Category: Education

Passing on the History of the Passenger Pigeon

What if I told you that the there once was a population so vast and mighty that its members could block out the sun.

A combined power so great it could shape the continent. These creatures were not the dinosaurs of the Jurassic period or Roman soldiers two millennia past, but the Passenger Pigeon. A North American bird who’s extinction came just a hundred years ago.

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The Health Benefits of Bird Watching

Do you love nothing more than grabbing your binoculars and heading out in the woods to see how many different varieties of birds you can spot? Bird watching is a popular hobby – according to the RSPB, some three million adults do it every year in the UK! Plus, it is one of the easiest hobbies to start because they can be seen anywhere, and you don’t even need binoculars to do it. (They are a big help though)

But, did you know that it is also good for your health – both mentally and physically?

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Duck Feeding PSA

No bread, of any kind, has any nutritional value for ducks. By feeding them bread, it fills their stomachs while providing no nutrients. It’s essentially the equivalent of humans eating cotton balls, or grass. This also goes for such snacks as tortilla chips, regular chips, pretzels, cheesies etc. The oil, salt, and/or flavoring on any human snack is no good for ducks. This is especially important for the wee ones during the breeding season, while they’re growing.

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Did you know there is a bird census every year?

For the past 116 years the Audubon has organized the annual Christmas Bird Count where groups all over the country gather between December 14th and January 5th to count birds in a particular area.

Like many people do on bird outings, the number of species spotted and how many of each species is recorded and submitted to eBird to help scientists monitor population fluctuations and migration patterns. The Christmas Bird Count bird census was started to replace the tradition of the “side hunt” where men would go out and hunt as many birds in a day as possible.

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New Birds of North America Poster – 740+ Species

I wanted to share this awesome, brand new bird poster from the artists at Pop Chart Lab with you all. This large 39″ x 27″ poster features a stunning 740+ species of native and introduced birds found in North America. They are drawn *somewhat* to scale and grouped by family. This poster would make the perfect gift for any bird lover.

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5 Tips on Breaking into the Biology Profession

Getting a job is hard. Thousands of millennials graduate college each year with nothing else to show for it than a piece of paper. A diploma no longer gets you a full-time job right out of college. The job market is tough, especially in the wildlife field. There is a finite amount of jobs for a growing pool of applicants. This doesn’t mean you can’t get there, it just means you have to put in a little more effort beyond your time spent at college!

Here are a quick 5 tips on breaking into the biology profession:

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A Day in The Life of a Falconer

Even though I’m unfortunately taking a break from falconry for one year due to college in another state, I still relive and reminisce on my countless past outings. Here is what a typical day in the life of a falconer is like. My day doesn’t have a horrendously early start, a long travel time, or an expensive bill waiting to greet me at the end. My life is like any other high schooler, at least until around three o’clock.

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Parakeets Show Empathy Through Contagious Yawning

Good news! Parakeets might just be able to respond to how you feel!

Yes, a recent study in the journal Animal Cognition suggests budgerigars are capable of certain aspects of affective empathy. Let’s start with a little background on empathy: Over the years of psychologists conceptualizing empathy, researchers have basically agreed that there are two distinct components at play: cognitive empathy and affective empathy.

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Behind the Scenes at a Birds of Prey Show

A free-flight birds of prey show. I have seen hundreds of them, and I still get a wave of childlike giddiness every time I get the chance to see another one. I know I’m not the only one that believes that they are always an absolute highlight of zoo trips. There’s just something about watching a raptor soar inches above my head that takes my breath away. The speakers and trainers point, the bird flies, all of it happens in near perfect synchronization. Watching the speaker on stage, talking so calmly about the bird, engaging the audience with every syllable, it is extremely easy to believe that the entire show is effortless.

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A Day in The Life of a Waterfowl Biologist

The day starts out by waking up to the sound of geese flying back to marsh after spending the night feeding in nearby rice fields. A day in the life of a waterfowl biologist is never dull; work is almost purely dictated by the birds themselves. There are two main seasons in California’s Sacramento Valley: the breeding season and the wintering season.

The waterfowl present during breeding season consist almost exclusively of Mallard, Gadwall, a handful of Cinnamon Teal, and a few other stragglers that didn’t feel like flying all the way up to Alaska.

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