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Learn How to Get Started in Birding, the Easy Way at the Library
Bird watching is the fastest-growing outdoor activity in the United States. Based on a survey by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 51.3 million Americans report they watch birds. Additionally, Cape May has been named one of the top ten areas to bird watch in the United States.

Bird Watching | An eye for nature
Small store owners are not the only ones feeling the pinch of big retail in Bangalore. Across the city, the once ubiquitous house sparrow, a seed-eating bird, has all but disappeared. As more of the cityís consumers buy pre-packaged cereals and pulses at local supermarkets, only a few small stores still have open sacks of grains, which these sparrows once pecked into. Neither do householders sun-dry cereals on mats laid out in the backyard of bungalows, as independent homes turn into high-rise apartments. ďThe sparrows donít find enough food in the city any more,Ē says J.N. Prasad, a city-based birdwatcher who runs the Merlin Nature Club.

EXPLORING CENTRAL SOUTH CAROLINA: Santee Birding and Nature Festival just the ticket for
SANTEE -- An exciting, educational adventure will premiere in Santee on April 18-20. The first Santee Birding and Nature Festival will offer a unique opportunity to experience the birding wonders of the Santee region in Central South Carolina. With all activities coordinated out of the Santee Cultural Arts Center, participants will be able to sharpen their birding skills or just enjoy some wonderful spring weather with a vast array of indoor and outdoor nature programs from which to choose.

12th Annual Great Texas Birding Classic set for April 27-May 4
Bird watching is big business. My daughter Teresa works for an eco-travel agency that does nothing but book birding trips all over the world for hardcore birders. Many of these think nothing about spending $20,000 on a trip to some exotic corner of the earth to spot one certain bird and check that rare avian creature off their list.

Where the birds are (and are heading) is where you'll want to be
You don't need to be an avid birder to welcome the return of a little life after a long, silent winter. The quacks of a few ducks, even those sometimes obnoxious seagulls, heard during a short recent walk along Grand Traverse Bay, had me longing for that spring tweeting.

A birder's paradise
The spring bird migration has begun. From now until the end of April, Southern Illinois will be a birder's paradise. "There is a progression," said Mike Baltz, Southern Illinois Project Director for The Nature Conservancy. "The ducks have started coming in already. They start showing up in mid-February.

Thought of birdwatching as a hobby? Start seeing more by feeding them
The squirrels in Lora Murchison's yard chase her birds away, but the birds never stay gone for long. Her bird feeders, full of sunflower seeds, peanuts, raisins and corn bits, keep American goldfinch, cardinals and woodpeckers flying back yearly. Inside one of her feeders is an apple for orioles. Lora's husband, Clifford, said the birds are spoiled because they're fed nothing but the best.

Canoe trip open to birders, nature-lovers
A new canoe trip aims to give birding enthusiasts a chance to see rare specimens without spending an entire day in the wilderness. The Friends of the Wildlife Corridor started offering the trip this month. It runs between Falcon Lake, which spans between Starr and Zapata counties and the Roma Bluffs World Birding Center.

Tourists spend money for the birds
Ecotourism is providing a recession-resistant bright spot as the rest of the economy wanes, a state report released Wednesday suggested. The economic impact from ecotourism doubled in Florida from $1.57 billion in 2001 to $3.1 billion in 2006, according to the study.

Birders miss world record
Despite a frenetic 24-hour journey around the country in jets, helicopters and by road, South Africa's top birders missed breaking the world record for bird spotting by a feather. However, a World Cup of Birding could be on the cards as a way of putting bird spotting in this country on the map before the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Texas is a great place for birding
Texas supports a greater variety of birds than any other state. At last count, some 632 different bird species have, at one time or another, been documented by knowing eyes in the state.

Feds to consider sage-grouse listing ó again
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that it will consider whether to list the Greater Sage-Grouse under the Endangered Species Act ó three years after deciding not to list the bird.

A bird in the hand and other unexpected treasures
Puerto Rico. Eva and I were walking up in the dry forest of Guanica, near the southwestern corner of the island slowly observing tiny seashells high above the turquoise Caribbean Sea and wondering how they got there. Ocean upheaval, volcanic actions, what?

Delhi has 202 bird species
They come from different walks of life - some architects, some graphic designers, some retired Armymen, some entrepreneurs and some even Class V students.

Residents rip launch pad plan
That was the sentiment of more than 65 people who spoke Monday at Titusville City Hall at two jam-packed public hearings aimed at gathering input about a NASA plan to allow construction of a commercial vertical launch complex at Kennedy Space Center. The input will go into creating an environmental assessment report for the proposed complex by the fall.

Where the birds are (and are heading) is where you'll want to be
You don't need to be an avid birder to welcome the return of a little life after a long, silent winter. The quacks of a few ducks, even those sometimes obnoxious seagulls, heard during a short recent walk along Grand Traverse Bay, had me longing for that spring tweeting.

A birder
A birder has been defined as someone who can identify at least 40 bird species or someone who travels to see birds.

Swan reunited with beloved paddleboat
Petra the black swan has been reunited with her beloved swan-shaped paddleboat after a failed romance with a real bird.

Wildlife refuge almost secret
WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- An almost-unknown hiking, birding and photography treasure waits for visitors a few minutes south of Woodbridge. This less-traveled area was a top-secret research base for the U.S. armed forces until the late 1990s. That may be why the wonderful Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge remains less traveled.

Boorish birders with cameras a boon of enthusiasts
Earlier this winter, there was a great gray owl in the Quinte area, and only responsible birders quietly whispered the news among themselves. Had it been announced on a popular birding Internet listserv? Fears were that the bird might not survive, due to a panting posse of over zealous birders and photographers. The popularity of birding puts a lot of pressure on birds, especially those that are far out of their normal range and are here in an effort to locate a food source.

Watch birds to see ourselves
Bird-watching, which some call "birding," has become one of America's most popular sports. Toting binoculars and spotting scopes, lathered with bug repellents, armed with field guides, we take to the woods, fields and shores seeking the descendants of the dinosaurs. According to Jonathan Rosen, we look also for something else.

A Republic of Feathers
Why look at birds? For most of us the answer to this question might not rise above: Why not? According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nearly 50 million Americans claim to watch birds. Some of us marvel over the carefree majesty of it all, the possibility of infinity one feels merely by looking up at the sky; some of us see birds as harbingers of disease and flying excrement, circling above, taunting our pathetic winglessness; and some of us see birds and think about dinner.

Alive or not, the ivory-billed woodpecker uniting volunteers on an arduous quest
They slide out of the pickup truck, looking rugged after four days and three nights in the backwoods of Congaree National Park searching for the ivory-billed woodpecker.

Owls entertaining all through year
This is the continuing saga of the great horned owls that roost in our yard and entertain me almost year round. After a winter of roosting in the elm trees everyday, they are now skipping several days a week and sometimes longer. Maybe this year they are going to nest and raise a family. They do not nest every year.

Ask the Bird Folks: When you list, get it straight
I would like to start keeping a list of all the birds that I see, but I donít know where to start. Are there preprinted lists or books that I can simply fill in, or should I just make my own? Also, I just turned 50 years old and am wondering if itís ďlegalĒ for me to include birds that Iíve already seen or do I need to start fresh?

Weather need not be a deterrent to birding
Letís say you really wanted to go birding today, but the weather wasnít cooperating. Itís windy, rainy and the birds are hunkered down. Even if you bundled up in rain gear, you wouldnít see any birds. And you canít watch them from the comfort of your home because the birds arenít even coming to your feeders.

The best way to feed the birds and avoid birdfeeding myths
The energetic and colorful visitors at backyard bird feeders have a way of brightening the grayest winter day. But stick with it into spring and summer and enjoy migrant visitors as well as some old friends in new spring colors.

They flock together Area's bird lovers are a devoted breed, and proud of it
Love birds Doug Chickering and Lois Cooper do, in fact, love birds. The Groveland couple spend countless hours together every week birding in area fields. "Lois and I go on Friday afternoons, every Saturday and Sunday, every holiday and vacation," Chickering, 66, said. "It's nice to have something to share with the person you love. A lot of couples meet in the field and get married. And the opposite: if one partner in the couple is a birder but the other isn't, the marriage tends to fall apart."

The eagles have landed
The purpose of Eagles and Agriculture is to illustrate the importance of protecting wildlife in Carson Valley, said Dan Kaffer, Western Nevada Resource Conservation and Development Coordinator. "Eagles and Ag lets people know where to go to support agriculture - to help preserve Carson Valley ranches," said Kaffer. "The event shows the importance of protecting our land and improving air quality.

The Complete Birder: A Guide to Better Birding
Ainít No Such Thing as a ĎTrash Birdí Iíll say, categorically, that Jack Connorís book, The Complete Birder, is the best single introduction to birding Iíve ever seen. Period. It will greatly shorten a beginnerís learning-curve, and it will help reinforce good birding techniques in the more experienced. AndĖbonus!Ėitís a totally great read!

The feeder
Many birds that come to feeders in the winter -- blue jays and nuthatches in particular -- can be seen selecting a seed and flying away with it. Watch them if you can. Chances are they're storing seeds behind a piece of bark or in a crevice somewhere to be eaten later. These birds are able to remember placement of thousands of pieces of food. Any wonder why your feeders go empty so often?

Birding bounty, right out back
Not all birds head south for the winter, and the Great Backyard Bird Count this coming weekend will help scientists study the patterns of migration.

Palm Coast flies high with state acclaim
And the birds have it. The city's Linear Park and St. Joe Walkway recently snagged a Great Florida Birding Trail designation from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Eyes on the sky as eagles soar at annual Newburyport Fest
Bird enthusiasts and the casual observer alike flocked to Newburyport for the third annual Merrimack River Eagle Festival. The event, presented by Massachusetts Audubon's Joppa Flats Education Center and the Parker River Wildlife Refuge, was sponsored by The Daily News and Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank.

Itís perhaps one of the largest and most ambitious A recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service study shows that most Americans actually know very little about animals or about wildlife conservation issues, and that most of the knowledge they do have of such subjects is gleaned from TV watching. The survey also puts to rest any stereotypes about the typical bird watcher: The average committed "birder", says the agency, is a 42-year-old male.

Birds and the Blues Make for Huge Festival on Oregon Coast
Itís perhaps one of the largest and most ambitious undertakings of its kind in all of Oregon, certainly the coast. But the problem is, itís such a unique construction itís hard to know what kind of undertaking it is.

Birding spots in Texas
You're a little jaded with the same old birds in your backyard, you've hit most of the Arizona hot spots, you need a little adventure in your life and you're thinking about item No. 7 on my New Year's birding-resolution list. Let's go to a place that is second only to Arizona for its number of birds that can't be seen anywhere else in the country. Let's go to southern Texas, specifically to the LRGV, the lower Rio Grande Valley.

Even February has its bright spots
As a counterpoint to last week's column, which covered the downside to birding in February, this week I will highlight some of the advantages, including some of the benefits February 2008 has to offer. In any particular January, there are more than 150 species of birds present. However, even the most active birders will find that there are a greater number of birds to be seen during our first month then daylight hours will allow to be observed. Luckily, February makes a nice catchup month before the spring migration begins in March.

Winter birding enthusiasts flock to the beach
If you're a birder, or interested in becoming one, the beach is the place to be right now.

Find the birds, but remember manners
Pete Dunne readily concedes that he was in the wrong over the episode. The director of New Jersey Audubon's Cape May Bird Observatory and a few friends were in a residential Hunterdon County neighborhood one morning years ago, searching for elusive birds. To draw them out, he softly mimicked their calls, waking a neighbor's dog.

Top Birding Adventures
The 50 to 60 million people in the United States who consider observing birds a hobby fly in many different flocks. Some are content to hang a few feeders and watch the sparrows that come in to snack.

Great Backyard Bird Count
The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent.

Wings of winter
Winter birding is often slow going. There is no chorus of rowdy and randy males singing lustily, and weather conditions can often be harsh. However, winter birding has its on set of rewards.

A Shift Away From Nature-based Recreationóand Birding?
A paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is so troubling. The title says it all: Evidence For A Fundamental and Pervasive Shift Away From Nature-based Recreation.

Outer Banks in winter is special site for birders
The middle of January isnít for most people a great time to go to the beach. But for me, it was the annual winter field trip for the Audubon Society of Forsyth County. This yearís trip was to Kill Devil Hills, within easy striking distance of Pea Island, Alligator River and Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuges, as well as Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

On the Wing: Surprise at treatment pond
Despite Ellene's mild sarcasm, sewage treatment ponds are excellent places to look for birds. Many localities take advantage of that fact by building boardwalks and observation decks to invite birders in and, in the process, adding ecotourist dollars to their communities.

For birders, no two winters are alike
For many people, myself included, winter is not their favourite season. However, if you are going to spend the winter someplace cold and are interested in birds, Nova Scotia is a great place to be.

For birders, beach is prime winter area
If you're a birder -- or interested in becoming one -- the beach is the place to be right now.

Bird watchers keen to spot rare Arctic gull
Bird watchers are flocking to Niagara Falls, on the Canadian and U.S. shores, hoping to get a glimpse of a Ross's gull, an Arctic species that rarely makes it this far south.

Klamath Basin eagles are worth a trip
The Klamath basin has more bald eagles than any place in the lower 48 states, and this is the prime time to see them.

For bird-watchers, the sky's the limit
It's the Massachusetts Audubon Society's Superbowl of Birding V, and these are competitive bird-watchers. The object on the horizon is a rough-legged hawk, which was spotted outside the superbowl's headquarters at Joppa Flats Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Newburyport.

Birding acronyms pose new ID challenge
Acronyms Ė you either hate them or use them. It doesnít seem possible that anyone would love them. Little by little, these letters that take the place of names have been creeping into the birding world. Some were in use about 30 years ago, but they were few and far between. Thatís about the time I was introduced to my first one: RWBB.

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