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Author: John Alexander

Give a Gift For Bird Conservation

In celebration of giving Tuesday the Rogue Valley The Messenger is hosting Giving Raffle at local breweries and beer pitstops, recognizing KBO, along with other local non-profits, and encouraging readers to donate to each of the organizations. Check out the Messenger’s GIVE GUIDE 2021: AN ENTIRE MONTH OF GIVING to learn more.

KBO’s resilience is bolstered by the support we receive from our donors who believe in our work to advance bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships. On this Giving Tuesday, we ask that you help us with our continued efforts to protect birds, putting birds and KBO’s science at the forefront of conservation decision making and action. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN END-OF-YEAR DOATION NOW!

Also, as you plan your holiday shopping, consider giving a gift of bird conservation by purchasing KBO’s conservation stamp set for your bird loving family members and friends. Each year, Klamath Bird Observatory offers a Conservation Stamp Set with proceeds supporting both national and regional conservation efforts. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CONSERVATION STAMP SET and other gift items in the KBO store.

Lastly, please consider visiting Sunday Afternoons in Ashland and Wild Bird Unlimited in Medford when holiday shopping. As KBO sponsors these two local stores are valued KBO supporters.

            Wild Birds Unlimited 72 PPI 4xX


Please consider making a contribution to Klamath Bird Observatory this Giving Tuesday

KBO’s resilience is inspired by the support we receive from our donors who believe in our work to advance bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships. In 2020, as the Covid pandemic challenged all of us, KBO showed our resilience, adapting to the novel circumstances. Keeping the safety of staff, partners, and the rural communities where we work as our priority, for the first time in nearly 30 years we decided to postpone the vast majority of our field season. However, we were not idle with our time. Our staff diligently worked from home, implementing key nearby field studies, publishing a number of conservation-relevant papers, producing several new strategic conservation planning documents, and video conferencing extensively with partners. Our work stayed focused on ensuring that birds and KBO’s science stay at the forefront of conservation decision making and action

As we have focused intensely on our core science-driven mission during these unprecedented times, we have missed engaging with you, our community of supporters. As the pandemic hit, we considered how it might be impacting you, and we decided to cancel fundraising events and forgo sending out the regular spring membership appeal. However, as the virus now rages on and we look towards the future, we need your help.

While we are all facing uncertainties, the coming months are bringing exciting new developments to KBO. We have reinvigorated our outreach through our beautifully redesigned website at and new ventures into Covid-safe community education programming. We are actively planning to continue our world-renowned field program, with safety as our priority, and we will keep our momentum going as we continue to produce and deliver relevant science in support of critical conservation. We are also moving in to a new home. In 2021, we will take up residence at 2425 Siskiyou Boulevard in Ashland, Oregon. We look forward to welcoming you to our new headquarters (when CDC guidelines and Oregon State recommendations allow) where we will be able to host community education classes and other events.

We look forward to having another successful year and to engaging with you in new ways. Giving Tuesday is December 1st, and this year we ask that you help us with our continued efforts to protect birds and the places in nature that they need to survive. Please consider making an end-of-year donation to KBO by clicking here. We need your support as we charge into our future, with an outlook that is, while uncertain for all of us, promising.

Thank you,

John Alexander, Executive Director
Shannon Rio, President, Board of Directors

John Alexander (left), Shannon Rio (right), and the KBO Family look forward to our bright future.

NEWS RELEASE: Rufous Hummingbird — Conserving the West’s most imperiled hummingbird

BOULDER, CO, November 12, 2020 – The Rufous Hummingbird is a flying jewel. The male, a rich chestnut, sports a flaming red throat. Measuring just 3 inches and weighing in at around 3 grams, it migrates as many as two thousand miles. Its travels often take it across two international borders between nesting and wintering sites from Canada to Mexico. Since the 1970s, its numbers have fallen by as much as 60%, and conservationists suspect that its peregrinations may expose it to threats that contribute to its steep population decline. A new report published by the Western Hummingbird Partnership, “Rufous Hummingbird: State of the Science and Conservation,” illuminates in colorful images and graphics the biology and ecology of this tiny dynamo and highlights the many gaps in information that impede our ability to effectively protect it.

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KBO Banding Demonstration at Rogue Valley Bird Day this Saturday

Spring is here and so are the birds! Join Klamath Bird Observatory biologists at their bird banding demonstration this Saturday—just one of the many family friendly activities of the Rogue Valley Bird Day at Ashland’s North Mountain Park. The City of Ashland Department of Parks and Recreation with many partners will again host the Rogue Valley Bird Day festival May 13. The festival is our local celebration of International Migratory Bird Day. The event will feature expert-guided bird walks, thrilling programs featuring birds of prey by Wildlife Images Education Rehabilitation Center, our bird banding demonstration, and the ever very-popular bird calling contest! Click here for details of activities at the Rogue Valley Bird Day website.

In 2017, International Migratory Bird Day theme is “Helping Them on Their Way”—focusing on the importance of migration stopover as a critical facet of migratory birds’ life cycle. Migration stopover refers to the “rest stops” birds make in their long and uncertain journeys each year. The stopover rest stops are essential for refueling after one leg of the journey and before the next. Participants at more than 700 local celebrations from Argentina to Canada and the Caribbean will learn their home is shared, sometimes briefly, by feathered world travelers.

The 2017 International Migratory Bird Day Stopover Sites poster artwork illustrates 11 long-distance migratory bird species in a various stopover spots of their amazing annual round trips. It serves as a reminder that we all can help them on their way no matter where we are.

Now in its 27th year, International Migratory Bird Day has grown from a one-day event into a framework underpinning hundreds of projects and programs year-round. It is coordinated by Environment for the Americas, which provides bilingual educational materials and information about birds and bird conservation throughout the Americas. Their programs inspire children and adults to get outdoors, learn about birds, and take part in their conservation.

Click here for more information about the Rogue Valley Bird Day.

Click here for more information about International Migratory Bird Day and Environment of the Americas.

One of Our Bird Monitoring Stations is 25 Years Old!

Klamath Bird Observatory’s Pacific Crest Trail #1 (PCT1) long-term bird monitoring station, operated in partnership with Klamath National Forest, turns 25 this May—older than some of this year’s volunteer interns! The station’s resilience was recognized in the latest MAPS Chat—the annual newsletter of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship Program to which we contribute data collected at all of our monitoring stations.

The station is located within Klamath National Forest at the confluence of Seiad Creek and the Klamath River (in northern California near the town of Seiad Valley and the Pacific Crest Trail). It was first established by John Alexander (KBO Executive Director) who was a Biological Technician on the Klamath National Forest at that time.  Sam Cuenca (Klamath National Forest District Biologist) was there from the start and maintains operation for the station to this day. The Institute for Bird Populations created the continental-wide Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship Program in 1989 and currently has over 300 contributing banding stations.

Click here to view this issue of MAPS Chat – the PCT1 station recognition and a surprise 1993 photo of John and Taylor Alexander are on Page 9!

KBO in Audubon Magazine

Klamath Bird Observatory was highlighted in the latest Audubon magazine. The Spring 2017 issue’s Travel section suggests our Community Education Programs as an Alternative Adventure.

Pictured is 2015 student volunteer intern Daniel Gómez banding a bird at our Willow Wind Community Learning Center ecological monitoring station located in Ashland, Oregon. Photo by (2015 intern) Erica Gaeta.

The article’s text:

If attending a festival doesn’t fit your schedule, consider checking out a bird observatory. These groups monitor birds, conserve critical habitat, and have a host of activities for the public. Starting in late spring, the Klamath Bird Observatory, for instance, invites visitors to watch bird banding in action at multiple sites in Oregon, including Crater Lake National Park. “It’s a great opportunity to see warblers, thrushes, and sparrows up close, and to learn about their life histories,” says Jaime Stephens, the observatory’s science director. She also points to the Talk and Walk program, which consists of an hour-long talk on a specific topic, such as Great Gray Owls, followed by a field trip to see the species in its habitat. Dozens of other observatories across the nation and beyond provide a plethora of similar programs; find a full list of observatories in the Western Hemisphere at

© National Audubon Society

Click here to visit and to view the Spring 2017 online issue.

Upcoming Talk – Climate Change: A Bird’s Eye View

Recent research suggests that the challenges bird communities already face are exacerbated by climate change. As climate change brings shifts of habitats, birds can be among the first to tell the story of climate trends. Just like the canary in a coalmine, they may alert us to what is happening and what the future holds. If we are paying attention.

Join Southern Oregon Climate Action Now and Klamath Bird Observatory to learn about international, national, and regional efforts to adapt bird conservation and natural resource management strategies to effectively meet the most urgent needs in the face of climate change.

Dr. John Alexander, Director of the Klamath Bird Observatory, will be the guest speaker at the next Southern Oregon Climate Action Now general meeting April 25th 6:00 pm at the Medford Public Library. John will share what critical impacts climate change is having on regional and national bird populations, and summarize research that KBO is undertaking in his talk “Climate Change: A Bird’s Eye View”. The U.S. Department of Interior’s 2010 State of the Birds Report on Climate Change, to which Klamath Bird Observatory contributed, addressed this very issue.

Click here for more information about Southern Oregon Climate Action Now

Click here to view Southern Oregon Climate Action Now’s press release for this event

Click here to view/download the 2010 State of the Birds Report on Climate Change

From Africa to Central America – Forging International Partnerships to Conserve Wildlife

Tropical forests are used by local people for food, timber, and resource extraction. Balancing the needs of local people and the needs of sensitive wildlife has presented scientists with pressing global conservation challenges. To help protect and manage tropical wildlife, Klamath Bird Observatory Research Associate Dr. Jared Wolfe has partnered with academia, governments, and nonprofits in Central Africa and Central America to successfully develop and fund several capacity building grants focused on conserving important habitats at risk of being lost.

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