This week in birds - #511

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

A Sora picks its way among the reeds along the Gulf. Note those long toes that help the bird gains purchase through an uneven environment.

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The world of Nature lost a champion this week with the death of James Lovelock who died on his 103rd birthday. Lovelock was the author of the Gaia Theory which posited Earth as a self-sustaining entity.

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A deadly heatwave is taking a heavy toll on wildlife in the U.K.

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Cutting trees to save a forest certainly sounds counter-intuitive but that is what is happening in Yosemite National Park.

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Some of the fastest-growing cities in the country could become unlivable as a result of climate change.

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Remember all the kerfuffle about "murder hornets" in the Northwest a few years ago? Well, those critters have a new name. They are now "Northern giant hornets." That doesn't sound nearly as intimidating, does it?  

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Brown Pelicans were once on the edge of extinction but reports of their demise proved premature. They have made a comeback but they are still not home free.

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Recent attacks on humans by a macaque in western Japan resulted in the marauder being killed but as the macaque population grows, more clashes with humans are likely.

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In Norway, a charismatic walrus named Freya is sinking boats and causing a bit of mayhem. As a result, she has become something of a tourist spectacle.

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The Bureau of Land Management is allowing 1.5 million cattle to graze on federal land and scientists fear that overgrazing will deteriorate the land's ability to store carbon.

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This is the Crested Honeycreeper, or ‘Ākohekohe, a Hawaiian native that is the American Bird Conservancy's Bird of the Week.

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The world's oldest pot plant dates back to 1775. It is a giant cycad that lives in Kew Gardens in London.

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A map of Europe that shows the location of deadly wildfires in recent weeks could give one the impression that the entire continent is ablaze.

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Can gardening save the world? If it can help save New York City, then perhaps it can. After all, if it can make it there, it can make it anywhere.

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Plastic may be changing the whole food web. It seems that it is turbocharging the growth of bacteria which may impact the entire food chain.

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Here is some good news about twelve ways that President Biden is using governmental power to help protect the environment

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One of Japan's most active volcanoes, Sakurajima on the southwestern island of Kyushu, erupted again last Sunday night.

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Here's a story about banding birds in Yosemite Park.

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Yosemite was threatened by a huge wildfire this week and thousands of people had to evacuate the area. More than 14,200 acres burned.

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The Biden administration has plans to plant more than one billion trees over burned and dead woodlands in the West.

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Here's a mystery for you: The floor of the Atlantic Ocean has holes in it and scientists have no idea why.

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The U.K. is being invaded by non-native plants and that is not a good thing.

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Crustaceans may be the "bees of the sea." They assist in the pollination of seaweed.

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Fish poop may have many unexpected benefits to the environment. One of them is helping coral overcome bleaching

Comments

  1. That world's oldest pot plant is SO GORGEOUS!! Friends of mine had a beautiful, huge plant but it couldn't get out of the house when they moved and the new house owners didn't want the plant so they had to cut it down. Still hurts my heart.

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  2. Good morning, Dorothy: Thank for the Saturday morning roundup, essential reading to start my weekend. Some of the cities mentioned as becoming unliveable are already unliveable for many of us. To endure days on end of over 100 degree F weather would be impossible to handle, with the only solution being to stay indoors - as long as the electricity grid holds up to provide air conditioning. I have friends who moved from Boca Raton, FL to North Carolina for that very reason. Their way of life in Boca Raton involved going from an air conditioned home to an air conditioned car to an air conditioned office or grocery store. Other than that they barely went outside. And they are dedicated naturalists. As the planet keeps heating up there may be no escape from this for any of us.

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    Replies
    1. At this time of year in our climate, it does seem that we spend most of our time in the air-conditioned indoors except for early morning and late afternoon. And I feel a lot of concern for those people who must make their living working outside in this heat.

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  3. The community gardens in New York City seem like a very positive thing. I hope other cities will take on the encouraging of more gardening.

    I checked out the article on cities that could become unlivable, and, sure enough, there was San Antonio. I hope progressives there are taking steps to change things.

    Sometimes I wonder if the only solution is really less people. A lot less.

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    Replies
    1. San Antonia is a city of which I have only the fondest of memories and even though those who live may wish to take progressive steps they always have the headwind of our antediluvian state government against them.

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  4. I've been keeping an eye on Freya. If she's turning into a tourist attraction, she'll have more boats to sink, won't she? (And is that on par with the tourists in Yellowstone getting too close to the bison?)

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  5. Yay for Brown Pelicans! Not outta the woods but doing better!

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  6. Thanks for alerting me to Freya the walrus .... I've now watched half a dozen youtube videos of her. She doesn't be sorry about where she sunbathes .... and can't seem to help that she's a bit too heavy for small boats ....

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    Replies
    1. Freya is just being Freya and for that I think she is my new hero!

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  7. The fires are worse and worse, and fire season is practically going to be year round now. I am so thankful my good friend Nicole moved back here from Paradise, CA and that she and her family are safely away from that danger.

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    Replies
    1. It would be a very worrying time to have someone you love in the area of those fires.

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