebird that, like many shorebirds, spends the non-breeding season in Central and South America and the breeding season in North America. Unlike most...
Jul. 15, 2009
The sedge wren is one of the most widespread birds in the Western Hemisphere, and yet it is one of the most poorly understood.
bird on pine bough
Dec. 14, 2008
Kirtland's warblers are so abundant in some parts of this ecosystem that it is hard to believe that the Kirtland's is the rarest songbird in North America, nesting almost exclusively in about 16...
Nov. 15, 2008
Besides the famous yellow-bellied sapsucker, there is another species of sapsucker, the Williamson's, and there are at least two others more closely related to the yellow-bellied.
small bird jumping on a branch near berries
Oct. 01, 2008
Hanging upside down on branches, stealing insects from the undersides of leaves, this acrobatic and gregarious bird is always a welcome sight. Though a common visitor to backyard feeders throughout...
large, long-tailed bird
Sep. 14, 2008
As soon as they step off the boat onto Santa Cruz Island, the largest of the eight California Channel Islands, a distinctive, metallic call greets visitors. This call belongs the island scrub-jay, a...
pigeon walking on ground
Jun. 14, 2008
The rock pigeon is the official English name for our common city pigeon. It is as noble as any animal when you view it in its proper place.
small bird standing on rock in stream
Apr. 01, 2008
The game of survival is all about carving out your niche and being successful in it. Within the natural world, few birds play this game better than the American dipper (Cinclus mexicanus).
brown bird with a pale throat and conical bill
Feb. 15, 2008
To many bird enthusiasts, the white-throated sparrow is just an "average Joe." In fact, I suspect that few birders living in Canada and the eastern United States have celebrated the long-awaited...
Large, dark bird perched on railing
Dec. 01, 2007
Few birds are so easily identified in flight as a crow, cutting a sharp, sleek image against the sky or a woodland edge with powerful, deliberate wing beats and black form.
An oriole perched on a branch
Nov. 01, 2007
The Baltimore oriole is perhaps the most famous neotropical migratory bird. Its brilliant orange and black plumage is reminiscent of the crest of Lord Baltimore, an important figure in Maryland's...
duck on rock
Jul. 01, 2007
The harlequin duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) is a cult bird. I came to this conclusion very early in life. I grew up birding in Northern California in the '60s and '70s when breeding harlequins had...
Jun. 14, 2007
The northern waterthrush (Parkesia noveboracensis) is a swamp thing, a seeker of wet woodlands far from where most people go.