Blogs & Videos: Birds

Peregrine Removed from Illinois' Endangered List

Illinois officially removed Peregrine Falcons from the state Endangered & Threatened Species List. What does this means for our state population of Peregrine Falcons? First, it is an affirmation of the recovery of the species in Illinois.  This is due in part to the long-term stewardship and dedicated effort of numerous individuals and organizations that have supported and assisted in looking after Illinois’ Peregrines. 

History and birds come together: "Spring Migration Notes" from 1920 and its famous authors

This little booklet has so much history, it's hard to know even where to begin. Let's start with the fact that the first author, James D. Watson, is the father of one of the most famous scientists of the 20th century, also named James D. Watson, who along with Francis Crick is credited with the discovery of the structure of DNA. But that's the least of it. The third author is even more intriguing.

Birds get malaria, too

Just like people, birds have the misfortune of being visited by a variety of blood-sucking insects, insects that can transmit all manner of parasites through their bites. Some of those parasites, including ones related to human malaria, come in the form of haemosporidia--single-celled protozoans that take up residence in their host's bloodstream. Using modern lab techniques, scientists are now able to discover the diversity of these parasites living in the bloodstream of wild birds by isolating their DNA from the blood of infected birds.

Using eBird to keep up with recent sightings in your area

There's a great feature in eBird that allows you to see recent checklists from whatever area you'd like, giving birders the ability to keep up with sightings in their area. As migration picks up, this function allows you to learn what's being seen at local hotspots, even if there are no posts to the local listserve or Facebook birding group. I don't think many birders are taking advantage of this function, so here I present an illustrated tutorial on how to access it.

Illinois to remove Peregrine Falcon from [state] Threatened Species List

Illinois to remove Peregrine Falcon from [state] Threatened Species List I read the above statement on the internet today (14 March 2015) so it must be true – right?!  Actually, it is.  During the 163rd meeting of the Illinois’ Endangered Species Protection Board (ESPB), on 15 August 2014, the board reviewed and approved the final draft for amendments to the Endangered & Threatened Species List.  Within these amendments was the delisting of the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus).

Peregrine Shot

My approach to working with Peregrines has always been to try and do what is best for the birds but still help people affected by the falcons’ presence.  I strive to walk the middle of road and see both sides of a situation. It is understandable that someone may not want a Peregrine family living on their balcony.  It also understandable the need to preserve each Peregrine eyrie no matter where it is.  If I can find a way to resolve an individuals’ concerns yet ensure that in the long run the Peregrines can continue to breed, then I’ve done my work right. 

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