Blogs & Videos: 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. 

Who's your daddy? A hybird duck in Glenview

Museums such as the Field are deeply involved with describing and understanding the natural world. Hybrids can confuse that understanding, even to the point that they get described as new species. Many hybrids have English names that reflect that history, like Brewer's Duck (Gadwall x Mallard) and Brewster's and Lawrence's Warblers (variations of Golden-winged x Blue-winged Warbler hyrbids).