News

Bird Walks are Happening:
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Bird Club Member Patter Field Suggests Local Newspaper Consult with Birders on Identifications

Read the Letter

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Some Male Birds Fly Under False Colors

"Male tanagers are meant to be noticed. Many species of the small, tropical bird sport deep black feathers and splashes of eye-catching color — electric yellows, traffic cone oranges and nearly neon scarlets.

To achieve this flashiness, the birds must spend time and energy foraging for, and metabolizing, plants that contain special color pigments, which make their way into the feathers. A vibrantly colored male is thus sending an “honest signal,” many scientists have long theorized: He is alerting nearby females that he has a good diet, is in good health and would make a worthy mate.

But some birds may be guilty of false advertising, a new study suggests. Male tanagers have microstructures in their feathers that enhance their colors, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Scientific Reports. These microstructures, like evolution’s own Instagram filters, may make the males seem as if they are more attractive than they truly are."

Emily Anthes, "Some Male Birds Fly Under False Colors to Attract Mates, Study Suggests," New York Times, April 21, 2021

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Free Online Birding Course

Spark Birding is offering a free program to encourage more people to explore birdwatching as a hobby and to learn the basics. The program is tailored to the New England region and includes a free online course, Birding Essentials for New England, that covers bird behavior, essential gear, the most common birds here, and how to identify birds. For more information or to signup, visit sparkbirding.com/getstarted.

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Scientists Identify Toxin That Has Been Killing Birds

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The Northfield Bird Club is heeding the call of the Association of Massachusetts Bird Clubs (AMBC) and signing on to a conservation initiative entitled "Bring Birds Back." Click here for more information

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New Buildings in Duluth Using Bird-Friendly Glass

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Outbreak of Salmonella in Oregon: Birders being advised to take down feeders.

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Irruption of Boreal Birds This Winter

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