This week in birds - #428
A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment:I freely admit that my sparrow identification skills are poor. I'm not 100% sure of this bird's identity so I won't label it. (Maybe you can help me out?) I photographed it in winter at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Coast a few years and it has languished unidentified in my files. Here's another view:
Blackburnian Warbler image by Ian Davies.
A new study estimates that up to 1.5 billion birds like this Blackburnian Warbler have been saved during the last 40 years in the United States thanks to the enactment of the Clean Air Act which helped to clean out the pollution of the air.
Do animals actually use those wildlife corridors that are constructed to help them avoid highways? Well, yes they do. Trail camera footage from Utah proves it.
The Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for Pebble Mine in Alaska, which would have been one of the world's largest gold and copper mines right in the middle of the pristine tundra. Regulators found it to be "contrary to the public interest."
The term "lame duck" is used to refer to an outgoing administration. An ornithologist explains how the term relates to actual ducks.
A recent study has found that just 14% of the local plant genera support more than 90% of Lepidoptera diversity and thus serve as keystone plants throughout the United States.
The current administration is rushing to try to transfer ownership to a mining company with ties to the destruction of an Aboriginal site in Australia of land in Arizona that is considered holy by local Native American tribes.
Herring Gulls have a wide variety of plumage colorations which can make identifying them a challenge.
A new study confirms that even small ships can cause serious injuries in collisions with North Atlantic right whales.
If you watch many major league baseball games, you may have seen how gulls will frequently gather and start to swoop into the stadiums in coastal cities as the game nears the ninth inning. Clever birds are waiting to clean up the scraps of food. A study at the University of Bristol of Lesser Black-backed Gulls has confirmed that the gulls adapt their foraging behavior to human time schedules when beneficial and that this trait helps them survive in cities.
Thanks for the weekly roundup, Dorothy, with a welcome window into the future, when environmental sanity might be set to make a return to public policy. I think that John Kerry will be a strong advocate for sound measures to begin the remediation of damage caused, and set a sound, scientifically-based course for the future. And your mystery sparrow is a Field Sparrow.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the identification, David. I knew I could depend on you. That was what I suspected but I'm very insecure with my sparrow identifications.Delete
Yes, we hopefully will get a brief breath in eternity during the coming administration. I have a feeling there is a wealth of climate adjusting actions just waiting for a green light, pun intended, once the new president has the reins. If I were of childbearing age at this time, I would be hesitant. I remember that being a worry when nuclear proliferation was happening in the 20th century though, so we will see.ReplyDelete
Much can be done by executive action regarding the fight against climate change and let us hope that the new president's staff are drawing up those plans as I write.Delete
Many of these bird articles ... remind me of the Migrations novel I'm listening to as an audiobook ... have you read it? Seems right up your alley perhaps.ReplyDelete
I have not read it and had not heard of it but I will definitely look it up.Delete
I'm very hopeful that environmental issues will improve during the next four years.ReplyDelete
I think you would enjoy Migrations, too.
We do have reason to hope that the next administration will follow the science where it leads, which will be a refreshing change.Delete