Field Notes

Yes, Birding Does Change Your Brain

March 29, 2023 — Neuroscientists puzzling over how human memory and learning function often turn to birdwatchers to connect the dots.
Three people in white suits and masks collect the body of a large white bird in a nesting area next to water while flocks of other seabirds fly overhead.

The Bird Flu Blazes On, Amping Up Concerns for Wildlife and Human Health

March 01, 2023 — Facing an outbreak that’s unusually deadly for wild birds and spreading to more mammals, scientists worry about when, or if, it will end.
Mounds of stored rock salt minimize a large piece of machinery.

As Salt Coats Snowy Roadways In Winter, Freshwater Ecosystems Pay a Heavy Price

December 13, 2022 — Keeping paved surfaces clear of snow and ice comes at an accumulating cost to lakes, streams, and drinking water supplies.

The Vibrant Colors of Hummingbirds Are More Impressive Than We’d Realized

December 13, 2022 — Scientists catalogued the hues of 114 avian species. Humans can’t see every shade, but birds can.

This Artist’s Paint-Swatch Portraits Reveal the Beauty of Bird Plumage

December 13, 2022 — With time on his hands, Christopher Reiger found a colorful way to depict a rich variety of birds.
Standing in a meadow of yellow goldenrod Lang Elliot listens for bird calls with a headset on.

A New App Brings Birdsong Back to People With High-Frequency Hearing Loss

December 13, 2022 — Hear Birds Again, an iPhone app, is only the latest in Lang Elliott’s long line of inventions to solve a challenge that affects more birders as they age.

Vermont's Birders and Landowners Are Joining Forces to Contribute to Science

September 21, 2022 — A new program recruits volunteers to survey breeding birds that would otherwise go uncounted.
A group of nine people stand in front of a small wooden building surrounded by forest on a sunny day.

Who Runs the Forest? Increasingly, in the Southeast, It’s Women

September 20, 2022 — New groups are cultivating communities of women who manage their trees with economic and ecosystem sustainability in mind.

From Ground to Orbit, Space Industry’s Lift-Off Sparks Environmental Concerns

September 19, 2022 — As more rockets take flight, how will we protect life at home?
Seven people among the dense roots of a mangrove forest.

The Buried Treasure in Panama’s Mangrove Forests: the Carbon They Store

July 07, 2022 — These ecosystems feed and shelter migrating birds and surrounding communities—and help fight climate change. By tapping into that value, conservationists seek to ensure they’ll continue doing so.