This week in birds - #449

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

A Clapper Rail with one of her chicks. There were four altogether, but I could never get them all to cooperate and pose for a picture. They were photographed at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas coast.

*~*~*~*

The previous administration in Washington had seriously weakened the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which is the main legal protection for migratory birds in North America. Now the Biden administration has proposed its new rule that will revoke that change and restore the protections originally provided by the 102-year-old law. 

*~*~*~*

Last Friday was Arbor Day which has been marked by Americans for 149 years. The emphasis of the day is planting trees but it is just as important to protect and preserve the ones that we have.

*~*~*~*

The Biden administration has canceled all construction of the southern border wall that had been financed with funds from the Defense Department's budget. It is not clear yet if the cancelation will also include parts of the wall that were financed from the DHS budget.

*~*~*~*

Lawsuits are still pending against privately funded sections of the southern wall, particularly the part that runs through the National Butterfly Center. There is also a criminal case pending against Brian Kolfage and Steve Bannon of the We Build the Wall nonprofit alleging that they swindled the contributors to that fund.

*~*~*~*

Raptors have found the high rises of New York City an amicable habitat in which to build nests and raise their families. One New York apartment dweller got to view the entire life cycle of a Red-tailed Hawk family up close and personal when a pair of the raptors nested on his fire escape. 

*~*~*~*

Florida legislators have struck a bipartisan deal for wildlife corridors that are intended to help protect the endangered Florida panthers. There are currently only about 230 of the big cats left in the wild and the greatest danger to them is road accidents. The wildlife corridors would help to alleviate that danger.

*~*~*~*

Did the pre-Columbian city of Cahokia on the Mississippi River near present-day St. Louis commit ecocide causing it to be abandoned in the fourteenth century? The reason for the decline of the thriving city has long been a mystery of North American archaeology but recent excavations there give the lie to the idea that ecocide was the reason and point to other causes.

*~*~*~*

On Monday, the Biden administration said it has approved a major solar energy project in the California desert that will be capable of powering nearly 90,000 homes. The $550 million Crimson Solar Project will be sited on 2,000 acres of federal land west of Blythe, California, the Interior Department said in a statement.

*~*~*~*

The Brood X cicadas are beginning to emerge in the East and the website Cicada Mania has all the news you want to know about what is happening with their favorite insects, "the most amazing insects in the world."

*~*~*~*

Any bird lover would be thrilled at the chance to observe endangered California Condors up close, but for one woman in California, they have gotten a little too close. Fifteen of the big birds have decided that they really, really like her yard and deck and they spend a lot of time hanging out there. It seems that the woman's property is smack in the middle of the condors' traditional habitat. The problem is these are big birds and big birds make a big mess.

*~*~*~*

California’s governor has moved to ban new fracking permits by 2024 and halt all oil extraction by 2045. California, the most populous US state, produces the third largest amount of oil in the country. It would be the first state to end all extraction.

*~*~*~*

The Gulf Stream is moving. It is migrating closer to Canada and that has some serious implications for warming waters, affecting the wildlife that live in those waters, and for affecting weather patterns. 

*~*~*~*

A Broad-billed Hummingbird, thousands of miles out of its normal range, has made its way to Chicago where it found refuge in the LaBagh Woods forest preserve and is thrilling local birders who flock to see it. The species normally does not get much farther north than the Mexico/New Mexico/Arizona border.

*~*~*~*

Do streams and lakes have rights? Orange County, Florida maintains that they do and they are suing a developer and the state to stop a housing development from destroying a network of lakes, streams, and marshes.

*~*~*~*

Even if the rich nations of the world meet the goals they have set for greenhouse emissions it would mean that the planet would heat up by 2.4 degrees Centigrade by 2100 which is substantially above the goal set by the Paris climate agreement. Obviously, more is needed. 

*~*~*~*

A Bornean subspecies of the Rajah Scops Owl has been observed and documented for the first time since 1892. The bird was seen in the mountainous forests of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. 

*~*~*~*

In El Tuparro National Natural Park in Colombia's Orinoco region, the unique wildlife of the area are being documented using forty-four camera traps. They have photographed jaguars, pumas, tapirs, peccaries, and deer reflecting the park's healthy ecosystems.

*~*~*~*

Climate change has killed off most of the world's sunflower sea stars. Now scientists are breeding sea stars in a lab with the hopes of being able to rehabilitate the warming oceans by reintroducing them.

*~*~*~*

Scientists have discovered that cocoa farms in Africa are able to provide great habitat for birds if nearby trees are left standing.


Comments

  1. interesting newsbit things... hawks must be amazingly adaptive, nesting in NY city!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Birds, in general, are very resourceful at finding even the most unlikely niches in which they can thrive.

      Delete
  2. I have to say, Dorothy, that the roundup brings more glimmers of good news each week, and we need that. The overall situation remains dire, about that I have no illusions, but an encouraging report here and there is very welcome. Your opening picture of the Clapper Rail with young is precious. I am, as always, very appreciative of the effort you put into assembling this weekly report of environmental news. It is obligatory reading for me each Saturday morning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Things are definitely looking up. We've a long way to go to get out of the hole into which we have dug ourselves, but at least we are no longer digging.

      Delete
  3. The condors at that woman's house are quite a sight. I had to look up where Tehachapi is ... not too far from Barstow where I've traveled through .... apparently there is good gliding air for the condors there. Nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evidently the area is very conducive to their lifestyles and that woman is "lucky" enough to be in the middle of it!

      Delete
  4. I planted three pecan trees for Arbor Day in hopes that one will live.

    I'm terribly glad to hear that construction on the wall is halted. Such a ridiculous idea. I thought we were tearing down walls, not building them up.

    Thanks for sharing nature news with us, Dorothy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm hoping that eventually those walls that were built along the border will be torn down and the areas restored. Walls are a waste of resources and the wrong message to send.

      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