This week in birds - #346

A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment:

The vanguard of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration has been passing through this week. The adult males, like the one above, arrive first. Later, the adult females and first-year birds will appear.

*~*~*~*

There has already been severe flooding in the Midwest this spring, but scientists warn that this is likely only the beginning. They are predicting unprecedented levels of flooding in the coming months that could imperil as many as 200 million people. Scientists say that climate change is responsible for more intense and more frequent extreme weather that contributes to the surging flood waters. 

*~*~*~*

A new data analysis by the Associated Press shows that in the last twenty years the country has been twice as likely to have record-breaking heat in summers as it is to have record-breaking cold in winters.

*~*~*~*

A new study of white-tailed deer numbers in the eastern U.S. indicates that the arrival and establishment of coyotes in the region has not caused an appreciable decline in the species.

*~*~*~*

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted last month shows that climate change is an issue of concern to the public. Nearly two-thirds of those polled indicated that the Republican attitude toward climate change was "outside the mainstream" and that Democratic positions are "in the mainstream." 

*~*~*~*

This week a federal judge ruled that the Interior Department violated federal law by failing to take into account the climate impact of its oil and gas leasing in the West. The ruling temporarily blocked drilling on 300,000 acres of leases.

*~*~*~*

The hobby of birding is booming, but, unfortunately, it remains mainly a hobby of white people. Efforts are underway to encourage more diversity in birding and there have been promising results. 

*~*~*~*

The biggest spring migration in years of Monarch butterflies has been passing through Texas recently. Unfortunately, the milkweed has not yet gotten a growth spurt. The plants in my yard only have a few leaves and I watched one day this week as three migrating Monarchs hovered over them looking for a place to lay eggs. I need to visit the nursery and see if I can find some fully grown plants. 

*~*~*~*

Melting glaciers on Mount Everest have recently exposed the bodies of climbers who perished there and whose bodies were subsequently entombed in ice. I suppose that is one advantage of global warming.

*~*~*~*

Elephants are increasingly coming into conflict with humans in agricultural areas. Often the problem is that the areas that are being farmed have minerals that are needed as a part of the elephants' diet, or else the fields lie on the animals' route to those minerals.

*~*~*~*

First-year birds of some species are known to assist their parents in raising a new brood. This may happen more often when sufficient mates are not available. The Brown-headed Nuthatch is one such species.

  Brown-headed Nuthatch at a feeder in my backyard.

*~*~*~*

Canada clear cuts a million acres of its boreal forest every year, and a lot of that wood is used in the making of toilet paper.

*~*~*~*

Thousands of fossils dating from over 500 million years ago during the huge burst of diversity of life on Earth known as the Cambrian Explosion have been unearthed in China.

*~*~*~*

Illegal killing of Hen Harriers continues to be a big problem in the U.K., particularly around grouse moors. The harriers prey on the grouse and so do humans. Humans do not like the competition.

*~*~*~*

A recent study suggests that global forests are absorbing more carbon dioxide as atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations increase, but they are unable to keep up with runaway CO2 emissions.

*~*~*~*

A wet winter has resulted in a super bloom of poppies in Southern California. The remarkable bloom can actually be seen from space and it has drawn so many tourists that at least one town has been forced to bar access to one of the most popular areas for visitors.

Image courtesy of The Guardian.
All that yellow on the mountains is millions of poppies in bloom.

Comments

  1. I have an entire year of butterfly pictures on my 2019 wall calendar. Those poppies and other wild flowers are something. It has been so long since we had a season like this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pictures of the wild flower bloom explosion have been truly amazing.

      Delete
  2. Such variety in news this week! I love the pic of the Californian mountains covered in poppies; it must be something to see that from space. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An amazing sight from ground level or space.

      Delete
    2. A drug lord dream come true, that poppy field. :-)

      Delete
    3. Wrong kind of poppies, I think, but certainly a native plant lover's dream come true.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry Sunday: Excerpt from The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney

Open Season (Joe Pickett #1) by C.J. Box - A review

Poetry Sunday: Invitation by Mary Oliver