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Using the Web to Net Our Feathered Friends

from Scientific American

Combining standard field biology techniques with a Web-accessible robotic camera positioned at the Welder Wildlife Refuge in Sinton, Tex., scientists and amateur ornithologists are trying to determine whether the sighting of subtropical birds well north of their natural habitat is proof of climate change and a profound shift in wildlife migration patterns.

Amateur observers have witnessed - via the CONE (Collaborative Observatories for Natural Environments) Welder Web site - the green jay, great kiskadee and white-tipped dove cavorting north of their known breeding areas in Texas's Rio Grande Valley, about 160 miles from Sinton.

In fact, dozens of species of subtropical birds appear to have shifted to neighborhoods north of their normal stomping grounds.

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