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Hummingbird Highlights

Sat, 31 May 2014 06:09:58 +00002014-05-31T06:09:58Z

(image) It's been a very birdy month, but undoubtedly my highlight was birding in Central America on a press trip to Honduras (watch for articles to come in June!), during which I added more than two dozen lifers to my list, including hummingbirds, toucans, motmots and the crazy boat-billed heron. What a wonderful array of birds! I hope your month has been as birdy, and as we draw Hummingbird Month to a close, don't miss any of the great new content this month, including:

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May Birder's Bookshelf

Fri, 30 May 2014 06:14:06 +00002014-05-30T06:14:06Z

(image) Don't you just love adding new books to your birding library? In honor of Hummingbird Month, I've got three new reviews of fantastic hummingbird titles you'll be sure to fall in love with...

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Bird of the Week: Green Violet-Ear

Thu, 29 May 2014 06:54:16 +00002014-05-29T06:54:16Z

(image) When birds are named for their colors and field marks, it's always easier to identify them, and this week's featured hummingbird - the green violet-ear - couldn't be named better. Not only is this hummer an overall bright, beautiful green, but the bold purple ear patch is its most distinctive feature and easy for any birder to spot so they can be sure of the identification.

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Air Force Goes Low Tech to Save High Tech

Wed, 28 May 2014 07:35:29 +00002014-05-28T07:35:29Z

(image) Birds can be a problem at airports and while there are many ways to prevent bird strikes, high tech solutions such as noise cannons, lasers and other innovations aren't always effective. According to NBC, MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, has found the ideal way to protect its high tech birds - fighter jets, cargo planes, refueling tankers, etc. - from bird strikes by using the lowest technology. Sonic, a rescued border collie, chases birds from dawn to dusk under the guidance of her handler, with just a bit of help from the control tower to locate flock positions. The dog's enthusiasm helps keep flocks at bay without harming them, and both feathered and metal birds can coexist on the base.

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Birdnado in Maine

Tue, 27 May 2014 09:35:20 +00002014-05-27T09:35:20Z

(image) Bird migration is often amazing, and in Bangor, Maine, the annual chimney swift migration is so intense it can look like a tornado of birds. According to the Bangor Daily News, the birds pass through the downtown area every May and August, though the flock size has been diminishing in recent years. Local enthusiasts are leading bird walks to educate the public about these amazing birds, and it is hoped that drawing attention to them will increase interest in their conservation.

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Mailbag Monday – Stop the Leaks

Mon, 26 May 2014 09:22:52 +00002014-05-26T09:22:52Z

(image) Answering a question is a great way to start each week, and this week Del from California has a great hummingbird question...

"I enjoy feeding the hummingbirds, but not so much fun is the sticky mess under the feeders. How can I stop them from leaking?"

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Cliff Swallows Better Than Fighter Jets

Sun, 25 May 2014 06:06:57 +00002014-05-25T06:06:57Z

(image) Every birder has seen swallows flitting through the air with seemingly impossible aerial maneuvers, and thanks to a new high-speed study, the fact is that those maneuvers actually are impossible, at least for humans. According to Science, the study focused on cliff swallow flights in North Carolina, including chasing intruders away from nesting areas, and analysis showed the birds pulling turns at the equivalent of more than 7.5 times the force of gravity. For comparison, humans typically black out at 5-6 times the force of gravity.

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Anemone Eats Bird

Sat, 24 May 2014 06:14:43 +00002014-05-24T06:14:43Z

(image) Seabirds face many threats, but being eaten by an anemone isn't usually considered one of them - but now it can be. According to Popular Science, several observations have been made of giant green anemones...

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Hummingbird Photo Contest

Fri, 23 May 2014 06:06:12 +00002014-05-23T06:06:12Z

(image) There's only another week left to Hummingbird Month, but the deadline for this month's "Hummingbird Happiness" photo contest is even shorter! There are just two days left to enter the contest, so don't delay. All entries must be posted in the forum for everyone to view, but the photos don't have to be taken this month, so feel free to browse your archives for your best hummer shots. Don't quite have that stellar image yet? Learn how to get close looks at hummingbirds and keep your camera handy!

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Bird of the Week: Blue-Throated Hummingbird

Thu, 22 May 2014 06:16:38 +00002014-05-22T06:16:38Z

(image) This week's featured bird is sure to take the blues away from any birder - the blue-throated hummingbird is a relatively scarce bird but still reliable in its range where food sources are abundant, and its large size and beautiful blue throat make it a treat to see. Females lack the namesake colorful throat but are still stunning for their sheer size and bold behavior.

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