Field Notes

Lush greenery along two rivers in a desert landscape.
A Proposed Reset for Public Lands Could Be a Big Boost to Conservation
October 02, 2023 — The agency responsible for one-tenth of the country’s terrain aims to make healthy habitat a more prominent priority.
A huge cactus towers above other cacti and plants in a landscape.
A Bold Bet to Ensure the Future of Desert Birds: Plant Thousands of Cacti
October 02, 2023 — Can saguaro cacti that take root today survive the next century of extreme wildfire and drought? Tucson Audubon aims to find out.
These Are the Seabirds Most Vulnerable to Plastic Pollution
October 02, 2023 — As more marine plastic accumulates, the biology of some ocean-going birds puts them at particular risk. Scientists can now pinpoint which species may face the highest exposure.
Image composite of an overpass stretching over a 10-lane highway in a mountainous landscape.
Projects That Help Wildlife Navigate Highways Gain Speed
September 29, 2023 — Simple solutions reduce road hazards to animals, and now more money is flowing to implement them.
A person in hiking boots steps onto a bus in a city. The side of the bus says "Trailhead Direct" and shows a photo of people hiking in a forest.
Why Cities Need Better Public Transit to Public Lands
July 10, 2023 — More transportation agencies and nature advocates want to help people explore the outdoors without a car. But they face challenges.
A woman looks something up on her phone in a forest, while high school students to the right hold up a plant and look through binoculars.
Don’t Have Binoculars To Go Birding? Try Borrowing a Pair From the Library
June 30, 2023 — Libraries across the country are lending gear to patrons, creating a new entry point to birding with no costs attached.
A bird head, wing, feather, and foot silhouetted against a brain scan.
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.
A hummingbird with a green body and bright iridescent magenta feathers on its head and throat perches on a branch.
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.