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Editor's Choice, Auk volume 130 issue 2

Jun 24 2013 08:51 AM | MIchael Murphy in Editor's Choice: The Auk

The Auk Editor Michael T. Murphy offers his choice for must-read articles in the most recent issue of the Auk. In this issue, he highlights recent advances in the understanding of long-distance migration using archival light-level geolocators.

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OC 2014 Small Grants Call for Proposals / Solicitud de Propuestas

May 24 2013 06:46 AM | Ellen Paul in Community

The Ornithological Council is pleased to call for proposals for the 2014 round of grants to be made under the OC Small Grants Program.
El Consejo Ornitologíco se complace en la convocatoria de propuestas para el 2014 ronda de subvenciones que se harán en el marco del Programa de Pequeñas Subvenciones del OC.

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Update on AOU/COS task forces: opportunities and new directions for ornithological societies

Apr 23 2013 11:51 AM | Ellen Paul in Community

AOU President Sue Haig reports on the efforts of the joint task forces considering new directions, opportunities, and structures for ornithological societies...

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It’s official! Federal employees (when they return from furlough…) may serve on boards of scientific societies

Mar 06 2013 09:42 AM | Ellen Paul in Community

It's been a LONG time in coming, but it is now final and official: federally employed scientists can now serve on the boards of ornithological and other scientific societies without fear of going to the pokey!

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MBTA Permits: Practical suggestions for the ornithologist

Mar 01 2013 09:17 AM | Ellen Paul in Community

If you need an MBTA permit, the time to apply is...NOW! Do you need one? What should you do to make the process go quickly and smoothly?

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New U.S. Federal Policy on Access to Publicly Funded Research - Publications and Data

Feb 25 2013 02:22 PM | Ellen Paul in Community

The White House has ordered federal agencies to develop plans to increase public access to federally funded research, including literature and data. How will this affect you and your scientific society? Read on...

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Editor's Choice, Auk volume 130 number 1

Feb 08 2013 03:19 PM | MIchael Murphy in Editor's Choice: The Auk

The editor of The Auk highlights two articles from the most recent issue that deserve special attention. The articles for this issue are: Assessing migration of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) at broad spatial and temporal scales by Jason R. Courter, Ron J. Johnson, William C. Bridges, and Kenneth G. Hubbard and Life-history tradeoffs in Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis): Implications for assessment of territory quality by M. Zachariah Peery and R. J. Gutiérrez

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North American Ornithological Societies Join Publication Efforts Historic Vote Re-defines Roles of The Auk and The Condor

Dec 20 2012 10:15 AM | Ellen Paul in Community

The Auk and The Condor - new plan, new focus...better than ever! The American Ornithologists' Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society work together to provide a better publication model for ornithological research.

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NSF gives official recognition to Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research

Dec 03 2012 09:08 AM | Ellen Paul in Community

Ornithologists applying for and receiving NSF grants can now be assured that the animal welfare guide written by and for ornithologists has been officially accepted by NSF as the appropriate standard for Animal Welfare Act compliance. The National Science Foundation has revised its Grant Proposal Guide to recognize Guidelines to the Use of Wild Birds in Research as an official reference document for Animal Welfare Act compliance. This publication, along with similar guides for mammals, fishes, and herpetofauna, was first created – at the prompting of and with funding from NSF but it was not accepted by any federal agency as an official standard... until now.

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It Takes A Flock.... Please Renew Your Society Membership Today

Nov 06 2012 10:02 AM | Ellen Paul in Community

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? What if you woke up one day and realized that your ornithological society was gone? If only you'd renewed your membership!

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Editor's Choice, The Auk 129(4), October 2012

Oct 29 2012 10:00 AM | MIchael Murphy in Editor's Choice: The Auk

In 2011 we began highlighting articles that we believe deserve special attention. For the October 2012 issue of the Auk, we highlight the following two articles: One species but two patterns: Populations of the Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica) differ in spring migration timing by Nathan R. Senner and El Niño–Southern Oscillation influences annual survival of a migratory songbird at a regional scale by Joseph A. LaManna, T. Luke George, James F. Saracco, M. Philip Nott, and David F. DeSante.

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Working with Birds

Jul 30 2012 11:20 AM | Ildiko Szabo in Educational

Beaty Biodiversity Museum Honorary Assistant Curator Ildiko Szabo presents a how-to guide for novices needing instruction on how to prepare spread wings, avian round study skins, skeletons, and collect tissue DNA samples. The downloadable manual provides step-by-step instruction on how to prepare spread wings, avian round study skins, skeletons, and collect tissue DNA samples. This is the first comprehensive avian preparation manual web-published in colour photo-essay format. The series is designed to help novices who have never prepared a bird study skin and for people looking for a refresher course.

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Long Point Bird Observatory Instructional Video - How to tie a mist net pole

Jun 20 2012 10:08 AM | Stu Mackenzie in Educational

The first installment of the LPBO Technical series tackles the very simple but integral skill of tying a mist net pole. There are of course many ways to tie a net pole, but this video shows a method used for decades at LPBO. I'm still not entirely sure of the exact origin or designer of the knot and I'm sure other variations exist. Enjoy and comments are welcome.

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Comments Solicited for Emerging Plan to Initiate SFO

May 29 2012 07:55 AM | Ellen Paul in Community

Feedback for the SFO planning committee:

The new SFO planning committee is preparing the documents that will describe what the new organization is intended to be, what it will do, and how it will function. When drafts are available for comment, they will be posted here, and we hope you will join the discussion in this forum. The governance subcommittee has released a draft for comment and would like to have your feedback. Read more about it here and join the discussion.

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Confidential survey for bird banders

May 14 2012 05:16 PM | Ellen Paul in Community

Help us help you by answering a short survey about your experiences in obtaining banding permits.

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Editor's Choice from the Auk, April 2012

May 13 2012 05:50 PM | MIchael Murphy in Editor's Choice: The Auk

The editor of The Auk highlights two articles from the most recent issue that deserve special attention. In the first, Kevin Burns and Allison Schultz report on widespread cryptic dichromatism in Neotropical songbirds. In the second, Iván de la Hera et al. expore the relationships between migratory behavior and speed and timing of molt in Nearctic passerines. Both articles are available for free online thanks to the AOU.

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Thinking Critically About "A Vision for the Society for Ornithology"

May 09 2012 11:40 AM | John Marzluff in Community

Are you aware of the consequences to governance and editorial boards for American ornithology that would occur if our current societies merged into a single Society for Ornithology? Are corporate leaders appropriate board members for a scientific society? Do you think our financial situations warrant an immediate action toward the new society? Please take the time to think critically about what our pending decisions may mean for American ornithology by reading the following thought piece.

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Meet the Avian Knowledge Alliance

Apr 12 2012 01:41 PM | Katie Koch in Community

The Avian Knowledge Alliance (AKA) is an international group of organizations dedicated to amassing, caretaking, and communicating knowledge gained from the study of birds.

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A Vision for The Society for Ornithology

Mar 12 2012 02:30 PM | Sue Haig in Community

The SFO Vision Statement below represents the initial efforts to plan the Society for Ornithology. The document was prepared over the past year by senior ornithologists from across North America. It will now be used by a new committee comprised of 4 representatives from each of the ornithological societies in the Americas interested in helping further plan SFO.

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Strategic Planning for the Proposed Society for Ornithology

Feb 24 2012 02:20 PM | Sue Haig in Community

At a meeting held in Dallas, TX, 10-11 February 2012, the SFO Committee met with the AOU Council and presidents of the AFO, SCO/SOC, COS, NOS, and WOS to explore avenues to re-vitalize ornithology and its professional organization. After two days of discussion, the group elected to move forward by developing a structure for a Society for Ornithology that will result in dissolving the original Committee to make way for a new committee with equal representation from all interested ornithological societies.

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Follow the ongoing Society for Ornithology discussions

Feb 09 2012 05:37 PM | Chris Merkord in Community

As the number of articles, discussions, and files related to the prospective Society for Ornithology grows, we wanted to provide an index to every article and post on the subject. Latest update 11 October 2012
  • Letters from the AFO and COS presidents to their societies
  • Report from WOS president regarding AOU-COS task forces
Provide Your Feedback. A new forum where you can provide feedback regarding the proposed Society for Ornithology.

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Another way forward? An alternative to the SFO that societies have considered...

Feb 09 2012 01:42 PM | Mercedes Foster in Community

Societies, and perhaps their members, will soon be called on to comment on the business plan being developed by the Society for Ornithology committee this weekend (Feb.11-12) in Texas. As they ponder that plan, perhaps they should also consider alternatives to the SFO, a bold measure with sweeping consequences for ornithology and for the ornithological societies. Might there be other ways to address the concerns that motivate the SFO proposal, while retaining the identity, history, and culture of the individual societies?

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Time to apply for permits & permit renewal

Jan 26 2012 12:45 PM | Ellen Paul in Community

Yes, it is only February, but now is the time to apply for new permits or for permit renewal...you will be glad you did!

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Pending legislation would undermine grant review process

Jan 18 2012 03:45 PM | Ellen Paul in Community

Legislation is pending in the House of Representatives that would require the public release of sensitive information regarding peer review of federal grants.

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EPIC Effort for Caribbean Seabirds

Jan 18 2012 08:30 AM | epicbirds in Research Spotlight

Landmark atlas of Caribbean seabird colonies now available: what two people in a small boat can do!

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Sandra L. Vehrencamp: 2011 recipient of the William Brewster Memorial Award

Dec 15 2011 11:29 AM | Scott Gillihan in Awards

The 2011 William Brewster Memorial Award is presented to Sandra L. Verhencamp. Dr. Vehrencamp is a behavioral ecologist who studies social evolution in birds. Her research integrates the evolution of social behavior, life history evolution, signal evolution, sexual selection, and parental care.

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Timothy Birkhead: 2011 recipient of the Elliott Coues Award

Dec 15 2011 11:23 AM | Scott Gillihan in Awards

The 2011 Elliott Coues Award is presented to Timothy Birkhead for his outstanding contributions to ornithology through his pioneering work on sperm competition and post-copulatory sexual selection in birds, his long term studies of seabirds, magpies and zebra finches, and his many books about birds written for both professional and lay audiences. Dr. Birkhead is a British behavioral ecologist who studies promiscuity and sperm competition in birds. His work has helped to re-shape our understanding of avian mating systems, and his unique combination of studies focusing on both free-living and captive birds has done much to shape modern ornithology.

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W. Alice Boyle: 2011 recipient of the Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award

Dec 15 2011 11:20 AM | Scott Gillihan in Awards

The 2011 Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award goes to Dr. W. Alice Boyle for her exciting and original work on the evolution and ecology of migration in birds. In her short career, she has made significant contributions to our understanding of the evolution of long-distance and altitudinal migration. Dr. Boyle is a Research Associate in the Centre for Applied Conservation Biology, Department of Forest Sciences - University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada. She has held post-doctoral fellowships in the Department of Biology at the University of Western Ontario where she has worked with Dr. Chris Guglielmo and Dr. Ryan Norris, another Ned K. Johnson Award winner (2006).

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Robert S. Ridgely: 2011 recipient of the Ralph W. Schreiber Conservation Award

Dec 15 2011 11:16 AM | Scott Gillihan in Awards

The 2011 Ralph W. Schreiber Conservation Award goes to Dr. Robert S. Ridgely for his outstanding contribution to the conservation of South American birds. Throughout his career Dr. Ridgely has made significant contributions to the taxonomy and biology of South American birds and has made such information accessible to the public and researchers through his books. His field guides and technical volumes provide important resources to enhance ecotourism (for birds), an important adjunct to conservation. However, it is his hands on efforts to preserve and protect critical habitat for rare species in Ecuador that serve as a model for bird protection.

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John W. Fitzpatrick: 2011 recipient of the Marion Jenkinson AOU Service Award

Dec 15 2011 11:13 AM | John Faaborg in Awards

One of the most accomplished ornithologists in North America and one of our most dedicated members, John W Fitzpatrick’s (“Fitz”) record of service to the American Ornithologists’ Union, his professional home society, has been exemplary. With greatest appreciation for his outstanding contributions to the AOU, the Executive Committee proudly chose John Fitzpatrick as the 2011 recipient of the Marion Jenkinson Service Award.

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NIH adopts Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition

Dec 01 2011 04:17 PM | Ellen Paul in Community

You really want to read this if you need to obtain protocol approval from an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee!

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Jed Burtt Named Ohio Professor of the Year

Nov 17 2011 08:57 AM | Scott Gillihan in Awards

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education has named Edward H. “Jed” Burtt Jr. of Ohio Wesleyan University as the 2011 Ohio Professor of the Year. The two prestigious higher education organizations bestow the award “to honor the most outstanding undergraduate instructors in the country – those who excel as teachers and influence the lives and careers of their students.”

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Update on Society for Ornithology business plan

Nov 15 2011 08:00 AM | Sue Haig in Community

We are writing to update the ornithological community on our efforts to develop a business plan for the Society for Ornithology. We understand that lack of details at this point can be frustrating. However, we are working as quickly and thoughtfully as we can so that soon you will have a better idea of what we are proposing and be able to comment on it. (6 comments)

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New meta-analysis on the impact of researcher presence on nest predation: you may actually be doing those birds a favor!

Nov 13 2011 03:25 PM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

Have you been worrying that your presence may cause the birds you study to have a lower rate of breeding success? Well, for some species and in some conditions, you may actually be helping them to increase their breeding success by deterring predation!

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Shake it up baby! Twist and shout! Hummingbird feathers do the talking

Nov 09 2011 03:42 PM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

Wings that “sing” are nothing new to ornithologists. The American Woodcock and Club-winged Manakin both create sounds with feathers. New research published in Science by Yale ornithologist Chris Clark and coauthors shows that the 35 species of “bee” hummingbirds have some talking feathers of their own.

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Editor's Choice: A New Feature from the Auk

Nov 03 2011 12:12 PM | MIchael Murphy in Editor's Choice: The Auk

Starting with the October 2011 issue of The Auk, we are highlighting articles that we believe deserve special attention from our members and hopefully increase interest in the journal in readers who are not members now. Below are my choices for this issue of The Auk.

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Bullying behavior in Nazca Boobies: intergenerational cycle of violence

Oct 13 2011 12:32 PM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

Do abused children grow up to become abusers? David Anderson and his colleagues have found evidence of an intergenerational cycle of abuse in Nazca Boobies. This paper, published in the AUK, has drawn wide attention from the press, including the New York Times and BBC Nature.

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A tool to measure stress hormone in birds -- feathers

Aug 16 2011 10:15 AM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

When faced with environmental threats like bad weather, predators or oil spills, wild birds secrete a hormone called corticosterone. Traditionally, researchers have analyzed blood samples to detect corticosterone levels in wild birds. But recently, scientists have shown that corticosterone spikes can also be detected by analyzing bird feathers.

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AOU and Other Societies to Evolve Into New Society for Ornithology

Aug 05 2011 03:45 PM | Sue Haig in Community

In a unanimous vote at the July 2011 annual meeting, the AOU Council approved a motion to move forward with planning to form a new society, with ultimate hopes of uniting and strengthening Western Hemisphere ornithology. The plan could involve a merger of AOU and one or more other ornithological societies into a western hemisphere ornithological society tentatively named the Society for Ornithology.

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UPDATED: How Safe is Mist Netting? First Large Scale Study into Bird Capture Technique Evaluates the Risks

Jun 30 2011 05:04 AM | Ellen Paul in Research Spotlight

Capturing birds using mist nets to study behaviour, movement or the demographics of a species is one of the most common research techniques in ornithology, yet until now there have been no large scale studies into the risks mist nets pose to birds. Writing in the British Ecological Society’s Methods in Ecology and Evolution researchers from California used a dataset of over 345,000 records to evaluate the risks of mist netting.

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New chief for USFWS Division of Migratory Bird Management

Jun 17 2011 05:31 AM | Ellen Paul in Community

Mr. Brad Bortner has been selected as the new Chief for the Division of Migratory Bird Management. Brad currently serves as Chief of the Division of Migratory Birds and Habitat Programs in Region 1. During his tenure, Brad has been involved with numer...

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Mixed Species Bird Flocks: A Bibliography

Sep 16 2010 12:00 PM | Chris Merkord in Research Spotlight

Mixed-species flocks of birds are exciting models for community ecology because they can be found throughout the world, and thus by studying communities with different evolutionary histories one can search for general patterns in community structure. Here we list those descriptive studies that we have encountered that are in terrestrial landscapes.

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