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.
July is an excellent time to look for breeding birds at higher elevations, like Mountain Bluebirds, Sandhill Cranes, Lazuli Buntings, various Warblers, and even… possibly… Great Gray Owls. On July 6th from 9am to 2pm, Harry Fuller will lead a small bird watching trip in and around the Howard Prairie and Hyatt Lake area. For more information about Harry, our world renowned trip leader, see below. Please join us for this safety-first outing; we will spend the morning seeking connection and rejuvenation from the wonder and beauty of our shared birds.
In a new publication selected as “editor’s choice” in the journal Landscape Ecology, researchers from Oregon State University’s Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society and Klamath Bird Observatory tested a novel species-centered technique for quantifying the influence of habitat amount and fragmentation on a community of 48 common bird species in Oregon’s Rogue Basin, including 25 oak-woodland specialists. Rather than using human-classified land-cover data, the species-centered technique uses stacked species-distribution models to quantify habitat amount and configuration. The results suggest that using this species-centered approach to define habitat for entire bird communities reveals relationships between fragmentation and bird diversity that would otherwise be obscured by the use of classified land-cover.
From a hummingbird’s point of view, wildfire can be good or bad. With support from the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and WHP, Dr. Deborah M. Finch from the Research Station collaborated with Dr. Alexander and his research team at Klamath Bird Observatory in Oregon and with Dr. Sarahy Contreras from the University of Guadalajara – CUCSUR to complete a literature review about the effects of wildfire on hummingbird habitat, how restoration actions including prescribed fire affect those habitats, and how hummingbirds respond.
Join us Wednesday, June 3rd from 6:30-8:00pm for KBO’s first virtual community education program, presented by Shannon Rio via Zoom. This visual and auditory presentation teaches about local birds while exploring how they got their common and Latin names. For example, why is a Killdeer called a Killdeer and what does its scientific name tell us? Using stories, scientific facts, photography, bird sounds and poetry, this is a fun opportunity to learn about the birds that live all around us. No birding knowledge is necessary, however curiosity and humor are welcome prerequisites for joining this virtual class.