This week in birds - #492

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

Most winters our bird feeders are constantly covered in these hungry little birds. They are Pine Siskins, noisy, active, argumentative, and always fun to watch. This winter I have not seen a single one. Where are they? I have missed them.

*~*~*~*

As Russia has pressed its invasion of Ukraine, the main concern has been the fate of the humans caught in its path. But what about Ukraine's environment? War inevitably brings environmental destruction and this one is no exception.

*~*~*~*

In all the squawking about high gas prices, conservatives have been quick to point the finger at the country's conservation policies, implying that we would be energy self-sufficient if we just "Drill, baby, drill!" But this report says we can't drill our way out of the problem. 

*~*~*~*

The Pacific Flyway of migrating birds is in serious danger of collapse because of the water crisis in the Klamath Basin, one of the continent's most important wetlands.

*~*~*~*

Gray wolves are making a comeback in California, but, predictably, not everyone is thrilled about that.

*~*~*~*

The Smiley-Woodfin Native Prairie Grassland is the largest remaining section of tall-grass prairie in Texas. It is considered a living museum, but its continued existence is threatened by plans to install solar panels there.

*~*~*~*

An ice age painting on a rock in Colombia depicts giant sloths and other animals now extinct in the Americas.

*~*~*~*

Scientists say that the Amazon rainforest is near the "tipping point" from which it would be impossible to recover. This would have dire implications for the planet.

*~*~*~*

Long ago, FDR had called for the establishment of an international park with Mexico that would encompass a great transboundary conservation area spanning the Rio Grande. That dream is still alive and maybe its time has come. 

*~*~*~*

Redlining which allowed for federal discrimination in housing based on race was outlawed more than half a century ago, but it still has a negative impact on people's lives. 

*~*~*~*

The endangered Hill's horseshoe bat that was feared to be extinct has been found still clinging to life in a dense Rwanda forest to the delight of conservationists.

*~*~*~*

Birds possess a magic that is even able to capture the imagination of teenage boys.

*~*~*~*

Salmon are suing the city of Seattle. More accurately, the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe is suing in the name of the salmon as part of the "rights of Nature" movement. They hope to force the removal of three dams that impede the salmon's ability to spawn.

*~*~*~*

The state wildlife resources commission in North Carolina has voted to allow bear hunting in three bear sanctuaries, provoking an outcry from local residents and animal rights groups. The commission's justification of the action is that there have been "increased human-bear interactions."

*~*~*~*

You'll never hear the call of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker in the wild but thanks to recordings, you can listen to the voice of the woodpecker and many other extinct birds.  

*~*~*~*

The EPA plans to allow the use of toxic pesticides that paralyze bees, butterflies, and other insects in spite of moves by the European Union to ban the use of the toxins that have been blamed for a serious decline in insect populations. 

*~*~*~*

The last intact forest in Tallahassee, Florida is threatened with destruction as the private owners of the forest want to cut it down and build a housing development.

*~*~*~*

The White Ibis is the iconic bird of Florida's Everglades, but it is moving to the suburbs in search of food handouts from humans.

*~*~*~*

Scientists say there are five common personality traits in animals and that they are important to study in understanding the roles that the animals play in their particular ecosystems.

*~*~*~*

It's easy to feel helpless and overwhelmed when faced with a problem as big as climate change but here are six steps that one can take in one's life that will help to reduce the carbon emissions driving the change. 

*~*~*~*

The American Bird Conservancy's Bird of the Week is the Red Phalarope, female pictured here. It is a shorebird that nests on coastal tundra and winters at sea.

*~*~*~*

Even with all the terrible problems in the world, it is still possible to find joy in the imminent arrival of spring and the new beginnings that it promises.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the roundup, Dorothy. The fact that landowners wish to cut down the last forest in Tallahassee to build houses just about says it all. Humans over ecosystem integrity every time. As you say, there is still beauty to be found, but it becomes ever more bittersweet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The shortsightedness of the human race will ultimately seal its doom, I think.

      Delete
  2. What happened to the cedar waxwings this year? I also wonder about what happened to the EPA. Bees are now endangered and they are crucial to our own wellbeing and survival, and the EPA won't block the use of toxic pesticides.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They certainly are not living up to their name of Environmental PROTECTION Agency. And, as you say, if they won't protect a creature as fundamental to the existence of life on Earth as bees, what is the point of them?

      Delete
  3. Not the rain forest! That is vital. I really wish people would wake up and take climate change seriously! I mean, the Earth is our home, she gives us everything and we can't even help her? Ugh, humans suck.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bear hunting in a sanctuary? Unbelievable - is nothing off limits these days?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Apparently not, judging by the stories I see every week.

      Delete
  5. I'm glad to hear that salmon can sure. Now I'd like to see all the other animals rise up. Followed by the trees...bees...all the flora and fauna, if possible...

    No Pine Siskins here this year either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The absence of the Pine Siskins has been a particular loss. We didn't even have as many American Goldfinches as in most winters and no House Finches at all. I can only assume that the finches found the temperatures farther north to their liking this winter.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry Sunday: Hymn for the Hurting by Amanda Gorman

Poetry Sunday: Don't Hesitate by Mary Oliver

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