Desirée Narango has knocked on hundreds of doors in the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to make an intimate request of homeowners: permission to count and identify the trees and shrubs in their yards. Luckily for Narango, now an ecologist at the City University of New York, they almost always said yes. In her counts, she’s found the tropical fronds of banana plants, pink-tufted crepe myrtles, scraggly oaks, and hundreds of other woody plants. But her interest in the greenery isn’t that of a botanist. “We’re thinking at the scale of a bird,” Narango says.
As summer turns to fall and the autumnal equinox takes hold, the colors of nature hit a more sizzling note. The verdant trees and wildflowers morph into the signature golds, oranges, crimsons, browns, and blacks of the harvest season. The local bird species are changing as well, and while most orioles are already on the wing to their southern homes, I can’t help but remember their vivid jack-o-lantern colors at this time of year.
For the visually impaired, learning to bird by ear can be a fun challenge that also makes nature more accessible. Here, one birder shares his story.
Halloween, harvest festivals, and general autumnal celebrations lead to an abundance of everyone’s fall favorite: pumpkins. While you partake in pumpkin spice lattes and jack-o-lantern carvings, why not share some gourd indulgences with the birds? This bird feeder is the perfect use of an extra or post-trick-or-treat pumpkin.
Each spring, songbirds migrate thousands of miles to breed in Oregon’s Cascade Mountains. Deep in a forest, Oregon State University researcher Hankyu Kim feels he has gotten inside the head of one species, the hermit warbler.
The “no-mow” movement is gaining steam, and I’ve joined it, after I’ve had the luck to see firsthand how beautiful a natural meadow can be.
Eastern Phoebes and Wood-Pewees are vocal birds. Here’s how to tell them apart by their songs.
The Urban Birder gives us the scoop on the budding movement and all the unlikely places you should be looking for birds in.
Red-breasted Nuthatches are always a treat. Smaller and less conspicous than the prevalent White-breasted Nuthatch, these birds sport a black-and-white striped face, a slate back, and an eponymous rusty underside. Tiny and delightful, they tend to spark an immediate grin whenever you see one—but that isn’t always a guarantee depending where you live.
Even birds get cancer, and as with humans, doctors do their best to save them.
In Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park, a great pied hornbill developed an aggressive form of cancer, and doctors moved swiftly to save him with a 3D-printed prosthetic casque.