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grassland

Rosalind Renfrew and the Upland Sandpiper

Ros Renfrew is a conservation biologist at the Vermont Center for Ecostudies. And she’s passionate about a range of conservation issues. She loves grasslands like the Konza Prairie by the Flint Hills of Kansas. It’s this rich, vivid biological realm that has Ros entranced. And in particular, the... read more »

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Rough-legged Hawk takes off

After breeding on Arctic cliffs and tundra hillsides in summer months, Rough-legged Hawks winter all across the Northern Hemisphere. Open country is their ideal territory, where the small rodents they depend on are plentiful. Frequent photo contributor, Gregg Thompson, was fortunate to spot this... read more »

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Cattle Egret - You've Got a Friend in Me

Many birds that forage in open country, such as Cattle Egrets, benefit from association with large grazing mammals. The mammals scare up insects as they move, making them more visible to the birds. In the egrets’ native lands in Africa, the birds feed with elephants, rhinos, and Cape buffalos. In... read more »

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Ring-necked Pheasants in the Wild

The Ring-necked Pheasant is likely the best-known bird in North America that isn’t native to the continent. Indigenous to Asia, Ring-necked Pheasants were introduced to Oregon in 1881. The birds thrived in rural landscapes for many years, but modern industrial farming practices have diminished... read more »

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A Fascination with Cranes, With George Archibald

George Archibald has devoted his life to the conservation of cranes, including the Whooping Crane pictured here. His inspiration? At the age of eight, George heard a radio broadcast about Whooping Cranes at school. He says, “. . . it was this drama of a male and female crane who’d flown the... read more »

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Finding Mountain Plovers - How Technology Helped!

In the spring of 2013, I found two rare Mountain Plovers in the White Rock Bay area of Antelope Island State Park in the Great Salt Lake in Utah. And lately, I have been hoping to see them again.The last couple of trips to the island have made me think of how various technologies used for birding... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  photography

Sprague's Pipit - The Missouri Skylark

In Rare & Elusive Birds of North America, naturalist William Burt writes about Sprague's Pipit, also known as the Missouri Skylark. "Upward he goes, in bounding spirals: two, three, four, even five-hundred feet above the plain it is supposed; then he weaves about slowly, easily, as if... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, reflection, sound

Sharp-tailed Grouse on a Lek

During spring at Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota, male Sharp-tailed Grouse  - like the one pictured here - perform their elaborate mating dances on a matted patch of ground called a lek. They stomp their feet, extend their wings, and zip around the lek. Then, in an instant,... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  breeding display, science

Central Flyway Stand-out Species: Whooping Crane

Pacific Flyway:Stay tuned!Central Flyway:Whooping CraneMississippi Flyway:Stay tuned!Atlantic Flyway:Wood ThrushEvery Tuesday during the month of December, BirdNote is highlighting beloved birds and places in each of the four North American flyways – the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific... read more »

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The Platte River Crane Plane

Every day between early October and early November, two planes fly over the Platte River in Central Nebraska. The flight crews are searching for endangered Whooping Cranes, like the one pictured here with Sandhill Cranes. If Whooping Cranes are spotted, a ground crew monitors the birds’ behavior... read more »

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