Photo © Keith Williams

August 2020 News

Grosbeaks and Raptors

Our nest-record card transcription project on Zooniverse, Nest Quest Go!, is still going strong! Current active collections feature grosbeak and raptor nests. Try your hand at transcribing, and explore the fascinating history of these nest records from the mid- to late 20th century.

Flying Fluorescent Furball

Part of the fun of NestWatching is seeing nature up close, and this mammalian encounter is special because nocturnal creatures are typically very difficult to see. A NestWatcher shared this photo of a southern flying squirrel in a nest box on Long Island, New York. It took up shelter here after an Eastern Bluebird had finished using the box. What a surprise when, instead of an old nest to be cleaned, one finds this fluffy glider.

Fun fact: all three species of North American flying squirrels glow fluorescent pink under ultraviolet light!

Major Tree Swallow Data Upload

This month we are thrilled to upload 7,879 nest records from a long-running research project in Ithaca, New York. The dataset is mostly comprised of Tree Swallow nest records, although there are also some Violet-green Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, and House Wrens in the set. The project has been running since 1986, so we were fortunate to be able to archive 34 years of nesting data (with more to come in the future). We are extremely grateful to researchers Maren Vitousek and Conor Taff, both of Cornell University’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department, for organizing and sharing the data with NestWatch. This valuable dataset adds immeasurably to our Tree Swallow knowledge base!

Larry Walkinshaw, “Father of Cranes”

This month’s blog post is brought to you by Cornell student Jewel Alston, an Environmental and Sustainability Communication fellow with our Nest Quest Go! project. Jewel is working to uncover the human history of the North American Nest-Record Card Program’s most prolific contributors. Check out the story of Larry Walkinshaw, a dentist with a passion for birds, and stay tuned for future stories from the archives.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology