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Tag: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

2018 is the Year of the Bird!

The National Geographic Society, in partnership with National Audubon Society, Birdlife International, and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology have proclaimed 2018 as the Year of the Bird. The Year of the Bird marks 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. The Year of the Bird will celebrate the wonder of our feathered friends and provide an opportunity for people everywhere to recommit themselves to protecting birds. The Year of the Bird will be 12 months of storytelling, science, and conservation aimed at heightening public awareness of birds and the importance of protecting them.

KBO, many other organizations, and people all around the world are committing to help protect birds today and for the next hundred years. Everyone can join in and be a part of the #YearoftheBird! National Geographic will be highlighting simple actions you can take part in each month to make a difference for birds—visit their website (see link below) to read more about this special year. Another wonderful resource is the All About Birds website’s “6 Resolutions To Help You #BirdYourWorld In 2018” (see link below). KBO will post news and updates of these actions and how to stay involved throughout the year through our Call Note blog and at eBird Northwest.

As Thomas Lovejoy, biologist and “godfather of biodiversity” once stated: “If you take care of the birds, you take care of most of the environmental problems in the world.”

CLICK HERE to visit National Geographic Society’s website Year of the Bird page.
CLICK HERE to visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website “6 Resolutions to Help You #BirdYourWorld in 2018” article.


KBO Scientist’s Kirtland’s Warbler Research Discussed in Living Bird

Klamath Bird Observatory research scientist Dr. Sarah Rockwell was mentioned in the most recent issue of Living Bird, published by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (click here to see the article). Sarah completed her Ph.D. research with Dr. Peter Marra (now Director of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center) on the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler in her home state of Michigan. She found that after drier winters in The Bahamas (which are predicted by several climate change models), Kirtland’s Warblers arrived on Michigan breeding grounds later in the spring, raised fewer offspring, and had lower survival rates that year. This emphasizes the importance of winter habitats for migratory birds; conditions there can carry over to affect birds during different parts of the annual cycle.

“Without natural wildfires, the Kirtland’s Warbler may always be a conservation-reliant species, but it is important to demonstrate the success the Kirtland’s recovery team has had in alleviating limitations on the breeding grounds, and increasing the population from around 200 pairs in the 1970s to over 2,000 pairs today,” says Sarah. “My research helped demonstrate threats that could result from drought on wintering grounds in The Bahamas, which still need to be addressed. Nathan Cooper’s research (discussed in the article) adds important data to the question of identifying where else Kirtland’s Warblers might be spending the winter, as well as important stopover sites along migratory routes, which would be good candidates for habitat protection. My work also demonstrated that Kirtland’s Warblers have higher mortality during migration than any part of the year, making this a critical part of its life cycle.”

Dr. Rockwell, who says she’ll always have a soft spot for this charismatic species, will present her research as an invited speaker in the Kirtland’s Warbler symposium that will take place as part of this year’s American Ornithological Society meeting. She will also present KBO research using birds as indicators to evaluate riparian restoration at beaver dam analogue sites in the Scott Valley, California (click here for more information about this project).

Dr. Sarah Rockwell’s Kirtland Warbler publications:
Rockwell, S. M., C. I. Bocetti, and P. P. Marra (2012). Carry-over effects of winter climate on spring arrival date and reproductive success in an endangered migratory bird, Kirtland’s Warbler (Setophaga kirtlandii). The Auk 129:744-752.

Rockwell, S. M., J. M. Wunderle, Jr., T. S. Sillett, C. I. Bocetti, D. N. Ewert, D. Currie, J. D. White, and P. P. Marra (2017). Seasonal survival estimation for a long-distance migratory bird and the influence of winter precipitation. Oecologia 183:715-726.

2015 Mountain Bird Festival May 29-31

2015 Mountain Bird Festival: Citizens and Science Elevating Bird Conservation


The 2014 Mountain Bird Festival was a huge success.  All attendees served as bird conservationists by helping raise over $10,000 in support of local and national conservation efforts and the science that drives that conservation. Participants flocked from all over the U.S. to bird the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California. 171 bird species were seen by festival participants, including mountain and pacific northwest specialties such as White-headed Woodpecker, Spotted Owl, Calliope Hummingbird, Mountain Bluebird, and of course, the Great Gray Owl. Additionally, over 90 species of wildflowers were seen in bloom, as well as 21 species of dragonflies and damselflies seen zipping through the region’s diverse habitats. All data from field trips were entered into eBird Northwest, which contributes to our understanding of bird distribution and habitat use. All festival attendees purchased a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (a.k.a. the Duck Stamp) with their registration, contributing to wetland restoration and conservation throughout the United States; attendees also purchased a Conservation Science Stamp, supporting Klamath Bird Observatory‘s worldwide efforts to advance bird and habitat conservation through science, education, and partnerships.

This 2015 Conservation Science Stamp will feature the stunning White-headed Woodpecker!

The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival will offer guided bird walks, fine art galleries, local wine, microbrew, and food vendors, and a feel-good community atmosphere.  This year’s keynote speaker will be Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s International eBird project leader, Brian Sullivan. Brian will show us how eBird and its state of the art technologies are revolutionizing birding, making this popular recreation a powerful conservation science activity.

Festival registration includes half-day or full-day field trips offered on both Saturday and Sunday.

Festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy all that is offered by the town of Ashland, Oregon. See a play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, stroll through town to visit a variety of shops and galleries, get a massage, or enjoy a meal at one of Ashland’s many restaurants that feature local foods. We look forward to seeing you at the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival.

The Klamath Bird Observatory is grateful for your support and dedication.  Don’t forget to tell your friends about this great opportunity to see wonderful birds and contribute to their conservation while at it!

2015 Mountain Bird Festival Registration Opens February 11



The award winning Mountain Bird Festival is back, celebrating the natural wonders of southern Oregon and northern California. The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival will be held in Ashland, Oregon from May 29th-31st. Registration for the Festival will be available on the Klamath Bird Observatory website at The Mountain Bird Festival offers guided bird walks, a keynote presentation, fine art galleries, local wine, microbrew, and food vendors, and a feel-good community atmosphere. Registration includes half-day or full-day field trips offered on both Saturday and Sunday.

The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival combines a celebration of the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion’s spectacular mountain birds and the stewardship ethic needed to ensure thriving landscapes for humans and wildlife. Every citizen who participates in the Festival helps to advance bird and habitat conservation in multiple ways. They contribute to habitat protection through the purchase of a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (a.k.a. the Duck Stamp), thereby supporting one of the most successful conservation programs in the United States. Festival attendees also purchase a Conservation Science Stamp with proceeds supporting Klamath Bird Observatory’s regional science and education programs aimed at achieving sustainable natural resource management. Additionally, every Festival goer serves as a citizen scientist contributing field trip bird sightings to eBird Northwest, a rapidly growing database that advances our knowledge about birds and their habitats.

This year’s Mountain Bird Festival features a keynote presentation by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology’s International eBird project leader, Brian Sullivan. Brian will show us how eBird and its state of the art technologies are revolutionizing birding, making this popular recreation a powerful conservation science activity.

The Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion of southern Oregon and northern California is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, an absolute must-see for birders and naturalists. The 2015 Mountain Bird Festival offers guided bird walks to some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes of the region. Field trips will target highly sought after mountain birds of the Cascade, Siskiyou, and Klamath Mountains, as well as Klamath Basin specialties. Target birds include Mountain Quail, nesting Sandhill Cranes, dancing Western and Clark’s Grebes, Black Terns, Great Gray Owls, Calliope Hummingbirds, and the bird that will be featured on this year’s Conservation Science Stamp, the White-headed Woodpecker.

The Mountain Bird Festival has received national awards for becoming one of our nation’s leading conservation events. Please join us for the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival and become part of our efforts to elevate bird conservation.

Click here to view a a copy of the press release announcing the 2015 Mountain Bird Festival.