Jump to content
Ornithology Exchange

    107 articles in this category

    1. AOU and Other Societies to Evolve Into New Society for Ornithology

      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.

    2. Update on Society for Ornithology business plan

      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)

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

      Author: John Marzluff

      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.

    4. AOU and COS agree to pursue merger

      Leaders of the AOU and COS formally approved pursuit of a merger of the two organizations at their annual meeting in Norman, Oklahoma. Both societies will be seeking input from their members as they take the necessary steps in this pursuit.



      UPDATE: 22 Dec 2015: Compilation of responses from members.


      UPDATE: 22 Sept 2015: AOU and COS leadership respond to inquiries from past COS presidents. Posted in the comments, below, with permission from the authors.



      UPDATE 14 Oct 2015: Society leadership reaches out to membership. See request for input below, under main article.

    5. Follow the ongoing Society for Ornithology discussions

      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.

    6. Ornithological Council small grants program: Call for Proposals

      Author: Ellen Paul

      The Ornithological Council is pleased to issue a Call for Proposals for a new small grants program to fund conservation-oriented research in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Ornithological Council programa de pequeñas subvenciones para investigación: solicitud de propuestas. El Consejo de Ornitología se complace en publicar una convocatoria de propuestas para un nuevo programa de pequeñas donaciones para financiar la conservación orientado a la investigación en México, el Caribe, América Central y América del Sur. DEADLINE AUGUST 1.

    7. USFWS to issue programmatic environmental impact statement on incidental take of MBTA species

      Author: Ornithological Council

      USFWS takes first step towards possible regulation of incidental take of bird species protection under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act: will prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement


      Full text of the notice and instructions for comments are here.

    8. GOP trying to block enforcement of Migratory Bird Treaty Act via appropriations bills

      The House has passed an appropriations bill (H.R. 2578) for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and Related Agencies with one unbelievable rider - it "enjoins" the use of appropriated funds for use in prosecuting or holding liable any corporation or person for a violation of section 2(a) of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.


      UPDATE 8 JULY: GREAT NEWS: The Duncan amendment is no more. It was removed from the CJS appropriations bill weeks ago and was never approved by the House Interior appropriations subcommittee. It was thought that he would try to introduce it when the full House considered the Interior appropriations bill, but he has not done so. There's more bird-blues on Capitol Hill still to come, including a provision that blocks ESA-listing of the Greater Sage-Grouse and Duncan's H.R. 493, which would amend the MBTA to preclude incidental take. Fortunately, H.R.493 is not moving and has few co-sponsors as Congress heads into the long August recess. If things change, we'll let you know so check back often.


      Read full article for more info.

    9. MBTA incidental take situation worsens; formal regulation to be proposed

      Author: Ornithological Council

      For months, it has been rumored that the USFWS would propose a formal regulation stating that the MBTA does not cover incidental take.

      Well, rumor no more.

      The USFWS is about to propose a formal regulation to codify its current position that incidental take is not covered. In the fall semi-annual regulatory agenda published on 17 October 2018, the USFWS list of regulatory matters included this entry:

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to establish regulations that define the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA or Act) as it applies to conduct resulting in the injury or death of migratory birds protected by the Act.  This rule would codify the legal opinion in the Department of the Interior Solicitor’s Opinion M-37050 that incidental take resulting from an otherwise lawful activity is not prohibited under the MBTA. 





      • 1 comment
    10. Strategic Planning for the Proposed Society for Ornithology

      Author: John Faaborg, Scott Johnson, Kim Sullivan , Jorge Perez-Eman, Erica Nol, and Bob Beason

      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.

      • 1 comment
    11. OC 2014 Small Grants Call for Proposals / Solicitud de Propuestas

      Author: Ellen Paul

      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.

      • 1 comment
    12. The Ornithology Exchange introduces its new Funding Portal

      The Ornithology Exchange proud to announce a new Funding Portal which aims to help ornithologists find ways to fund their research. The portal features our brand new Grants & Awards database, recent announcements like RFPs and deadline reminders, a discussion forum where you can ask for help, and a list of links to other online resources.

      • 1 comment
    13. The best way to get a job...

      Join an ornithological society. Today. A tool as essential as your binoculars!

      • 1 comment
    14. American Ornithologists' Union Hires First Executive Director

      Author: Sue Haig

      The American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) announces the appointment of Melinda Pruett-Jones as its first executive director. The move signals its important progression from an all-volunteer-based society to one guided by a executive leader. Her first task will be to guide the AOU Council of elected members and formers presidents in strategic planning to advance the society’s bold vision for the field of ornithology.

      • 1 comment
    15. Ornithological Council and other societies petition Dept. of Interior for fix to CITES problem

      Scientists exercise First Amendment right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances!

      • 1 comment
    16. Pip, pip, hooray! Say goodbye to that apostrophe!

      American Ornithologists' Union. It is a plural possessive. How many times have you seen that apostrophe placed before the "s"?


      No more!

      • 1 comment
    17. Numerous bird-related regulations appear to be extinct

      Author: Ornithological Council

      It is no secret that the current U.S. administration has great disdain for regulations. It now looks as though several bird-related regulations - including some that would have affected ornithological research - are now on the scrap heap. Gone are pending regulations on CITES, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Animal Welfare Act. The bird banding regulatory revisions have been consigned to the long-term action list. Updates to the Wild Bird Conservation Act are still moving forward, as are regulations updating import and export procedures and an increase in permit and other fees.

      • 1 comment

      Author: Ornithological Council

      GOOD NEWS: From the Chronicle on Higher Education, 12/14:


      A legislative provision that would have effectively taxed tuition waivers used by graduate students to offset their educational costs will not be in the final tax package in Congress, Bloomberg reports. A House-Senate conference committee met on Wednesday to discuss the compromise bill, which Republican leaders hope to put on President Trump’s desk as soon as possible.


      From Inside Higher Ed:
      Senate and House negotiators meeting this week to craft compromise tax-reform legislation plan to exclude from a final bill some controversial proposals affecting students and colleges, according to multiple reports.
      Lawmakers from the two chambers of Congress agreed to drop provisions that would treat graduate student tuition benefits as taxable income and repeal student loan interest deductions. Both provisions were included in House tax legislation passed last month but left out of a bill that narrowly cleared the Senate Dec. 2.


      Also said to be OUT OF THE FINAL BILL: the elimination of student loan interest deductions

    19. Serious threat to Migratory Bird Treaty Act

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The oil and gas industries and others would have a complete pass for the incidental take of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act should the SECURE American Energy Act (H.R. 4239) become law.


      SEC. 207. CLARIFICATION REGARDING LIABILITY UNDER MIGRATORY BIRD TREATY ACT. Section 6 of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 U.S.C. 707) is amended by adding at the end of the following: ‘‘(e) This Act shall not be construed to prohibit any activity proscribed by section 2 of this Act that is accidental or incidental to the presence or operation of an otherwise lawful activity.’’.

    20. DOI green lights preventable mass avian mortality

      Author: Ornithological Council

      It's official. No more prosecutions for incidental take of birds protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The *(&)*& Admin wastes 41 pages explaining why it won't do what it was never going to do anyway...only a matter of time before they deny that this mortality even occurs.


      Update 29 Dec - Federal appellate court (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals) ruled on 27 Dec 2017 in a case pertaining to incidental take of endangered sea turtles and migratory birds by long lining in the swordfish industry that the MBTA *is* a strict liability statute - in other words, that it would apply to incidental take. The score now stands 3-3 as to the federal appellate courts but none of this affects the new DOI policy, which simply means that the Administration will file no new cases pertaining to incidental take. It is hoped that the DOI will not ask the Supreme Court to review this case.

    21. New DOI Policy steers grants to Administration priorities

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Ornithologists who want Dept of interior grants may want to consider digging for oil. Dept of Interior grants are now subject to political scrutiny and will be used only to fund Admin-friendly projects.

    22. Thinking of using SUA to study birds in the U.S.? Read this first!

      Author: Ornithological Council

      The Airborne Hunting Act applies to "any contrivance used for flight in the air" and prohibits "harassment" which is defined as "disturb, worry, molest, rally, concentrate, harry, chase, drive, herd, or torment." Does this mean that ornithologists can't use small unmanned aircraft (SUA) to study birds? IF YOU HAVE APPLIED FOR A STATE PERMIT TO USE DRONES (A STAND-ALONE PERMIT OR AS PART OF YOUR STATE SCIENTIFIC COLLECTING PERMIT, PLEASE CONTACT THE ORNITHOLOGICAL COUNCIL. We want to hear about your experience, particularly if you were NOT working collaboratively with a state or federal agency. UPDATE 27 March 2018: A PowerPoint explaining all U.S. laws that pertain to the use of drones to study wildlife has been posted on BIRDNET.

    23. BIRDNET- new, improved...and essential for ornithologists

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Announcing the new and improved BIRDNET. Lots of great, updated content and key resources for ornithologists Come visit!

    24. USDA to move forward with bird regulations and reporting requirements for field studies

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Could new Animal Welfare policies and additional burdens be on the horizon?

    25. New California permitting regulations issued

      Author: Ornithological Council

      Working in California? The new scientific collecting permit regulations have been published. Here's what you need to know.