Birds

Grey catbird on a beautyberry shrub.
Will Stuart / bcdcideas.com

Audubon North Carolina is encouraging nurseries to raise more native plants. The conservation organization is also asking more residents to plant them in their yards and gardens.

A picture of the Raleigh skyline at night.
Jmalljmall / Wikipedia

Buildings in downtown Raleigh will turn off non-essential lights late at night to protect migrating birds, according to the City of Raleigh Office of Sustainability.

An image of chickens on farm
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

 

North Carolina officials are closely monitoring an outbreak of the avian bird flu spreading in the Midwest and Western United States. Thirty million birds have either died from the disease, or have been killed as a preventive measure to control the flu from spreading, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

National Audubon Society, Meryl Lorenzo

  

Climate change will likely alter the migratory routes and habitats of more than half of the birds in North America, according to new study published by the National Audubon Society.

Wood Duck
Ellerbee Creek Watershed Association

Honking horns, slamming doors and congested streets: these are the sounds and sites of a bustling city. 

The Flight Of The Passenger Pigeon, Now 100 Years Extinct

Sep 1, 2014

The Cincinnati Zoo held a commemorative event; the London Zoo stopped the clock outside its bird house at noon. The object of their memorials: Martha, the last passenger pigeon, who died exactly a century ago at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Cape Point is south of Buxton, Map
Google

One of the most popular sections of the Cape Hatteras seashore is off limits for vehicles for the next few months. The Cape Point area south of Buxton is the migratory home to the piping plover, a nationally- recognized threatened species.

In 2011, the park service implemented a vehicle management plan that requires a 75 foot buffer zone be put up to prevent off-roaders from driving near the birds.

Duke scientists look into the brains of songbirds.
johnholdway.com

Scientists are learning fascinating things by studying songbirds. 

Two Oystercatchers walking along the shoreline at Oregon Inlet, NC
Jeff Lewis / http://www.flickr.com/photos/natureimages/

  

The oystercatcher is the clown of the bird world. It has pink legs, a long orange bill and bright yellow eyes. And the eastern population of the oystercatcher is in danger. There are only about 11,000 in existence, and scientists are doing everything they can to make sure they stick around. Lindsay Addison is a coastal biologist for Audobon, North Carolina. She’s involved in a project to track the migratory patterns of these beach birds. Host Frank Stasio talks to her about the project.

Brown pelican
Sergey Yeliseev via Flickr, Creative Commons

State wildlife officials are continuing to investigate the deaths and injuries of brown pelicans along the North Carolina coast.  They say more than 200 of the birds have been found. 

Bahama Pintail Duck
Snowman radio via Flickr, Creative commons

In 2009, Sylvan Heights Bird Park received a call from the US Embassy in Trinidad, asking them to help restore two species of nearly-extinct native ducks, the White-Faced Whistling Duck and the Bahama Pintail. Four years later, they are celebrating the successful introduction of individuals of both species back into Trinidad, a promising sign for the health of native populations.

Duke scientists look into the brains of songbirds.
johnholdway.com

Scientists are learning fascinating things by studying songbirds. Sophisticated microscopes are able to see the smallest level of detail in the brain and determine how it changes in response to learning. Researchers at Duke University are using this technology to study the brains of songbirds and determine what implications their findings could have for humans. 

Today, parakeets are creatures of the tropics, but one breed in particular was native to the forests of the Eastern United States, including North Carolina.  The Carolina Parakeet went extinct in the early 20th century, but continues to fascinate the public.

There's more evidence that climate change is altering bird migration patterns. A new study from UNC-Chapel Hill finds some species along the east coast are migrating three-to-six days earlier than they were just ten years ago. Allen Hurlbert is an assistant professor of biology at UNC. He says birds face problems if they get the timing wrong.

A new study out of Duke University finds global warming is forcing tropical birds in Peru to migrate to higher elevations. But it also finds they're migrating at a slower rate than the world is warming.

Injured pelican
Toni O'Neil

Dead and injured pelicans are washing up on North Carolina shores. Around 20 dead birds were found on North Topsail Beach earlier this month. Many had severely broken wings.

A brown pelican blown off course nearly a year ago by Hurricane Earl has been released into the wild on the North Carolina coast. The seabird nicknamed "Ralph" was found injured on the roof of a building in Nova Scotia last September. Ralph was transported earlier this year to the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter in Newport. The nickname stuck despite the fact that Ralph is a female. Clinic supervisor Maria Rush says Ralph completed the rehabilitation process this weekend.

Bald Eagle, bird, animal,
West Hills Veterinary Center, Henderson, NC

The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are investigating the shooting of a mature bald eagle in Warren County near the Virginia border. They're offering a $2,500 reward for anyone with information that leads to a conviction.

A brown pelican that ended up in Canada after after being blown off course by Hurricane Earl has arrived in North Carolina. A wildlife organization in Nova Scotia nursed the injured seabird after it was found there last September. The species' natural habitat generally extends from the coast of northern Virginia to Peru. The pelican, nicknamed Ralph, arrived at the Outer Banks Wildlife Shelter in Newport this morning after he was deemed healthy enough to travel. 

Clinic supervisor Maria Rush says the first step in Ralph's rehabilitation is reintroducing him to his own kind.

Walker Golder
Audubon North Carolina

One of the last undeveloped barrier islands in North Carolina is one step closer to permanent protection. Audubon North Carolina has purchased a 35-acre tract of land on Lea Island in Pender County. The money was made available through a private donation.