Photo © Keith Williams

August 2023 News

Cranes On The Plains

Our Nest Quest Go! project has been busy converting old paper nest record cards into useable data, and this month the cranes were completed. This dataset added 544 Sandhill Crane and 8 endangered Whooping Crane nest records to our database. Most of the crane data were collected by the “Father of Cranes” Larry Walkinshaw, a remarkable citizen scientist whose fascinating story you can read here.

New Study on Climate Change

Does climate change affect shorebird nests? Shorebird populations have declined significantly in the last 40 years, and the threats are varied. A new study used records from NestWatch along with various museum databases to examine how climate change might affect the nesting phenology of three shorebird species. According to the study, which looked at the period 1852–1989, the three focal species had differing reactions to warming spring temperatures. Willets nested earlier as temperatures increased, whereas Black-necked Stilts nested later. Wilson’s Plovers did not change the timing of nesting as spring temperatures increased. Precipitation was not an important predictor of when these three species began laying eggs.

This study demonstrates that each species responds differently to changing temperatures in their nesting area, making it hard to apply one-size-fits-all predictions about how climate change will impact nesting birds. The study is available here for anyone who would like to learn more.

Mobile App Now Available in Spanish

The NestWatch mobile app is now available in Spanish on the app stores. To use it, select your language on the home screen, or from the side menu. Please feel free to send us any feedback you have while using the app!

La aplicación móvil de NestWatch ya está disponible en español en las tiendas de aplicaciones. Para usarla, deben seleccionar su idioma en la página de inicio o en el menú lateral. ¡Por favor no duden en enviarnos cualquier comentario que tengan mientras usan la aplicación!

Repopulating Mottled Owls in Mexico

The Xalapa Wildlife Conservation Management Unit in Veracruz, Mexico, works to boost populations of Mottled Owls in urban green spaces. They are piloting a first-of-its-kind nest box program to help the owls find safe nesting spots in cities. Read more about their work in this month’s blog.

If you live within the Mottled Owl’s extensive breeding range, check out our new nest box plan for the species! Created in collaboration with the Xalapa Wildlife Conservation Management Unit, it is available in English and Spanish. 

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Cornell Lab of Ornithology