“Sunday Morning” visits sandhill cranes dancing at dusk at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve near Lodi, California. Videographer: Lee McEachern.
The sandhill crane is a species of large crane of North America and extreme northeastern Siberia. The common name of this bird refers to habitat like that at the Platte River, on the edge of Nebraska’s Sandhills on the American Plains.
The Andean condor is a South American bird in the New World vulture family Cathartidae and is the only member of the genus Vultur. Found in the Andes mountains and adjacent Pacific coasts of western South America, the Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world by combined measurement of weight and wingspan. Two Andean condors were released back to the wild in the mountains of Bolivia after they were nursed back to health.
In the spring, Rufous Hummingbirds journey from Mexico to the northwest U.S., some as far north as Alaska! That’s almost 1000 miles one way for a bird measuring just under four inches beak to tail, making this the longest migration of any bird relative to body length. Not long after arriving, they bulk up on nectar and bugs for the scenic return trip over the Rocky Mountains.
The 2021 BirdWatching Photography Awards received more than 770 entries — images of owls, eagles, hummingbirds, cranes, and passerines, among others — from hundreds of photographers.
Most black-footed albatross nest on sandy beaches in Hawaii—but rising sea levels threaten their eggs and chicks. Researchers in Mexico and the United States came up with a way to save these birds: having young albatross hatch and imprint on an island 6000 kilometers away with higher ground. Watch to see the journey of these black-footed albatross. Read the story: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/…
In contrast to recent years, few of the winning images emerged from far-flung expeditions. Most were taken by photographers working close to home. This may be a reflection of the many ways that birds provided solace during the challenging and restrictive conditions brought on by the pandemic.
“Sunday Morning” visits eaglets at Letchworth State Park, near the town of Castile in western New York State. Videographer: Carl Mrozek.
How close have you ever gotten to a wild bird? Can you remember the details of its plumage or the curvature of its beak? Did it sit in one place long enough for you to really study all of its colors and other characteristics? Probably not—at least if it was alive. The avid birders among us sometimes search their whole life for a glimpse of a particularly rare species. But if you are just a casual observer of the winged creatures around us, the ones you do see likely come and go as flashes of color and sound. For ornithologists, the elusive nature of birds is just part of the job. Beyond fieldwork, though, access to rare or extinct species or those with a limited range can be especially difficult to get. If you were, say, hoping to study the green-headed tanager (a riotously multicolored songbird native to South America) and unable to travel to the northeastern region of the continent where it can be found, you would have to ask a museum to send you a specimen in the mail. Access to rare specimens, such as those of extinct birds, can be especially difficult to get.