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In This Issue
Fall Warbler ID
3 Billion Birds Lost
What Can I Do To Help?
Swirls of Tree Swallows
Nighttime Flight of Songbirds
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Issue: #116
September/October 2019

In North America, migration is underway, and we have experienced the first, and we hope, only major hurricane of the migration season.  It's time to sharpen your possibly rusty fall warbler ID skills and start checking out the ongoing songbird, raptor and shorebird migration.  Hummingbirds are still around, ospreys are on their way south, flashes of once-bright yellow warblers and vireos are seen in the still green leaves, shorebirds are gathering for the push south, and Tree Swallows are found in swirling clouds. But a recent report issued on the state of birds in North America is troubling due to the staggering numbers of birds we have lost in 50 years.  This month we are celebrating migration and keeping you informed about whats going on with the state of birdsWe hope it will inspire you to become an active part of the solution.  

Check out our newsletter this month:
  • Fall Warbler identification             
  • 3 Billion Birds Lost
  • What Can I Do To Help?
  • Swirls of Tree Swallows
  • The Sounds of Migration at Night
Visit us at  WildTones  for bird and wildlife ringtones, alerts and alarms for iPhones and Android, and our loopable streaming nature sounds for relaxation , sleep, mediation and lifestyle. 
Royal Terns in Fall
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
Fall Warbler Identification
Yellow-rumped Warbler 
Photo Credit:Deborah Rivel
What is THAT bird?  This is the annual cry of frustration from many a birder during fall migration, when spring's flashiest male birds are sporting more muted attire. These birds have had a very busy spring and summer finding a mate, defending their territory and raising chicks - all of which requires an enormous amount of energy singing and producing showy feathers to attract a mate.  Now with those tasks behind them, they have some time to be more practical. They aren't calling as much - often they are silent. No need to sing and make your presence known to a predator as your territory and family are no longer at stake. And no need to have those flashy feathers to find a mate, so molting those for a less obvious outfit can be a very practical life saving technique.  ...Read More...
 In The News: 3 Billion Birds Lost
Last week, a group of conservation organizations led by Cornell Lab of
Red-winged Blackbird Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
Ornithology released a stunning report of a detailed study which shows a loss of 3 billion birds in North America in 50 years.  It's a staggering amount of birds - a net loss of 29% of the breeding population during those 50 years - more than 1 in every 4 birds. And despite scientists knowing there have been declines in bird populations, the actual numbers and the specific types of birds were unexpected. This report gives us a chance to think about how we value nature and the life around us.  And we hope, inspires all of us to take action quickly to make changes - many of them not difficult to do -  that will benefit birds and us. But first, what does the report tell us? ...Read More...

"What Can I Do To Help?"
If you are asking this question after reading about the study, you
White-throated Sparrow
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
are not alone as the enormity of the numbers of birds lost is difficult to comprehend.  Some of the hardest hit birds are ones we see most often  - White-throated Sparrows, Red-winged Blackbirds, Eastern and Western Meadowlarks, Dark-eyed Juncos.  But as the report indicated, grassland birds, shorebirds, forest dwellers and any birds that rely on insects are in trouble. 
Birds really need your help - are you ready to be part of the solution
Swirls of Tree Swallows

Migrating Tree Swallows
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel
The mass migration of tens of thousands of Tree Swallows  on the East Coast is a migration event I look forward to every year.  It happens towards the end of September right along the coast. Sometimes the flocks are flying south low along the beach near the dunes - identifiable by flashing white underbellies and the shock of iridescent blue on their backs. These birds will stop to rest on anything that is available - twigs, ocean debris, stair railings, or just sand if there is no other option. 
Tree Swallow
Photo Credit: Deborah Rivel

My favorite place to be when Tree Swallows are migrating in full force is in Cape May where most years I manage to time it correctly --somehow being there when they are swirling their way south in a series of low level tornadoes. S tanding still, it's possible to hear and feel the air through their wings as the bird vortex starts just a few feet off the ground and engulfs everything in its way.  ...Read More... 
Nighttime Flight of Songbirds

Moon_songbirds_composite_Bob_King_BirdnoteFrom an earth-bound human viewpoint, there is something magical about songbirds migrating at night.  We look up at the moon and can sometimes see tiny spots flit by; the communication chirps of unseeable birds passing overhead in the inky black give us a sense of the eavesdropping on a very personal moment in these birds lives.  All these things add to the mystery of long distance migration. Listen to hear the full piece courtesy of our friends at BirdNote.    

Help Support Wildlife and Animal Charities
WildTones supports a variety of wildlife and animal related charities. We recommend the following organizations and know them all personally.  We encourage you to consider giving a donation of any size and join us in helping the work they do.

The Alex Foundation
(Avian Cognition & Intelligence Research)
alex foundation
Audubon New York
(Bird Conservation in NY State)
(Global Bird Conservation)
International Crane Foundation
International Primate Protection League
(Gibbon and Primate Protection Worldwide)
Bill Jordan Wildlife Defense Fund (Protection of Wildlife Worldwide)
Oceanites (Antarctic Penguin Research)   Oceanites
The Roar Foundation
(Big Cats Rescue)

We thank
Stan Tekiela for his terrific bird and animal calls, our ringtones, and albums!
Deborah Rivel for her Royal Terns, Red-winged Blackbird, White-throated Sparrow, Fiery Skipper, Tree Swallows and Common Buckeye mages.
(c)  Wildsight Productions, Inc., 2019