birds

You may not have noticed, but a few months ago the Trump Administration stopped using a century-old law to fine industries when birds are accidentally killed by oil spills, power lines or wind farms.

The Modern West 36: Unexpected Migration

Jul 20, 2018
Moosejaw Bravo Photography

As climate change warms the West, birds of prey are moving north. What happens when an apex predator leaves its native hunting grounds?

The Great Salt Lake is vast — around 1,700 square miles of state and federal public lands.

Tom Koerner, USFWS

Early one spring evening, I meet University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute’s Zoe Nelson at a rest area between Gillette and Buffalo. Shadows grow long on red bluffs and green sagebrush prairie. It’s that time of night when all the birds are going bonkers. We’re out here as part of a program to get regular folks like me and my husband, Ken—he’s tonight’s driver—to help keep track of short-eared owls. The program is called WAFLS or Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study.

Kamila Kudelska

The Draper Natural History Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West will open a new permanent exhibition on June 10. The exhibition focuses on the last ten years of research on golden eagle activity in the Bighorn Basin. Golden eagles are a top predator so by studying the top of the food chain, researchers are learning not just about the bird but also about the dynamics of animals they eat and the ecosystem they live in.  

Moosejaw Bravo Photography

For nine years now, the Draper Museum in Cody has been studying golden eagles and what they mean for the dwindling sagebrush ecosystem where they live. That study will end next year so Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards joined researchers on a trip to band eaglets and find out what all this research is revealing about this iconic species.

Willow Belden

Last year, a mysterious collection of stuffed birds was found at the Laramie high school. It was a discovery that was perplexing at the time, but that would end up being a goldmine for scientists at the University of Wyoming.

It all started last summer, when a biology teacher was packing up her classroom to move to a new building. In the process, she came across some boxes of stuffed birds.

Nobody at the school knew anything about them, and none of the teachers wanted them. So they offered them to the University of Wyoming.

Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge outside of Casper could see improvements to its Steamboat Lake facilities. BP is funding an initial planning phase that could expand the refuge for both wildlife and the public.

Director of Science at Audubon Rockies, Alison Holloran, says Steamboat could see more reeds and water flora planted in its shallows to create more habitat for birds. Signs and a viewing platform could be installed as well to allow residents close views of Wyoming's nesting and migratory bird populations.