Author: John Alexander

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 bit.ly/2lBLvWm.

© National Audubon Society

Click here to visit Audubon.org 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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Ellie Armstrong birding 72 ppi 6 x 4

Grizzly Creek Preserve

Ellie Armstrong birding 72 ppi 6 x 4Klamath Bird Observatory and The Selberg Institute have launched a new community science project on the beautiful Grizzly Creek Preserve just outside of Ashland. The project objective is to inventory and monitor birds using the Preserve’s variety of habitats. Nestled in the rising Cascades foothills surrounding Grizzly Peak, the Preserve includes meadows, oak woodlands, and conifer forests.
 
The Preserve is a terrific spot for birding and will give the public a unique opportunity to visit and bird in diverse habitats managed for conservation. Participation will include some walking and/or hiking, recording all birds observed by sight and/or sound, and entering and submitting your findings into eBird Northwest. Guided night expeditions are planned for owl species surveys. The project’s Community Ornithologists will receive training in how to collect data and using eBird. Surveys will be scheduled monthly and continue until Spring 2019. 
 

A Call for Citizen Scientists!

Klamath Bird Observatory and The Selberg Institute are launching a new citizen science project on the beautiful Sampson Creek Preserve just outside of Ashland. This project offers something for all birders and outdoor enthusiasts. Participants will have the choice to bird on fairly flat terrain walking less than two miles through meadows and oak woodland, or for the more adventurous there are little-explored areas off-trail along a gradient of different habitats. The project will take place on a large parcel of private property along Sampson Creek. The Preserve is in the foothills of the Cascades and holds a variety of oak habitats as well as coniferous forests and riparian woodlands. This is a terrific spot for birding and will give the public a unique opportunity to visit and bird in a diversity of habitats managed for conservation.

Sampson Creek Preserve late winter. Photo by Ellie Armstrong

Citizen Scientists will participate in a training event on April 15th to learn how to collect data, and the opportunity for monthly surveys will continue throughout the year. If you enjoy looking for owls, you are in luck as well. This project will also include guided night surveys to inventory the local owl population. Participation will include some walking and/or hiking, recording all birds observed by sight and/or sound, and entering and submitting your findings into eBird Northwest. Klamath Bird Observatory has completed baseline breeding surveys on this property in the past, but with this project we aim to add to the existing knowledge by harnessing the power of Citizen Scientists to collect robust data throughout the breeding, migratory, and winter seasons.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information please contact KBO biologist Ellie Armstrong at eea@klamathbird.org. Ellie will give a short presentation on the project at the next Rogue Valley Audubon Society monthly meeting on March 28th – come learn about this special place and what we can do to help keep it special.

Klamath Bird Newsletter 2017 Winter Edition Released

The 2017 Winter Klamath Bird newsletter is hot off the presses! In this issue we look back at the year gone by and ahead to the one before us with Tales from the Field, the Olive-sided Flycatcher: a Bird in Trouble, Mountain Bird Festival news, Words on the Wind, Opening New Doors to Conservation, and more!

Look! Come see it all in the 2017 Winter Klamath Bird!

Print newsletters are in the mail to subscribers … click here to view the online edition.

Enjoy!

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PO Box 758
Ashland, Oregon 97520

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