Bald eagle count quadruples, thanks in part to eBird data boost

For the past 50 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has been assembling counts of bald eagle nests to track the triumphant recovery of America’s national symbol. But in its new bald eagle population report – tabulated with the help of results using eBird data from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology – the USFWS found many more eagles than previously thought to exist in the Lower 48 states.

Male Lyrebirds Create an “Acoustic Illusion” to Snare Potential Mates

Famous for their uncanny ability to imitate other birds and even mechanical devices, researchers find that Australia’s Superb Lyrebird also uses that skill in a totally unexpected way. Lyrebirds imitate the panicked alarm calls of a mixed-species flock of birds while males are courting and even while mating with a female.

Study: Clean Air Act Saved 1.5 Billion Birds

U.S. pollution regulations meant to protect humans from dirty air are also saving birds. So concludes a new continentwide study published today in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Study authors found that improved air quality under a federal program to reduce ozone pollution may have averted the loss of 1.5 billion birds during the past 40 years.

Understanding how birds respond to extreme weather can inform conservation efforts

How do different bird species respond to extreme weather events that occur for different amounts of time, ranging from weekly events like heat waves to seasonal events like drought? And how do traits unique to different species — for example, how far they migrate or how commonly they occur — predict their vulnerability to extreme weather?

Study: Oriole Hybridization Is a Dead End

A half-century of controversy over two popular bird species may have finally come to an end. In one corner: the Bullock’s Oriole, found in the western half of North America. In the other corner: the Baltimore Oriole, breeding in the eastern half. Where their ranges meet in the Great Plains, the two mix freely and produce apparently healthy hybrid offspring. But according to scientists from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, hybridization is a dead end and both parent species will remain separate.

If It’s Big Enough and Leafy Enough the Birds Will Come

A new study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology highlights specific features of urban green spaces that support the greatest diversity of bird species. The findings were published today in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.

The study focuses specifically on parks in New York City. It uses observations submitted to the eBird citizen-science database from 2002 through 2019 to estimate the variety of species found on an annual and seasonal basis.

Bottom line: the more green space available, the greater the diversity of birds. Models show that Increasing the area of green space by 50% would result in an 11.5% increase in annual and an 8.2% increase in seasonal species diversity.

Watch on Live Camera As a Baby Albatross Grows Up

Millions of people from around the world can now witness a rare sight in real time: a Northern Royal Albatross pair nesting and raising their chick. The live views originate from a coastal albatross colony in Otago, on South Island, New Zealand, and are made possible by a new partnership between the country’s Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Uncover Secrets of Nesting Birds With “Nest Quest Go!”

Secrets hidden in more than 300,000 index cards with hand-written information about nesting birds are gradually being revealed. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is partnering with Zooniverse, an online people-powered research tool, to digitize this valuable collection and create the largest database of nesting bird information in the U.S. This new effort is called “Nest Quest Go!”