This week in birds - #509

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

Snowy Egret searching among the rocks along Galveston Bay for a tasty morsel.

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One of our national treasures, Yosemite National Park, was burning this week. A wildfire had consumed nearly 4,400 acres by Thursday of this week.

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In Europe, an extreme heat wave pushed temperatures all the way up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. In several countries on the continent, water restrictions have had to be imposed.

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It isn't just our imagination. Summer in America is becoming longer, hotter, and more dangerous.

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Glyphosate, a controversial ingredient tied to cancer and found in many weedkillers, has been found in 80% of U.S. urine samples in a CDC study. 

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The Texas power grid has been stressed to its very limit this week as we suffer daily temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) has asked residents to voluntarily limit their use of electricity and in our house, at least, we are complying. 

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Italy's longest river, the Po, is dying a slow death as northern Italy faces its worst drought in seventy years.

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The decline in wild plant and animal life around the planet poses challenges for the millions of people who rely on them.

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A pilgrimage in India's Kashmir region turned deadly this week when a cloudburst killed at least 16 people.

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The American Bird Conservancy's Bird of the Week is the California Condor, once near extinction but now recovering due to the heroic efforts of many in the campaign to save the species.

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Studying viruses in the laboratory can pose hazards in that the viruses may have a chance to evolve in that environment and become more deadly.  

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Indigenous tribes are working to bring back and protect the bison and the bison in turn provide a benefit for the entire ecosystem that is nurtured by their presence.

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A second glacier collapse and the resulting avalanche have demonstrated the perils of human-caused climate change in parts of Europe and Asia that are suffering through a blistering hot summer.

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This week, endangered winter-run Chinook salmon eggs were released by a group of partners in conservation into the McCloud River upstream of Shasta Reservoir for the first time since the construction of the Shasta Dam in the 1940s.

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The Coeur d'Alene tribe is attempting to save and protect Coeur d'Alene Lake which is sacred to them. The lake is being polluted by excess phosphorous from human activities, making it vulnerable to ecological disaster. 

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Consider planting native plants in your garden. They support beneficial insects as well as the environment as a whole.

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The fact that the Texas power grid has not collapsed this week under pressure from our extreme heat wave has been due in large part not to oil but to renewable energy sources.

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People who collect twigs in the Congo River Basin for the purpose of making charcoal are playing a surprisingly large role in the deforestation of the area. 

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Lake Powell was created by flooding the Colorado River but as a mega-drought continues into its twenty-second year the lake is shriveling and could lose its capacity to produce electricity for the region which would cause a severe crisis for those who depend on it.

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A UN report resulting from a four-year assessment by 82 leading scientists makes the point that we need to value Nature for the spiritual, cultural, and emotional benefits it provides. 

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A nine-banded armadillo just going about the business of being an armadillo. These critters are actually a benefit to their environment and they help to support the continued existence of many other species.

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Tunisian fishing communities have been plagued by an invasive species of crab and so they learned to turn their lemons into lemonade, or their crabs into crab puffs. 

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How do woodpeckers manage to hammer away at trees without becoming concussed? Trust Nature to find a way.

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Bristlecone pines have stood for 1000 years but can they survive the effects of a drought that has weakened them and made them vulnerable to bark beetles?

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Japan's penguins are suffering from the curse of taste!

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A newly discovered pitcher plant in Borneo makes its traps to catch insects underground, the first one found to make traps under the soil.

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Stumpy the wood turtle is wild but he has had a relationship with his human neighbor in West Virginia for more than 30 years.








Comments

  1. I just discovered your blog while blog hopping around the book community, and I love the variety of the content that you post here. I appreciate this roundup, it brought several environmental issues to my attention that I wasn't aware of before.
    claire @clairefy

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found me, Claire. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.

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  2. Good morning, Dorothy. Thank you for the Saturday morning roundup, essential reading in my household, as you precisely catalogue the progress of the Sixth Extinction. Thanks for the Japanese Penguin feature to add a little levity. Who knew that sphenicids could get so picky? Now I won't feel bad when I insist on feta cheese from Greece cut from the huge block in the barrel with the brine. There is nothing quite so dreadful as North American "feta style" cheese. So take that Feta Philistines! I'm with the penguins this morning. We have to maintain our standards.

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    1. If only our standards were as high as penguins'!

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  3. Thank you so much, Dorothy, for these wonderful Saturday postings. I love them and share them each week on my fb page. You are a blessing!

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  4. I never will forget standing at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and looking up to see a California Condor riding the thermals high overhead. Wonderful!

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    1. NOW it recognizes me! What a headache. I don't particularly care for being "Anonymous>."

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    2. You could never be anonymous to me, Cathy! And I envy your having personally seen the condor. I've only seen them on television and in my imagination.

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  5. I've been hearing a little about the extreme temperatures in Europe. My nephew and his family are over there for a month, and they are sweltering.

    We have planted a lot of native plants over the last two years. I hope to plant more this fall.

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    1. I noticed headlines today about the sweltering temperatures in Europe and about more days of above 100 temperatures expected for us. It is a miserable summer for much of the northern hemisphere.

      Native plants are definitely the way to go. They can take what Nature dishes out.

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  6. The whole Texas power grid is such a joke. Didn't they say that it failed in the winter because the system was made for summer...and now it's not working in the blazing summer either. Ugh.

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    1. I don't think it is made for any season in the era of climate change. But the politicians in charge are disinclined to admit there is a problem.

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  7. I'm honestly surprised that the temps aren't higher than that. Only 1.3 raise where I live but I plan on moving to the aera with the 2.7 increase lol.

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