Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tweet, Tweet

On this wintery (at least in Boise) Thursday, we have some bird and birding-related links for you to enjoy.

But first, a different kind of tweeting: The Nature Conservancy in Idaho is now on Twitter. Follow us at @Nature_ID.

If you are social media user, please follow us, retweet links and share with friends. Join us for regular conservation news and links, green tips, wildlife factoids and more. It's a great way to get the word out on conservation and green living to younger audiences.

It's another way for you to stay connected to the Conservancy's work in Idaho.

Now, for some bird links:

Protecting sage grouse - Sage grouse will soon be strutting on their leks around southern Idaho. But these birds have been in a long-term decline. Do collaborative projects with landowners offer the best hope. This New York Times piece offers an interesting look at sage grouse programs and the hope they offer for the birds.

Great Backyard Bird Count - You only need fifteen minutes to count. The Great Backyard Bird Count is this weekend (February 18-21). Count the birds you see and record them on-line. The count has a goal of 100,000 lists this year--offering a great look at bird population trends across the country.

For more information on such citizen-science programs, my latest column for Down to Earth Northwest takes a look at "counting for conservation."

California condors lay their first egg of the year at Boise's World Center for Birds of Prey, run by the Peregrine Fund.

Cecil D. Andrus Wildlife Management Area - The Idaho Statesman's Pete Zimowsky has a feature today that covers wildlife watching at the WMA and Hells Canyon area. Large concentrations of bald eagles are apparently quite common at this time of year.

New to birding? Natalie Bartley's recent Statesman column offers local groups that can get you started, as well as excellent places to visit.

It's a great time of year for birders and bird enthusiasts in Idaho. Last evening at dusk, I saw four great horned owls along a short stretch of the Greenbelt. They're really hooting at this time of year. Over the weekend, a large flock of Bohemian waxwings was active in the Barber Pool Conservation Area, and a varied thrush was hanging around my backyard.

Waterfowl species are on the move, and you can see huge flocks on the Snake River and any other open water. Tundra swans are passing through many parts of the state. Raptors are beginning to become very visible along the Snake River canyon. In short, it's the perfect time to grab your binoculars and enjoy Idaho's natural wonders.--Matt Miller

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