birds

People around the world are reporting that birds are much louder these days.

But Sue Anne Zollinger, an ornithologist from Manchester Metropolitan University, cautions: Don't believe everything you hear.

With the decrease in traffic, there's less noise pollution. That means birds have less noise to compete with, she says. (Scroll down to the end of this story to listen for yourself.)

Joe Rimkus Jr. / Miami Herald

Every year between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5, thousands of birders fan out across the country for an annual bird census.

The Christmas Bird Count began in 1900 as a response to traditional Christmas bird hunts, according to the Audubon Society. That first count found about 90 species across 25 locations.

COURTESTY, PELICAN HARBOR SEABIRD STATION

White sand beneath your feet. Clear water lapping at the shore. Cool shade under the buttonwood trees. You’ve landed on Bird Key, Biscayne Bay’s oldest deserted island, where tropical birds chatter loudly in the treetops and piles of trash have, for decades, been the clearest reminder that you’re still in urban Miami.

This month, the tide finally turned for this nearly seven-acre sliver of sullied paradise, which sits just south of the 79th Street Causeway in Biscayne Bay.

Maureen Tan/Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden

Sometimes the best science comes from an idle, casual observation. Take Isaac Newton. Or Josh Diamond.

Nearly two-thirds of all bird species in North America are at risk of extinction due to climate change according to a new report, released Thursday by the National Audubon Society


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is gearing up to enforce a new rule to help discourage the trapping of native songbirds.


PIXABAY/HERONWORKS

Songbirds are known for their beautiful bright-colored feathered coats and for their melodious and upbeat songs, which South Floridians can hear on most summertime mornings. 

But there is another important detail to know about these small creatures: they're often trapped, smuggled and traded throughout the region. 

Viktoriia Radchuk, an evolutionary ecologist at Berlin's Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, wanted to know how animals were responding to climate change.

So she scoured the results of more than 10,000 animal studies — on species from frogs to snakes, from insects to birds to mammals — looking for information on how changing environments were affecting animal behavior. Based on the available data, she decided to focus on birds in the Northern Hemisphere.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The first report came in on Monday. An Antillean Palm-Swift was spotted soaring above Grassy Key.

In the world of serious birders, that's big news.

Ron Magill / Zoo Miami

The state wildlife agency is taking the next step toward establishing — or re-establishing — the American Flamingo as a Floridian bird.

Flamingos had been considered a non-native exotic species for decades, and were listed that way on the state wildlife website. Birds that people saw flying around were thought to be captives that had escaped.

State wildlife officials are drafting a rule to protect Florida’s native songbirds from illegal trapping. Officers are seeing an increase in bird trafficking for the pet industry.

Mark Hedden

It's the time of year when residents from the Florida Keys can catch a glimpse of thousands of Peregrine Falcons on their way to South America.

The falcons are considered the fastest animals on earth — reaching speeds up to 240 miles per hour. Spectators and professional birdwatchers from around the world will gather in the Florida Keys this weekend for the annual “Hawk Mania” event.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

An osprey that was shot with a pellet gun in Key West in August was euthanized Thursday morning after a vet exam found "necrosis complications."

The bird's wing was broken in the Aug. 21 incident at Truman Waterfront on Key West harbor.

"The bone tissue at the fracture site was dying and was likely to cause system problems," Thomas Sweets, director of the Key West Wildlife Rescue, said in a statement Thursday.

Hurricane Florence has captured people's attention this week, and it's a sure bet that this unusual weather is also being closely monitored by hundreds of millions of migrating birds.

This is the peak of the fall migration season, after all, and birds avoid bad weather — which is helping scientists predict migration patterns.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Miami's new professional soccer team has a name and a crest that features two birds.

The birds, Great White Herons, are unique to South Florida. They even have a national wildlife refuge named after them. 

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