Oak ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest are highly biodiverse and host more than 300 vertebrate species; yet a significant proportion of historic oak ecosystems in the region have been lost, and most remaining habitat is in a degraded state. Songbirds that are closely associated with oak ecosystems have experienced concerning declines, which is one of the reasons why research and restoration in oak habitats are priorities in our region. A new study from Klamath Bird Observatory describes a restoration and monitoring project that sought to reduce factors that stress oak trees and improve functioning in oak-associated plant communities. The researchers studied the effectiveness of the oak restoration by monitoring birds both before and after oak restoration.
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. 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.
In 2019, KBO partnered with the Bureau of Land Management to initiate a new long-term bird monitoring project in eastern Oregon as part of the Integrated Monitoring for Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program. Our fieldwork brought us far from our home in Ashland, Oregon to monitor birds in the sagebrush habitats of eastern Oregon, stretching KBO’s point count program out all the way to the Idaho border!
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.
Healthy riparian habitat is vital for Neotropical migrant and resident birds. It supports high biodiversity, and it is increasingly rare across landscapes. The total area of riparian habitat in California and Oregon has declined significantly in recent years and so have its associated bird populations. Human activity and other disturbances contribute to the loss of this scarce and essential bird habitat. Scientists, conservation practitioners, and land managers are collaborating to restore key riparian areas to health, and to understand how bird responses to restoration efforts can indicate restoration success.
Join Shannon Rio for an outdoor Lunch and Learn “Birding at North Mountain Park” on November 13th, and a virtual class “Wintering Birds of the Rogue Valley” on November 16th via Zoom. Click to learn more!
The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument lies at the heart of a unique ecological landscape less than 20 miles outside of KBO’s home in Ashland, OR. This summer, with the support of the Medford BLM, KBO initiated a new long-term monitoring study which aims to understand the bird communities within the oak and grassland habitats in the Monument.
When playing at home, sports teams usually benefit from home-field advantage. A similar advantage exists among migratory birds that return to the same nesting site year after year to find familiar surroundings, food, and neighbors. The act of returning to the same site—site fidelity—has been documented in songbirds during nesting season for decades; however, what has remained a mystery is whether or not songbirds exhibit a similar site fidelity after the breeding season, during their annual molt, or replacement of feathers.
Oregon Vesper Sparrows are a declining and at-risk subspecies unique to the Pacific Northwest. This June, KBO staff spent time in the field placing miniature GPS tags on Oregon Vesper Sparrows to discover their migratory routes and wintering grounds. We thought you might be interested in the process!
Plucky, beautiful and declining in numbers at about a 2% annual rate, the Rufous Hummingbird makes its long annual migration in different timing and route patterns based the birds’ age and sex, new research by Oregon State University shows. The findings, published in the journal Avian Conservation & Ecology, are important because the more that is known about how Rufous Hummingbirds migrate, the more that can be done to ensure birds of each age and sex category have the resources they need each year on their journey up and down the western part of North America.