When the Gold King Mine spill of 2015 introduced three million gallons of toxic mine drainage into a tributary of the Animas River near Silverton, Colorado, concerned community members rallied to form The American Dipper Project, a nest monitoring effort to help the aquatic birds recover. American Dippers in southwestern Colorado continue to be at risk from water pollution, wildfire, climate change, and microplastics, but they now have allies in their struggle. Read about how one group of birdwatchers decided to take action using NestWatch as the basis for community monitoring in our latest blog post.
Unlike in Western Bluebirds, juvenile “helpers” at the nest are less common among Eastern Bluebirds. In a recent study on this helping behavior in Eastern Bluebirds, biologists highlighted the contributions of four NestWatchers who provided photos or video of the behavior: Glenda Simmons; Wild Birds Unlimited of Yorktown, Virginia; Kelly Sandefur; and Randy Windsor. The study authors cite these images so that other researchers can find them, too!
The study was published in Alabama Birdlife. Thank you to the NestWatchers who provided detailed photo descriptions that elevated the discussion on helping behavior in Eastern Bluebirds. You too can upload your photos to our Participant Photos gallery where they can be easily searched by the public.
We are thrilled to welcome our newest NestWatch chapter and our first in Latin America: PAU Colombia. Chapter Coordinators Egor Merik Sánchez and Khalilah Ochoa tell us, “We at PAU Colombia work with a project called ‘1900 nidos’—a symbol of the number of species that Colombia has. Our idea is to install nest boxes in different parts of the country, providing practical training and monitoring opportunities of these nest boxes, in addition to involving those who join the project in other citizen science efforts related to birds.”