Migration is ramping up across North America—so here's a look at a new technique that can tell us where a bird is from no matter where a researcher finds it. The secret lies in the bird's DNA:

Capturing Migration in a Strand of DNA: Feathers Reveal a Bird's Origins

Our latest Bird of the Week is an iconic symbol of spring in eastern North America. The males' brilliant blue plumage with russet and white highlights makes them easy to spot when they perch in the open, scanning for insect prey, which they can see from over 60 feet away. Spring finds these birds busy with activity as males aggressively defend territories with boxes and tree cavities that are...
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Eastern Bluebird - All About Birds

Crossbills have crooked-looking bills, but what appears to be an abnormality is actually an extremely advantageous tool. Watch our Video of the Week to find out how this specialized tool allows them to eat up to 3,000 seeds a day, including seeds from pine cones that other species can't get to.

How Nature Works: White-winged Crossbill Feeding Technique

Take an up-close look at the remarkable physical adaptations White-winged Crossbills use to retrieve seeds hidden inside tightly closed spruce cones. Check o...

The recent seed packet offered by Cheerios has people talking about the value of planting flowers, the problem of invasive plant species, and the plight of insect pollinators. Our Habitat Network project dives into the details in a fascinating new Question of the Week: — with The Nature Conservancy

You’ve Got Your Bee Wildflower Seed Mix, What Now? | Habitat Network

Share a laugh with us in this fascinating NPR story about parrots sharing a laugh...

This Parrot Has An 'Infectious Laugh,' Scientists Say

Did you see our March eNews? Featuring on-camera hatching of an endangered Bermuda Petrel, a chance to brush up on your warblers, how birds cope with altitude, and more:

eNews: An Endangered Chick Hatches on Camera, How Birds Cope at High Altitudes, the GBBC Roundup, and More.

The birding world was saddened to learn yesterday that the great birder and ornithologist Chan Robbins had passed away at the age of 98. Ted Floyd, the editor of the American Birding Association's Birding magazine, has this touching remembrance of the man who had such a formative effect on North American ornithology:

Chandler Seymour Robbins, 1918–2017

QUIZ ANSWER. Warblers can be tough, but a few key features can help with identification. With warblers the key features to look at often include the face, breast, flanks, and undertail pattern. On this bird, the yellow eyebrow, dark cheek patch, white undertail, and double white wing bars stand out. The wingbars quickly rule out more than half of the warblers in the U.S. Of those with...
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If you want some help with your warblers, check out our 7-part online course starting April 6 covering all 50 species. Each one-hour session includes interactive quizzes and a live Q&A. Space is limited. Sign up now and save $10! [ Bit.ly Link ]

Warbler Identification Live Online Course

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It's our first quiz of springtime, but for our mystery bird we're reaching back to fall. Warblers are already on the move to their northern haunts and many are outrageously colored—but not all. Do you know which one this is? If you want some help with your warblers, check out our 7-part online course starting April 6. Each one-hour session includes interactive quizzes and a live Q&A. Learn...
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A selection of some of the great photos submitted by our Facebook fans in the last week. Thanks and keep those photos coming!
With spring birding on the horizon, how are you set for binoculars? A few years ago we did a big roundup of binocular reviews, and we included this advice on how to choose a pair that you'll love. Do you have any tips to add? Which binoculars are your favorites?

6 Steps to Choosing a Pair of Binoculars You'll Love

With winter storms still coming in, it's hard to believe that birds have started journeying back to their breeding grounds. Our latest Bird of the Week is one of the smaller migrants currently on its way north. Even in poor weather these adaptable, iridescent travelers rarely remain long in any location, but if you're lucky you may catch one at your feeders. But make sure they are filled up:...
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Black-chinned Hummingbird - All About Birds

Heads back, tails up, kicks, curtsies, dives, salutes, and some shimmying. Have you noticed the ducks near you doing some unusual moves recently? Winter is the season when many ducks pick their mate for the year. Check out our Video of the Week that highlights some of the best duck mating behaviors. Thanks to Deana Gubler Beutler for sharing her photo of a pair of Mallards.

How to Recognize Duck Courtship Displays

Barn Swallows occur on every continent (except Antarctica), but South America has always been a wintering ground for them... until the 1980s, when a few of them decided to stay over and breed in Argentina. Since then, that breeding population has grown and now has switched around its migratory schedule 180 degrees. Fascinating research from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at...
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Barn Swallow Behavior Shift May Be Evolutionary | CALS

The Northeast storms this week reminded many of us how great it is to have a cozy, warm home to wait out blizzards and accumulating snow. But what do you do it you're a small bird? Find out in our Question of the Week:

What do small birds do in a storm?

Attention teachers! Our BirdSleuth program offers a self-paced, online course to help you engage students in local science investigations and citizen science. Through June 1, you’ll get two free bird feeders when you take the course! Homeschool parents and all educators are welcome to take the course!

Online Inquiry Course for Teachers : Cornell Lab of Ornithology: BirdSleuth K-12

QUIZ ANSWER. Size and shape tells us this is a dove, but it's not the common Mourning Dove. This dove has a squared tail. Mourning Doves have a long, pointed tail. Mourning Doves also have spots on the wings and do not have that black stripe across the back of the neck. The African Collared-Dove or Ringed Turtle-Dove (a form of the African Collared-Dove) is very rarely seen as a wild bird in...
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We've formed an official partnership with our longtime collaborators the American Bird Conservancy to join together scientific expertise, data, and on-the-ground efforts to help reverse the long-term declines of migratory birds in the Americas. Read more about our joint "Science to Conservation Action" partnership:
BIRD QUIZ. What bird is this? Leave your answer in the comments box below and we'll post the answer at the end of the day. Thanks to Joshua Covill from Montana, who shared his photo with the new eBird/Macaulay Library Archive.