Off the East Coast, a Massive Network of Wind Turbines Is Coming—Along With New Risks for Migrating Birds

Birds crossing the Atlantic Ocean, like gannets, will soon have to navigate wind farms — and some will die because of them. But the shift to clean energy is crucial for their survival — and for the future of our entire ecosystem.

In the coming years, gannets zipping along the Eastern Seaboard will encounter unprecedented obstacles. In the United States 17 offshore wind sites are under development in the Atlantic, from Cape Cod at the north end down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, just miles from where Patteson and I observed the gannets’ feeding frenzy.

Source: Audubon
Published: Apr 14, 2022
Length: 13 minutes (3,281 words)

The Internet Has a Rat Poison Problem

“How online sales of highly regulated, super-toxic rodenticides exploit gaps in the law and imperil wildlife.”

Source: Audubon
Published: Dec 8, 2021
Length: 15 minutes (3,961 words)

The Strange, True Story of John Williams and Charles Pennock

“In the early 1900s it wasn’t unusual for men to suddenly go missing. Among them were two accomplished bird experts whose lives turned out to be surprisingly intertwined.”

Source: Audubon
Published: Oct 6, 2021
Length: 17 minutes (4,382 words)

Seeking Home Aboard the Night Heron

“The pandemic prodded me to fulfill a lifelong dream of living on a boat. I’m learning the ropes surrounded by the birds of my North Carolina childhood.”

Source: Audubon
Published: Apr 23, 2021
Length: 8 minutes (2,071 words)

The Remarkable Life of Roxie Laybourne

“From deep within the Smithsonian, the world’s first forensic ornithologist cracked cases, busted criminals, and changed the course of aviation—making the skies safer for us all.”

Source: Audubon
Published: Oct 5, 2020
Length: 19 minutes (4,787 words)

How ‘Game of Thrones’ Gets Packed With Birds (and Not Just Ravens)

“As the final season of the beloved HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones bashes and burns its way to a conclusion, many fans are already fearing life without their favorite characters. But just as much as I’ll miss Tyrion’s drunken one-liners and Arya’s shape-shifting vengeance, I’ll also miss my other Sunday pastime: birding within the Seven Kingdoms and across the Narrow Sea.”

Source: Audubon
Published: May 9, 2019
Length: 7 minutes (1,843 words)

Invasive Reptiles Are Taking Over Florida—and Devouring Its Birds Along the Way

“Birds like Roseate Spoonbills and Burrowing Owls are ending up in the stomachs of hungry pythons and Nile monitors. Is it too late to stop them?”

Source: Audubon
Published: Sep 5, 2018
Length: 18 minutes (4,733 words)

Inside the Biomedical Revolution to Save Horseshoe Crabs and the Shorebirds That Need Them

Horseshoe crab blood is used in tests that detect endotoxin, but extracting the blood has stressed the crab population, and the migratory birds that feed on their eggs have suffered catastrophic population decline, too. One Eli Lilly biologist is leading the charge to save the crabs and birds by switching to a synthetic. It helps that he’s a birder.

Source: Audubon
Published: May 13, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,813 words)

Behind the Scenes With the World’s Top Feather Detective

How do you tell the difference between a poached Lampornis clemenciae hummingbird and a Amazilia violiceps? Ask the feather detective, Pepper Trail. He works at the world’s only wildlife forensics lab. Colleagues fear what will happen when he retires.

 

Source: Audubon
Published: Dec 1, 2016
Length: 10 minutes (2,514 words)