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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I and the Bird Sweepstakes

Welcome to I and the Bird #51. You love IATB, but admit it, you don't always read all the posts, right? But this time you will, because this time you'll have to in order to enter the I and the Bird Sweepstakes!

How to Enter

To enter the sweepstakes, just email your answers to the following questions to me at birdchaser AT hotmail DOT com by Tuesday, June 26. I'll draw a name at random from all of the correct completed answer sheets on June 27 and announce the winner here at my blog.

The Prize
The winner will receive a copy of The Audubon Society Guide to Attracting Birds, signed by the author, Steve Kress. This book has mountains of information on how to help birds thrive in your yard or on your larger rural property, brought to you from the guy who has spent his life bringing birds back to abandoned habitats--most notably bringing puffins back to abandoned islands in the Gulf of Maine. Just think of your yard as a miniature island of potential habitat just waiting for you to improve for waiting birds.

The Questions
1) Bird conservationists have reintroduced Aplomado Falcons to their former range in arid grasslands near the Mexican border of the United States. According to Carel at Rigorvitae, how many Aplomado Falcons successfully fledged in South Texas last year?

2) Ski areas and conservation partners have made great strides in the last couple years to protect the montane habitat of the rare Bicknell's Thrush. Name the blogs of the four intrepid bloggers (Mike, Patrick, Corey, and Will) who recently traipsed up Wakely Mountain to see this threatened songbird.

3) Invasive exotic vegetation can play havoc with bird habitat restoration efforts, though some native birds may utilize them for food or cover. Name the invasive plant plaguing the Birdman, but providing habitat for Spotted Morning Thrushes.

4) Conservationists seeking to restore native bird populations should take into account the predator avoidance strategies of the birds they want to help. That's all well and good, but what the heck is aposematism?

5) Rails are hard to protect since they can be tough to find in their wetland haunts. Which rail finally showed up for Tai?

6) Migratory birds have many ways to orient themselves during their seasonal movements. According to Gulf Crossings, which species recently helped researchers figure out how some birds may use polarized light to help them find their way?

7) In suburbia, large parks with good habitat can be important refuges for resident birds, and can attract locally rare species. What locally uncommon bird did John find at a DC area park and only see once, though he could hear the bird singing nearby?

8) When you're trying to help birds, and need local landowner help, communication can be a problem. Many people know birds by names other than those by which they are labled in the field guides. Birdfreak revels in bird nicknames. What is his own nickname for the American Robin?

9) Even more troubling than confusing local nicknames, other bird terms can cause problems for bird conservationists. What bird term noted at Words & Pictures recently caused a stir when it triggered internet filters in the UK?

10) On the other side of the pond from Steve Kress's puffin islands, Craig visited an important seabird sanctuary on the Farne Islands. What type of cormorant was he able to photograph there?

11) In addition to managing for rare birds, bird conservationists have to manage for abundant species that can become pests. While some folks may not like these, I'm kind of partial to this species from my days in Austin--what's the name of the species that the Wrenaissance Woman was able to photograph in San Antonio?

12) Even abandoned housing projects can be important bird habitat for some species, as noted by Sarala at Blogaway. What kinds of birds did she see, that were also enjoyed by K T Cat at The Scratching Post, but not filmed by Shinie in Northern Idaho?

13) Habitat loss is the greatest threat to most bird species, including the Northern Spotted Owl (which is under threat again). What threat to Canada's boreal forests (described at the Stokes Birding Blog) is also the greatest threat to the Northern Spotted Owl, as noted by GrrlScientist?

14) Helping birds isn't always as difficult as fighting the government. In a backyard, even a little pond or birdbath can help local birds. What species did Summer note taking a bath?

15) Bird atlas projects help us keep track of bird distribution as populations fluctuate through time. Pennsylvania is conducting its second statewide atlas. How many species has Vern confirmed breeding in his atlas block?

16) Just down the road from Vern, Drew was doing his part for bird conservation by conducting point counts. What bird did he see and hear in the same place where he found a clump of thirty or forty butterflies?

17) Other birders have been using eBird to track bird sightings, including the unusual influx of Horned Puffins along the California coast this spring. Where did Liza of The Egret's Nest find her lifer Horned Puffin?

18) Farther afield, researchers have determined descovered some interesting, some might say disturbing, behavior in Oriental Pied Hornbills. While many hornbill species are critically endangered, this one is still fairly common in some areas--which is a good thing based on the behavior described by YC at the Bird Ecology Study Group blog. What behavior did these researchers document?

19) The African nation of Cameroon is home to at least 15 globally endangered bird species. David at Search and Serendipity shows us video of some more common Cameroonian birds. Which bird does he describe as "little bits of sky that have fallen to the ground"?

20) And last, but not least, Duncan at Ben Cruachan Blog reminds us that birds are part of a larger ecosystem that includes many other organisms that we should stop and enjoy while we're out trying to make the world better for birds. While you might want to stop to smell the roses, you probably don't need to stop and smell what he found on top of an ant mound. What did he find there?

The Payoff
OK, that wasn't so hard was it? Just 20 short questions. Email your answers to me by June 26 and you'll have a chance to win Steve Kress's book. Thanks for playing. Now that you've been inspired by these posts, head out and do something good for the birds we all love! Then share your bird experiences with us on the next edition of I and the Bird, and come back here after the next I and the Bird comes out to see who won the book.

Submit your next I and the Bird post links by June 26 to Paul at The Wandering Tattler (pjollig AT gmail DOT com) or Mike at 10,000 Birds.

Special thanks to Steve Kress for donating the prize for the I and the Bird Sweepstakes. Show your thanks by supporting Project Puffin.


Mike said...

Inspired, Rob. An experienced IATB host knows how to motivate visitors to click through those links!

Patrick Belardo said...

Great job Rob! I'll be sure to participate in the quiz.

K T Cat said...

What a clever idea for a Carnival! Next time I host Carnival of the Cats, I'm going to use this.

Corey said...

Cool idea...and great hosting!

Roger B. said...

Great idea!

Duncan said...

Great idea indeed Rob, well done!

The Ridger, FCD said...

Great idea and great job. Once again, there are great posts and a couple of new blogs.

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