This week in birds - #502

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

White Pelicans enjoying a day by the bay.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued its monthly report and the bottom line is that we should prepare ourselves for a real scorcher of a summer.

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And in more potentially bad weather news, conditions in the Gulf are looking much like they did when Hurricane Katrina was produced.

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According to United Nations climate reports, climate change indicators all set new record highs in 2021.

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If you missed the lunar eclipse earlier this week, here are pictures of the event.

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Unsurprisingly, policies that offer solutions to check the potential ongoing extinction of species also have benefits for fighting climate change.

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This is a giant stingray, measuring 13 feet long and weighing 400 pounds, that was rescued and released into the Mekong River in Cambodia earlier this month.

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Meanwhile, in Italy, its longest river, the Po, is drying up.

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This is an artist's depiction of a forest skink that used to thrive on Christmas Island. Apparently, it only exists now in artists' depictions for it is believed to be extinct.

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Rosy-faced Lovebirds have learned to use their head as a third limb to help them walk over rocks. Other species may also have learned the technique.

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Some rare good news for narwhals: A proposed expansion of an Arctic mine has been rejected by Canadian authorities. Its approval could have meant extirpation for the narwhal.

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A detailed map of potential exposure to wildfires across the country shows that 1 in 6 Americans live in areas that have a significant risk of wildfires. 

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A photographer who was trying to take a picture of a Great Gray Owl got more than she bargained for when the big bird perched on her camera.

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The herb silphium was a particular favorite in ancient Rome. It had many uses. But then it became extinct, possibly the first victim of human-caused climate change.

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A wave of lethal bird flu is killing millions of birds right now. Experts say that previous experiences with this disease should have taught us how to avoid these outbreaks. Evidently, we have not learned the necessary lesson. 

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A tooth from an ancient Denisovan girl that was found in a cave in Laos is offering clues for solving the mystery of these hominins that are among the ancestors of people alive today in Australia and the Pacific region.

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A Global Big Day revealed a number of bird species in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

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Kayakers on the Minnesota River at first thought they might have found part of the skull of a murder victim, but if it was then the victim was murdered 8,000 years ago.

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This is the American Bird Conservancy's "Bird of the Week," the beautiful little Magnolia Warbler.

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A study found that over a five-year period one in six of all deaths of humans were caused by pollution.

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How bad is the drought in the West? It is the worst that the area has experienced since 800 A.D.

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An aggressive male Wild Turkey has taken to attacking people on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail that straddles Washington, D.C. and the Maryland state line.

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And in other poultry news, feral chickens have become a fixture on  Oahu and Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. They are creating some difficulties for the islands and the governing entities are discussing how to handle the problem.

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The Colorado River which serves people in seven states and Mexico is in crisis and in danger of drying up

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South Africa has experienced deadly flooding and scientists say the problem has been exacerbated by climate change.

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The secret ingredient in wine may be sheep droppings. Well, not literally, of course, but the animals' droppings do enrich the vineyard and increase the production of grapes. 

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Margaret Renkl says that one way to help the environment is to let our yards be a little more wild.

Comments

  1. Good morning, Dorothy. Thank you for the weekly roundup. Before reading the details above about increasing temperatures I had just finished a piece about the incredibly high May values in Portugal, with day after day over forty degrees, not unusual in July and August but unheard of in May. Thank you for the information on sheep droppings enhancing the taste of wine. My choice of late, for several months actually has been a lovely, smooth Malbec called Don David (who can not be drawn to wine with a name like that?). I will have to check whether sheep manure is used in Mendoza! I will drink a toast to you at dinner tonight, Dorothy. Enjoy the weekend just beginning.

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    1. Thanks for remembering me with a toast. I hope your wine is especially smooth and good tonight!

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  2. Another thought-provoking round-up, Dorothy. I sat here alternately reading your post and watching a hummingbird gathering strands of spider web from the big cactus right outside my window. I wish things in the natural world were going as well as this hummer's nest building.

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    1. Hummers' nests are amazing creations. Watching one built is well worth the price of the entertainment.

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  3. The birds are all so precious and OMG that stingray's size is rather shocking. The climate news is never good, is it? so sad.

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    1. Nope, there isn't much good that can be said about climate trends.

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  4. I'm glad you let me know they released the ray! I saw some mention of it, but not that good news. Feral chickens? I do hope they can get some trappers and use them for feeding the hungry.

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    1. That would, of course, be one solution to the problem, though not the one preferred by the chickens!

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  5. I can't get over just how much of the USA is in some kind of drought.

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    1. It will likely get worse in the coming summer months, but just today I am rejoicing over the soaking rain that we got during the night. No watering my plants today!

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  6. I'm trying not to think about having another terrible hurricane season. Not much we can do about that.

    It was wonderful to return to our part of Texas and see puddles of water in the gutters and a wet newspaper.

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