The Nēnē, or Hawaiian Goose, is Hawaiiʻs state bird. For visitors who are not familiar this striking endemic goose, it can seem odd to find it far from wetland habitats. It spends more time on land than most other geese, and even has reduced webbing on its feet that help it navigate lava flows and other terrestrial habitats.
In early 2017, partners received a Small NAWCA Grant to restore wetlands at Rooster Rock State Park at the western end of the Columbia River Gorge. Over the years, invasive plants have taken their toll on the native habitats. Starting this summer, partners will be planting 86,000 native plants to help reverse this trend.
I was on vacation last week, traveling from Fairbanks to north of the Brooks Range on Alaska’s Dalton Highway. The boreal, sub-arctic and arctic lands were bursting with bird life taking advantage of the short summer’s food supplies. Among the species found here is a small old-world thrush that will soon be heading back to its wintering grounds in Africa. Alaska to Africa?
For the Streaked Horned Lark, harvest can be a time of great peril, but the fields do make excellent nesting and feeding habitat once the crop has been harvested. The birds prefer the low, sparse vegetation of areas that were covered with water in the winter–known as ephemeral waterways or drown-out areas.
Congratulations to Columbia Land Trust who recently received a grant from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Land Trust Initiative. The land trust will use the funds to develop the East Cascades Oaks Partnership, which aims to raise awareness and promote conservation actions that will conserve imperiled white oak habitats. These habitats are especially important to neotropical migratory songbirds such as the Ash-throated Flycatcher and Nashville Warbler.