birds

Arthur A. Allen (public domain)

For decades, people assumed the ivory-billed woodpecker was extinct. The last confirmed sighting was in north Louisiana in the 1940s, but rumors of its existence persisted -- giving the bird a controversial reputation and a kind of mythic status.

 

Now, a ragtag team of birders is trying to prove everyone wrong: that the ivory-bill still lives in the woods of Louisiana. Thanks to some new technology, the team thinks they’re closer than ever before.

 

 

Kyle Plover / Cornell Lab of Ornithology

This week on the Coastal News Roundup -- how weather radar can be used to count migrating birds. Plus, the state looks to increase the size of a major (and controversial) coastal restoration project.

 

WWNO’s Travis Lux talks about the week in coastal news with environment reporter Sara Sneath from Nola.com | The Times-Picayune.

 

A section of the Big Branch Wildlife Refuge smolders.
Ryan Kailath / WWNO

On a clear spring afternoon recently, a massive column of smoke rose up near Lacombe, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. People reported seeing it from across the water. Down below, a fire was raging.

Audubon

The Audubon Society is asking for volunteers to take part in its annual Christmas Bird Count. The information gathered by these citizen-scientists over the past 116 years has helps researchers determine how bird populations are faring across the country.

Erin Krall / WWNO

Five years ago on April 20, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the Louisiana coast. Scientists are still studying the effects of more than 3 million barrels of oil that a federal court determined gushed into the Gulf of Mexico. And those evaluating the effects on birds are still unsure what to expect.

Oil-covered pelicans became the icons of what happened when the oil seeped into the marshes on the Louisiana coast. That damage was clear.

Warbler Workshop At Black Bayou Lake NWR

Apr 2, 2015

The bright, yellow prothonotary warbler is highlighted in a workshop Saturday at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

A number of the warblers make Louisiana their home.  "25 percent of the global population of prothonotarys is in Louisiana," says Erik Johnson, director of bird conservation for  Audubon Louisiana. Johnson hosts the workshop Saturday, which begins at 9 a.m.

Whooping Crane Shot In Louisiana; $10,000 Reward For Info

Jan 22, 2015
Skylar Primm / Flickr

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says a female whooping crane released about a year ago has been shot in Vermilion Parish and had to be put to death.

Spokesman Adam Einck said Wednesday there's a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of whoever shot the endangered bird.

He says the bird was found Nov. 2 with an apparent bullet wound in her upper left leg and was euthanized the next day at the Louisiana State University veterinary school.

Madhusudan Katti / Flickr

Elevated lead levels in the environment can cause a number of health problems for children and adults, and parts of New Orleans have consistently tested high for lead pollution.

Researchers at Tulane University are experimenting with a new way to test for lead exposure — by listening to bird songs to find out what they can tell us about heavy metals in the environment. 

Tulane researcher Renata Ribeiro spends a lot of time out in the field, recording the songs of Northern Mockingbirds.

Animal Life: Taking Refuge At Animal Sanctuaries

Jan 12, 2015
Mary Ehret

 

Life is stressful. Luckily, Louisiana is home to several animal sanctuaries where you yourself can go to take refuge. 

Take Avery Island — it’s more than just Tabasco! Each spring, thousands of Snowy Egrets nest in the island’s bird sanctuary. The egrets settle on piers in a pond nicknamed “Bird City.” 

In certain New Orleans music scenes, there is a special sound — a signal — that lets players know it's time to pick up their instruments and strike up the band.

"It's a bugle call, or a band call, to assemble," trumpeter Leroy Jones says.

"It's like: C'mon, rally," musician Matt Bell adds. "Come to the bandstand and be ready to do it. Let's go."

The four-note phrase, however, doesn't belong to musicians alone. Another common New Orleans species, the mockingbird, also produces the call.

Pages