This week in birds - #486

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


A Red-bellied Woodpecker poses for us, showing off a bit of that red belly. 

*~*~*~*

A federal judge has canceled oil and gas leases for more than 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico, ruling that the Biden administration did not sufficiently consider the effects of climate change.

*~*~*~*

Meanwhile, the administration has canceled mining leases that would have allowed a Chilean mining conglomerate to dig for copper and nickel near the Boundary Waters wilderness in Minnesota.

*~*~*~*

Red Knots like to feed on the abundant protein-rich horseshoe crab eggs along the Delaware coast. Conservation groups warn that changes planned for the horseshoe crab harvest could be a threat to the birds.

*~*~*~*

A huge iceberg that broke off the ice shelf on the Antactica Peninsula in 2017 had been drifting across the southern ocean ever since, but near South Georgia, it has finally broken up and the pieces drifted away.

*~*~*~*

Last year about 15% of the total population of manatees in Florida died, most of them from starvation. Efforts are underway to try to save those that remain. As their natural food source is polluted or depleted, they are being fed heads of lettuce.

*~*~*~*

Tropical Storm Ana hit parts of Africa this week, killing more than 70 people in Mozambique, Madagascar, and Malawi, and leaving thousands more stranded by flooding.

*~*~*~*

North America is losing its birds at an alarming rate, more than a fourth of the species in the past half century.

*~*~*~*

The DNA of small dogs has an ancient pedigree. It seems that, according to researchers, the smaller version is the ancestral model

*~*~*~*

The one-horned species of rhino was nearly extinct before poaching was curbed. Now they are under threat again, this time from the effects of climate change. Wildlife experts in Nepal are planning for the species' future.

*~*~*~*

Elderly people living near or downwind from fracking sites are more at risk of dying prematurely, according to a major new U.S. study by researchers at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

*~*~*~*

Our species has pushed the planet's viability to sustain life to the brink. Deadly chemical pollutants that we have unleashed have passed the safety limit of the planet. 

*~*~*~*

Texas now sees hundreds of yearly earthquakes of 2.5 magnitude or greater. That is the minimum that humans can feels. Moreover, it experiences thousands of smaller quakes. Why? It's all down to the drilling practices of the oil and gas industry.

*~*~*~*

The decision by the Supreme Court to hear arguments to limit the scope of the EPA's power under the Clean Water Act has conservationists alarmed. It is widely expected that the conservative majority on the court will issue a ruling that will undermine the agency's authority to protect.

*~*~*~*

Rewilding teams in Finland are working to restore the country's river ecosystems and to encourage the return of wildlife after decades of damage by the forest industry.

*~*~*~*

Three sparsely populated islets were hit by fifty feet high waves resulting from the Tonga tsunami, causing catastrophic damage to them.

*~*~*~*

Here's a look at some of the marvelous birds of the "dawn chorus" in Texas' lower Rio Grande Valley.

*~*~*~*

A new analysis of leaves and bird feathers from the old growth Amazon forest shows alarming levels of mercury, providing new evidence of how people are altering ecosystems in dangerous ways around the world. 

*~*~*~*

The James Webb Space Telescope, launched on December 25, has traveled about a million miles and has reached the point from which it could spend the next twenty years in surveillance of the cosmos. 

*~*~*~*

Western Burrowing Owls are remarkably tolerant of human activity. Even so, they are inevitably being displaced by development activities and wildlife officials are working to collect and transplant the owls to new areas that the conservationists believe will meet their needs.

*~*~*~*

Freshwater mussels are some of the most imperiled species in North America. They are also important beneficiaries of dam removal and fortunately for them removal of dams is becoming more common on the continent.

*~*~*~*

The descendants of Native American tribes on the northern California coast are reclaiming part of their ancestral homeland, including ancient redwoods that have stood since before their ancestors walked the lands. Save the Redwoods League has announced that it is transferring more than 500 acres to the tribes.

*~*~*~*

Enjoy these pictures of a Belted Kingfisher on the hunt.

Comments

  1. I look forward every Saturday morning to the roundup, Dorothy, knowing that it will leave me dismayed, but needing to know anyway. It is daunting to think that the Supreme Court of a nation that is one of the worst polluters on earth may rule to emasculate the ability of the EPA to protect the environment. It is not hard to conclude that we have gone mad.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I especially loved taking a look at all the birds in the lower Rio Grande valley. I just discovered the National Butterfly Center down in Mission, and now I see that this spot is also a great place to observe birds.

    Thank you for all the articles and information you shared this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We visited many of the sites in that region, including the Butterfly Center, a few years ago and it is indeed a fabulous place for birding.

      Delete
  3. Mostly bad news, but there are some positives here. It does get depressing that so little is being done for future life here earth for both flora and fauna.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I comfort myself with the thought that when humans are gone from the planet it will regenerate itself. In spite of all the damage we do, I have faith that Nature will prevail.

      Delete
  4. i'm with Jenclair... why can't humans be sane? i guess because they never have been...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems to be a foreign concept for our species, doesn't it?

      Delete
  5. The article on the Dawn Chorus was fantastic (the black muzzled tomatocrest not excepted, lol) but when I decided to do some research on the National Butterfly Center, I was horrified to find that they had to close this weekend because of threats. What terrible things are happening in our country.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they are under attack by the right wingers. Those people are truly batshit crazy.

      Delete
  6. Loved the dawn chorus. Thanks for sharing that link. (I might just have to share it on a future round-up of my own.)

    All those "little" earthquakes in Texas remind me... how can anyone think that constantly drilling huge holes into the planet won't have consequences? I would imagine most of these geniuses don't care as long as the consequences don't occur while they're still around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspect you are right about that. It's part of our selfish gene - if it doesn't happen to us or something we care about then it isn't happening.

      Delete
  7. I love that your round all this info up for us. Most of it I wouldn't see or know with you. It's also a duel feeling I get. It makes me happy to see things like Native American's getting 500 of their own land back and the rewilding teams in Finland but then I see the story with the manatees and the fracking causing so many earthquakes and get sad. We humans just kinda ruin things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always appreciate it when there. is some positive news to share. It goes a little way toward balancing things.

      Delete
  8. I'd wish they cancel gas leases over here in the Netherlands. One of our provinces has earthquakes because of it and a lot of families lost their home, but they won't quit....
    Why can't they see it's hurting the planet and now after all those years it's also hurting the people.

    Humans sometimes feel self-destructing to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you may be on to something there. Our species does seem to engage in an enormous amount of self-destructive behavior.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry Sunday: Hymn for the Hurting by Amanda Gorman

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

Poetry Sunday: Don't Hesitate by Mary Oliver