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Preview: Birdfreak: The Bird Conservation Blog

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Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:32:28 +0000

 



The Morton Arboretum – Living Museum of Trees and Much More

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:50:11 +0000

“Plant trees.”   That is the Morton family motto, spearheaded by J. Sterling Morton who started Arbor Day in 1872. His son, Joy, established Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in 1922. Since then, the arboretum has grown to 1,700 acres and a much-needed outdoor space for one of the most populous areas of the country.

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American Prairie Reserve – Montana’s Best Kept Secret

Tue, 16 May 2017 15:06:06 +0000

My love for prairies runs deep, much like the roots of the interesting plants that make up the prairie ecosystem. Growing up in the “Land of Lincoln”, it took awhile to realize that Illinois had another noble nickname: the Prairie State. Historically, around two-thirds of Illinois was prairie. Today, it is difficult to find prairies

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Coyote America

Tue, 02 May 2017 01:27:01 +0000

There is no denying, I am a dog person. I have always been drawn to dogs and have felt a deep, perhaps you could call it spiritual, connection towards canines. Thus, it is easy to feel that same connection towards wolves and coyotes. But it goes beyond the human-dog relationship. Undomesticated “dogs” play a critical

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Nature’s Allies – Eight Conservationists Who Changed the World

Tue, 11 Apr 2017 14:16:40 +0000

There are many famous names in the history of conservation. But there are also some not-so-famous ones, especially outside the United States. Nature’s Allies: Eight Conservationists Who Changed Our World highlights eight major players in conservation. Some are exceptionally well-known: Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, John Muir. Others you may never heard of before. John Muir

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National Park Service System Plan 2017

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 13:08:36 +0000

The National Park Service officially began with the passing of the Organic Act of 1916. After 100 years, and 400 plus “units”, the park service remains as one of the nation’s best source of recreation and natural ecosystem protection. But what do we have to look forward for the next 100 years? The National Park

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Can We Protect Half the Earth and Stave Off the Sixth Extinction?

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:07:18 +0000

E.O. Wilson’s premise in Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life is as straightforward as it is daunting: we must preserve half of the Earth in order to stop a path towards complete, irreversible failure and the “sixth extinction”. According to Wilson we have, or will shortly, entered the Anthropocene period; the Epoch of Man. This

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How Much Nature Do We Need? Review of The Nature Fix

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 02:10:39 +0000

How much nature do we need? Nature is all around us in varying degrees. The amount or value of the nature around us is largely subjective. But with near certainty we can understand what valuable nature is or isn’t. Universally, more natural surroundings is preferable to less. Also nearly universal is the idea that having

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The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt and the Triumph of American Natural History

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 16:48:05 +0000

Roosevelt’s life as a naturalist began like many naturalists: with a carcass. Specifically, a seal carcass he discovered in a grocery on Broadway in New York. He was 8 years old. Darrin Lunde’s The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt and the Triumph of American Natural History covers our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt, from the lens of an

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Long Hops: Making Sense of Bird Migration

Tue, 13 Dec 2016 02:36:24 +0000

The concept of bird migration is far from new to even the most casual backyard birder. Many birds come and go as the seasons change. On the surface, migration, or why birds would bother to migrate, is quite obvious. Food sources change as the time of year changes. The decision to stay put or travel

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10 Years – Our Conservation Promise

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 09:05:02 +0000

Somehow it happened. 10 years ago the Birdfreak Blog started. In those years our lives changed a lot. We grew and our kids grew. But through all the change, we feel we’ve stayed the same. We didn’t always stick to a plan. Our posting schedule was sporadic, the look of the site was spasmadic, and

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Vitamin N by Richard Louv

Wed, 08 Jun 2016 21:08:17 +0000

Vitamin N is the short title for Richard Louv’s latest book about getting people, especially kids, back out into nature. The extended title is a long one: Vitamin N: 500 Ways to Enrich the Health & Happiness of Your Family & Community* (*and Combat Nature-Deficit Disorder). On the cover is also the statement “The Essential

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Bioblitz at Callaway Farm

Sun, 29 May 2016 16:02:23 +0000

Callaway Farm is my (Eddie’s) rural backyard in northern Illinois. In 2012, the 2.5 acres were a corn field and since 2013, I’ve been working on turning it into our backyard bird sanctuary. To get a baseline of what wildlife is using it in its current state, I decided to do a May bioblitz. I

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The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman

Mon, 23 May 2016 13:00:56 +0000

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman chronicles some of the best-known cases that showcase bird intelligence. But the book goes beyond the famous birds like the African Grey Parrot named Alex and delves deep into the scientific studies being conducted to understand how birds think. Inevitably, especially with a title having the word “genius”

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Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants

Wed, 18 May 2016 13:00:35 +0000

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Douglas W. Tallamy is the quintessential guide to how and why we all have the power to conserve habitat, right at home in our backyards. Tallamy begins with a call to action, that all gardeners need to direct their energy towards planting those

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The Biggest Week in American Birding – 2016

Mon, 16 May 2016 13:00:20 +0000

Northwest Ohio is “The Warbler Capital of the World“. People come from all over the world to see all the beautiful spring migrants that stopover on their way north . The Biggest Week in American Birding a week-long bird festival that started in 2010, is now in full swing and each year it just gets

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Birdscaping With Wild Columbine

Fri, 13 May 2016 13:00:32 +0000

If you live in the eastern half of the United States, native Wild Columbine might be a good choice for birdscaping. The Callaway Garden planted just a couple plants three years ago. We looked for a native plant nursery to find this variety and found Naturally Native Nursery in Bowling Green, Ohio. These plants spread

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Nature Principle by Richard Louv

Wed, 11 May 2016 13:00:29 +0000

The Nature Principle is Richard Louv’s “companion” to Last Child in the Woods and covers some parallel topics as well as delves into more reasons to connect or reconnect with nature. The Nature Principle could be considered a book to promote ending nature-deficit-disorder in adults. Louv introduces and expands on many catch phrases or buzzwords

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Why Use Native Plants for Birdscaping

Mon, 09 May 2016 13:00:35 +0000

While plotting and planning our backyard birdscaping project, a discussion arose on whether native plants are really that important, especially when a comparable “ornamental” can be used and still enjoyed by wildlife. I have been hearing the phrase “use native plants” for at least as long as I’ve been interested in birdscaping (before I was

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17-year Cicadas are for the Birds!

Fri, 06 May 2016 13:00:39 +0000

In 2007, the Birdfreaks went Cuckoo for Cicadas. A 17-year periodical cicada called Brood XIII emerged to the delight of bird species in northern Illinois and a few nearby states (MAP). It was amazing to see so many cicadas at once, the noise was deafening and the birds went crazy for them! We even found

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Planting an Orchard

Wed, 04 May 2016 13:00:15 +0000

In the hopes to produce some of our own food, we decided this year we would be planting an orchard at Callaway Farm. After a ton of research, we found a place in Michigan that ships bare root trees and purchased seven fruit trees including 5 apple, one peach, and one pear. We meant to

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Feral Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life

Mon, 02 May 2016 13:00:24 +0000

Feral Rewilding the Land the Sea and Human Life by George Monbiot centers around the idea that conservation is not enough and that a rewilding effort needs to be in place to reach goals far beyond what most conservation and restoration efforts currently are focused on. Rewilding is simple in the abstract: bring back the

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Children & Nature Network

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 13:00:42 +0000

In 2006, the Children & Nature Network was created by Richard Louv, Cheryl Charles, Martha Farrell Erickson, Martin LeBlanc, Michael Pertschuk and Amy Pertschuk. Their vision: “A world in which all children play, learn and grow with nature in their everyday lives.” The Children & Nature Network is a great resource for information about connecting

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Crossley ID Guide Britain & Ireland

Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:00:05 +0000

The Crossley Id Guide Britain & Ireland follows the unique and beloved format of other Crossley ID guides with this one of course covering birds found in Great Britain and Ireland. Most of the text is written by nature writer Dominic Couzens but is a bit overshadowed by the dizzying array of birds to be

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Saving the Kirtland’s Warbler – Science Talks

Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:00:31 +0000

“Saving the Kirtland’s Warbler” is one of a series of Science Talks that takes place at the Cranebook Institute of Science. These lectures are done by experts from the Nature Conservancy with this one happening on Thursday, May 5, 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. While we won’t be able to make the talk,

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Midwest Crane Count – 2016

Mon, 25 Apr 2016 13:00:50 +0000

The annual midwest crane count took place on April 16th and we were once again in our “usual” spot, a privately-owned area known as Moody Marsh. This year it was just me, Eddie, and my dad. We can’t quite remember, but we have been doing these counts for over 10 years now. Background of Midwest

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