Blog

  • NestWatch

    Time Traveling House Finches

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader A Clutch of EggsA clutch of five House Finch eggs holds the promise of nestlings.Photo © Angie From the Finch Files In studies of the timing of nesting, it is often the insect-eaters that claim most of the research attention. After all, these birds must time their nesting activities to... See More

  • NestWatch

    Predators Near the Nest: Bluebirds Weigh the Risks

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader Oh, Rats!This rat snake found an Eastern Bluebird nest in Texas. Although named for their propensity to eat rodents, they are agile climbers and will also prey on birds' nests.Photo © Terri Sandvik To Stay or To Go? At NestWatch, we often get questions from participants about what could... See More

  • NestWatch

    On Cowbirds and Changelings: is there more to the lore?

    By Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader Spirited AwayIn medieval European folklore, fairies were said to occasionally kidnap human children and replace them with their own unruly offspring. Human parents were on their guard against such "changelings."Photo © Holly Faulkner In the Realm of Fairies In pre-industrial European folklore, a “changeling” was said to be a fairy child that... See More

  • NestWatch

    Inspection Cams Bring Nests Into View

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader There are many tools that NestWatchers can use to inspect difficult nests: the birdhouse cam, the selfie stick, and the low-tech mirror-on-a-pole. But if you have many boxes, no electricity, and a small budget, the in-box camera may not work for you. And a selfie stick or mirror-pole is no... See More

  • NestWatch

    Sold! Realtors Take On The Owl Housing Market

    by Robyn Bailey, NestWatch Project Leader What happens when a husband-and-wife real estate team decides to improve the housing market for their local Barred Owl population? In this case, research, hard work, and patience eventually led to their success! Bryant and Erin Melton of Virginia decided to build a home for Barred Owls after noticing some... See More

  • FeederWatch

    Preventing disease: What’s the best way to clean your bird feeders?

    Yellow-rumped Warblers by Laura Finazzo Feeding birds can be a great source of joy, but feeders can increase the risk of disease transmission in the birds we love if feeders are not cleaned adequately. What’s the best cleaning method to prevent the spread of disease? According to an article published in the March issue of The... See More

  • NestWatch

    New Homes For Birds On The Walnut River

    by Katelyn Shelton (age 14), Ohio Young Birders Club One Chilly Day In MarchWith help from my family and Darlene (Ohio Young Birders Club advisor), we installed a nest box trail in my neighborhood.Photo © Katelyn Shelton Just Passing Through It was a chilly day in March when I and my family, with my good friend... See More

  • NestWatch

    Five Nests To Find This Year

    Story and art by Raisa Kochmaruk, Cornell Class of ‘21 Earlier this year, we issued a friendly challenge to get you to think outside of the [nest] box when it comes to finding nests. There are common birds nesting all around us that NestWatch wants to hear about, and it only takes a little bit of... See More

  • FeederWatch

    House Finch Eye Disease: Increased virulence as disease progresses

    Healthy House Finch (left) by Bob Vuxinic; Diseased House Finch (right) by David Guerra. Usually, individual birds infected with a disease develop an “immune memory” that is used to help protect them from reinfection. It’s similar to when your body creates antibodies after you get sick or receive a vaccine. The antibodies help prevent reinfection by... See More

  • FeederWatch

    BirdSpotter Grand Prize Winners Announced!

    2nd Place - Baltimore Oriole by Linda Petersen Congratulations to Dee Elliot of Mineral Wells, Texas, for winning our top Grand Prize spot in the BirdSpotter Photo Contest! Dee took this photo (above) of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at the perfect moment as it snatched up a grasshopper. She also won People’s Choice in the “Eyewitness”... See More

  • FeederWatch

    “Eyewitness” BirdSpotter Judges’ Choice Winner!

    Congratulations to our BirdSpotter Judges’ Choice winner, Randall Everts, of Wheaton, IL, for this photo of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird! Randall watched this individual, a regular visitor to his feeders, as it landed on a shepherd’s hook and began to groom. He says “She seems to have claimed my feeder as her own as she will... See More

  • FeederWatch

    “EyeWitness” BirdSpotter People’s Choice Winner!

    Congratulations to our BirdSpotter People’s Choice winner, Dee Elliot of Mineral Wells, Texas, for this eye-catching photo of a juvenile Scissor-tailed Flycatcher! Dee snapped a few photos of the flycatcher as it was perched on a fence, but knew she had a winner when a grasshopper suddenly, and unassumingly, decided to fly by. The flycatcher... See More