This bird’s eye view of Marshy Point is magnificent.
Most tidal marshes are salt or brackish. A unique assemblage of birds inhabits salt and brackish marshes. Some species evolved in this harsh environment and live nowhere else. Cheasapeake Bay’s salt marshes host globally significant populations of 2 such species, Saltmarsh Sparrow and Black Rail. – Audubon Maryland-DC
It’s an unusually tense time for bird watchers. Many varieties of songbirds are dying at alarming rates due to neurological issues. The deaths are reported in Mid-Atlantic States and Ohio and Pennsylvania.
These warnings have been ongoing since March of this year. The birds most affected are starlings, grackles, blue jays, and robins. Audubon Magazine states that scientists are still searching for the pathogen behind the disease. Meanwhile, we are asked to take down our feeders until the source of the disease is identified.
“Conventional wisdom tells us that birds migrate north in spring and south in autumn. Some species also migrate in summer, though these movements are more modest and regional, rather than long-haul, intercontinental voyages. And they often head in counterintuitive directions as birds seek out specific seasonal resources instead of making a beeline for their winter range.” – All About Birds, 2014
The article was written in seven years ago, so certain flight patterns might have shifted. Other resources are included.
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We can accommodate 500 viewers on Zoom. First come first served. A recording will be available about 3 weeks after the program.
Speaker: Dr. Liz Matthews, Ecologist, National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program
This presentation will share highlights from the first 15 years of a long-term forest vegetation monitoring program in eastern U.S. National Parks. It will cover recent findings that illustrate the ecological value and importance of National Park forests in the Mid-Atlantic and beyond, despite their relatively small size when compared to National Parks of the western U.S. The presentation will also describe the natural resource challenges confronting these ecosystems, including invasive plants, deer overabundance, and forest fragmentation.
Dr. Liz Matthews, is an Ecologist and Program Manager for the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) program. The I&M program conducts natural resource inventories and monitors the condition of key “vital signs,” or natural resource indicators, in National Parks across the U.S. to inform resource management in the parks. Liz first joined the National Capital Area I&M office in 2013 as a Botanist, leading the forest vegetation monitoring program in 11 National Parks in and around DC. Prior to joining the NPS, Liz studied plant phenology in National Parks in California and alluvial vegetation in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
The program will be presented online through Zoom, in webinar format. You will not be able to share your own audio or video with other participants, but you will be able to submit questions in writing during the program.
Registration is required. After you register, you will receive a registration confirmation email with a link to the Zoom program.
“Ecologist Suzanne Simard says trees are “social creatures” that communicate with each other in remarkable ways — including warning each other of danger and sharing nutrients at critical times. Her book is ‘Finding the Mother Tree.'” Click here to go to the podcast.
Read: Do Trees Talk to Each Other?, Richard Grant, photographs by Diana Markosian, Smithsonian Magazine, March 2018. Image of Suzanne Simard by D. Markosian, Smithsonian Magazine.
In addition, read The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate―Discoveries from A Secret World (The Mysteries of Nature, 1), by Peter Wohlleben (Author), Jane Billinghurst (Translator), Tim Flannery, Greystone Books; First English Language Edition, 8th Printing (September 13, 2016).
Since 1992, the Maryland black skimmer population has declined from 278 pairs to just six pairs, the Maryland DNR reported in 2017. Similarly, common terns have declined 86% since the early 1990s, and royal terns by 60%.
Faced with the erosion of their nesting islands, royal terns and black skimmers are near the point of never being seen again on the Maryland coast…”
This article by Paul Bogard, Spring 2021, discusses the billions of birds that fly north in the spring, some on an 8,000 mile trek. Imagine.
Many fly in the dark, which most of us who belong to the forestry boards, already know.
Habitat destruction, collisions with buildings, declines in insect abundance—the threats to migrants are many, and the question has become: Can new tracking technologies help to unravel the mysteries of nocturnal migration while we still have time to preserve one of the world’s great natural wonders?
This is a time fraught with danger for migrating birds. The impact of climate change resulted in that the “peak migration in spring and fall came sooner and coincided with higher temperatures in the continental United States.” This disruption puts the migrants increasingly at risk, such as the lights of skyscrapers at night that confuse migrating birds, disorienting them, and causing their collisions with the buildings, killing them in billions of numbers.
Bogard’s is a detailed article well worth reading for those of us who consider how climate change affects our bird species and mother earth.
If you have not watched “Winged Migration,” a film produced in 2001, it is breathtaking. It made my heart soar. The film, which covers bird migration all over the world, is more than ten times longer than this preview.
You can rent the film online for a pittance if you have not seen it before.
On April 20th, 2021, the BCFB gathered to sort and bag four varieties of chestnut seedlings for distribution across the state. Click on this link to our American Chestnuts page to learn more about our mission. These images demonstrate the Board’s work to join with the American Chestnut Foundation in reinvigorating this magnificent tree species. (Hover cursor over the images to read the captions. Click on any image and forward the slide show by clicking on the back and forth arrows.)
Bundles of chestnuts labeled “sunshine”
Richard encourages us to Plant Trees
Linda, Carol, Rob, and Richard sorting four sets of chestnuts into each bag, whose roots are properly watered
Carol and Julie making sure that the chestnuts have been sorted, properly labeled, and will go into the bags meant for the customers who ordered the chestnut seedlings
Plunging the roots one last time into water before being bagged. Notice the “soil moist” nodules that form as the roots get saturated.
Linda and Rob mixing the chemicals and water that will keep the chestnut roots wet in their bags.
Richard, Carol, and Rob bundling the chestnuts
Linda holds a “sunshine” seedling
Richard sorting chesnut seedling bundles, that are watered regularly by Rob to keep the roots moist
Julie writing labels and making sure each chestnut seedling is identified and goes to the right person