News & Events
Great Backyard Bird Count 2021
24th Annual GBBC
The Great Backyard Bird count (GBBC) is scheduled to run from Friday, February 12 through Monday, February 15 and details on how to participate can be found at birdcount.org. So, all you need to do is find some time to sit and count birds in your backyard during the count period. You can count for as little as 15 minutes or as long as you would like. You can count on any or all days during the count period. Just make sure your counts include the number of species you see and the number of individuals of each species you record.
New Native Plant Nursery in Evansville:
Goldfinch Native Plant Nursery
Goldfinch Native Plant Nursery is a locally owned and operated nursery in Evansville located at 5320 Mesker Park Drive. The mission of this new business is to be a resource for locally grown plants native to our area. The plants in their inventory have been specially selected for their ability to be incorporated in both landscaped and naturalized settings.
Plant sales at the nursery are scheduled regularly throughout the summer and fall. Current summer sales over but check back at a later date for fall events. Don't forget they will also sell plants at community events, farmers markets, and are willing to schedule private appointments for customers.
Visit their facebook page at Goldfinch Native Plant Nursery or email them at to learn more.
Update on Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)
A Big Win for Birds
A federal judge has overturned the Trump Administrations 2017 re-interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) that had upended decades of enforcement and protection for birds by allowing industry polluters off the hook for killing birds. The 1918 MBTA, one of the earliest major victories for the National Audubon Society, has been credited with saving millions of birds.
The Trump Administration had argued that the law only applied to the intentional killing of birds and not incidental killing of birds as a result of industrial activities. However, the judges ruling noted that the MBTA makes it unlawful to kill birds "by any means whatsoever or in any manner". Thus, the ruling is a much needed win for migratory birds, especially at a time when we have lost so many birds in recent years to factors such as habitat loss and climate change. For more details on this update, click here.
US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Fish & Wildlife Service
McCown's Longspur Gets a New Name
The American Ornithological Society (AOS) announced it is changing the name of McCown's Longspur, named after John P. McCown, a naturalist and amateur ornithologist who first collected the species in 1851. The bird will now be known as the thick-billed longspur after a decision by the North American Classification Committee (NACC).
The change has come about because there is a large push to have all birds named after noted individuals to be renamed. The argument made is that a birds name should reflect some aspect of their appearance, habitat, or range. And in the case of McCown's longspur the added impetus of current social culture has had an influence on the NACC's decision as well. McCown later served as a general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and McCown's association with slavery and racism entered into the committee's decision.
This longspur will likely not be the last bird named in honor of an individual to be re-evaluated. A total of 150 North American birds have been named in honor of individuals credited with their discovery and the NACC has stated it will evaluate each of these honorific names on a case by case basis. Click here to learn more about the renaming of McCown's longspur.