The Sprague’s Pipit is a charismatic songbird of North American grasslands. If you’ve ever wandered the Northern Great Plains in summer, you’ve probably heard their sweet song, and maybe even seen their high-altitude aerial displays which can last for hours. One of many fast-declining grassland bird species, we’re urgently working to learn more about the life cycle of the Sprague’s Pipit so that its song can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.
Nineteen Mennonite students from Cuauhtémoc recently joined us in the field and experienced a day in the life of bird biologists. Representing a vital piece of the conservation puzzle in Chihuahua, their visit opens new pathways for awareness, conversation and collaboration to help grassland birds on Mexico’s wintering grounds.
Bird Conservancy is finishing up another winter of grassland bird monitoring in Mexico, using radio-telemetry to study survival rates of Baird’s and Grasshopper Sparrows. We follow them to get an inside view into their lives, and sometimes feel a bit like sparrow paparazzi!
This photo journal highlights the most recent winter field season monitoring grassland birds in the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico. Teaching telemetry, radio tracking Grasshopper Sparrows and assessing predation/mortality rates are all a major part of this program.
Biologists studying overwinter survival rates of sparrows in the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands of northern Mexico are turning their attention to Loggerhead Shrikes. Taking advantage of shrub encroachment and the favorable habitat it provides for them, shrikes have become an apex predator of birds and many other animals on the landscape.