Category Archives: Articles

How This Popular Garden Plant May Spread Parasites That Harm Monarchs

For monarch butterflies in the eastern United States, life revolves around milkweed, a group of about 100 plants in the genus Asclepius that provide food, shelter and nectar for the iconic insects. During their annual migration to the their overwintering sites in the mountains of Mexico, millions of the butterflies float from milkweed to milkweed and other native flowers, on an epic 2,000-mile journey. But in recent years, things have gotten dicey for the orange and black lepidopteron on their journey.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-popular-garden-plant-may-spread-monarch-parasite-180970257/

With these maps, you can track migratory birds in near real time

If you’re a bird-watcher, there’s an interactive way to enjoy your hobby thanks to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Cornell scientists created a tool on their BirdCast website (with research funded by NSF, Leon Levy Foundation, Rose Postdoctoral Fellowship and Marshall Aid Commission) that shows in near real-time the volume and direction of migratory birds traveling throughout the country. The migration forecast maps will keep you apprised of what to expect in the days (and nights) ahead.

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/cornell-updated-birdcast-maps-track-bird-migrations

12 Fascinating Bird Behaviors From the 2018 Audubon Photography Awards

Talk to any nature photographer, and they’ll tell you that their best shots often come from patience and keen observation. Sure, there are those impromptu images that happen out of sheer luck, but more often than not a single photograph represents hours or even days of study and dedication. Every year the judges of the Audubon Photography Awards, including myself, are treated to hundreds of photographs capturing unusual or rare bird behaviors. Some are surely a lucky snap, but most are the products of time and patience. This year’s awards provided plenty of such shots, and these are some of our favorite moments from the 2018 entrants.

https://www.audubon.org/news/12-fascinating-bird-behaviors-2018-audubon-photography-awards?ms=digital-eng-email-ea-x-20180912_bird-behavior_medium&utm_source=ea&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20180912_bird-behavior&utm_content=medium

2018 eBird Taxonomy Update

The eBird taxonomy update is COMPLETE. We do this update once each year, taking into account the past 12 months worth of recent taxonomic knowledge on splits, lumps, name changes, and changes in the sequence of the species lists. As of this point, all core eBird data will be reflecting the new taxonomy. This includes your My eBird lists, range maps, bar charts, region and hotspot lists, and data entry. Your eBird Mobile should have had an “Updating taxonomy…” message that will have loaded the new version. We do have a small number of minor changes yet to make, which may affect the lists for some users as we implement these over the next few days. If you see unfamiliar bird names in the list, please refer to the story below to understand the change and why it happened.

https://ebird.org/news/2018-ebird-taxonomy-update