Season's Greetings & Happy Holidays from all your friends at Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center ❄️❄️❄️
SMBC is dedicated to understanding, conserving and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration
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Season's Greetings & Happy Holidays from all your friends at Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center ❄️❄️❄️
In the Northern Hemisphere today is the , marking the shortest day and longest night of the year. While many bird species wake up with the rising sun, owls are known for being nocturnal, or active at night. Get ready for the longest night of the year by learning about one of North America's most common owl species:
Barred owls are one of North America's most common and most vocal owls. These large predators are willing to eat anything they can hunt and kill. They have brownish-gray feathers and brown eyes, unlike most owls which have yellow eyes.
Overwintering in the southern and southwestern United States and Mexico, the acrobatic Ruby-crowned Kinglet can be spotted moving through lower and middle foliage, flicking their wings as they go. In the summer, they breed across northern North America and females may lay up to 12 eggs in a single nest!
Cats are estimated to kill more than 2.4 billion birds annually in the U.S. Aside from habitat loss, this is the #1 human-caused reason for bird deaths. Save birds and keep your cat friends safe from cars, wildlife, and other potential threats by keeping them indoors or creating an outdoor “catio.” Learn how to by keeping birds and cats safe and sound indoors at nationalzoo.si.edu/livebirdfriendly
Spread the word: Show us how you by keeping your feline friends happy indoors!
Louisiana Waterthrushes feed on invertebrates found in streambeds, and are excellent indicators of the quality and health of stream ecosystems. On their wintering grounds in the tropics, they are found in and around fast-flowing streams in hilly areas.
Birds display greater predation on insects–including coffee pests and larvae–in more shaded coffee systems like Bird Friendly® farms, helping to protect both coffee plants and producer livelihoods! Explore more ecological benefits of Bird Friendly®: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/ecological-benefits-shade-grown-coffee
The Booted Racket-tail Hummingbird is found in mid-elevation forests across the Andean mountains, benefiting from Bird Friendly® farms and nearby forest reserves. Males defend their feeding territories, often chasing away other males and even large insects!
Many migratory birds depend on coffee landscapes for survival in the winter, but how do they interact with the coffee farms they call home? Explore the behavior of 12 species that overwinter on Bird Friendly® farms, and to help protect their habitats!
Learn about the birds that call Bird Friendly farms home — and see how you can directly support the farms they inhabit.
A resident to medium-distance migrant, the Great Egret ranges widely across North, Central, and South American wetlands. They hunt amphibians, reptiles, birds, small mammals and invertebrates mainly by wading, but will occasionally swim to capture their prey!
Bird Friendly® producers maintain a diverse shade canopy above their coffee, allowing beans to grow in nutrient-rich soil and ripen slowly, resulting in bolder, richer flavor! Celebrate & request Bird Friendly® at your favorite café: s.si.edu/request
How do scientists keep track of the birds they band? Just as each car has its own unique license plate number, each aluminum band is engraved with a unique set of numbers. Scientists are able to identify individual birds based on their aluminum band’s number or through a pattern combination of aluminum bands and colored bands.
Can you guess what the benefit is of using a combination of aluminum and colored bands? Learn more about banding and see if you guessed correctly: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/what-bird-banding
The Andean Motmot can be found in the forests and foothills of Bird Friendly® coffee farms in South America. Usually spotted perching quietly in the midstory of mossy subtropical forest, they are named for their double-hooting call, resembling an owl call.
Happy !🌲🏔️🍃 Did you know you can contribute to science while you hike? Even in colder months, scientists need your help tracking the health of the world's bird species. Download the eBird app and report what you see! Learn more: http://s.si.edu/livebirdfriendly
When we help birds thrive, we sustain the essential lands and waters needed to protect biodiversity, abundant resources, and our own well-being. You can help reduce risks birds face by creating bird-friendly habitats with native plants, making your windows bird safe, and turning off non-essential lights during migration. Visit https://www.stateofthebirds.org/2022/quality-of-life/ to learn more about what you can do to help and find 7 Simple Actions to at s.si.edu/livebirdfriendly.
Protecting our natural heritage is essential for healthy communities today and for future generations. Wildlife and people alike are facing growing threats from habitat degradation, climate change, and natural disasters. By helping birds, we help ourselves. With all hands on deck—involving local
Live Bird Friendly®
Are you ready to join the Bird Friendly movement? Find out how you can make a difference for birds.
If you live in the U.S. or Canada, some of your favorite migratory birds are likely overwintering in the coffee growing landscapes of Central and South America. Learn how Bird Friendly® coffee flies above the rest to ensure vital bird habitat is protected globally.
The Bird Friendly certification has strict standards to ensure coffee is grown sustainably and protects biodiversity. Here's where to find it in Canada.
Named for their soft, drawn-out calls, the Mourning Dove ranges across North and Central America. They are commonly spotted foraging for seeds on the ground, and can actually store them in an enlargement of their esophagus called a crop.
Nearly a quarter of seabirds found in U.S. waters are at risk of an Endangered listing, including Atlantic Puffin, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, and Black-vented Shearwater according to the 2022 Report. Threats include rising sea temperatures, marine debris, fisheries bycatch, and overfishing of prey fish. Learn more about these issues and potential solutions:
Status: Global declines are reflected in U.S. waters Seabirds are suffering cascading declines around the world; one study documented a 70% population loss for seabirds since the 1950s. Sadly those declines are also occurring in America’s ocean waters, where about a quarter of U.S. seabird specie
Our Shared Future: Life on a Sustainable Planet
Smithsonian Undersecretary for Science and Research Ellen Stofan describes how bringing history, art, culture, and science together can help us build a more ...
Happy ! Why not top off all that foam with a touch of conservation? When you drink Bird Friendly® certified coffee, you brew a more biodiverse, sustainable world. Find a retailer that serves Smithsonian Bird Friendly® at drinkbirdfriendly.com
The smallest of North America’s orioles, the Orchard Oriole spends its short breeding season foraging and nesting before migrating to Latin America as early as mid-July. Like many migratory birds, the Orchard Oriole benefits from Bird Friendly® farms, where they eat nectar and pollen from flowers and even act as pollinators for some tropical plant species!
Conservation works when we give birds and nature a chance. According to the 2022 Report, long-term declines of some eastern forest birds appear to be leveling off, thanks to collaborative restoration efforts between 50+ federal, state, and nonprofit organizations working to restore hardwood forests and boost populations of Cerulean Warblers and Wood Thrushes.
Learn more about these efforts and how they are also benefiting other songbirds, wildlife species, and overall forest health.
Status: Long-term decline has leveled off Since 1970 the overall population for eastern forest birds shows almost a 30% loss, but that loss curve has straightened out since 2009. Today some species previously in steep decline—such as Red-cockaded Woodpecker—are showing modest population gains
Five Spooky Species that Science Brought Back from the Brink
Need some last-minute Halloween costume inspo? These five species narrowly escaped the greatest horror story of our time: extinction.
Happy Halloween! With thick, strong beaks well adapted for tearing, and long claws for holding carrion, it's no wonder vultures have a spooky reputation. But don't be fooled by their appearance–these misunderstood birds play a vital role in ecosystems throughout the world!
Thanks to their keen eyesight and good sense of smell, these birds are able to locate dead animal carcasses and quickly remove pathogens and toxins in the environment, mitigating the spread of disease that could potentially impact both ecosystem and human health.
The Report finds continued losses of migratory birds, such as the stunning Golden-winged Warbler which is poised to lose another 50% of its population in the next 50 years if nothing is done. Solutions such as planting native plants and drinking Bird Friendly® coffee can benefit birds & people. Learn more and explore additional community-based conservation actions at StateoftheBirds.org/2022/quality-of-life/
The eight California Channel Islands are home to native populations of several bird species, including the endemic island scrub-jay which exists exclusively on Santa Cruz Island. Bird species and populations on islands are often at risk, and island-specific species are up to 40 times more likely to go extinct than their mainland counterparts.
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientists study the island scrub-jay to learn more about island adaptations and develop conservation strategies for these unique ecosystems. Learn more about this research at https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/channel-islands-living-laboratory
The glittering Emerald-bellied Puffleg can be spotted in forests along the east slope of the Andes. Thanks to the vital habitat this Bird Friendly® coffee farm in Peru conserves, this particular hummingbird has access to abundant resources, like nectar and shelter, both in and around the farm.
The dapper Bobolink fills our grasslands with bubbly song. But it's at a tipping point —poised to lose 50% of its population in the next 50 years if nothing is done, according to the 2022 report. This rapid disappearance is telling us that our grasslands are in trouble. In fact, Grassland birds have suffered the biggest bird declines of any terrestrial biome since 1970. Birds aren’t the only ones that need grasslands to survive—we do too! Grasslands sustain rural economies and livelihoods in America’s Heartland.
"Improved cattle ranching practices are absolutely essential to arresting the declines of grassland birds. Unfortunately, that won’t be enough," says Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Conservation Ecologist Dr. Andy Boyce. "Continued progress towards restoring keystone species like bison and prairie-dogs on public and private lands, as well as ensuring producers are incentivized to keep native grasslands right-side-up are also essential to keeping our grassland bird communities healthy.”
With uptake of these combined approaches we can improve grassland health, while providing jobs, food, and habitat for wildlife. Working together we can . Learn more about the diverse conservation community responding to this emergency at StateoftheBirds.org/2022/grassland-birds
The Bald Eagle's Soaring Return Shows That the U.S. Can Change for the Better
The true meaning of a national symbol
Land-use changes, including deforestation, driven by humans are a major contributor to biodiversity loss according to a new report. Thankfully, humans can make changes, even with something as simple as their daily coffee routine, to better benefit biodiversity.
When you certified coffee, you help support farmers committed to protecting biodiversity and fighting climate change by conserving critical habitat for birds and other wildlife. Learn more at s.si.edu/birdfriendly
A new report from the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London analyzed years of data on wildlife populations across the world and found a downward trend in the Earth's biodiversity.
Can you spot the Blue-necked Tanager perched on this epiphyte? Bird Friendly® coffee farms maintain epiphytes (a plant that grows on another plant) and vines to conserve biodiversity and protect important resources for birds and other wildlife.
The 2022 report identifies 70 Tipping Point species—birds that have lost more than half their populations in the past 50 years, and are on track to lose another half in the next 50 if nothing changes. Prairie Warblers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Bobolinks are just a few Tipping Point examples.
A key theme of the report is that bringing birds back will also benefit communities, climate, & quality of life. Learn more and hear from Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center scientists on what this tells us about conservation efforts:
An alarming report indicates that dozens of species are likely to become federally endangered without preventive action
🦆 🐦 A newly released State of the Birds report for the United States reveals a tale of two trends, one hopeful, one dire. Long-term trends of waterfowl show strong increases where investments in wetland conservation have improved conditions for birds and people. But data show birds in the United States are declining overall in every other habitat—forests, grasslands, deserts, and oceans. ✏️ LEARN MORE: https://s.si.edu/3rNjF9F. . .
Published by 33 leading science and conservation organizations and agencies, including the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, the 2022 U.S. State of the Birds report is the first look at the nation’s birds since a landmark 2019 study showed the loss of 3 billion birds in the United States and Canada in 50 years.
When we take care of birds and their habitats, we take care of the interconnected systems that we all depend upon for survival. Celebrate and explore 7 simple actions you can take to create a more biodiverse, sustainable future. s.si.edu/livebirdfriendly
Instead of clearing forest, Bird Friendly® coffees grow underneath shade trees, providing habitat for the birds that migrate from your backyard all the way to Latin America. Celebrate and brew a more biodiverse, sustainable world at drinkbirdfriendly.com
Tomorrow is ! Light pollution is a significant threat to migratory birds, causing disorientation when they fly at night, which can lead to collisions with buildings, interference with their internal clocks, or interference with their ability to undertake long-distance migrations.
to support birds like the Black-throated Blue Warbler during their fall migration! To prevent collisions during the day, use external insect screens. At night, turn off lights or close the blinds.
The presence of trees in Bird Friendly® coffee farms help fight climate change by:
1. keeping carbon out of the atmosphere
2. acting as a buffer to temperature increases
3. protecting water supplies in quantity and quality
4. preventing landslides caused by hurricane increases
Celebrate this Saturday and help support coffee farms that conserve habitat for birds, and create a more sustainable world by choosing to at drinkbirdfriendly.com
Founded in 1991, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center’s mission is to understand, conserve, and champion the grand phenomenon of bird migration.
Join SMBC in celebrating this Saturday by learning how you can help migratory birds as they travel through your region! Explore how to create a bird friendly home, participate in bird counts, make your own hummingbird nectar, and more:
Get involved, and help make the world a better place for migratory birds.
SMBC’s Bridging the Americas/Unidos por las Aves is a cross-cultural environmental education program that partners classes in grades 2 through 4 in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. with classes in Latin America.
Paired classes learn and exchange information about the migratory birds that winter in Latin America and return to the U.S. and Canada each spring to breed.
Since 1993, close to 45,000 students from classrooms in the U.S., Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela have participated! Hear from Bridging the Americas participants in SELVA Investigación para la Conservación en el Neotrópico’s Aves, Café y la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta documentary at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKgwN5CkgvU&ab_channel=SELVAvideos and learn more about this continent-spanning program at s.si.edu/bridgingtheamericas
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Tomorrow is #WorldMigratoryBirdDay! Light pollution is a significant threat to migratory birds, causing disorientation when they fly at night, which can lead to collisions with buildings, interference with their internal clocks, or interference with their ability to undertake long-distance migrations. #DimLightsForBirds to support birds like the Black-throated Blue Warbler during their fall migration! To prevent collisions during the day, use external insect screens. At night, turn off lights or close the blinds. #FeatheredFactFriday
#WorldMigratoryBirdDay is this Saturday, and scientists need your help to track the health of the world's bird species! Report what you see in backyards, neighborhoods and natural areas this fall by joining a local birding project or using the eBird app! Learn more: s.si.edu/livebirdfriendly
From Mexico to Peru, and Ethiopia to India, Bird Friendly® coffee is grown in 13 different countries around the globe, protecting 42,000 acres of habitat! Celebrate #InternationalCoffeeDay and #DrinkBirdFriendly to brew a more biodiverse, sustainable world at drinkbirdfriendly.com
The Bird Migration Explorer from Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and partners is a state-of-the-art digital platform that reveals migration data for 458 species found in the U.S. & Canada. Explore where your neighborhood birds are going on their current fall migrations and throughout the year: http://www.birdmigrationexplorer.org
#FeatheredFactFriday Blackpoll Warblers are one of the most impressive migrant songbirds, making an over-water migration from the northeastern U.S. coast to northern South America every fall. Some fly nonstop for over 72 hours! The Bird Migration Explorer has more:http://www.birdmigrationexplorer.org
An estimated 1 billion birds die each year from window collisions in the U.S. and Canada alone. With fall migration already underway, there are a few simple actions you can take to #LiveBirdFriendly and help keep migratory birds safe on their journey! To prevent window collisions, use external insect screens to eliminate reflections and cushion birds' impact. At night, #DimLightsForBirds or close the blinds.
Hear from Bird Friendly Intern Maxwell as he shares his final thoughts on his Folklife Festival experience. Thanks for following along on another #InternTakeover, and a special thank you to Smithsonian Folklife and Smithsonian Earth Optimism. Learn more and #DrinkBirdFriendly at drinkbirdfriendly.com
Did you know there are many other organizations working within the intersection of conservation and agriculture? On Day 5 of his #InternTakeover, Bird Friendly Intern Maxwell Julius shares what he learned from other orgs, like Virginia Working Landscapes, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.
What makes Bird Friendly® the gold standard in eco-friendly certification? Join Bird Friendly Intern Maxwell for #InternTakeover Day 4, where he'll share how Bird Friendly conserves critical habitat, and answer two of the most commonly asked questions by Smithsonian Folklife Festival attendees.
What was it like to be on the National Mall for the first day of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival? Travel to the festival grounds and hear about the exciting start to the event, with Bird Friendly Intern Maxwell Julius for Day 3 of his #InternTakeover:
Welcome to #InternTakeover Day 2! Have you ever wondered how a farm is certified Bird Friendly®? Hear from Bird Friendly Intern, Maxwell, on how he created an educational activity for Smithsonian Folklife Festival attendees that helped them learn just that:
Meet Maxwell Julius, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center’s Bird Friendly Intern who had the opportunity to table at the Bird Friendly booth during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Want a firsthand look at what tabling for Folklife entailed? Stay tuned this week for Maxwell’s #InternTakeover where he’ll share all about his experience, and what attendees learned about Bird Friendly coffee! Smithsonian Earth Optimism
In North America alone, up to 1 billion birds are estimated to die each year after flying into windows. During the day, birds perceive reflections in glass as habitat they can fly into. By night, migratory birds drawn in by city lights are at risk of colliding with buildings. Celebrate #WorldMigratoryBirdDay and help birds with the flick of a switch! At night, #DimLightsForBirds or close the blinds. During the day, prevent collisions and eliminate reflections with film, paint, stick-on stripes, string, or external screens. #WMBD2022
Happy #WorldMigratoryBirdDay! From opting to #DimLightsForBirds to choosing to #DrinkBirdFriendly, there are 7 simple actions you can take on #WMBD2022 and everyday to celebrate birds and #LiveBirdFriendly. Choose an action to help birds today at s.si.edu/livebirdfriendly
What better way to start #NationalBirdDay than with a cup of Bird Friendly® certified coffee? When you #DrinkBirdFriendly, you help preserve critical habitat for birds and wildlife, fight climate change, and support farmers committed to conservation by farming sustainably! Start brewing biodiversity today at drinkbirdfriendly.com
Are you looking for a New Year’s resolution that helps birds? Find out how you can #LiveBirdFriendly by exploring seven simple actions to make your home and lifestyle better for birds and the planet! https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/7-simple-actions-live-bird-friendlyr
Over 42 species of North American migratory birds overwinter in coffee plantations in the tropics, including orioles, warblers and thrushes. While you await their return in the spring, #DrinkBirdFriendly to help support the coffee farmers conserving their habitat. Find out where you can buy Bird Friendly coffee at https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/where-buy-bird-friendly-coffee
Do you take cream or sugar in your coffee? What about conservation? When you #DrinkBirdFriendly you help conserve critical habitat for birds and wildlife, fight climate change, protect biodiversity, and support farmers committed to preserving habitat by farming sustainably! #BrewBiodiversity and find your perfect roast today at drinkbirdfriendly.com
Are you doing some fall gardening this weekend? Consider adding native plants to your yard, planters, and other outdoor spaces to provide shelter and food sources for birds and other wildlife! Find out which plants are best for your area and learn more about creating a bird friendly home and yard at https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/live-bird-friendly
Happy #WorldMigratoryBirdDay! When we take care of birds, we take care of the interconnected systems that we all depend upon for survival. Explore seven simple actions you can take today to #LiveBirdFriendly and help create a more sustainable future. https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/live-bird-friendly
"We did it for the love that we have for the birds. In them, we have found great collaborators,” said Bird Friendly farmer Rafael Tovar. “We are giving the birds a space to live in peace, while they help us keep pests away from our crops.” Celebrate #InternationalCoffeeDay by supporting growers proudly serving biodiversity: s.si.edu/BuyBF
Bird collisions with closed windows cause up to 1 billion bird deaths every year, especially during migration. You can help! To prevent collisions, use external insect screens, tape, or decals, and turn off your lights or close your blinds in the evening. Learn how to #LiveBirdFriendly by keeping your windows safe for birds at nationalzoo.si.edu/livebirdfriendly. Spread the word: Show us how you #LiveBirdFriendly by sharing your bird-friendly window treatments.
Fall migration is in full swing! Did you know the movement of migrating birds can be seen on weather radar? Birds show up as blue and green circles in this image. Check out SMBC's Neotropical Migratory Bird FAQs to learn more about bird migration https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/neotropical-migratory-bird-faqs
How does Bird Friendly coffee benefit growers, birds, and other wildlife? Where can you find Bird Friendly coffee near you? Hear from Bird Friendly coffee grower Oswaldo Acevedo in Colombia, SMBC Research Ecologist Dr. Ruth Bennett, and Bird Friendly Program Manager Justine Bowe on the latest episode of the Bring Birds Back podcast as they answer these questions and discuss the possibility of having a whole range of certified bird friendly products on shelves in the future. https://www.birdnote.org/listen/podcasts/bring-birds-back/coffee
Most pesticides are toxic to birds and other pollinators, and yet >1 billion pounds are applied in the U.S. each year. #LiveBirdFriendly & celebrate #PollinatorWeek by shopping organic when possible and cutting out pesticides from your lawn & garden. https://nationalzoo.si.edu/migratory-birds/live-bird-friendly
Have you ever wondered why some birds can fly and others can’t? SMBC's Migratory Bird Ecologist Dr. Brian Evans has the answer! Listen to the new "Make It Fly!" episode from National Children's Museum's STEAM Daydream podcast for a deep dive into the four forces that make flight possible. https://nationalchildrensmuseum.org/podcast/
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