Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Encourage Young Birders

Birding is a great activity that you can start at any age, and enjoy at any level.  There are some great resources and groups that can help young birders get started on this life-long passion.


In Minnesota, there is a Minnesota Young Birders Club.  It connects youth to other young birders in the state via monthly field days, workshops, and social media. This group provides a challenging environment where youth can learn about birds, conservation and science while socializing with friends.

Elsewhere, the Young Birders Network is a group that aims to provide resources for young birders to connect and learn, while giving their adult advocates resources to encourage and support. The network is coordinated by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and includes dozens of partners.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Update on TRC Construction from Darner the American Kestrel



Darner, the American kestrel

While construction is ongoing at TRC, we have Darner the American kestrel perched in our lobby.  It is good experience for her to have ongoing exposure to the public as part of training, and we think the public appreciates being able to say hello to such an enigmatic raptor species. 

She asked to give the construction update from her perspective, as she can see the work being done from the lobby perch:


“As you can see, work is continually being done on our new housing.  The window in the lobby of The Raptor Center, in which I am spending the day, overlooks the rehabilitation bird pens.  However, the humans at TRC talk about that work is also being done on the new housing for me and my education winged ambassador co-workers.  Artemis the peregrine falcon reported earlier on the concrete walkways that were poured and the pea gravel for drainage that is in place.  I can see the structure that will be a roof to keep rain and snow out of the human paths of the rehabilitation bird area. I do not understand why a good rain bath is not welcome to them. It does wonders for my feathers.

It is easier to see where each pen will be from the outline of the structure right now. The holes are for concrete footings, and were being dug just today.  I am told that being able to dig in the ground in Minnesota in January is not common. 

I wonder if there are any mice that might be running around in those holes outside. . . yum! . . . but I hear "mouse" is going to be my lunch today anyway, prepared for me by TRC volunteers."

Holes being dug this morning!  This view can be seen from The Raptor
Center's lobby.  It overlooks the rehabilitation bird pens.

You can see the covered walkways here.

. . . and here.

This photo was taken just a couple of weeks ago.  See how quickly
work is done!

This is a photo of the education bird courtyard.



Friday, January 23, 2015

Test Your Knowledge - Your State Bird!

Do you know what your state bird is?  Do you know which species is the state bird for the most states?  How about what a "yellow-hammer" is?

A quick web search will yield your answers.  Here is one site, and the text below:


State:
Bird:
Alabama
Yellow Hammer
Alaska
Willow Ptarmigan
Arizona
Cactus Wren
Arkansas
Northern Mockingbird
California
California Valley Quail
Colorado
Lark Bunting
Connecticut
American Robin
Delaware
Delaware Blue Hen
Florida
Northern Mockingbird
Georgia
Brown Thrasher
Hawaii
Hawaiian Goose
Idaho
Mountain Bluebird
Illinois
Northern Cardinal
Indiana
Northern Cardinal
Iowa
Eastern Goldfinch
Kansas
Western Meadowlark
Kentucky
Northern Cardinal
Louisiana
Brown Pelican
Maine
Black-capped Chickadee
Maryland
Baltimore Oriole
Massachusetts
Black-capped Chickadee
Michigan
American Robin
Minnesota
Common Loon
Mississippi
Northern Mockingbird
Missouri
Eastern Bluebird
Montana
Western Meadowlark
Nebraska
Western Meadowlark
Nevada
Mountain Bluebird
New Hampshire
Purple Finch
New Jersey
Eastern Goldfinch
New Mexico
Roadrunner
New York
Eastern Bluebird
North Carolina
Northern Cardinal
North Dakota
Western Meadowlark
Ohio
Northern Cardinal
Oklahoma
Scissor Tailed Flycatcher
Oregon
Western Meadowlark
Pennsylvania
Ruffed Grouse
Rhode Island
Rhode Island Red
South Carolina
Carolina Wren
South Dakota
Ring Necked Pheasant
Tennessee
Northern Mockingbird
Texas
Northern Mockingbird
Utah
California Gull
Vermont
Hermit Thrush
Virginia
Northern Cardinal
Washington
American Goldfinch
West Virgina
Northern Cardinal
Wisconsin
American Robin
Wyoming
Western Meadowlark


Do you know the United States/national bird?
Of course, it's the Bald Eagle.

Answers from above:
The Northern Cardinal is the state bird of seven states, followed by the Western Meadowlark as the state bird of six states.

Yellow Hammer is Northern Flicker.