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Chestnut-collared Longspur in winter. Photograph by Brian Sullivan. Would you ever allow your kids to wander off for the winter without knowing where they went until the following spring? Well, apart from rare moments of temptation during trying tantrums or adolescent stubbornness, of course you wouldn’t. And we shouldn’t neglect our birds during this time of the year either. After all, most species spend far more time off their breeding grounds than on them. In recent years there has been increasing recognition within theavian conservation community for the need for full life-cycle monitoring and conservation. That is, a need exists for gauging the health, threats, and survival rates of our bird populations during the entire year, identifying bottlenecks, and then taking action for conservation. Because grassland birds are declining faster than any other group of birds in North America, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) initiated a unique monitoring project to gather baseline data on our wintering grassland birds. View the full story on eBird