Binoculars are an essential tool for any birder, but how do you pick out a good pair? There are many factors to consider to ensure you get the best pair for you. David Menough, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited of Arvada, offers tips on selecting binoculars so you can have a fun, high-quality birding experience.
The temperate forests of West Mexico are critical habitat for endemic and migrant bird species. In March, RMBO wrapped up its first year of surveying birds in this region. Our technicians offer a report from Jalisco, Mexico, on their experiences meeting locals and surveying in this challenging, beautiful terrain, including a list of unique and interesting species detected.
Eastern Screech-Owls are the most common owl species in North America, yet little is known about their habitat needs or population dynamics. To fill these knowledge gaps – and get citizens involved in science linked to their natural environment – RMBO launched a new project last month in Fort Collins, Colorado, to monitor Eastern Screech-Owls along the Cache la Poudre River. Post updated on May 30.
Spring is here, and you know what that means … hummingbirds! In the mountains, it's easy to attract hummingbirds. In cities, however, it requires a little more effort. Scott Menough, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited of Denver, offers tips on attracting these hovering jewels of nature to your yard.
Last month, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory completed its first field season studying winter survival of Baird's and Grasshopper Sparrows in Janos, Chihuahua, Mexico. Both of these grassland species have declined between 70 and 80% since the 1960s. The key to stemming these population declines may lie on their wintering grounds in Chihuahua. Biologist Erin Strasser provides a wrap-up of the study including some interesting preliminary data.
Students in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, gathered inside their school on a cold, blustery afternoon to experience an indoor camping trip complete with wildlife. Nebraska Education Coordinator Maggie Vinson writes about the day and all that the students learned on their camping trip.
Grassland birds are declining faster than any other group of North American birds. The key to reversing this decline may lie on their wintering grounds in Chihuahua, Mexico. Biologist Erin Strasser provides an update from Chihuahua on a study that's using radio-telemetry to better understand the overwintering ecology of Baird's and Grasshopper Sparrows.
Grady Grissom, a rancher in southeast Colorado, had a problem playa. Someone had pitted a playa lake on his ranch many decades earlier to make a deeper water pond for cattle. While good for cattle, it concentrated the water into the pit, degrading the wetland habitat for other wildlife. To solve the problem, he turned to the Stewardship team at Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory for help.
The South Platte River in northeastern Colorado is among the highest priority areas for wetland conservation in the state. Historically, it has provided important habitat for migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, marsh birds, like the White-faced Ibis pictured left, and other wetland wildlife. Last week, RMBO biologist Colin Lee met with Natural Resources Conservation Service leadership and partners to discuss the state of NRCS conservation easements along the South Platte, culminating in a tour of two easements that serve as outstanding examples of wetland conservation on private lands.
PEEP, or Panhandle Eco-Extravaganza about Prairies, brings prairie education into schools across the Nebraska panhandle. This year, the PEEP program reached 370 students at five elementary schools. Geared to fourth- and fifth-graders, PEEP teaches students about prairies – from the plants and animals to the soil and groundwater – through hands-on, critical skills activities.
What a great banding season at Barr Lake State Park! It seems like only yesterday that bird bander Meredith McBurney and I kicked off the season in August, banding 50 birds with only four of our 21 nets open. In retrospect, this proved to be an omen of the sensational fall migration that was to come. This season, we banded over 1,700 birds. With a diversity of 71 species, it was a "big year" for the Barr Lake Banding Station. We had not reached numbers at this level and at this location since 2006!
Earlier this year, I began working with a landowner on improving her property for wildlife along the Dolores River in western Colorado. As a novel approach to restoration monitoring, I suggested we conduct a BioBlitz on her property. Using this approach, we assembled experts from a variety of ecological disciplines, along with teachers and students from the local community, to inventory the species on her property over two long weekends. What did we find?
The Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory has released the first-ever conservation plan for grassland bird species that winter in the Chihuahuan Desert, with support from the Rio Grande Joint Venture and American Bird Conservancy. The plan provides a wide range of science-based information to guide everyone from on-the-ground land managers to program- and policy-level decision-makers in maintaining and improving habitat for grassland bird species of high conservation concern.
Some of Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory's stewardship staff were in Pinedale, Wyoming, in late June to celebrate Sage Grouse Initiative successes with partners from national and state agencies, nonprofits and landowner organizations. Billed as "wildlife conservation through sustainable agriculture," SGI is a model for voluntary private-lands conservation.