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  1. Today
  2. This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 11 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council. "A federal judge on Wednesday blocked the Trump administration’s plan to ease protections for an iconic bird that makes its home on millions of acres of oil and gas-rich sagebrush lands, dealing a blow to government efforts to allow more drilling, mining and logging in the west. Judge B. Lynn Winmill of the United States District Court for the District of Idaho granted a preliminary injunction that suspends efforts by the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management to weaken protections for the bird, known as the greater sage grouse, in ten states. While the halt is temporary, the judge indicated that the environmental organizations that brought the legal challenge — arguing that the Interior Department failed to consider reasonable alternatives and did not thoroughly examine the environmental consequences of its actions — is likely to prevail." https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/16/climate/trump-sage-grouse.html Analysis: The process of re-writing the NEPA documents could take many months. Say....to November 2020....
  3. We are looking for a volunteer field assistant to assist with data collection for research on heat stress and helping behaviour in purple-crowned fairy-wrens. Our study population is located in the Kimberley, Western Australia. Fieldwork will take place during and shortly after the wet season, when most of the birds are breeding. We are seeking a volunteer field assistant to help monitor all fairy-wren territories along a 15 km stretch of river. Work will involve re-sighting colour-banded birds, nest searching, monitoring all breeding attempts, placement and upkeep of nest cameras, assessing nest camera footage, assisting in field experiments, mist netting and data entry. The field site is located at a remote sanctuary an 8-hour drive from Broome, WA. Volunteers will be camping in tents but have access to electricity, a landline phone, (restricted) internet, hot showers, and a spacious fully equipped kitchen, which is shared with the rest of the (usually small) community at the field station. The field site is located in a beautiful area, with many opportunities to see native wildlife and some of the most iconic bird species of Australia, and many waterholes and gorges which volunteers may get the opportunity to explore. Volunteer field assistants must be flexible and willing to work long days in hot and humid conditions, while often crossing the river and sometimes carrying heavy equipment or encountering the occasional snake. Furthermore, field assistants must have full colour-vision, be physically fit, be comfortable with living in a remote location, have good interpersonal skills, and be able to work independently in the field. It is important for volunteers to be accurate when collecting and entering data, and to ask for help when unsure about anything. Previous experience in similar conditions and with nest searching and colour-band re-sighting is required; experience with behavioural observations and mist netting is a bonus. Fieldwork will commence in January (dates are somewhat flexible depending on transport opportunities) and run until mid-late June 2020, however the end date is flexible, with field assistants having the choice to only stay for the wet season (until mid-late April) or to stay for part of the dry season too (until mid-late June). The cost of accommodation (mostly camping in tents), local travel expenses, and food will be covered; (international) flights to and from Broome will be partially covered, or for exceptional candidates may be fully covered. For further information and to apply, please send a CV, cover letter and contacts for at least two references that are familiar with your nest searching, colour-band re-sighting, and mist netting experience to Niki Teunissen: niki.teunissen@monash.edu. Applications will be accepted until 1 November.
  4. Yesterday
  5. The fabled use of canaries in coal mines as an early warning of carbon monoxide stemmed from the birds' extreme sensitivity to toxic conditions compared to humans. View the full article
  6. Researchers have reported that a bird species' ability to adapt to seasonal temperature changes may be one factor in whether it can better withstand environmental disruption. The researchers studied 135 bird species in the Himalayas and found that species living in the seasonal western Himalayas adapted to the conversion of forests to agricultural land better than birds native to the tropical eastern Himalayas. Results such as these could help conservationists better determine where to focus their efforts. View the full article
  7. The Katma Publication Award recognizes papers proposing ideas or testing theories that replace current dogma or settled opinion and that could change the course of thinking about the biology of birds. Papers may also include those that propose a largely untested idea or those that develop and advance it. The award may be given to research articles, short communications, or commentaries (including editorials and reviews) of any length published in any scientific venue within the two preceding years. Nominations are due 13 December 2019. The award consists of a $2500 prize plus a certificate and is announced at AOS’s annual meeting. See details, including nomination instructions, on the AOS website: https://americanornithology.org/awards-grants/publication-awards/katma-award/
  8. A new study shows that the presence or absence of moonlight has a considerable bearing on when migratory birds take flight in the autumn. View the full article
  9. Rising night-time temperatures are causing woodland birds to build nests and lay eggs earlier in springtime, research shows. View the full article
  10. For technical reasons, registration for the Waterbird Society meeting will close on 10/23. No exceptions will be made. The online registration will be closed and no one will be permitted to register at the meeting. Please contact Ellen Paul if you have any questions.
  11. Update 10-16-19: After the Dept of the Interior (DOI) lost its motion to dismiss, the Court gave DOI until 9-6-19 to file an answer to the original complaint (lawsuit). DOI filed that response (appended to this message). The Court also ordered DOI to produce the "administrative record" which is the documentation of DOI's decision-making process by 9-20. It is not apparent from the online records available as of this date that DOI has done so. DOI-Answer-10-6.pdf
  12. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE TECHNICIANS (up to 10) needed for ongoing population studies of the endangered Least Bell’s Vireo, Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, and other riparian birds in San Diego County, California. Primary duties include surveying coastal riparian habitat for vireos and flycatchers, nest monitoring, resighting color banded birds, and vegetation sampling. Additional opportunities include surveying for Cactus Wrens and California Gnatcatchers in coastal sage scrub habitat, and capturing and banding riparian birds at two MAPS stations. Employment dates are 16 March –14 August 2020 (end-date is approximate and flexible). Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and must be reliable, self-motivated, in good physical condition, able to work independently in sometimes remote locations, and able to maintain a positive attitude under beautiful but sometimes challenging field and urban conditions that can include dense vegetation, poison oak, rattlesnakes, biting insects, encounters with homeless persons, and working on military bases. Applicants must also possess a valid driver’s license and be able to operate 4WD vehicles. Applicants must have working knowledge of Excel, and be able to navigate in the field using a compass and GPS (Global Positioning System). Experience collecting data with ESRI Survey123 and Collector on Android smartphones is a plus. Preference will be given to applicants holding current endangered species permits authorizing surveying and nest-monitoring of Least Bell’s Vireo and/or Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, or with field experience with these or similar species. Experience surveying for Cactus Wrens or other coastal sage scrub birds is also preferred, as is experience handling and banding passerines. Housing is available at the San Diego State University Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve in Fallbrook, California ($18/day; no pets). Salary ranges from $18-$22/hour depending on experience. Please submit a cover letter describing interest and qualifications, a CV or resume, your specific dates of availability, and the names and contact information (including email) of at least two references. Mail/fax/email applications to SUELLEN LYNN, USGS Western Ecological Research Center, San Diego Field Station, 4165 Spruance Road, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92101 (phone 619-225-6437, fax 619-225-6436, email suellen_lynn at usgs.gov). Applications will be reviewed as they are received and accepted until positions are filled, but no later than January 31, 2020.
  13. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE TECHNICIAN TRAINEESHIPS (up to 3) are available as part of ongoing population studies of the endangered Least Bell’s Vireo and Southwestern Willow Flycatcher in San Diego County, California. We are seeking entry level biologists who are interested in obtaining experience conducting field work on endangered birds. Each trainee will work under the direct supervision of a permitted biologist whose primary duties include surveying coastal riparian habitat for vireos and flycatchers, nest monitoring, resighting color banded birds, and vegetation sampling. Employment dates are 16 March –14 August 2020 (end-date is approximate and flexible). Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and must be reliable, self-motivated, in good physical condition, and able to maintain a positive attitude under beautiful but sometimes challenging field and urban conditions that can include dense vegetation, poison oak, rattlesnakes, biting insects and encounters with homeless persons. Applicants must also possess a valid driver’s license. Previous experience conducting field work on birds preferred. Housing is available at the San Diego State University Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve in Fallbrook, California ($18/day; no pets). Salary ranges from $16-$20/hour depending on experience. Please submit a cover letter describing interest and qualifications, a CV or resume, your specific dates of availability, and the names and contact information (including email) of at least two references. Mail/fax/email applications to SUELLEN LYNN, USGS Western Ecological Research Center, San Diego Field Station, 4165 Spruance Road, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92101 (phone 619-225-6437, fax 619-225-6436, email suellen_lynn at usgs.gov). Applications will be reviewed as they are received and accepted until positions are filled, but no later than January 31, 2020.
  14. BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE TECHNICIANS (up to 9) needed for field studies of the threatened California Gnatcatcher in southern California. Primary duties include conducting presence-absence surveys for gnatcatchers in burned and unburned coastal sage scrub habitat throughout southern California (mostly San Diego County, but Ventura and Los Angeles Counties as well) and collecting vegetation data in survey plots. Employment dates are 9 March – 29 May 2020. Some opportunities are available for extended employment through late August working on population studies of the endangered Least Bell’s Vireo and Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, depending on experience and permit authorizations for those species. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and must be reliable, self-motivated, in excellent physical condition, able to work independently in sometimes remote and rugged locations, and able to maintain a positive attitude under beautiful but sometimes challenging field and urban conditions that can include dense vegetation, poison oak, rattlesnakes, biting insects, and working on military bases. Applicants must also possess a valid driver’s license and be able to operate 4WD vehicles. Applicants must have working knowledge of Excel, and be able to navigate in the field using a compass and GPS (Global Positioning System). Experience collecting data with ESRI Survey123 and Collector on Android smartphones is a plus. Preference will be given to applicants holding current endangered species permits authorizing surveys of California Gnatcatchers, or with field experience with this species. Housing is available at the San Diego State University Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve in Fallbrook, California ($18/day; no pets). Salary ranges from $18-$22/hour depending on experience. Please submit a cover letter describing interest and qualifications, a CV or resume, your specific dates of availability, and the names and contact information (including email) of at least two references. Mail/fax/email applications to SUELLEN LYNN, USGS Western Ecological Research Center, San Diego Field Station, 4165 Spruance Road, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92101 (phone 619-225-6437, fax 619-225-6436, email suellen_lynn at usgs.gov. Applications will be reviewed as they are received and accepted until positions are filled, but no later than January 17, 2020.
  15. Last week
  16. A study of little penguins in southeastern Tasmania has shed light on how the marine predators adapt to subtle changes in environmental conditions to find food. View the full article
  17. Sea-level rise is keeping exhausted migratory shorebirds in holding patterns, with nowhere to land and rest. The solution: artificial roosts fashioned from oyster bags…View the full article
  18. It's tempting to think that our forests would be fine if we could simply stop trees being felled or burnt. But forests—particularly tropical ones—are more than just trees. They're also the animals that skulk and swoop among them. View the full article
  19. Only two bird species have ever been shown to undertake what scientists call 'itinerant breeding': nesting in one area, migrating to another region, and nesting again there within the same year, to take advantage of shifting food resources. However, new research provides strong evidence of this rare behavior in a third bird -- the Phainopepla, a unique bird found in the southwestern US and the northernmost member of an otherwise tropical family. View the full article
  20. Noise pollution is one of the leading environmental health risks in humans. In zebra finches, noise affects their health and the growth of their offspring: Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen found that traffic noise suppresses normal glucocorticoid profiles in the blood, probably to prevent negative effects of chronically elevated levels on the organism. In addition, the young chicks of noise-exposed parents were smaller than chicks from quiet nests. View the full article
  21. As he stood amid the thick old-growth forests in the coastal range of Oregon, Dave Wiens was nervous. Before he trained to shoot his first barred owl, he had never fired a gun. View the full article
  22. Reproduction and migration are the two most demanding tasks in a bird's life, and the vast majority of species separate them into different times of the year. Only two bird species have been shown to undertake what scientists call "itinerant breeding": nesting in one area, migrating to another region, and nesting again there within the same year, to take advantage of shifting food resources. New research just published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances provides strong evidence that a third bird species takes on this unusual challenge—the Phainopepla, a unique bird found in the southwestern U.S. and the northernmost member of an otherwise tropical family. View the full article
  23. A new study by biologists explains how sexual cooperation and bonding evolves in bird species that form pair bonds. View the full article
  24. Requisition No: 83555 Agency: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Working Title: ASSISTANT RESEARCH SCIENTIST - 77000960 Position Number: 77000960 Salary: $48,685 Annually Posting Closing Date: 11/08/2019 The State of Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) seeks an Assistant Research Scientist to coordinate and conduct research on upland game birds. Research and monitoring of wild turkey will be a priority, but the position will also be responsible for research on mourning dove, northern bobwhite, woodcock, and other hunted species. This position may also collaborate on waterfowl research. The successful candidate will collaborate with agency managers and other researchers to prioritize and implement research necessary for proper management of upland game birds. Research topics include, but are not limited to, estimating avian densities and monitoring population trends, demographic studies, habitat-use and resource selection, providing data to help set seasons and harvest rates, and production of other information necessary for the successful management of upland game birds. The candidate will write grant proposals to fund research, analyze and publish data in peer-reviewed journals, books, and proceedings, represent the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at professional and public meetings, and serve on inter-divisional and inter-agency teams on bird-related conservation and management issues. He/she will also provide technical assistance to improve the quality of upland game bird habitat and prepare technical and non-technical reports, such as annual reports, final reports, and contract reports to granting agencies. He/she will also administer budgets and supervise daily activities of subordinate seasonal and temporary staff. Some overnight and weekend travel is required. The position will be based out of Gainesville, Florida. Please email FLAvianResearch@yahoo.com with any questions. Minimum Qualifications: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major course of study in one of the physical or natural sciences or mathematics and three years of professional experience in one of the physical or natural sciences or mathematics; or a master's degree from an accredited college or university with major course of study in one of the physical or natural sciences or mathematics and two years of professional experience as described above; or a doctorate from an accredited college or university with major course of study in one of the physical or natural sciences or mathematics. **Preference may be given to candidates having professional experience in research with Florida’s upland game bird species, strong quantitative and geographic information systems (GIS) skills, and an established publication record. Required knowledge, skills, and abilities: Knowledge of: Upland game birds and habitat with emphases on breeding ecology, wintering ecology, population ecology, and habitat relationships; upland game bird habitat conservation principles and techniques; avian monitoring, survey, and sampling protocols, study design, principles of statistical inference and analysis, familiarity with advanced techniques to model the occupancy, abundance, and demography of avian populations. Skills: use of a variety of bird trapping and banding techniques, familiarity with modern quantitative techniques. Ability to: maintain valid driver license, collect, record, and analyze data relating to biological research, use problem-solving techniques, conduct research studies or analyses using scientific methods and techniques, use spreadsheet, database, and GIS software packages, review technical literature and prepare scientific reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, and popular articles; use laboratory and field equipment including 4WD vehicles, boats, telemetry equipment, and fly in small airplanes and helicopters if necessary; establish and maintain effective working relationships with others, work independently, plan, organize and coordinate work assignments, determine work priorities, elicit cooperation as necessary to achieve objectives and ensure proper and timely completion of assignments; assess budgetary needs and prepare and manage a budget; supervise assigned staff, which includes but is not limited to: recruitment, training, planning and directing work, reviewing performance with employee, and ensuring compliance with Commission and FWRI rules, policies, and procedures; incorporate biological, administrative, ethical, social, and political considerations in formulating coherent, effective policies and procedures, and to understand and apply rules, regulations, policies and procedures relating to the conduct of a Commission employee. The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer, and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace. Candidates requiring a reasonable accommodation, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, must notify the agency hiring authority and/or People First Service Center (1-866-663-4735). Notification to the hiring authority must be made in advance to allow sufficient time to provide the accommodation. The State of Florida supports a Drug-Free workplace. All employees are subject to reasonable suspicion drug testing in accordance with Section 112.0455, F.S., Drug-Free Workplace Act. VETERANS’ PREFERENCE. Pursuant to Chapter 295, Florida Statutes, candidates eligible for Veterans’ Preference will receive preference in employment for Career Service vacancies and are encouraged to apply. Candidates claiming Veterans’ Preference must attach supporting documentation with each submission that includes character of service (for example, DD Form 214 Member Copy #4) along with any other documentation as required by Rule 55A-7, Florida Administrative Code. Veterans’ Preference documentation requirements are available by clicking here. All documentation is due by the close of the vacancy announcement. Nearest Major Market: Gainesville
  25. Coastal marshes are changing in response to sea-level rise, development, introduced species, and a variety of other environmental changes. These changes have consequences for both the biodiversity of coastal systems and the ecosystem services they provide. The Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program (SHARP) is a collaborative endeavor involving researchers at several universities in the northeastern US. Collectively, we have been studying marshes along the US Atlantic Coast since 2010, with work in my lab group at the University of Connecticut dating back to 2002. Currently, I seek a PhD student to join the SHARP team and investigate long-term changes in coastal marsh ecosystems and the consequences of ongoing management and restoration activities. The incoming student will be partially funded via a research assistantship, with remaining support coming from teaching assistantships. The student will be expected to use existing data sets to quantify spatial and temporal patterns in plant and bird populations, and to develop independent research on related topics of the student’s choosing. In addition to joining a large group of exceptional graduate students at UConn, the successful candidate will be expected to interact closely with students, postdocs, and professors at the four other institutions that form the SHARP collaboration. For more information about our research group, go here: https://elphick.lab.uconn.edu/ For more information about SHARP, go here: https://www.tidalmarshbirds.org/ Qualifications: · An undergraduate degree in biology, ecology, natural resources, environmental science, or related degree program. · A Master’s degree in one of these fields or equivalent research experience. · Strong quantitative skills, preferably including statistical training and coding experience (e.g., in R). · Evidence of effective technical writing and a commitment to publishing peer-reviewed articles. · Field experience in coastal or wetland ecosystems would be valuable, but is not essential. Application procedures: Please submit initial inquiries to chris.elphick@uconn.edu with the subject line “Coastal Ecology Graduate position”, including a single pdf document containing: · Letter detailing your interest in this opportunity, including what questions you would like to investigate, why you think our group is a good place for you to study, what relevant experience you have, and why you want to get a PhD · CV · Transcript (unofficial acceptable initially) · Contact information (name, affiliation, phone, email) for 3 references Initial review of application materials will begin on 1st November, 2019 and continue until positions are filled. After initial review, I will be in contact to arrange a phone or Skype interview with candidates who are a good fit for the position. Top candidates will need to formally apply to the EEB department at the University of Connecticut (applications due 15 December 2019; for details, see https://eeb.uconn.edu/information-for-prospective-eeb-graduate-students/). The University of Connecticut is committed to building and supporting a multicultural and diverse community of students, faculty and staff. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, UConn encourages applications from women, veterans, people with disabilities and members of traditionally underrepresented populations. Our lab group strives to be a welcoming environmental to all.
  26. Clayton-Bush Lab, School of Biological Sciences, Univ. of Utah We are seeking two highly motivated Ph.D. students interested in the evolutionary ecology of bird-parasite systems. Projects in our lab focus on host-parasite coadaptation and diversification. Most work involves birds, their external parasites, and the symbiotic bacteria in those parasites. We integrate systematics, ecology, population genetics, experimental evolution, genomics, functional morphology, animal behavior, and conservation biology. Our projects use captive birds in the lab, as well as fieldwork at home and abroad, most recently in the Galapagos and southern Bahamas. For more details concerning these projects see our lab website: http://darwin.biology.utah.edu/ Positions will likely be available starting August 2020. Students in our lab are supported through a combination of fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. Support is offered for five years, contingent upon reasonable performance. Former PhD. students from our lab have strong track records. They have obtained positions at academic institutions ranging from R1 universities to small colleges and industry: http://darwin.biology.utah.edu/PeopleCB_LabX.html For information about the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Utah please visit www.biology.utah.edu/ We are located in Salt Lake City, one of the most desirable places to live in the United States (particularly if you like hiking/camping in warmer months, and skiing in colder months). Students interested in our lab should apply through the School of Biological Sciences grad program in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. Admission requirements and applications are available here: http://www.biology.utah.edu/graduate/eeob/phd.php Application deadline is January 3rd, 2020. We are happy to chat with potential applicants by Skype. But please start with an email inquiry to one or both of us: Dr. Dale H. Clayton (clayton@biology.utah.edu) Dr. Sarah E. Bush (bush@biology.utah.edu)

  27. For serious birders who regularly observe birds in the wild, ignoring climate change isn't possible. We have been seeing and documenting the effects of a warming climate since at least the 1950s. View the full article
  28. Minnesota could lose its beloved state bird in coming decades if humans don't stall climate change and prevent the common loon from shifting north. View the full article
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