• Create a Feeder-Free Hummingbird Paradise in Eight Steps

    Hopped up on sugar, wings moving too fast to see, hummingbirds are winging their way to your part of the United States, if they’re not there already. In the East, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird prevails, but out West, more than a… Read More »

  • How Does Climate Change Impact Birds?

    Bird populations are declining around the world. And while many factors contribute — from habitat loss to pesticides, outdoor cats, and window collisions — it is increasingly clear that climate change is an important driver behind this worrying trend. Climate… Read More »

  • Feral Cat Resolution on Hold in Hawai'i's Kaua'i County

    Contact: Robert Johns, 202-234-7181 ext.210, Hawaiian Petrel by Jim Denny (Washington, D.C., June 28, 2011) Advocates for Hawai'i's imperiled native birds are applauding a decision by the Kaua'i County Council to set aside a resolution that would have endorsed a… Read More »

  • Tufted Titmouse, StevenRusselSmithPhotos/Shutterstock

    Top Five Holiday Gifts to Help Birds

    Looking for holiday gifts to help birds? With 45 million Americans who enjoy bird watching, there certainly is a demand for bird-inspired presents. The experts at American Bird Conservancy have five suggestions that can help solve that gift-giving dilemma and… Read More »

  • Migrating Birds Could Use a Helping Hand

    10 Ways People Can Protect Birds This Spring Birds migrating. Photo: © FWS (Washington, D.C., March 31, 2010) As warmer temperatures begin to arrive and we spend more time outdoors, we hear the many, familiar sounds of spring, including the… Read More »

  • Birds of Virginia: Waterbirds

    Waterbirds are among Virginia’s superlative birds, including some of the largest (pelicans and swans), most colorful (ducks), most ornamentally plumed (egrets and herons), and most exciting to watch (skimmers skimming, terns diving, ibises flapping over marshes at sunrise or sunset).… Read More »

  • Cat with Hooded Warbler, forestpath/Shutterstock

    Birds at Risk

    More than one-third of the Americas’ 340 migratory species are birds at risk, suffering measurable declines in population. What’s behind these losses? There is consensus, if inadequate data, that habitat loss is the greatest threat to birds. Habitat loss is accelerating in… Read More »

  • An ovenbird on the ground


    The olive-backed, ground-dwelling Ovenbird can be mistaken for a Wood Thrush at first glance, but it is actually a warbler. A closer look at this bird reveals black stripes beneath, rather than the spots of a thrush. Other identifiers are… Read More »

  • Amid Powerful Storms, Bahama Oriole Clings to Existence

    Editor’s note: As Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean this week, leaving a path of devastation across several islands, biologist Kevin Omland had his eyes on the Bahamas. The critically endangered Bahama Oriole, the focus of Omland’s research, survives only… Read More »

  • Seven of the Coolest Sparrows in the United States

    In North America, it’s easy to enjoy sparrows. You can find them in almost any habitat. They can occur in large (although decreasing) numbers, sing beautifully (for the most part), and reliably cheer up backyard feeders. What’s not so easy… Read More »

  • Fading Symbols: These Five State Birds Are in Trouble

    U.S. grasslands that once resounded with the boisterous song of the Western Meadowlark are growing silent as numbers of the famed singer decline. This situation, distressing as it is, isn’t unique: A number of state birds have experienced major population… Read More »

  • Do American Robins Migrate?

    Springtime singer or snowy sentinel? The American Robin may be one of North America's most familiar songbirds, yet its wintering patterns raise a common question: Do robins migrate? The answer is yes and no. We associate robins with spring for… Read More »

  • Birds of Virginia: Backyard Birds

    Most birders in Virginia start watching birds around their homes. The following species can be seen almost anywhere in the state, often in cities and towns. While some of the bird species included here are among the most common birds… Read More »

  • American Crow. Photo by Randy Bjorklund, Shutterstock.

    American Crow

    The American Crow is widespread in North America and, like the Blue Jay, is often maligned and misunderstood. In folklore, the crow is sometimes associated with witchcraft and evil, or is thought to signify misfortune and even death. One popular… Read More »

  • Hawaiian Common Gallinule (‘Alae ‘Ula)

    Like the ‘Io (Hawaiian Hawk) and ‘Ua‘u (Hawaiian Petrel), the ‘Alae ‘Ula, or Hawaiian Common Gallinule, is revered in folklore. According to legend, this bird brought fire from the gods to the people, burning its white forehead red in the… Read More »

  • Golden-crowned Kinglet

    The tiny Golden-crowned Kinglet is one of the world’s smallest perching birds. At only five grams (about the weight of two pennies), it's not much larger than a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Its genus name, Regulus, means “little king,” and refers to… Read More »

  • Prairie Warbler

    Contrary to its name, the Prairie Warbler is a bird of scrubby fields, clearcuts, and open woods, where it can be located by its buzzy, ascending song, tail-pumping habit, and black-streaked yellow plumage. This species has a bold facial pattern… Read More »

  • American Goldfinch

    "The goldfinch is an active little bird, always in the best of spirits," observed noted naturalist Arthur Cleveland Bent early in the 20th century. "It has a definite personality exemplifying light-hearted cheerfulness, restlessness, sociability, and untiring activity." Famed ornithologist Roger… Read More »

  • Nutcrackers, Chisels — and Air Conditioners?! The Diverse World of Bird Beaks

    What is a bird beak? Is it just a funny-looking version of a nose, or is it something else entirely? Toco Toucan. Photo by Daniel-Alvarez/Shutterstock. Birds use their beaks for a wide variety of functions, including communication and defense, as… Read More »

  • Kentucky Warbler

    The furtive, beautiful Kentucky Warbler is a sought-after springtime sighting throughout the eastern U.S. Like the Wood Thrush and Ovenbird, this inhabitant of deep, damp forests is more often heard than seen. A patient observer may eventually track the song… Read More »