This week in birds - #451
A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment:Black Skimmers in the late evening sun photographed on the beach at Rockport, Texas.
Once again federal scientists are predicting an "above average" Atlantic hurricane season. This follows the record season in 2020 when there were 30 named storms. The scientists say there could be 13 to 20 named storms this year with 6 to 10 being hurricanes and perhaps 3 to 5 reaching category 3 status or above.
And on the other side of the continent, severe drought, made worse by climate change, is ravaging the West. Heat and shifting weather patterns have also intensified wildfires and sharply reduced water supplies across the Southwest, Pacific Coast, and North Dakota.
A new study warns of "zombie fires." With a changing climate, fires in northern forests that smolder through winter and erupt again in spring are expected to become more common.
And now we are seeing climate refugees. Storms, floods, and wildfires, in addition to conflicts, caused the displacement of 40.5 million people around the world in 2020.
The Chimney Swifts have returned to our area. I hear their twittering throughout the day when I am in the garden and I often hear them in the chimney when I'm sitting in my living room. Swifts around the world often have trouble finding nesting places because of the loss of their preferred habitat, but in Britain, they are getting some help. A product called "bird bricks" is being used in construction projects to provide a safe niche for the birds' nests.
A swift emerging from a bird brick.
Marine iguana on Floreanna Island in the Galapagos.
The actor Leonardo DiCaprio is teaming with conservation groups in an effort to rewild the Galapagos Islands and other Pacific islands in Latin America. DiCaprio has pledged $43 million to the campaign to conserve the islands. One of the projects that the money will fund is the restoration of Floreanna Island, home to 54 threatened species. They will reintroduce thirteen locally extinct species including the Floreanna Mockingbird, the first mockingbird described by Charles Darwin in his exploration of the islands.
The famed arch before its collapse.
On Thursday a group of scientists urged the Biden administration to restore legal protections for gray wolves, saying their removal earlier this year was premature and that states are allowing too many of the animals to be killed. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dropped wolves in most of the lower 48 states from the endangered species list in January. The decision was among more than 100 actions the previous administration took related to the environment that President Joe Biden ordered reviewed after taking office.
pretty comprehensive list... DiCaprio is doing a good thing: maybe it'll spread...ReplyDelete
I knew there was some reason why I liked him.Delete
Thank you, Dorothy, for the usual Saturday roundup, which, enjoyed along with my first coffee of the day, sets up my weekend. The item about the bird bricks to help swifts is especially interesting. I had not previously heard of this. A friend of mine is writing a book and one on the chapters will be on swifts. I will be sure to draw her attention to this.ReplyDelete
Chimney Swifts are one of my favorite summer visitors. (It's an extensive list.)Delete
The book I am reading now, Bringing Nature Home, talks about a way that each of us can contribute to saving species. I am still in the early chapters, but it seems to propose something each of us can do.ReplyDelete
I wish scientists were predicting a mild hurricane season. The drought and wildfires out west are also very disturbing.
I wonder if chimney swifts are near me. I will look for them.
I'm sure there are Chimney Swifts in the skies where you live. They are always twittering in flight so pretty easy to notice for that reason. I don't know if there are places to nest in your area. Some people actually put towers shaped like chimneys in their yards to attract the birds and give them safe nesting sites.Delete
Wow...great collection of links to look into. It's hard to believe that we are already on the brink of Hurricane Season. I'm already getting that "here we go again" feeling, and hoping I'm wrong to feel that way. But we've been flooded so much in recent seasons, that I can't shake the feeling.ReplyDelete
The idea of that Florida monkey colony cheers me up this morning. I can't help but feel happy for the lucky escapees who were not recaptured back in 1948.
There is an effort underway to designate a protected sanctuary for the monkeys. Let's hope it is successful.Delete
I like your site's new look. Looks good! Also the news about Darwin's Arch is a bummer, but I remain hopeful about the Galapagos ... thanks to Leo and others.ReplyDelete
It's always nice to see a very rich person doing something that is good for the world.Delete
You totally got me excited about birds with these posts, Dorothy! Last week I went on a camping trip with the kids in my classroom and there was actually a next of birds in the mailbox! All the kids thought it was so cute; we couldn't see them, but hear them!ReplyDelete
They were really quiet when walking past the next and super happy when they saw the mother fly out of the mailbox. It sure made for some good entertainment!
I love the new look on your blog, by the way :)
That's great, Esther. Birds are the ubiquitous harbingers of Nature. They are all around us when we take time to see them.Delete